Hassan Wargui – Tiddukla

Hassan Wargui is a self taught musician, composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and an expert in the songcraft and poetry of the Tachelhit speaking Amazigh tribes of the Anti-Atlas mountains in the south of Morocco.

He was born in 1985 in the rural community of Issafen, which lies between Taroudant and Tafraoute in the Anti-Atlas mountains of Southern Morocco. His music draws from the deep well of Amazigh, or Berber, cultures that have long been suppressed across North Africa after the region underwent a process of Arabization following the Arab invasions of the 7th Century.

Hassan grew up in an isolated mountain community in which art and music is embedded into daily life. This allowed him to develop an excellent musical sense, a deep understanding of the complex poly-rhythms that underpin Amazigh music, and time to become proficient on the banjo which, since the ascendency of the popular modern folk movement involving groups such as Nass El Ghiwane and Jil Jilala in the late '60s and early '70s, has been the preferred instrument of the region. Like many musicians from the region, Hassan built his first instruments himself, and it wasn't until he moved to Casablanca in his teens to find work which was scarce in his local community, that he was able to save for his first real banjo.

Since then Hassan has been active in the Amazigh musical community and has worked with a number of groups, notably Groupe Lbouchart, Imanaren and Etran Tiznit, as well as recording prolifically as a solo artist using Fruity Loops as a home studio. In 2009, Jace Clayton (DJ/Rupture) stumbled across a CD by Imanaren on a stall in Casablanca medina and this led to a fruitful series of collaborations in 2009 and 2011 (you can learn more about their work together here: www.dublab.com/archive/louder-than-the-noise-jace-clayton-hassan-wargui)

Tiddukla (which translates to Friendship) is one of Hassan's numerous group projects and he recorded the album with friends in 2015 and self released it through YouTube due to the lack of music infrastructure in Morocco. The Tiddukla album is raw and hypnotic and sees Hassan and his group channeling the deep and contemplative sounds of classic Amazigh groups such as Izenzaren, Archach, Izmaz, all of whom risked their freedom by daring to sing in Tachelhit at a time when the language was still forbidden, and when Amazigh people were fighting for their rights to be recognised.

Hive Mind are thrilled to be able to release Hassan's beautiful music, and to introduce the fascinating rhythms of the Anti-Atlas Mountains into the wider world. We're incredibly proud to be able to support this fiercely independent and hugely resourceful and tenacious artist who has been able to continue creating music for over a decade without any real support from Morocco's music industry and while holding down a variety of day jobs. We really hope you enjoy his music as much as we do.