• Music

    Mayssa Jallad – Marjaa: The Battle Of The Hotels

    A haunting release, this one.  Imagine dark experimental music mixed with war-ravaged architecture in what was one of the most beautiful cities in the world during the 1970s, Beirut.  This is the terribly beauty Mayssa Jallad offers. From Ruptured Records’ Bandcamp site: “The album comprises two parts. Part A: Dahaliz, is a stroll in the city, where Jallad tries (and fails) to follow an old map. Musician Youmna Saba is a companion in this journey of remembering the once winding corridors (“Dahaliz”) of the city, destroyed by new developments since the 1960s. Empty skyscrapers propel her onto a past filled…

  • Music

    Charif Megarbane – Marzipan

    Habibi Funk presents the latest release of Beirut, Lebanon’s most prolific producer, Charif Megarbane.  Though there are only two tracks available to listen to on Bandcamp, you can surely find more tracks to hear on quality sites like Qobuz or Deezer to check out the album in its entirety.  From the Habibi Funk Bandcamp release site: “Following his previous release of EP “Tayara Warak” in 2022, “Marzipan” is a sonic journey that seeks to capture the full scope of Charif Megarbane’s habitus in 17 tracks. As a composer and producer, Megarbane touts hugely versatile, sometimes volatile musicianship—his 100+ catalogue of…

  • Music

    Youmna Saba – Arb’een (40)

    Lebanese singer and oudist Youmna Saba offers up 40, an album of experimental music, but not in the way you think. From her Bandcamp site: “”Arb‘een (40)” is a solo experiment in songwriting, challenging narrative structures and proposing alternative readings of time and continuity. It is rendered by use of oud and guitar, and vocals inspired by the circularity of the project’s recurrent themes. It borrows elements from the Arabic music tradition, and blends them with electronic treatments, sonic textures and loops.”

  • Music - Music Promo

    Fairuz – Kifak Inta LP

    There is no doubt who the reigning queen of Arab music is.  Fairuz, once and always a beautiful songstress from Lebanon, has had this legendary cult album reissued by our dear friends at Wewantsounds, and it will be arriving on November 4, 2022.  Unfortunately, there may not be a digital release, but you vinyl hounds have your chance to order a gem.  From Wewantsounds Bandcamp site: Wewantsounds is delighted to reissue Fairuz’s classic album ‘Kifak Inta’ produced by her son Ziad Rahbani in the late 80’s and only released on cassette and CD in 1991. Composed and arranged by Rahbani,…

  • Music

    Adjin Asllan, Tarik Bulut, The Garabed Brothers, et al. – In An Egyptian Garden

    From the legendary Canary Records Bandcamp site: From the 1910s through the 1950s, immigrants released 78rpm discs marketed to their own language / ethnic groups, and that practice survived for a century well into the era of the 33rpm, 45rpm, cassette, and CD era. But from the mid-50s though the mid-70s some Greek, Armenian, and Lebanese-Syrians capitalized on the bellydance fad by issuing their recordings to a broader American public. While many of those recordings drew straight from the repertoire of pre-existing bands, some of the resulting LPs represented ad hoc groupings of performers that were unique and, in retrospect,…

  • Music

    Alif – Aynama​-​Rtama

    I trust you, my friends, had a lovely Gregorian-Calendar Boxing Day. I spent mine listening to a Lebanese experimental band called Alif. At least as the liner notes on their Bandcamp site explain, it looks to be a collaboration between Lebanese and Egyptian musicians, and features the talents of the following musicians: Khyam Allami (Oud) Tamer Abu Ghazaleh (Vocals/Buzuq) Bashar Farran (Bass) Maurice Louca (Keys/Electronics) Khaled Yassine (Drums/Percussion) The music is so rich and complex that I’m having a bit of trouble putting to words how to describe it, but the best crack I can give at the moment is…

  • Music

    Various Artists – UNESCO Collection Musical Sources – Arabian Music: Maqam (Iraq – Lebanon 1971)

    A reissue specialist label called Rarità Tradizionali have published a fine collection of music from Lebanon and Iraq from 1972, and it sounds brilliant. This album was apparently never released, and it’s surprising considering the quality of the musicianship of these instrumentalists from Iraq and Lebanon (including buzuk player Matar Muhammad), back when both places were far safer to explore than they are today.  There’s no doubt that this comp will be seen as welcome to those who appreciate Arab music. I only have one complaint, and I’m sure many who collect this sort of music will understand the sentiment. …