North Africa was a busy hub of early recording, with nearly every major label conducting numerous sessions in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia throughout the late 1920s and 1930s. (Because of its independence in 1951, 78s recorded in Libya remain a little bit of a mystery, although some do exist.) Interestingly, most of HMV’s Moroccan sessions appeared on their amazing, catch-all “K” series, which featured material from locales as disparate as Algeria, Cuba, Madagascar, and Auvergne, just to name a few places of interest.
This fantastic and spirited jam was recorded between July 22nd and July 24th, 1929, by Gramophone engineer Harold Fleming on a trip to Casablanca. The title is more of a literal designation – the term “aita” referring to the song style (literally: “the cry”), and “baidaouiya” meaning “Casablanca” – so, aita from Casablanca. The female singers are accompanied by violin and percussion (bongos or a dumbek).
(Thanks to Abdelali for the title translation.)
Coupling Number: K-4631
Face Number: 50-2114-G
Matrix Number: BS-4219