Simo Lagnawi is an artist who I have only come across recently, but is one that has seemingly established himself as the primary exponent of Gnawa music in the UK (and particularly – as the album title suggests – in London). April this year saw the release of the aforementioned debut LP ‘Gnawa London’ on Waulk Records, and whilst the album doesn’t claim to be anything but a showcase of ‘genuine’ Gnawa music it warrants a listen purely on the basis that it is both technically impressive and also hugely emotive.
The honesty and authenticity behind the playing is no doubt due to the fact that he arrived in the UK from Morocco just over 5 years a go. Since then he has performed with an array of acts from all over the world, with perhaps the most notable collaboration being the ‘Electric Jabala‘ project in collaboration with Tumbleweave favourites Soundspecies.
Keep your eyes peeled for live dates from Simo in all his guises, but for now you can either check out album track ‘Shabala’ here or have a look at the Electric Jabala video with Soundspecies below.