In the Djebala foothills of the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco is the
ancient village of Jajouka. For hundreds of years music has poured out
of that village, music by the world’s only “4000 year old rock band”
(William Burroughs), the Master Musicians of Jajouka. For hundreds of
years the Master Musicians were the musical group of choice for the
princes of Morocco, but they were not heard outside their native soil.
Fast forward to 1950, Morocco, free of French and Spanish colonialism,
is alive and the Beat Generation has discovered it. Author/composer Paul
Bowles and writer/painter Brion Gysin hears the Master Musicians at a
festival and have their minds blown. At different times both Bowles and
Gysin make their way to the village of Jajouka, visits which result in
some of the first recordings of the group.
Eighteen years after his first encounter with the Master Musicians,
Gysin takes Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones to Jajouka to
experience the group’s wild and wonderful trance music. Jones spends a
month recording the group and releases the album Brian Jones Presents
The Pipes of Pan at Jajouka. While the Jones record brought attention to
the group, leading to associations with musician/legend Ornette Coleman
and writer Robert Palmer, Jones treated the music with special effects.
In 1972, Joel Rubiner made his way to Jajouka to do fresh recordings of
the group. He knew that there was an audience for the unfiltered sounds
of the Master Musicians of Jajouka and spends the summer with a tape
machine and the musicians. Jams formed into songs, Rubiner had tapes
that music freaks would die for. Hypnotic, pulsing, energetic, and
discordant - the Rubiner recordings needed to be released. In 1974,
Adelphi Records took a chance on the Master Musicians and released The
Primal Energy That Is The Music And Ritual Of Jajouka, Morocco. When the
album was released on CD, it netted the All Music Guide’s Best of Genre
Out of print on vinyl for over twenty years, The Primal Energy... makes a
return on Sol Re Sol Records (a spin-off of avant-rock label S.S.
Records). Sol Re Sol’s repressing of this classic album contains the
music of the original (remastered by John Golden), plus the original
liner notes by Robert Palmer. The packaging however is something new -
housed in a gatefold sleeve, it includes a new cover with little seen
Rubiner photographs from the time the album was recorded. The recordings
and photographs have been fully licensed. The group’s publishing
royalties have been paid. No one is getting exploited in order to return
this wonderful music to vinyl. Fans of Sublime Frequencies, Mississippi
Records, the Nonesuch Explorer series, Ocura Records, and the Ethnic
Folkways series will dig this release. (SRS001)
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 21 December, 2011.