Since 2006 Aziza Brahimhas worked on a new music project with the group Gulili Mankoo. The group, formed of Sahraoui, Spanish, Colombian and Senegalese musicians is a fusion of African, Sahraoui music with accents of rock and blues. They have toured throughout Spain, and other European countries such as the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark.
In 2009 the French label Reaktion released her EP 'Mi Canto' the first recording of Aziza accompanied by Gulili Mankoo.
'Mabruk' is her long awaited first album.
Aziza wanted to pay homage to her grandmother Ljarda Mint Mabroc, a poet known amongst the Sahraouis, and has put some of her poems to music. They all evoke the struggle for independence of the Sahraoui people, the difficulty of living in exile and the heroic dead, lost in the cause of the Polisario Front.
Produced by Aziza, this album is a skilful blending of the t’bel, the traditional Sahraoui percussion instrument ('Ya Mulana'), with other musical styles: the blues ('Mohamed Yeslem'), rock ('Hamid Rabi') and also funk ('Sensación
del Tanque'). Acoustic and electric guitars and percussion coexist harmoniously, dominated by the powerful and vibrant voice of Aziza who sings alternatively in Hassinya Arabic and in Spanish.
The album is accompanied by a 16 page booklet which includes French translation of the songs, and with text by the Sahraoui writer Bahía Mahmud Awah on the history of his people.
"The insistent groove is infectious and the crossover sound highly effective, in particular the quicksilver guitar, best heard on bluesy numbers.'
"This is the greatest world music album that I have heard in years (...) If there's justice, 'Mabruk' will have the same effect on desert music and will put it on the map as Amadou & Mariam's music did for music in Mali."
"It’s deep, personal, at times melancholic, at times upbeat. 2012’s highlight so far."
"It is especially Aziza’s voice which lead everything : a convincing, perhaps powerful voice and expression with attractive melody lines, sometimes a bit sad, sometimes up-tempo or more celebrative with power to be heard."
"Wer nach Wüsten-Rock à la Tinariwen Ausschau hält, wird enttäuscht. Aziza schreibt rockige, poppige, bluesige Songs. Die Gitarren sind gern laut, hart, manchmal funky. Die Melodien stammen aus der Soundwelt der alten Heimat, die Arrangements sind die Töne des Exils."
"Dit zijn verrtien fijne woestijnrockers die we graag ook een keer live zouden aanschouwen. Het liefst natuurlijk midden in de Sahara. Een aanrader!"
"Aziza Brahim mocht soms wat krachtdadiger zingen. Wat meer adrenaline in haar stem zou de verontwaardiging over jarenlange strijd en ontheemding de juiste zeggingskracht geven."
Mixed World Music