The guimbri is a three-stringed, skin-covered bass lute, and is a big part of Gnawa musical culture; not many Americans have mastered it, but it has a great sound that can be used either for melodic work or as a tuned rhythm generator. Abrams uses his in both ways, although for this show, the latter was more often the case. A pulse was almost always present, swirling like the ecstatic drone centre one finds at the core of Joujoukan pipe music.
Unlike the new album, which has a lot of electric guitar and harmonium up in the mix, this set was a true trance-out. Drake's hand drums worked fantastically in this context, and all the musicians created a whorl of sounds that would not stop. Wild stuff.