Playlist: “Journey” by François Cambuzat – Ifriqiyya Electrique (April 2019)

We are fond of musicians who can surprise us and who can afford to explore new traditions, consciously and respectfully experimenting with them. So, it’s with real pleasure that we share a playlist compiled for us by François Cambuzat, one of the architects who shaped the Ifriqiyya Electrique project, next to several other roles covered throughout a music career spanning over three decades, and embracing the most disparate cultural forms, from punk to avant-garde and Uyghur Shamanism to Sub-Saharan heritage.

With Ifriqiyya Electrique, the Vietnam-born French multi-instrumentalist, composer and sound-adventurer, has focussed his attention on the South-Tunisian Banga ceremonies. The 5-piece ensemble has just released its second album on Glitterbeat Records, titled Laylet El Booree, and it’s ready to tour Europe in the next months.

Their performances are extraordinary experiences, which go far beyond music, and to exhort you to check their event list and book a ticket for their nearest “ritual” is a no brainer. However, even before that, we would like to invite you to approach Ifriqiyya Electrique’s music in a slightly unconventional way: understanding François Cambuzat’s influences (enriched by a track-by-track introduction by François himself) and listening to them.

I like wav and mp3 (at 320). I prefer them to CDs and the rotten sound of Western elitist vinyl (without an audiophile material your album of Satie Gymnopedies will end up sounding like the kebab’s frying of the corner). In addition, I move too often to clutter with plastic and cardboard: all the move must fit in one car only. I do not collect anything, the places where I live are more like Mount Athos than a museum. I only keep books of poetry (which are rarely reissued and difficult to find) because I need them to live, as I need flat roofs (= no snow, not too much rain), olive trees and a sea less than 15 kilometres to counter my cyclothimism. This selection is therefore therapeutic“.

01 – IZ: Kolengke – “Kargashay”

From my family in China. Perhaps one of the most beautiful band in the world, surely one of the most interesting. Mamer, son of a Kazakh bard, seems to have broken his contract with Realworld to publish what he wants and does, without dreaming to sign for the West.


02 – Keiji Haino: Tenshi No Gijinka – “01 [Untitled Track]”

Keiji: an explorer, without concession. Flamboyant. Discovered in my period of fascination for improvised music (80s) to get tired from it when I had to wait a good hour to have 30 seconds of illumination. But Keiji is the antithesis of this musical onanism: he has the duende, he could die on stage.


03 – Saint SaensBernard Chamayou – “6 Etudes, Op. 111- IV. Les Cloches de Las Palmas”

The kind of song of the moment, which goes in loop until exhaustion. A night revelation from France Culture radio, on the occasion of the publication of a new album of Chamayou. Even more surprised because I’m not a big fan of Saint-Saens.


04 – Benjamin Britten: “Friday Afternoons, op.7, 2”.

True passion for his compositions for voci bianche.


05 – Slint: Spiderland – “Washer”

Spiderland is a pure masterpiece. It was a real slap, and the first time we heard the term post-rock (thank you Stefano I. Bianchi and his magazine Blow-Up, from Italy) well before the Mogwai rinse water. Then we should mention Uzeda or some pieces from June of 44, and others that I forgot (I love to forget, I do not run after my memory).


06 – Soner Akalin feat. Erkan Bektas: “Pirlere Niyaz Ederiz”

Fulminated by this song. One of the reasons for one of our long research on Alevism that has chained us in Dersim, Gianna and me. Our heart is in Tunceli and Ovacik.


07 – Yâresân Kürt Alevîleri’nde Cem 1: “Ya Elî / Heyder (Altyazılı)”

On the same road, but a little further, stumbled by chance upon a video on the internet. Impressive.


08 – Jerónimo Maya: “Bulerias in Solera Flamenca”.

I am a flamenco guitarist. Surely one of my favorite guitarist. I had organized one of his concerts, and I cried. Audio of a rotten video of internet, filmed in a guitar store.


09 – Marilyn Manson: The Age of Grotesque – “mOBSCENE”

Piss the world off: I also need this music. I do not care about the lyrics, the production is magnificent, the energy and the mastery are ruthless. Honi soit qui mal y pense. Thank to my daughter, my sun, my air, my deep sadness, Zaï.


10 – Painkiller & John Zorn: Buried Secrets – “Trailmarker”

Electricity could take us here. It was fantastic.


11 – The WeakenerWhat do you Know about it? – “Know Nothing”

Painkiller leads me to Mick Harris (Napalm Death) who is a friend (same for Justin Broadrick). When Mick dropped the drums, he published this and it’s really this track that opened me to electronic music, then techno and then everything else.


12 – Jeff Mills & Montpelier Philharmonic Orchestra – Essential Jeff Mills – “The Bells”

What a craft! After these discoveries, wishing to learn, I organized an intensive work session of composition with a Roman DJ, 15 days locked in a studio. Techno is not improvised, its rigor and language are severe.


13 – Ray Conniff: Alone Again (Naturally)

 At 7, thousands of kilometers by car with my father, Red Pall Mall cigarettes, chain smoker (he died of it). Instability and joy.


14 – Jacques BrelLes Marquises – “Jaurès”

For the lyrics, for the commitment. For retirement in the Marquesas. For punk, well before the hour.


15 – Alain BashungFantaisie Militaire – “La Nuit Je Mens”

Again for the lyrics. Banal & ugly drumming, but what a kick in the heart!


16 – MoondogAnthology – “High on a Rocky Ledge”

What more can be said?


17 – Sanubar Tursun. No title, no album, no song known.

A cd bought in Kashgar, during the first realization of our Trans-Aeolian Transmission with shamans and Dolans Uyghurs. I had contacted Sanubar, long communicated with her for a collaboration. In recent months, Sanubar has disappeared, imprisoned by the Chinese government. A real shame.


18 – ElbirinSohiba Davlatchoeva – “Lalaik”

An album found at the Bactria Cultural Center, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The Gorno-Badakhshan in Pamir is the 4th destination/study of our Trans-Aeolian Transmission. Central Asia calls me, fascinates, screams, for decades, discovered during my first tours in the USSR.


19 – These Immortal Souls: Get Lost (Don’t Lie) – “These Immortal Souls”

Rowland S. Howard: another guitarist to whom I owe a lot. It’s more than fair to end with him”.


(François Cambuzat)