HONORING AMAZIGH MUSIC HERITAGE
THROUGH THE SCOPE OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC
When we ponder upon the situation of Amazigh traditional musical heritage in Morocco today, all we can do is grieve. Not only are we helplessly observing the demise of our ancestral heritage under the dim lights of the folkloric scene, but it also feels as though we are slowly but ultimately forsaking a huge part of our identity.
For our part, we believe one possible way of enriching and reviving this heritage is by rediscovering it through a different lens, and the lens we choose to go with is that of electronic music.
Over the course of its existence, electronic music has undeniably revolutionized our way of reflecting upon the very notion of sound, be it in the way we produce it, consume it, transmit it or preserve it. That is ever so obvious when we turn our gaze to trending musical cultures in neighboring African countries such as Kudoro, Accola, Kuwaito or Gqom. We can only stand in awe of the way these music styles have conquered the whole world, and acknowledge the role of electronic music in this expansion. By enthralling audiences all across the globe, these entrancing sounds radiate the true potential of the cultures that nurtured them, crushing and breaking misrepresentations and judgement on an unparalleled scale.
In retrospect, everything that originated from the continent of Africa some years back was simply labeled in the mainstream as Afro-beat or World-music, whereas now the differences in rhythms between various styles is more and more recognized. For that, we have electronic music to thank.
For Amazigh music(s), we dare aspire for the same development and recognition. We aim for the whole world to distinguish the music of Souss from the music of the Rif or the Middle-Atlas. However, such a goal cannot be attained if we do not thoroughly engage in the different branches of the tree that compose Moroccan Amazigh sounds.
That is why we start our adventure by diving into the musical heritage of the region of Souss Massa, all whilst aspiring to proudly continue the exploration and revival of the diversity of Amazigh sounds beyond this first stop.
THE SOUSS MASSA REGION
Tekchbila unfolded in Souss-Massa, a region in the south of Morocco, widely known for its mild climate, diverse landscape and rich Amazigh cultural legacy. While growing up, we gradually observed how the region's extremely rich musical heritage is starting to flake and diminish. The initiatives undertaken to elevate and preserve this heritage are scarce, as the focus of decision-makers lies elsewhere. Tekchbila comes as a plea to reimagine and actualize this treasure that is Amazigh music and reintroduce it to the world.
Tekchbila is a music residency project that took place in the south of Morocco in April 2021. It gathered, in an attempt first of its kind, Amazigh-Souss Musicians and Moroccan Electronic music producers in order to create a sound that merges both musical soundscapes and that puts the ancestral Amazigh music in the center of the creation.
L’AMME is an association that, in addition to fighting to support, promote and develop the electronic music sector in Morocco, has embarked on a mission of preservation, promotion and actualization of the different currents of Amazigh music.