Maalem Mahmoud Gania Aicha album front cover
Maalem Mahmoud Gania - Aicha


Vinyl LP & Digital

We are celebrating our tenth release by bringing the label full circle, right back where we started from.

We've once again worked with the Gania family of Essaouira to bring you another reissue of the music of the undisputed King of Gnawa music, the late Maalem Mahmoud Gania.

Aicha was previously released on cassette in Morocco only in the late 1990's. Maalem Mahmoud Gania was a particularly prolific artist recording for many labels in Morocco and many details about the recording of this particular album or the people involved are destined to remain a mystery. However, we do know the album was recorded in the Gania's home town of Essaouira with only a small and intimate group of supporting musicians. The resulting album, after the dizzying intensity of the opening song, offers more relaxed, laid back interpretations of the Gnawa ritual repertoire, and a deeper, more gentle sound than our previous Gania release, Colours of the Night. The album shines a light on Mahmoud's virtuoso guimbri playing and mastery of Gnawa songcraft, and is a standout amongst his many cassette releases.

The album comes with extensive sleeve notes written by Tim Abdellah Fuson, Berkeley scholar and curator of the excellent Moroccan Tape Stash blog.

  1. La Ilha Illa Allah

  2. Lalla Aicha

  3. Assamaoui

  4. Al Boudali

  5. Bangara Bangara

  6. El Bahraoui


Remastered by Julian Tardo, Church Road Studios, Hove 
Sleeve notes: Tim Abdellah Fuson 
Art & Design: Theo Payne 
Original photography: Sarah Hickson

Aicha back cover and insert