Electric Jalaba formed in the summer of 2011, when the members of Afro-electronic production project Soundspecies (BurntProgress, Manana Cuba) met UK based, Moroccan Gnawa master musician Simo Lagnawi (Waulk Music) at a festival. After a handful of exploratory jam sessions and a traditional Gnawa ‘Lila’ ceremony to bless the project and without ever having performed together in public, they booked two days in a studio to document their experimentations. From the music created that weekend – available on CD and download, entitled ‘Introducing Electric Jalaba’ – it was clear that they were on to something special, not just a one-off collaboration. It formed the basis of an electrifying live set that over the course of a year propelled Electric Jalaba to become one of London’s in demand live acts. They developed and matured their writing process and deepened their explorations into gnawa music and beyond, releasing ‘Merhaba’ in May 2015. The album represents explorations into the many possibilities of Gnawa fusion, maintaining a respect for the spiritual roots of the music. Everything from the more traditional ‘Moulana’ to the dance funk of ‘Merhaba’, the Afro-beat infused ‘Fatima’, the chugging, Zeppelin- esque rock of ‘Ngsha’ and into extra-terrestrial electronic soundscape territory – all the while sounding like a cohesive, groove-driven collection.
Over the past 4 years they have played at many of the biggest and best festivals in the UK and Europe, including Bestival, Latitude, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, Boomtown, Fengaros (Cyprus), Rockit (Italy), Respect (Czech Republic), Aarhus (Denmark), ReReRiga (Latvia). They also had the honour of taking the project back to the home of Gnawa music, performing on the Moroccan stage of Mawazine festival 2015 in Rabat (Morocco).
Radio support from Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio6), Max Reinhart (BBC Radio3), Lopa Kothari (BBC Radio3)