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January/February 2001

Nass Marakech
Sabil 'a 'Salaam
Alula Records

Moroccan music takes a different, or several different, directions in the music of the Nass Marakech. As heard on Sabil 'a 'Salaam, the band is rooted in Gnawan traditions of music, including the ancient bass instrument, the sintir and the castanetlike karkabas, but they take detours into other global corners, via tabla, shakuhachi and cajon, a South American percussion instrument. It all flows together with a disarming seamlessness thanks partly to the galvanizing force of leader Abdelkebir Bensaloum's vocals, which are plainly passionate in any language.

Originally published in January/February 2001
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