Available on vinyl for the very first time: the 1992 album "Apocalypse Across The Sky" by the legendary MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA. Produced by BILL LASWELL, remastered for vinyl by HELMUT ERLER at D&M Berlin and according to Songlines one of the essential recordings of the ensemble.
No matter if you consider the MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA a "4,000 year-old rock'n'roll band" (WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS) or even "6,000 years old" (ORNETTE COLEMAN) – without doubt, the music of the ensemble in all its incarnations over the centuries is deeply rooted in Sufi mysticism, paganism and the cult of the goat-god Boujeloud. According to a myth, many centuries ago Boujeloud appeared to a shepherd called Attar, an ancestor of today's ensemble leader BACHIR ATTAR, and till today every year at the end of Ramadan a fire in honour of the goat-god is ignited. This pagan root aside, the music performed in several hour long rituals on traditional instruments like tebel and tariyya (drums), ghaita (a woodwind instrument), lira (flute) and gimbri (stringed instrument) reveals hypnotic, trance-inducing qualities and is considered to have magical and healing properties.
In the 1950s, BRION GYSIN along with PAUL BOWLES were among the first westerners to witness such a ceremony, and it was GYSIN who invited the MASTER MUSICINS OF JAJOUKA to play in his restaurant in Tanger, and who later (in 1967) brought BRIAN JONES to the small village of Jajouka where the ROLLING STONES guitarist recorded the ensemble for what became the first "world music album" and that raised interest in the MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA in the western world. Since those days, a wide number of creative minds like WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS, ORNETTE COLEMAN,MARC RIBOT, FLEA, TALVIN SINGH or the ROLLING STONES have worked with THE MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA who are now performing regularly outside Morocco.
In 1991, iconic producer BILL LASWELL also embarked on a trip to the small village of just 800 inhabitants in the Rif mountains to record the group for his AXIOM label – "Apocalypse Across The Sky" is, unlike other LASWELL projects that bring together different cultures and genres, a pure document of the ensemble, raw and unpolished but exquisitely recorded, and ranks according to the world music magazine Songlines among the essential recordings of the legendary MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA and is now available on vinyl for the very first time!
Produced by Bill Laswell
Recorded at Jajouka in the foothills of the Rif Mountains of Morocco on november 8, 9 and 10, 1991
Coordination and production assistance in Morocco: Nicky Skopelitis
Assistance in Tangier and Jajouka: Cheerie Nutting
Engineered by Oz Fritz
Assistant engineer: Carl Glanville
Mixed at The Hit Factory, New York
Remastered for vinyl by Helmut Erler at D&M, Berlin