Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CD Review: Simo Lagnawi's 'The Gnawa Berber'

Simo Lagnawi
The Gnawa Berber
Riverboat Records/World Music Network

Based in the U.K., but inspired his Moroccan-Berber origins, Simo Lagnawi presents us with an exciting and entrancing album of a dozen songs that successfully and faithfully adheres to North African gnawa traditions. There is some improvisation of sorts, which cover Saharan folk songs and ceremonial compositions. All of the songs are diverse and feature the guimbri -- a plucked lute that is native to North Africa. The authentic and tribal sound of the guimbri is haunting and natural with vocals, flute, fiddle, and banjo accompaniment in spots. Hassan Hakmoun fans will find some similarities, but the music is not electronic or rock-oriented. This is for fans seeking unadulterated gnawan trance music. Find your inner gnawa today! ~ Matthew Forss

No comments: