11/06/2021Hive Mind Records Release Deeply Hypnotic Amazigh Music By Moroccan Berber Artist Hassan Wargui

At this time, we'd like to direct your attention to the always stellar Brighton-based imprint Hive Mind Records, who just recently put out a beautiful record by Berber artist Hassan Wargui. Originally recorded alongside a group of friends in 2015 and subsequently self-released on YouTube, due to a lack of viable alternatives and "a music infrastructure in Morocco", it is now seeing its first official release. Simply entitled "Tiddukla" ('Friendship'), it features five tracks of Amazigh tribal song and poetry from the Anti-Atlas mountains in Southern Morocco that may be considered acquired listening, but quickly unfold their mesmerising charm. 

Hassan Wargui is a self-taught musician, composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, specialising "in the songcraft and poetry of the Tachelhit-speaking Amazigh tribes."  Born in 1985 in the rural community of Issafen, "his music draws from the deep well of Amazigh, or Berber, cultures that have long been suppressed across North Africa after the region underwent a process of Arabisation following the Arab invasions of the 7th century." Growing up "in an isolated mountain community, in which art and music is embedded into daily life [...], he developed an excellent musical sense and deep understanding of the complex poly-rhythms that underpin Amazigh music and became proficient on the banjo." 

The tracks to be heard on "Tiddukla", i.e. "Time", "Music", "Rights", "The Corrupt" and title track "Friendship", seem to carry a contemporary, but also a political dimension. Singing in Tachelhit itself is somewhat of a statement or rather a reminder of a time, when the language was forbidden and  Amazigh people fought to be recognised. The album itself is warm and hypnotic, steadily increasing in depth and evolving in repetition. We really think it speaks for itself and is a fascinating musical snapshot of an artist well worth knowing about. In the label's words, here is a "fiercely independent and hugely resourceful and tenacious artist, who has been able to continue creating music for over a decade without any real support from Morocco's music industry and while holding down a variety of day jobs. We really hope you enjoy his music as much as we do."

That being said, you can stream/buy "Tiddukla" via the Bandcamp player below and make sure you check out the equally stunning companion visuals to "Azmz" ('Time') before you go. 

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom