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. €80 is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a download album. One could say the same about the vinyl, as the label is charging an equally excessively high price of €120, but I feel like there might be slightly more justification considering the packaging and mailing costs of vinyl. This is something Rarità Tradizionali, who released this record, should consider when selling such a product to the general public, unless their aim is the high-end collector or institution who would find the price tag less objectionable.