solipsistic NATION No. 309: Khafru, Live

Khafru, LiveGreat show for you today! We’re going to hear a live, in-studio performance from Khafru. But first, I’ve got some sad news to announce.

Cheb i Sabbah died last week of stomach cancer.

For those of you who didn’t know him, Chebi was a musician and composer from San Francisco. If there’s a genre that would describe his music I guess it would be worldbeat, but that doesn’t adequately describe the richness, complexity and the beauty of Chebi’s artistry.

I first discovered Chebi late last century in 1995 when I purchased Sub Rosa‘s Ancient Light and the Blackcore at Newbury Comics in Boston. The album featured field recordings of Yanomami shamans, Seefeel, Scorn and Timothy Leary remixed by some guy called Cheb i Sabbah.

The track by Chebi was called “Why Are You Here?” Timothy Leary waxed psychedelic on the meaning of our existence and was supported by Chebi’s timeless, cosmic music. It was mind blowing stuff.

From that point on, Cheb i Sabbah was on my radar so when Sub Rosa released an album of poetry by Ira Cohen with music from Chebi, I purchased it without question and I was not disappointed. Chebi’s music was still psychedelic but it now incorporated sounds from Morocco. Combined with Ira Cohen’s words, I felt like I was living in one of William Burroughs‘ fevered dreams.

Chebi then released a series of albums: Shri Durga, Maha Maya and Krishna Lila, each one exploring music from North and South India. In 2005 Chebi veered off into an entirely different direction and released La Kahena, which featured music from North Africa.

When I launched solipsistic NATION I had a list of artists I wanted to have on the show to talk about their music. Chebi was one of those artists and it was a pleasure to talk to him about his craft and each of his albums after listening to his music for so many years.

At the time, that show was supposed to be a retrospective of Chebi’s musical journey so far. Like everybody else, I assumed that Chebi would release album after wonderful album. Sadly, Chebi only released two more albums: La Ghriba: La Kahena Remixed in 2006 and Devotion in 2008.

Chebi had been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Chebi didn’t have health insurance so an online fundraiser campaign was launched to cover Chebi’s medical fees. Six Degrees Records, who had put out nearly every album during Chebi’s musical career, also released a benefit album called Samaya in 2012.

And now Chebi’s gone. His music is still with us, but the man is gone. He will be missed.

If you live in or near San Francisco Friends of Chebi invite you to celebrate Chebi’s music and message November 21 from 7pm to 2 am at 1015 Folsom. There will be 4 rooms of live and electronic music centered around the global music that defined the unique Cheb i Sabbah sound. Suggested Donation $10-$20 sliding scale but no one turned away for lack of funds.

There’s a staggering list of musicians who will be there so I’ll just mention a few: Karsh Kale and the Midival Punditz will be there via satellite, Dub Gabriel will be there, Bob Duskis from Six Degrees Records will be there and many, many more.

As I mentioned earlier, I had a list of artists I wanted to feature on solipsistic NATION and Cheb i Sabbah was one of them. Over the years I’ve got to talk to a lot of people on that list. There are still quite few names on that list like Kraftwerk and Crystal Method I’d like to have on the show but these days I’m more about finding new voices in electronic music. Which brings us to today’s show featuring Khafru.

Producing solipsistic NATION means listening to a lot of music. One might even go as so far as to say that I listen to an unhealthy amount of music. And most of it is either awful or forgettable. Statistically that’s just the way it is. 99% of everything is crap. But when Khafru’s music came over my headphones I got goosebumps! Who was this guy?! I knew I had to have him on the show.

It took a few months but Khafru found a window to talk about his music and send me a recording of him performing live, in studio.

Before I go, I’ll spend the rest of the month catching up on loose ends and next week we’ll listen to a live set from Mutamassik.

See you then!

Listen/Download
1:19:24 | 109.10 MB

  1. Khafru “Mirrors Become Doors At Night”
  2. Interview with Abhimanyu Malhotra of Khafru
  3. Khafru “Live”
    1. Finegan Finch “Thousand Eyes Towards The Skies [Khafru Remix]“
    2. Khafru “Mon Petit Fleur”
    3. Khafru “Coasts Of Khayyam”
    4. Khafru “Venn Diagram”
    5. Khafru “Industry Of Man”
    6. Khafru “Sentinel”
    7. Arms of Oblivion “Sleep [Khafru Remix]“
    8. Khafru “Mirrors Become Doors At Night”
    9. Khafru “When The Morning Comes”
    10. Khafru “Delicate Dawn”

Listen/Download
1:19:24 | 109.10 MB

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