Mint – that refreshing yet soothing element added to a sweet cup of tea. Preparing mint tea in North Africa takes time and care in order to brew the perfect balance of spices and ingredients. Its lengthy tradition of pouring and mixing opens up conversation and brings people together; and finally tasting its warmth evokes feelings of comfort and tranquility, allowing the time for stories and musings to pass by in nonlinear intervals. So what does that sound like?
For Fadel (Get Physical Music, Toolroom Records, Griffintown Records) and Joel Pellegrini (master percussionist, film music composer), the Sound of Mint is a marriage between traditional and modern music genres, and between atypical acoustic and analog instruments. Recording with hand picked, virtuosic musicians from various musical societies throughout the world, they blend instruments from different cultures that might have otherwise never met, in order to create something fresh and new. Branching out from playing “club”-style venues, they are also performing live, video-recorded sets that take the audience with them on a musical journey through some of Morocco’s unknown locations that showcase its beauty, history, and its cultural edges. Check out their live set recorded on an awe-inspiring rooftop in Casablanca, here.
Pellegrini, a well-known film composer from France, was Fadel’s childhood percussion teacher. Having such a deep musical bond from playing together in various contexts throughout the years allows them to understand each other’s improvisational flow, and to feel each other while they are in-motion. “It breathes a lot. We create a space, we give space to each other, and we complement each other,” describes Fadel. “We also use unexpected interactive techniques [for electronic music] that draw from West African cultures, like call and response. This creates a unique atmosphere and playful conversation in our music.” This incorporation of musical storytelling sent me on my own adventure through Morocco’s mint and its social, sonic flavours.
The Sound of Mint is an exchange that breaks down doors and frontiers, connecting different musical cultures and techniques, and creating space for a more grounded understanding of people who – through music – are expressing the way that they think, breathe, and live. Fadel and Pellegrini invite you to spend some time with them: to dance, to trance, and to explore different emotional states of being. Stay tuned for their album, coming in late 2018/2019. For now, take the time to appreciate the taste of sweet, fresh mint while you sip your tea; and take the time to go on a journey with the Sound of Mint’s latest remix – in collaboration with Cee ElAssaad – of Jovan Vucetic’s “Bloom”, available on Beatport and featured on Traxsource Top Afro House Essentials.
Article by: Jillian
Jillian Fulton is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at York University in Toronto. Her work explores electronic music scenes of Toronto and Montréal. For more information about her project, find her on social media @chebakhadijah or email her at email@example.com.