Sufi trance musicians and rituals – from the depths of the Tunisian desert – in conversation with post-industrial sonics.
‘No theatre or stage or audience. The rûwâhîne have possessed and contorted the bodies of the Banga. Teenagers leap to the floor, their legs arched and tense, glaring transfixed [while] girls dance wildly, … accelerating the rhythm of the hand percussion’
The film opens on a cloud-pressed, bleached-out desert highway and an ominous electronic pulse, a devil of a wind, that you don’t want to shake off. Where are you? The truck in front carries human freight, half-glimpsed, anxious and thoughtful.
You’re soon joined by the kind of dark lunar soundscapes familiar from Can, by polyrhythms at once deft and relentless, and then, as the truck reaches the outskirts of the town, by chants that seem to issue from the empty streets themselves. Ifriqiyah was the medieval entity that contained present-day Tunisia, as well as parts of Algeria and Libya: the boundaries, more or less, of the Roman province of Africa. Is this where you are?
To get your bearings, you might first have to dive into a basement club somewhere in Southern Europe: Barcelona, perhaps, or Taranto or Palermo. For Ifriqiyya Electrique’s François Cambuzat – a guitarist and field recordist (Turkey, China, Central Asia) – is a veteran of the Mediterranean punk and avant-rock scene, which has always been more politically charged than its counterparts to the north and (far) west. With bassist Gianna Greco, he is one half of Putan Club – or one third when these two fierce and uncompromising players are joined by legend of the NY underground, Lydia Lunch.
These are not spaces of comfort but of challenge and confrontation.
But let us pull focus again – and this is crucial, bass and guitar and electronics notwithstanding. Ifriqiyya Ele....... więcej