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    Thanks Mixtil - good spot; enjoyable read
    Well spotted Mixtil, really enjoyed that. I had the pleasure of playing with the Master Musicians of Joujouka, as part of a Borroughs/Gysin exhibition in Dublin in the early 90s. Myself and few other Dublin musicians were invited to take part in a session for Dave Fanning's radio show in RTE studios. It was a lot of fun, but as Graham said in the interview, The Master Musicians were LOUD, which is why I brought some METAL percussion along with me when we did a public performance the following night at the exhibition ! There is nothing quite like being absolutely locked into the sheer hypnosis of massed drums and shrill reeds. Truly ecstatic.
    Are there any Joujouka albums out there, and if so, which are recommended? I do have a love for loud, massed precussion. One of my big regrets is never going to Sadoshima (home of the Kodo drummers) when I was in Japan.
    there's a few albums out there. among them the original one brought out by Brian Jones in the 70s "Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Joujouka. then there was one recorded by Bill Laswell in the 90s called "Apocalypse Across the Sky". the one made at Real World called "Jajouka between the mountains" and the most recent one (which i don't know yet) is called "The Source". it's more often spelled jajouka than joujouka on the albums.
    Fergus, you played with the master musicians ? wow !
    Ah, cheers Biccio, I'll keep an eye out.
    Fergus, you played with the master musicians ? wow !

    Yes, a once in a lifetime opportunity that, eagerly grasped with both hands. Fond memories.
    Must have been one hell of an experience, Fergus. I have the album that Brian Jones recorded and, while I'm not always in the mood for it, it really does make for stunning listening. Even if it drives people out of the room (and that's precisely the reaction I've witnessed on a couple of different occasions), at least there can be no doubt that the music had an effect on them. Same with Suicide's 'Frankie Teardrop'--it's nice to shake people up sometimes, to play music that actually makes them *feel* something.
    It's funny reading Graham's interview about Joujouka. I remember having a similar conversation with him and Bruce after the ELAH book had been published and asking why this hadn't been mentioned at the time of interviews for ELAH. I never made the connection until Graham mentioned this.
    I too have the Brian Jones and the Laswell produced CD. My preference for Moroccan music is with the Gnawa/Ganoua. Truly hypnotic stuff!
    Graham talks of "life-changing experience" seeing Joukouka.

    What's yours? Only one each, so make it good one :)

    Here's mine: Seeing This Heat in a pokey basement club in Manchester and being sonically pinned to the wall!
    I'll be a bit cheeky here and cite two experiences:

    The Bow Gamelan at the ICA, summer of '86. A real headturner. Not only were the scrap metal percussion rigs outstanding, there was a fucking Renault 4 flying above the stage flapping its doors at one point, and singing hoovers in the ceiling ! Also, there was the truly haunting sound of pyrophones. This really got the hook in me. Deep in.

    This was an older instrument and not a Bow Gamelan original, as it had been invented by a Frenchman by the name of Eugene Kastner at the turn of the (20th) century. It consisted of metal tubes of varying lengths between about three feet and eight or ten feet that were activated with blowtorches inserted in the ends to create mournful drones that sounded something like a cross between aircraft drones and organ pipes. I was so fired up by this I had to make my own set as soon as I got back to my final year of Fine Art that autumn, along with various scrap metal percussion rigs.

    One particularly satisfying item was gongs the Bow Gamelan made by slicing beer barrels in half and suspending them on ropes. Incredibly long decay on the sounds - they were like temple gongs. So I, ahem, purloined some barrels in a hostelry near the college and set to work with an angle grinder.... I still have them 24 years on ! Used them on the new album ! I was lucky enough to meet Paul Burwell from the Bow Gamelan after the gig along with Bob Cobbing. Met him also when The Bow Gamelan did a gig in Dublin in 1990, with z'ev. He was a lovely chap, really inspirational, a lively spark. Sadly no longer with us. He died in 2007.

    My other much more recent experience, 20 years on, was Morton Feldman's monumental five and a half hour String Quartet II, which I wrote about here.

    Ooh I envy those lucky enough to have seen This Heat ! A truly inspirational band. Time travel would definitely be my superpower of choice...
    In the realm of near-mystical musical experiences, seing James Blackshaw in the Chapel of the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia probably qualified for me. Completely entrancing.

    The only damper was that in the middle of a longer number towards the end, one of my idiot friends decided to open a freaking granola bar and eat it. Both were done LOUDLY. And he gave ME hell for taking him to task about it later.

    When I think of my otherwise transcendental experience that night, I try to forget that point in the evening, because when I do, I find myself not merely sympathising, but *empathising*, with Harlan Ellison...

    P.S. To point: I can definitely see the Master Musicians' influence on both Cupol and late-period Dome, in retrospect, but the great thing about those records is that, while they pay homage to these titans, they do not attempt to imitate them, but instead to assimilate some of the ideas and approach them from a totally different angle. In particular, "Like This For Ages" is awesome in its ability to cross-weld elements of dub (the apocalyptic aura, the sense of space in the sound, the lurching hallucinatory pace) with industrial/experimental noise, avant-garde classical technique and a kind of half-inverted, revelation-shaken, visionary version of that positive ecstatic drive evident in the Master Musicians' music. It's like the sound of someone having glimpsed some god, wandering mad through the wilderness, inspiring fear and awe in those who see him with his wild and incomparable tales of the beyond.

    It's almost Lovecraftian.

    I digress. I love that album.
    The closest thing I've had to a life changing gig was Spiritualized playing the entirety of Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space at the Royal Festival Hall. I was in the 5th row back, so at more or less the same height as the musicians on the stage, dead centre of the row. It was a wonderful, extatic experience (I found myself rising out of my seat on more than one occasion, my muscles reacting to the music of their own accord). Naturally, I spent the entirety of Broken Heart crying (I would defy anyone not to in that context), and Cop Shoot Cop, the 17 minute colsing track, worked so incredibly prefectly, a real good thrash about noise.

    I wouldn't say that was life changing though. I reckon (and hope) that one hasn't happened yet.