“The desert sounds inherit a special silence, one that you don’t find in the city. A tranquility.” Mohak, a Berlin-based DJ and artist, found inspiration for her work in Morocco. She painted murals in Fes, Casablanca and other towns located on the verge of the Saharan desert, and recorded a mix influenced by musical encounters with the country’s Tuareg communities.
“The traditional songs that Tuareg people sing are in the Berber language and often speak about peace or sticking together. They also sing about the troubles they have gone though being a fractured nation spread all over different countries. Then, there’s the love songs. The special thing about their music is its relative simplicity (accompanied by an electric guitar.) And although the music might seem simple, it holds so much within it and touches the soul directly. The name of my mix, Kel Tamacheq, is the original name of the Tuareg people and literally means “Speakers of Tamacheq or Tamazigh”, which is one of the Berber languages.
I did murals as well, in Fez and other cities. In Merzouga, a town close to the desert, a restaurant owner and a few others offered me to paint a local eatery. The picture for the Kel Tamacheq mix comes from there. The painting I made is a peacock, something I have paint a lot recently. Peacocks have an important place in many shamanic traditions: from a symbol of beauty or a guardian to embodying healing powers and immortality.
There’s another place close to Merzouga were I also painted: a town called Et-Taous, taous actually means peacock in Arabic. When choosing colours for my paintings I was influenced by Berber clothing. There’s a lot of light blue and purple, like the traditional blue robe and purple head-scarf.”