Swirling Sufi Trance from Ifriqiyya Electrique

Album cover of Rûwâhîne by Ifriqiyya Electrique
A ritual of adorcism. Rûwâhîne by Ifriqiyya Electrique.


(Glitterbeat records, 2017)

Listening to the music of Ifriqiyya Electrique is an arresting experience. In Stombali, slow rumbling bass builds into galloping percussion and fevered chanting. Hypnotic and unsettling, the driving polyrhythms and churning post-industrial grooves command a spiritual power that possess the soul.

The musical project Ifriqiyya Electrique draw on sounds from the Djerid Desert in Tunisia, where descendants of the Hausa slaves taken from Sub-Saharan Africa practice the religious Banga rituals of Sufi saint Sidi Marzuq. The band sing in Ajami, the native language of the Hausa people. In their music, the rûwahîne (ie. spirits and also the name of their album), are invited in (known as adorcism), rather than exorcised. Possession by rûwahîne through the Stombali trance-dance ritual can be healing, meditative and truly cathartic.

Listen to every one of WAT’s Tune of the Week below. Updated regularly.

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