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Habibi Funk Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Attarazat Addahabia & Faradjallah
Al Hadaoui

The Habibi Funk imprint presents another beautiful curio, this time from the Moroccan city of Casablanca. Al Hadaoui is a seven-track album by three-generation band Attarazat Addahabia & Faradjallah and blends Western rock and funk influences with gnawa music, a distinctively Moroccan variant of Islamic spiritual and religious music. 

Fadoul
Al Zman Saib

Furiously energetic Arabic funk-rock music that leaps out of the speakers. Fadoul’s music has been little noticed in the non-Arabic world over the years, which is frankly a tragedy when you hear the quality of the material Al Zman Saib. Thankfully, Habibi Funk are reissuing, in an archival package with rare photos and translations of the lyrics.

The Scorpions & Saif Abu Bakr
Jazz, Jazz, Jazz

Not of course the Scorpions who whistled Winds of Change at us while the Berlin Wall fell down but an earlier the Scorpions with Seif Abu Bakr who made this much sought after LP which has been changing hands for over a thousand dollars prior to this re-press. The band are a brilliant example of Sudanese music with powerful horn arrangements and funky takes on traditional tribal rhythms.   

Kamal Keila
Muslims and Christians

Jakarta sub-label Habibi Funk do a fine job of reissuing lost Arab classics. Their new series sees them turn their attention to the Sudanese jazz scene of the second half of the 20th century. A recent trip to the country brought the label bosses into contact with Kamal Keila, a bandleader and major player in the country’s musical landscape. After an Islamist revolution in the late 1980s, a change in the law meant that radio stations had to get musicians in for live sessions rather than air their previous recordings. Muslims And Christians combines takes from two sessions, one of which was definitely on 12th August 1992, across two vinyl. The band’s instrumentals draw from Fela Kuti, American funk and the grooves of neighbouring Ethiopia. Atop this Keila adopts a powerful stance, with his lyrics confronting everything from religious warfare to the country’s orphan problem.

Various
Habibi Funk 007: An Eclectic Selection

As the subtitle makes clear, this is a subjective and geographically and stylistically diverse and wide-ranging choice of tracks, taking in many different genres and influences. Selections come from several countries in the Middle East and North Africa in the 70s and 80s, all combining the impact of Western music with regional styles like zouk, or the Algerian take on Cape Verde’s coladera. Artists already represented by this Berlin label include Ahmed Malek, Al Massrieen, Dalton and Fadou, alongside many more obscure names. Double LP with 12-page booklet, and tracks are ethically licenced.

Ahmed Malek & Flako
The Electronic Tapes

The music of Ahmed Malek, an Algerian synth explorer active in the 1980’s, was never released during his lifetime, but Habibi Funk have been given access to his archives, and they’ve enlisted Flako to select and produce a cohesive album of highlights. The Electronic Tapes shows off the underappreciated talents of Malek, and the accompanying booklet adds insight.

Al Massrieen
Modern Music

Al Massrieen are a beautiful hybrid of disco, funk, and jazz-pop, active in Egypt in the 70’s but only released within the country and on cassette. The Habibi Funk here continue with their admirable signal-boosting mission by giving Al Massrieen’s Modern Music an international vinyl release! What a serious groovy treat this is.

Ahmed Malek
Musique Original De Films

High quality stuff from a musician not well enough known outside of Algeria. Ahmed Malek played funky, slinky, slightly psychedelic arabic jazz music, and regularly composed soundtracks for the country’s film industry. Musique Original De Films is made up of unheard material, lovingly packed with an interview and notes on some of the soundtracked films. On Habibi Funk.