This is madness. Insanely amazing. Blew my mind. Incredible.
The music from the Arabic/middle eastern world has always been hard to investigate. Not just because of region and politics, but because unlike European languages in which we can vaguely work out an identity, Arabic script is impossible to analyse without being versed in the language. And regional translations of Arabic names into English can vary immensely. Forget all that racist bullshit anti-Muslim crap out there. In fact, fuck off to those who are prejudiced against an entire section of the world because of those evil pricks who get all the attention. It’s disgusting. Those stupid people are missing out, not just on some lovely people, the tasty food, beautiful landscapes, but also the chance to listen to some truly wonderful music.
How these guys managed to find this to release would be a fascinating tale. Music de Carnaval is apparently from a spontaneous jam recorded in Cairo in 1972 by famed Egyptian keyboardist Magdi al-Husseini/Magdy el Hossainy. The keyboards are outrageous, the bassline is powerfully impressive (sounding very much like Belgian library music composer Rene Costy‘s Ostinato Bass) and that drum breakdown is absolutely bionic. It’s far more frantic than his traditional sound as is evidence on tracks like Arkousi Ya Helwa.
He released a few singles and a couple of LPs back in the mid 70s and if anything is like this then I really need to hear more. At one stage The Guinness Book of World Records clocked him as the Worlds Faster Pianist, though that has since been beaten. Only recently he was still touring overseas and even performed at a casino in Arizona and at the Lebanese restaurant in Las Vegas, Ali Baba.
This is only the 3rd release on French label Pepite. Their 1st release was a 12″ back in 2012, with an edit containing extra beefed up drums for Jacqueline Taieb‘s fantastic 1967 single Le Coeur Au Bout Des Doigts. The original 7″ single fetches upwards of $800USD, so this was a welcome release. The remixer of that track was Steven J who also provides extra drums for the b-side of Music de Carnaval. SJ is French deep house dj/producer Steven Wobblejay aka Steven Joyce Ames aka Steppah Huntah.
300copies only, with 50 pressed on clear vinyl. Available here on Bandcamp.
Check out some rare 80s VHS recordings from TV that have been uploaded on YT.