Mosawi Swiri

19/04/19Essaouira's Maalem Houssam Gania Releases Entrancing 6-Track Gnawa Album On Hive Mind

Back in 2017 Brighton's Hive Mind Records posthumously released an 8-track album of studio recordings by the late and great Maalem Mahmoud Gania, master singer and guimbri player. Now following in his footsteps, 23-year-old Houssam Gania is set to continue his father's legacy and recently released his own 6-track album on the UK imprint.

"Mosawi Swiri" features indigenous sounds from the "Gnawa ceremonial repertoire", including "a number of songs from the Musawiyin Suite, the blue section of the trance ritual durch which they invoke Sidi Musa, the master of the spirits of sea and sky." Accompanied by his brother Hamza Gania, Mohamed Benzaid, Khalid Charbadou and Amine Bassi (on qraqabs), Maalem Houssam Gania plucks his guimbri and contributes his "earthy vocals" to the insitent, recurring grooves. 

This album is somewhat of a beautiful understatement, that doesn't force itself on listeners but rather invites them to revel in its undeniable glow as it slowly unfolds its charm. Head over to Bandcamp to buy/stream "Mosawi Swiri" in full, which is also available on cassette in a very limited edition of 100. If you are looking to hear more from Maalem Houssam Gania, you may also want to check out his 2018 collaboration with UK electronic music producer James Holden in the SoundCloud player above.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom