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Hive Mind Records Celebrates 10th Release “Aicha” from the King of Gnawa

Hive Mind Records out of Brighton, UK, is celebrating their tenth release by going “full circle, right back where we started from.” In 2017, the label released Colours of the Night by the Gnawa musician Maalem Mahmoud Gania and they are once again working with the Gania family of Essaouira to reissue the music of “the undisputed King of Gnawa music.” ​Gnawa, with origins in Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa, is a genre with a well-preserved heritage combining ritual poetry with traditional music and dancing. 

Aicha was previously released on cassette in Morocco only in the late 1990's. Maalem Mahmoud Gania recorded for many labels in Morocco and many details about the recording of this particular album or the people involved are unknown, except that the album was recorded in the Gania's home town of Essaouira with only a small and intimate group of supporting musicians: “the resulting album, after the dizzying intensity of the opening song, offers more relaxed, laid back interpretations of the Gnawa ritual repertoire, and a deeper, more gentle sound than our previous Gania release, Colours of the Night.” The album comes with extensive sleeve notes written by Tim Abdellah Fuson, Berkeley scholar and curator of the Moroccan Tape Stash blog.

Album release can be found on the website and at Bandcamp