Ifriqiyya Electrique make trance music at its most transcendental. And we’re not talking tacky Tiësto club music here. No, this powerful sextet make deep, feverish music in the southern Tunisian tradition of Banga, a ritual whereby possessed participants look to placate and accommodate evil spirits rather than exorcise them. Ifriqiyya Electrique incorporate these aspects into a suitably devilish blend of chanting, electronics and pounding rhythms, even chucking in elements of industrial techno and old-school hip-hop.
The results are captured on their debut album, Rûwâhîne. Freed by being able to use electronic and harmonic instruments (which don’t appear in traditional Banga music), Ifriqiyya Electrique were still keen to channel the spirit of the yearly rituals. “Once you are there, you are completely gone in a maelstrom”, is how the group’s Francois Cambuzat put it to The Quietus recently. “We had to force ourselves to keep on filming and recording and watch out not to be taken.”
Rûwâhîne by Ifriqiyya Electrique is out now on Glitterbeat Records.