One of the best labels around for music from around the globe is Hive Mind Records – Marc Teare has brought us some of the finest music from Morocco, highlife from Ghana, South American psychedelia, iconic stars of Indonesia and modern Dada from Italy – all links to World Treasures Music’ coverage of these outstanding releases are below, along with the links to the label and their exceptional output.
It’s exciting to hear more new announcements from the label – following the recent essential releases of new music by Krautrock-drone combo, University Challenged and Syrian ambient video auteur, Obay Alsharani – this time we’re eager to hear a mix of Indian devotional music by label head, Marc, as well as another release of mesmorising Moroccan music by Hassan Wargui.
The forthcoming mix will be on Bandcamp from Friday, featuring a range of Gujarati devotional music – with all proceeds going to the Best Foot Music Covid relief campaign for India. It’s the latest charity work that the label has committed to. More to come on this at WTM.
The new vinyl will be out in July – Marc describes Hassan as a self taught musician, composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and an expert in the songcraft and poetry of the Tachelhit speaking Amazigh tribes of the Anti-Atlas mountains in the south of Morocco.
Previous releases by Moroccan masters, such as great Maalem Mahmoud Gania, have given the label world-leading status in terms of Moroccan music releases. Hassan’s new material from this mysterious part of the country will further cement this reputation, as well as disseminate the artist to a much-deserved wider audience. There are some of Hassan’s digital tracks online already, ahead of the 13th release for Hive Mind.
Hassan was born in 1985 in the rural community of Issafen, which lies between Taroudant and Tafraoute in the Anti-Atlas mountains of Southern Morocco. His music draws from the deep well of Amazigh, or Berber, cultures that have long been suppressed across North Africa – after the region underwent a process of ‘Arabization’ – following the Arab invasions of the 7th Century.
“Hassan grew up in an isolated mountain community in which art and music is embedded into daily life,” Marc says. “This allowed him to develop an excellent musical sense, a deep understanding of the complex poly-rhythms that underpin Amazigh music, and time to become proficient on the banjo which, since the ascendency of the popular modern folk movement involving groups such as Nass El Ghiwane and Jil Jilala in the late ’60s and early ’70s, has been the preferred instrument of the region. Like many musicians from the region, Hassan built his first instruments himself, and it wasn’t until he moved to Casablanca in his teens to find work which was scarce in his local community, that he was able to save for his first real banjo.”
Since then Hassan has been active in the Amazigh musical community and has worked with a number of groups, notably Groupe Lbouchart, Imanaren and Etran Tiznit, as well as recording prolifically as a solo artist using Fruity Loops as a home studio. In 2009, Jace Clayton (DJ/Rupture) stumbled across a CD by Imanaren on a stall in Casablanca medina and this led to a fruitful series of collaborations in 2009 and 2011 (you can learn more about their work together here).
The forthcoming Tiddukla album (which translates to friendship), is one of Hassan’s numerous group projects and he recorded the album with friends in 2015 and self released it through YouTube, due to the lack of music infrastructure in Morocco.
“Tiddukla is raw and hypnotic and sees Hassan and his group channeling the deep and contemplative sounds of classic Amazigh groups such as Izenzaren, Archach, Izmaz, all of whom risked their freedom by daring to sing in Tachelhit at a time when the language was still forbidden, and when Amazigh people were fighting for their rights to be recognised,” Marc adds.
“Hive Mind are thrilled to be able to release Hassan’s beautiful music, and to introduce the fascinating rhythms of the Anti-Atlas Mountains into the wider world. We’re incredibly proud to be able to support this fiercely independent and hugely resourceful and tenacious artist who has been able to continue creating music for over a decade without any real support from Morocco’s music industry. We really hope you enjoy his music as much as we do.”
Tiddukla was recorded in Bouzid Studio in Issafen, Tata Province on March 13th, 2015. It’s been mastered by Julian Tardo at Church Road Studio, Hove, with art and design by Theo Payne.
Marc spoke to World Treasures Music about the label last year. Following a string of vital reissues, as well as new material, it was clear that many more new artists were in the pipeline at the stable. Each month brings more news from this ever-growing creative hub:
Obay’s audio-visual feast was a welcome lockdown diversion:
Hive Mind Records and Javasounds collected iconic Indonesian recordings from Java – by Idjah Hadidjah and Jugala Jaipongan – with additional reworks:
Marc compiled a lockdown compilation to raise money for the homeless, featuring a range of friends and musical acquaintences formed during a lifetime in music:
Another artist from Morroco that has been celebrated by the label is the late, great Maalem Mahmoud Gania:
Another reissue of the late, great Maalem Mahmoud Gania and the amazing ‘Aicha’ album – Hive Mind Records come full circle as their tenth release, like their first, is from Morocco’s “undisputed King of Gnawa music”
Here’s a World Treasures Music mix featuring the best of the early years of the label: