Jil Jilala: The Moroccan Beatles? - جيل جيلالة.


The Net radiates and shines these days with a lot of hubbub and ballyhoo about copyrights, IP-theft, cultural-piracy, etc... so much, that it's all a pain in the bum just to read. Music, on the other hand, got lost in the shitstorm that was the downing of one cordially-revered by millions upload site called Megaupload.

MU has got itself a lot of vehement heat, and touchy-feely advocacy written by those same music bloggers who have turned full circle with their own adamant dormancy, anonymity, and 'fake' safe blog havens, only to find their selves face-to-face with the ultimate truth: that no-one is safe. All is bullshit. That's what Ameirca teaches its own kids. And, the end-result? The rich got richer. The poor? Uh, only poorer. It's all about the money, after all. 

What can one end-user get using a cheap netline that his, or her p-units usually pay for, is a lot more convincing and a shorter road to getting the damn real-life 'goodies': music, films, books, pictures upped with the sole purpose of making you stand out from a rather dullard, doltish, below-average e-crowd.  But, the industry has its own word. There's now an on-going 'race' to prevent the E.U. from signing the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) treaty soon. (Read: Infograph ).

World culture is dead. Blogsites couldn't do any resuscitation job for that ailing shitucopia that's the Internet as-it-is today. The media moguls are feeding you their own vomit off their chests, culling it from backlogs of lost, cool, groovy, hip, call it what-have-you... artifacts, archives, and BFE-places you wished you're able to afford to go and see. Then again, they've created a Franken-user out from each one of these 'sadvocates', who try now to self-pin their on-line vomitotropic work as 'libraries' (the utter antonym of what is cool, groovy, hip... etc).

Self-contradicting at best, these bloggers are a mirror-image of what their try-and-die-harder selves want to change about the world, but couldn't change shit-all. They're the butt of all jokes now. Some went to far extremes as to name the closure of these websites and on-line, copycat music blogs as the, "The burning of the Library of Alexandria"? Huh? All you'd get at the end of the long wet soup-fork is something that you will ultimately grow tired off; legitimately so, because you get bored so easily... even from acting 'cool'. And, from music, mostly.

Regardless of rants and blants ten-a-bob abrim in the web, it stays as this gate where one could finally get all that he or she could get off by being just .... on-line! Simple. Even if they don't need to listen to this or that artist/ band.

They still want to in order to join the cabal of seemingly-cool hipsters. 
Thus, when one takes a look at it from closer quarters, the Net is this sheer body of nonsense where only the wise would use it to allocate their fondness and enthusiasm for what resembles their 'real-life' likes B.W. (Before The Web), or resorting to its addictive use; without the urge to be someone who's somebody in a nowheresville like the Net, and without a single shred of falsity and high-faluting shenanigans most 'lusers' are known for.

Music comes at the top of their wanton-lists. These are the cool mamma yammas. For them, music is a brave attempt to add joints to their lives instead of listening to a rather big, boiling luckpot of sloppy post-everything music. It doesn't matter if the music is old: what's music to do with these two extremes called 'Good', 'Bad'? Or, rather 'Old', and 'New'? Just listen and yeah... shut up in order for you to listen carefully.
Blogger as part of this interwebbed maze was never a 'cool' tool (mind me here) for all its worth. Only nerds used it as a 'life-cache' to document their emptiness, filling its pages with useless information, pictures, and yes, music and films, gradually.

and in a more enthusiastic tune (so you won't call me a pessimist of which I am not), it gave others an opening to find something amongst this ever-growing rubble. Like astronauts taking samples on the moon, bloggers silently chose what's theirs and held to it. Diggin' it is how it was so neatly named. I don't think that there went anything wrong through this process of actually choosing what's yours; culturally; ethnically, righteously without having to look back only to find that the whole blogosphere was filled to hilt with 'greediot' Americans and Eurofags trying to 'sell' this as the New 'it' with their impalpable tastes, extreme greediness, and idiocy wanting so demonically to run their turf as if it's WW-II all over again and not just B.W.!

Literally, I saw thousands of these White-trash, Red-neck, and Blue-collared hicks swimming like rats in a gutter stream (blogspot/wordpress/livejournal etc...), trying to break its very foundations with their non-culture, dumbassedry (their much-used word 'dumbass', not mine
), and faildoms. America is a country that has no culture to begin with: it's just a slab of a continent that was discovered only 500 years ago. It never was able to grow a unique culture that dates back to say, 3000 years like that of Persia, which gave them reason enough; generation after generation, to try to 'steal' other people's cultures and align these as theirs. Example? Any other than Megaupload, but shares the 'mega' part, too? Just look at this very ampli-proportioned fat, white woman trying to come out as a belly-erm-dance... *gulp and gasp, duck and run away!!* belly-dancer with her four-fold, thick-as-a-truck-tyre waste of a waist.

Holy ish! The image here shows 'one' in glorious 'royal' moronic maroon suit:
When one starts to see images like this one here, and links with such false 'ideals' like the one above (sorry, I had to post it), in overpopulate places like the U.S., Europe, and other western countries/cultures... one must realize at the end of the gamut run that this is the "vanishing point" (to quote but that "comedian", writer-blogger BodegaPop). Of what one might ask? of all western ideals, one where nothing would hoist the western people up from that toilet they fell so deeply in a long time ago: self-centered egoism. It's a me-me-me world out there. Unlike here in the east where instead of trying to earn something from others, one's asked to give and be selfless and evolve within the general mind-set of a unified culture, only for the west and its so-called powers to come with all the gall in the world trying to teach us democracy (huh? Isn't that a dead Greek philosophy that one shouldn't abide to or try to push-sell everywhere they go on the face of earth because it's: 1.) paganistic, 2.) anti-corporatist, and 3.) self-destructive? Call it 'democrappy', 'stead).

Riots are all over the place where I live. People, the media say, has had it. When? With who? People in the Middle-east were living a good, rustic life without a worry in the world, only... for them to get dissected into different states by colonialist, imperialist fucksoids who couldn't even do it themselves, they'd to hire with money paid by democracy-loving non-people back 'home', sending Orientalists first to study our culture and lo and behold... feed it all again back to us so that we wouldn't know it's even there anymore. This culture-mining and its attributes wouldn't change nary an iota of our culture. On the contrary: it's the west that got the farther end of the stick and ate it a-whole. The oh-ohs were the 70's all over again, and hey, what about these years? God only knows wha' comin' next.

Away from bollotics and media now...

A long time ago and in the east (that was again, the westernized, Coca-Colinized, Americanized east), and in particular in Morocco, people got fed up with these lame attempts, and wanted a change. Not, democracy again... no. Fuck that for a lark. They wanted freedom. Yes, sarcasm, 'neone? The west came fluttering by trying to lure us into a freedom of a pseudo-slavery. A freedumb of sorts to re-use that word again to its 'skunkier' sense. A restriction of all that is yours, where you'll be given only what's theirs or; namely, western culture.

Bands in Morocco in the early 70's could have taken the electric guitar and electric bass and yeah, bought a nice set of drums and verily called themselves stupid, mid-60s' bands' names like, hmm The Ventures. Not the case with those who were close enough to the west as to feel utterly disgusted by it; with whatever the west was trying to throw their way. Imagine the roster call, because there will be no pictures featuring white, dumb Americanus-holes anymore here. (Shall I say that one is always more than enough? Elvis? He was so popular in Morocco at that time, when in Ameh-rica I'd horribly heard that some Ameri-goons were worshiping that fat fag's ass calling themselves 'Presleytarians' at that time! No further comments).

Still, and when one western pop-journalist tried to describe these (or, one of these...) bands, they had to resort to nicknaming them 'The Rolling Stones' of so-and-so, and 'The Beatles' of this and that. How pitiful! What a shame!

Enter Nass El-Ghiwane. Enter again what my post here would shed a small light at: Ferqat Jil Jilala.

So, cliches, extremes, stupid analogies of Beatles (good?), and Rolling Stones (bad?), aside... let me introduce you to this Moroccan band without having to sound like a wikiot (wikipedia idiot).
Jil Jilala.جيل جيلالة

Jil-Jilala - جيل جيلالة:

The starting steps of forming the band were held on top of a theatre stage. There was so much space for improvising in music at such a venue, and then getting rid of that medium alltogether for a more spacious, no-strings-attached (pun intended) realm of creating an original sound by using ages-old, tried-and-true instruments, illustrating their much-adhered-to roots as a gesture of respect and gratefulness to their fore bearers' heritage and yes, culture which music makes only a small part of, yet not diverting from the every-day,
topical issues, expressing the concerns of ordinary people using a nowtro/newtro old, style inspired by 'Malouf', or literally in Arabic 'what's familiar' (مألوف). People think that they were a gnawa-revivalist band. Some claim that their name came from A'Trika-Jilanyiah which is not true. Not true at all. 

