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Every day is an adventure on Sound Travels and this week we'll visit several countries in the Middle East and North Africa for some amazing sounds in styles you may have never heard. Today, we got our start with gnawa music from Northwestern Africa.

Gnawa, a style I first encountered on a trip to Morocco some years back, has always enthralled me with its distinctive trance-like rhythms, call-and-response style vocals and its otherworldly Islamic psychedlic sound. I still remember the many tapes I bought on street corners in Fez and Tanger. In fact, I still have them and often get lost in the subtle progression of their infectious rhythms. It was my introduction to North African music and continues to be fascinating to this day. For an excellent introduction to the history of the Gnawi of Morocco and the people that make this music, check this out. Here's what I had for you all today...

Bambara "Abdul L'African" Gnawa Abdul


Gnawa Del Son "La Ilaha Illa Allah" Samaoui


Gnawa Systeme " Soudani" Sortie D'usine


Gnawa Kronik "Waynkoum Ya Reejal" Stronghold Sound Pres. The Audio Refuge