Guedra Guedra presents Vexillology, an elevation of tribal consciousness and futurism from underground musical universes. The album offers listeners an immersive experience made from hypnotic and rhythmic arrangements, rooted in ancient culture.
‘The study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags or, by extension, any interest in flags in general’
Referring as much to Sub-Saharan as to North African cultures, Guedra Guedra presents a synthesis of his pan-African appreciation and a full immersion into the traditional rhythms of these lands, especially within the Berber culture which is found in countries such as his home of Morocco, and across Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Northern Mali, Northern Niger and beyond. The body of work is a complete celebration of cultural roots and future bass, bubbling in hotbeds of the global underground.
‘Morocco’s Guedra Guedra funnels Bedouin themes through a vortex of jungle-inspired rhythms … If this drop doesn’t make you want to call a rewind, I’m not sure what will’– Resident Advisor
Guedra Guedra is synonymously known for his ability to explore tribal rhythms and instruments of the past, as well as dancefloor innovations from contemporary underground scenes. For Vexillology and in true Guedra Guedra style, a myriad of immersive recording techniques were applied. The album is built upon a multitude of field recordings capturing live and ‘in the moment’ cultural happenings, encountered in everyday life, at tribal festivities and also on his travels.
By also using video in his field recordings, Guedra Guedra enables himself to encapsulate the heat and entirety of the moment, applying this ‘moment’ and evolving it into his productions.
‘When you use a studio to record, you won’t find the real emotion that you would find in a natural environment or situation. Tribal music from Africa is a social practise, it must be played in a certain place, in a certain special moment and in the right environment, it’s not something that can be ‘recreated’ in a studio. So for me capturing these moments when they are actually happening is so important, because that’s the only way you can encapsulate the real rhythm of their practice.’ –– Guedra Guedra
Archetype is the first single released from Vexillology, which dives straight into the traditional musicality of Guedra Guedra, the track is a reflection on the artistic form of dance being at the core of African cultural expression. Exploring the rest of the album, you come across different immersive scenarios, such as opening track Seven Poets which features sounds of nature, birds singing and group chanting, as well as the energetic Aura which was formed on the Zayan tribe cultural practice of ‘Ahidous’, where a circle of men and women sing, play bendir (wooden-framed drum of North Africa) and recite poems, in a repetition to create a collective trance and temporary utopia as new participants join.
With tribal consciousness being at the heart of Vexillology, Guedra Guedra uses traditional and ancient instruments throughout the body of work, most importantly that of voice, dance and clapping. Tracks which hone in on this concept include the celebratory and dubstep infused Stampede Step, the warming and welcoming tribal sounds of Cercococcyx and also 40’ Feet, which layers the sound of traditional North African flute with clapping and soothing jazz undertones.
Vexillology is an open invitation into the universe of Guedra Guedra, which is characterised by relentless, euphoric, high-energy, genre-defying, future dance music.