Playlist #18: A Habibi Funk Selection

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For this edition, we have teamed up with guest curator Habibi Funk, DJ and record label manager who is renowned for digging up 70s and 80s jazz and funk music from Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon and beyond. The man behind the label, Jannis Stürtz became interested in the music of the Arabic-speaking world after visiting Morocco in 2002, after which he established a label that raises awareness of the post-colonial visual adaptation of work from the region, trying to avoid orientalising stereotypes and giving families of the artists’ a 50% cut of profits from re-issued works.

Deemed as an authority on Fadoul, Dalton and Ahmad Malek, Habibi Funk re-released an expansive collection of Arabic psychedelic funk, including albums by the Sudanese funk musician Kamal Keila, jazz group The Scorpions and Saif Abu Bakr, as well as Al Massrieen, Ahmed Malek Mallek Mohamed and Hamid El Shaeri. You might have come across one of his parties at London’s Jazz Cafe, where he’s been their resident DJ. This playlist showcases some of the works he has re-issued, and in this edition curating several pieces from Lebanese artists including Issam Hajali, Ziad Rahbani and Gassan Rahbani, in addition to Australian Bob Grant who was based in Beirut in the mid 70s. Some of the rare and groovy audio delights in this selection also feature the Libyan pop icon of the 80s Hamido Elshaeri and 70s Libyan reggae pioneer Ibrahim El Hasnawi. ِAnother rare find in this selection is Nubian Egyptian musician Bahar Abu Greisha whose unique blends of Swahili tunes became available in every household in Egypt in the 1970s, and who also produced Amr Diab’s first album.

If you’re into rare funk and grooves, then dive into this playlist and discover old gems resurrected anew by Habibi Funk.

What are MARSM Playlists?

Marsm’s bi-weekly playlists take on the musical history, trends and upcoming productions from the music scene in the Arabic-speaking countries. Each playlist focuses on a new theme, showcasing both underground and established artists – from the more dance-able to the most experimental – and everything in between.