Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Archach (again)

Okay...there are 6 songs on this fine cassette and I don't know the titles of any of them so, as usual, any information you good people could provide would be greatly appreciated.  Anyone who's listened to the previous Archach posts will know what to expect, gorgeous pastoral Berber pop music from this Souss Valley superstar.


Get it HERE.


Hammer said...

Hell yeah, this is another amazing Amazigh cassette by the Soussian retro-revivalist band Archach (ⴰⵔⵛⴰⵛ - أرشاش. The name means 'The Drizzle', literally depicted in a cloud that rains so much on all people in the Soussian dialect).

Like many Amazighian bands in the Ahuach region, Morocco; Archach's songs were always carefully chosen from 'darg'/'darja' mawrouth poetry. But, most of their poems were censored by the Moroccan authorities during the rebel-rousing times of the late 70's and early 80's.

The group (also spelled as Archache) has at least 34 albums since their first one was issued in mid-1980. The previous year, five ex-members from various Soussian bands gathered together to form Archach: Ali Chouhad, Mohammed Slout (from Ibrkak), L'Hassan Wachach, Ibrahim Isakran (Essafen), and Aziz El-Harras (Tafrawit) and played live at Assouass Square: the place to be at that time for most neo-traditional Soussian bands.

Later, they were joined by Chouhad's brother Abed El-Kbir and together they wrote most of the songs. All in all, their roots harked back to the Ibrkak, Essafen district in the Lesser-Atlas region, between Tatta and Troudanout. This region is very rich in Ahuach music (Note: a very mountainous region known for its famous poetry, or 'Inzamen': The Composure), and one of its best poets around (El-Hamou Taleb), wrote so many poems for the band.

Musical Extract:
Their style is very tribal (to use but a new-ageist word, mind), as it belongs to the tribal Ahuach music style which stresses group dances, and poetical composure, too famous around Souss, El-Houz, and Daraa in the east and known by many names: Ahankhar, Ajmak, Ahmaulou, Eldrassit, Ehuiach, Ahuoari, A'Knawi, Tskiouin, etc. and has numerous substyles, like Ahuach Emmi Ntanout, Essefen, T'louat, Ahuadh Ihahen, Ahuadh Ait B'Oumran, and Takraou/Tamhadhrin (Women-only styles).

The dance is called 'E-Rakz', but most of these styles are based on the music and the poems written in an improvisational manner which is a very unique feature in Soussian music. The instrument vary, too: Kanka (African), Aloun, Tknza, Akwal, Nai, and the Banjo.

Archach took Soussian music away from the Terroussa (also called, Ruweiss) style played by Moulays (or, master players and singers like El-Rayess El-Hajj Bal'Eid, Bou Bakr Al-Azaari, Bou Bakr Anchad, Saffiyah Oulet Telouat, El-Hussein Janthi, Rayess Omar Wahrouch), into a more modern, fusion-heavy one full of maqams and old, traditional tunes set in new musical moulds.

This cassette is an album that they'd recorded circa 1987 and it featured originally only four tracks (not six). Here they are:

Teghla Nouffat (تجلا نوفات) (Lost And Found):
1.) Dekoun, Dekoun.
2.) Toughu Tien.

1.) Teghla Nouffat.
2.) Ibakha Yekik.

Here's one of the band's earliest pictures, taken in August, 24th, 1982:


Mr Tear said...

Hi Hammer,
Thanks as always for the wealth of information about this music. I always appreciate the knowledge you share. I'll update the post tonight but in the meantime, enjoy the sounds.
X Mr Teare

Hammer said...

Will surely do, Mr. X. I listened to it lasterday and it's wonderful.

Update, you say? Well, after I hurriedly posted this comment yesters, I asked around a few Moroccan friends and one attested that the early starts of Archach dates back to 1978 and not 1979. Moreover, some mentioned how Ali Chouhad left the band after a tizzy between him and other band members, but he returned to play with them in the mid-80's.

Regardless, this is an amazing cassette, reals. You're the one to be thanked here, and not me.



David said...

Just to comment, on the back of Hammer's fantastically-helpful post, the cassette cover appears to show only 4 songs as well, just like the LP; so I guess it's the usual African-tape business of the cover & contents not quite matching...!

Anonymous said...

hello , magnifique post .. tous ces titres son des chanson a texte et a thème réelle ..