Maalem Mahmoud Gania – Aicha (LP)
Label: Hive Mind
Released: RE 2020
Aicha by Maalem Mahmoud Gania is a mesmerising meander through the spiritual music of Morocco. Gnawa is a traditional music of Morocco commonplace at Islamic religious ceremonies throughout the country. Such ceremonies centre around a master musician called a Maâlem and Mahmoud Gania is one of the most skilled and celebrated Maâlems in the history of Moroccan music. In September 2017 Hive Mind Records remastered and re-released Gania’s last recording, Colours of the Night. The record caused somewhat of a storm and three years later Hive Mind Records return to their roots to re-release Aicha. Originally released as a cassette Hive Mind Records' remaster of Aicha reveals each track in stunning clarity. 'La Ilha Illha Allah' is an intense and relentless introduction to the record, its repetitive rhythms and low vocals leaves the listener in a state of trance, the rest of the record is similarly transcendental showcasing Gania’s virtuosic Guembri skills. This is music to lose yourself to completely, a spiritual record from a true master of the craft.