Gnawa-fusion duo Rabii Harnoune & V.B Kühl have had “the honour to participate in an amazing film project”, the new BBC series ‘Africa Rising with Afua Hirsch’. They feature in the first episode about the art and culture of Morocco which is directed by Alex Brisland
‘Africa Rising’, described by The Guardian’s Leila Latif as a “skilful three-part documentary about Africa’s cultural renaissance” embraces Africa on its own terms and in full voice, with the three episodes focusing upon Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa. They uncover the energy and ambition of creatives reinventing African music, fashion and film.
Rabii Harnoune & V.B Kühl have posted on their socials saying: “Thanks for the invitation and thanks for loving our music! Our project was invented to bring Gnawa music and its culture to a modern worldwide audience and we’re very happy, that you found us for Afica Rising! It’s a match 🌴🙏🏼🙏🌴”.
Their two ‘GNAWA ELECTRIC LAUNE’ albums, described by Laurent Garnier as “super elegant futuristic Gnawa ❤ ❤ ❤”, are a melange of traditional North African Gnawa music and modern club sounds which resulted in a fascinating debut, a cross-cultural friction which is electric and otherworldly. All of the songs on ‘GNAWA ELECTRIC LAUNE II’ weave Gnawa folklore culture into its lyrical themes and conceptual approaches. The singles on ‘GNAWA ELECTRIC LAUNE II’ include lead-track “Aisha”, a tale about the mythological female figure renowned as the greatest woman of all time. “Laafou” is about the end of suffering for a majestic singer called Bilal Ibn Rabah al-Habashi, hand-picked by the Prophet Muhammad himself and “Koyo Koyo”, a term for the righthand man of the Gnawa master who learns to play the Qarqaba (also known as Krakebs, an iron castanet-like rhythmic musical instrument).
Gnawa music is among Morocco’s richest and oldest continuous traditions, dating back to pre-Islam. Rabii Harnoune’s mastery at the Guembri, a three-string lute, and Gnawa singing (a central aspect to the culture), has seen him play at world-class festivals in Essaouira, Fes, Marrakesh, and Casablanca – all spiritual centres for the genre.
The birth of the ‘Gnawa Electric Laune’ concept has resulted in fascinating cross-cultural records that have won over the likes of Gilles Peterson (Winners 2020), Tom Ravenscroft (BBC 6Music), Songlines and many others, for their electric and otherworldly bridge from old to new.
See more about their releases here: https://tru-thoughts.co.uk/artists/rabii-harnoune-v-b-kuhl/
‘Africa Rising with Afua Hirsch’ is available to watch via the BBC: HERE