Premiere: Maalem Mahmoud Gania – Mrahba Baba Hamouda

We’re very excited to present our first Premiere on Música Macondo and what a way to start, with Hive Mind records first ever release and it’s a special one too!

The LP is called Colours of the Night and is the final studio recordings of deep, hypnotic Gnawa songs from the late, great Maalem Mahmoud Gania. The recordings see their first release outside of Morocco in September 2017, and will be available as a double vinyl LP and digitally.  The release has been licensed from the Gania family and comes with the support of all who were involved in the original recordings. Colours of the Night is his first ever solo recording to receive a vinyl release.

Maalem Mahmoud Gania was one of Morocco’s most famous Gnawa musicians. Gnawa is a musical and spiritual tradition originating in sub-Saharan Africa that has survived as a subculture within Moroccan society for centuries.  The roots of the blues can be heard in its hypnotic rhythms. Born in 1951 and brought up in the coastal city of Essaouira, Mahmoud was raised in one of the country’s great Gnawa families.  A well-respected singer and master guimbri player renowned for his command of the Gnawa songbook, he became one of Morocco’s most prolific recording musicians.

From the 1970s until his death in 2015 he released numerous albums for a variety of local labels including Tichkaphone, La Voix El Maaraf and Sonya Disques, as well as recording with Western musicians such as Pharoah Sanders, Peter Brotzmann, and most recently James Holden and Floating Points. He also played live with the likes of Carlos Santana, Randy Weston and Omar Sosa. The original recordings have been remastered for vinyl by Julian Tardo at Church Road Studios, and the sleeve features the beautiful portrait photography of Nicolas Diop.

Hive Mind records is founded by Marc Teare, whose love of Moroccan music began in 1993, when he was given a mysterious home recorded cassette which was simply labelled ‘Moroccan Trance Music’. Following a late night session with friends the tape was played and made a strong impact on Marco. Ten years later he made his first trip to Morocco with his partner and children. During the stay he was played a CD by Mahmoud Gania and immediately recognised the style as the same as that mystery cassette. This was his formal introduction to the music of the black African diaspora in Morocco, Gnawa music. See Music Transcends Borders: Morocco. He has now visited Morocco many times and travelled throughout the country, each visit picking up cassettes and CDs, trying to absorb more of the country’s rich musical heritage.

Hive Minds Records was born out of  the desire to share some of the country’s music with new audiences, and Marco had always hoped that Mahmoud Gania’s music would be their first release.

Colours of the Night will be released on the 8th September.

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