Nov 2011 Afropop Worldwide
Check out this crazy adaptation of Moroccan grooves with New York psychedelia outfit Club D’Elf. The group first came together in 1998 through composer and bassist Mark Rivard. The band is defined by its ability to flow between and fuse genres, and the cast of musicians changes often. The band brags on their website that “A Squarepusher-styled drum’n’bass groove may give way to a traditional North Indian tabla interlude, in turn dissolving into some Miles “Live Evil” type electric mayhem.”
Recently, they have incorporated Moroccan trance and local instruments in the ensemble. Brahim Fribgane, a Casablancan native, who plays the oud and Rivard, has become a strong player of the Sintir, a three-string bass lute. Their music touches the present moment, and the group’s experimentation seems to have produced some prime musical fruits. They recently released a double CD entitled Electric Moroccoland/So Below. Their structure emphasizes improvisation, and so they are a good group to see live
Here’s a video offering a sample of their music and descriptions of the conceptual foundations of their work by the band members themselves. The video cycles from screaming organ to melancholy Moroccan singing to slide trumpet. If you want to get a stronger taste of their Moroccan vibes in a more toned-done setup, this video off their new album of the song “Mogador” features some pretty funky gypsy dancing. It’s definitely worth a look.
Contributed by Eli Rumpf