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News from Ifriqiyya Electrique - #AuxSons x Womex

Home to a dynamic ecosystem of music from the four corners of the globe, French productions often strongly represented at Womex, one of the most international and diverse music events in the world. Every year, artists are selected to present their work to an audience of music professionals, expanding their networks and developing international opportunities. As a partner of the 2023 Womex edition, #AuxSons reaches out to some of these artists who have played on the Womex stage!

The band Ifriqiyya Electrique was selected at Womex 2017! Before we dive into their commented playlist, #AuxSons takes a look at their journey since then.

- What was your best memory from Womex 2017?

Our best memory was just before we went on stage, when the stage manager gathered us together to warn us not to worry too much, because the Womex audience is special, they are professionals, rather cold and who forage from gig to gig, coming and going, not completely attentive or available. Then we started burning up the stage and the whole audience danced and screamed like savages until the end of the set.

- What advice would you give to an artist performing there for the first time?

First of all, don’t format your music, never do that. Then prepare your appointments, months in advance, because coming to Womex without having any appointments is like crossing the desert without a camel. Totally stupid, useless and impossible of course. A few days before Womex, we had a few days off and rented a small house in the Polish Mazury where everyone, even those of us who only spoke Arabic, each with their own computer, fine-tuned our appointments and looked for new ones.

- What opportunities did you get out of it?

Playing at Womex was a great eye-opener. We attended over 60 meetings. It was a great opportunity to meet some very interesting people, both on a personal level and in terms of our work. And it’s still going strong, because apart from the business, many of them have become real friends.

- What have been the highlights of your journey since 2017?

Simon Broughton (who I didn’t know yet), alone, in the drizzle at the back of the audience at an obscure festival in Djerid, a desert in southern Tunisia. And then Roskilde, Womad, Sziget, Colours Of Ostrava, Vieilles Charrues, Fmm Sines, Milhoes De Festa , Ethno Port, Nuits Sonores, Kometa, Offest, Innebrzmienia, Notte Delle Taranta, Fest Med, Skrzyowanie Kultur, Pohoda, Urkult, Bam, Explore The North, Ancienne Belgique, Musikaren Eguna, L’amalgame, Nevers à Vif, Urbang, Musée d’Ethnographie Genève, Ariano Folk Fest, Rockomotives, Plai, Kino Šiška, Močvara, Csc Schio, Magasin 4, Horizons, Le Plancher, Womadelaide, Womad Nz, Menuo Juodaragis, Calgary Folk Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Festival D’eté De Québec, South Country Fair, Hillside, Nuits d’Afrique de Montréal, Pop Kultur Berlin, Resonator Festival, Arte Concerts, Avant Art Festival, Global Alice, Festival Invisible, Dancing People Don’t Die, Blå, Ex OPG, Rencontres Entre Les Mondes, Innenhof, In Between Spaces, Resonator and many more thousands of miles of wonderful encounters.

- What does the future hold for you?

With Ifriqiyya Electrique we were always frustrated, wondering where the ritual and the music came from. We couldn’t understand the origins of the black adoring communities of North Africa, such as stambeli, banga, diwân or gnawa. From the Arab-Muslim slave route, certainly, but from which country, which sub-Saharan region? Traces seemed lost. Research after intuition, little by little this infamous five-century-old trail led us to West Africa, Senegal and the N’döep of the Lebous, as well as to our most recent project, Ndox Electrique.

Ndox Electrique is a possession ritual derived from Senegalese n’döep ceremonies. Wild, dark and sunny, feminine and powerful, it calls on the spirits to challenge the modern world with incantations, dance and ancestral percussion, electric guitars and computers. On stage, master healers & musicians make a pact with the demons: it will take more than good intentions, but sweat and enormous volume to achieve liberation and deliverance. It’s extremely strong, often violent, the women dominate and there will be no respite until the demons are sated. It comes from deep, dark & primordial Senegal and will be released by Bongo Joe Records on 3 November 2023.

After a few presentations this autumn (Le Guess Who?; Les Trans Musicales), a first tour is being set up in the West from June to December 2024!”

Ndox Electrique - He Yay Naliné



Playlist d’Ifriqiyya Electrique

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