Tunisie / Glitterbeat / Shouka
After wandering in North Africa and South India, he now plunges his roots into the depth of African animist voodoo, within the realm of super natural entities that strive to experiment human nature through the Stambeli ritual.
Stambeli is a Tunisian musical therapeutic ritual that was implanted by afro-descendant communities. During the ceremonies, music, dance and chants are blended so as for some participants to reach the alternate state of trance while they are possessed by super natural entities.
It is a syncretism between Islam and animist Yorisha religion’s voodoo beliefs, that has been disseminated during slave trade by Yoruba populations originating from current Benin’s gulf. Stambeli is a precious legacy the symbolizes the outstanding diversity and complexity of the North-African identity.
At times where technology inexorably infuses into humankind, Ammar808’s next adventures lays within the realms of Stambeli’s invisible creatures, an old genuine Tunisian tradition that has roots spreading out within the depths of the African continent.
Using drum machines and analog synthesizers, he summons super natural creatures to visit our material world and taste human incarnations, form the audience’s collective experience. The album features vocals and gumbri from Bellassan Mihoub, who inherited his father’s knowledge and mastery, and currently embodies the avant-guarde of Stambeli’s revival.
Two additional choristers round off the stage band, also playing the krekebs: these are pairs of large castagnet-like instruments oscillating in the limbo between binary and ternary rhythmic patterns. They breathe life and motion into this pagan communion, blessed by VJ Sia original visuals synchronized to the thundering music.
Super Stambeli is a contemporary interpretation of the Stambeli traditional repertoire, processed through a time-travel washing-machine, a parallel-dimension earthquake portal, that aims to echoes ancestral ceremonies through sub-harmonic speakers. It’s a dialogue between the wailing of the gombri, known to call for the spirits to descend into the bodies of the participants, but this time AMMAR808 directs them straight into the digital circuits of his clockwork-crafted machineries. Here come the digital spirits.
Sofyann Ben Youssef (AKA Ammar808) is the mastermind behind the critically acclaimed albums « Maghreb United » and « Global Control / Invisible Invasion », not forgetting the late project Bargou08.
Before setting base camp in Denmark, he travelled a singular journey that made him the godfather of the Tunisian alternative and electronic scene. Bred as a musicologist in the corridors of Tunis’ Music Institute, he specializes in Arabic and Indian music. As an avid listener, he strives for bridges between oriental and occidental music. This thirst for yet unheard musical blends led him to settle in Vienna, then Brussels, where he met Anana, vocalist and guitarist of the Touareg Band Kel Assouf. Sofyann produced their albums and joined the live band, bringing his sub-harmonic Moog Bass to the Desert Blues
He now operates his own mothership studio in Denmark, where he works as a composer, producer, sound engineer and music production teacher.