“This path is not for purists, but an exiciting new style is forged.”
SONGLINES (UK), November 2023.
Ndox Electrique is a ritual of possession coming from the n’döep
ceremonies in Senegal. It’s wild, it’s dark and solar, it's feminine and
powerful, groovingly calling the spirits to heal the modern world with
traditionnal incantations, dances & percussions, electric guitars &
computers. On stage, healing mistresses & musicians make a pact
with the Spirits : it takes much more than good intentions but dancing
sweat and a consistent volume to achieve salvation through
music & trance.
World music in the West is most often formatted & presented as fancy &
innocent postcards: the sun, the dunes, the smiles, the welcome, the
attaya or the ceebu jën offered to the lovely toubabs, etc.
However the music of the cruel, wild, frenzied, real and even bloodthirsty
worlds betrays that neo-colonialist postcard presentation.
To cast out the demons during a n'döep ceremonie, it will take music &
songs of a huge volume to reach the elevation of the trance, and sweat
& blood to sanctify the action and to satisfy the spirits. Rituals of incredible
loudness and musical violence for a spirituality coupled with a magnificent
and imperious social role during liturgies where Western griots like
Meshuggah or The Birthday Party would only be considered as
well-educated choir boys.
People around the world have always felt the need to transcend their fears
of life and death, to rise above their misfortunes and terrors. Now it’s about time to destroy, immolate your own music and annihilate your cultural influences by the power of other songs, melodies, chants, other rhythms, other sweats of trance and elevation.
Breaking everything in turn, then reshaping the materials, respectfully iconoclastic to become what music really is when it is no longer commercial: a wind, little or nothing but a wild and cathartic emotion.
Still working from years with Ifriqiyya Electrique, François R. Cambuzat and Gianna Greco (from the seminal Putan Club) could not find out where the North African adorcist communities, such banga, stambeli, diwân or gnawa, came from. Of the Arab-Muslim slave route, that was certain, but from which country, from which region? The traces seemed lost. Research after research, little by little this five-century-old road led them to West Africa, Senegal and the Lebu's n'döep. For months in Mbour, Guereo, Rufisque, Yoff and Ndar (Saint-Louis), François R. Cambuzat and Gianna Greco got lost among the seas and banks of Senegal, sacrificing to spirits -most often aquatic- ndox, water, in the Wolof language.
Tëdd ak Mame Coumba Lamba ak Mame Coumba Mbang: lying between Mame Coumba Lamba and Mame Coumba Mbang, the female geniuses of a tiny part of a huge continent. And so the title of the futur album, released by Bongo Joe Records on the 3rd of November 2023 (BJR 089).
First rituals in the West:
12/11 - LE GUESS WHO? Festival, Utrecht [NL]
07/12 - Festival TRANS MUSICALES, Rennes [F]
Distribution: Force Exposure (USA), L’Autre Distribution (F), Indigo (D & A),
Irascible (CH & A), K7 (UK, D, Worldwide), Bongo Joe Records (CH, I, GR, J).,
MGM (aka the groove merchants) (AUS), V2, Rush Hour...
01 - Jamm Yé Matagu Yalla (04:19)
02 - Lëk Ndau Mbay (03:55)
03 - Ngor Diouf Ya Demon (05:11)
04 - He Yay Naliné (02:40)
05 - Indi Mewmi (06:22)
06 - Yaré Rirewé Bakora Ndoye (01:11)
07 - Ngor Diouf Né Du Wallé (04:09)
08 - Sam Sa Nga Mboro (06:43)
09 - Wali Namalé (03:42)
10 - Sango Mara Riré (04:58)
Total length: 43:13
Raw footages (extracts from rituals in Senegal)
- Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway: Marisa Segala, Crossover Frequencies
- United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland (German & Italian speaking), Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, ex-Yugoslavia, Greece, Middle East, North Africa: Nick Hobbs & Misha Geleyn, Charmworks
Ndox Electrique collective :
Awa Mbodji : vocal
Ndeye Coumba Mbaye Kebe : vocal
Oumar Ngom : nder, mbëng-mbëng, thiol, tama & choir
Mouhamet "Sangue" Sambe : nder, mbëng-mbëng, thiol, tama & choir
Mamadou "Pape" Ngom : nder, mbëng-mbëng, thiol, tama & choir
Cheikh Ma Djimbira "N'digueul" Ndiaye : nder, mbëng-mbëng, thiol, tama & choir
Aida Touré : sabar & choir
Rokhaya “Madame” Diène : vocal
Adjaratou "Oumou" Diène : choir
Mar Faye : mbëng-mbëng
Ndiaga Mboup : tunguné & tama
Abdou Seck : thiol & talmbath
Gianna Greco : bass, choir, computer & videos
François R. Cambuzat : guitars, choir, computer & videos
Choir of the “Fanal de la langue de Barbarie”:
Fatou Aladji Mbaye
Ousmane Ba: Fulani flute tambing.
Abdoulaye Ndiaye “Pape Laye”: n’döepkat & spiritual guidance, master healer and guardian of the temple of Rufisque.
All musicians & singers are contemporary based in Senegal & in France.
Recorded by Moussa Niang, François R. Cambuzat & Gianna Greco at Institut français de Saint-Louis du Sénégal, november 2020.
Mixed by François R. Cambuzat on the banks of the Senegal river, January 2021.
Mastering : Gregor Zemljic, Ljubljana, SLO
Video editing : Carlo Mazzotta, Copertino, I
Ethics & politics guidance : Victor Faye
Sound engineer : Moussa Niang
Opening of the doors of N’döep : Adama Samba Diop
Fonio, niébé, ceebu jën and a thousand others : Maryème Soda, Chez Dasso, Ndar
Special thanks to Marc Monsallier. Charm, love, respect & modern spirituality.
Gianna Greco & François R. Cambuzat play on guitars specially built for far-away journeys by Mattia Maglio.
Some early N’döep field-recordings from our archives:
- morning ritual in Guereo,
In Senegal, there is a traditional healing ceremony called n'döep. It is an adorcist ritual that treats depression. N'döep is primarily connected to the sea. It is also intensely musical and movement-based. A treated person will first see their senses overwhelmed by the immediate proximity of certain animals, buried with them under canvases, surrounded by drums (sabars) intensely played around them. The canvases will then be removed and the patient will dance and dancing at this point can be openly observed by community members. The person being treated will then interact ritually with certain spirits, certain animals because unhappiness or depression is considered to be a spirit which penetrates the sick person. The person will then sing and dance to ask these spirits to leave them, thus affirming that they will not forget them but will honor these spirits. Finally the community will dance together.
- Le N'döep - Transe thérapeutique chez les Lébous du Sénégal - Omar Ndoye
Pictures from the N'döep in Senegal
François R. Cambuzat & Gianna Greco - Archives
Pape Laye, master healer and guardian of the temple of Rufisque