Ever since their first months of performing in September 1972 around Marrakesh; the Moroccan capital, they forged a renowned, authentic, 'ethnosiastic' following that was deeply instilled in the Moroccan culture, and still is. Playing first on October of the same year in font of over 2,000 spectators, the band included for the first time ever in Moroccan music history... a female singer: Sakina Safadi.

Jil Jilala was co-founded jointly by Moulay Mohammed Tahiri Asbahani and Abdelaaziz Derham
who both soul-searched for a musical identity amongst the influences of western pop music, permissible Egyptian cinema, and high-brow classical Moroccan smam'ie listening-only music. In short words, they weren't after the money. Far from it. The band was invited by Moroccan T.V. (TVM) and did three songs live in front of home-based audiences, but right after that famous concert, and were not paid. That was not a call for fame and fortune. That was a call for doing what was missing, giving Moroccan music its much-sought after testosterone injection by making the audience part of the human experience that is music.  Moroccan music at that time was almost solely performed by Jewish Moroccans who hail from a long heritage of Andalusian music and qasidah-singing tradition.

Later, two other members joined forces and the band was now consisting of
Tahiri, Derham, Mahmoud Essaadi, Hamid Ben-Sherif, and Sakina. Moulay Abdelaziz Tahiri Zoughi joined them after disbanding from Nass El-Ghewani to become a full-force six-member performing band. Also notable is the fact that Jil Jilala gave birth to Lemchaheb ('The Torches') when ex-member and buzuq-player Mahmoud Essaadi advised their founder Mubarak Al-Shazli to form his own band (which oddly enough, included also a female singer).Could it be that the Beatles and the Rolling Stones would've ever joined forces like this? Not by the longest chalk. Unlike the west, Arab people are peace-loving, and for all their efforts at painting us as the villains of the piece, history attest our heritage of peace and fraternity whether we are Muslims, Christians, or mizrahi Jews. The word 'salam'/'beslama' in Morocco's almost said a million-jillion times every second. This same Arabic word that the west is trying to render obsolete; raiding it with splintery hate, and war.
Jil Jilala's first record was released on the Moroccan label Atlassiphone two years later in 1974 monikered 'L'Yeam Tndai': The Days Are Calling. It was a cri de cœur at the status quo of the then-ruling monarchy and its tyranny. The Moroccan royalty was placed by none other than the French who wanted to stay in power controlling Morocco's wealth after leaving it giving Morocco its Independence in 1956 which, needless to say, was just a jocular sham-play to invade the country without having any 'casualty', or lose a single soldier in that 'clean war'. Today, Americans call this 'soft power tactics' and all they leave behind is a long trail of war, killings, and more self-generating wars.

Little by little, the band covered every style of Moroccan music: from Gnawa (when L'gnawi Mustapha Baqbu joined the roster from fellow band Nass El-Ghorba which later became known as Tiq Maya), to Raï music that became popular in Algiers first in the late 60's. It was an attempt at joining the west with the east (call it 'Weast' IYI), and finding that middle-ground the band couldn't find on a theatre stage earlier on, or when they were still a budding, performing band on live-stages.

Jil Jilala is a brave call for oneness and unity (even when the band's members left and returned to join the lineup after years and years...), their sound and beautiful mellifluous songs stood its ground firm. The following 80+ songs to be found in these two Mediafire links I really hope would be dug in the best manner of tasting the music and not 'taste'. Let's free ourselves from being such inverted a-holes when it comes to music.

Thanks goes so deservedly to
  Tim Abdellah for his wonderful, inspiring Blogsite, and this post by Snap, Crackle & Pop. Mucho respect for being such ethnosiasts and good diggers of music.

f.n.: the quality of the songs is a bit low, because these songs were culled from an on-line reservoir of Arabic music (Sama3y.net) which users use primitive electric gizmotry to digitize the music they collect from old tape cassettes and vinyl records.



1 comment:

tim abdellah said...

HH - here's an alternate, longer version of Ennass Nechdate, in case you're interested: