Turkish-styled hip hop, trip hop, electronica, soul, Balkan Beats, you name it, from Istanbul club and chillout culture.
Born in the Algiers Kasbah to a Sephardic family of Andalusian origins, LB trained in classical Arabic music. He mixed in other favourite styles — flamenco, film music, rumba, jazz, chaabi — to make ‘Francarbe’.
We’ve unearthed a few boxes of this pioneering, magisterial compilation, which turned many of us here onto Mustafa Ozkent, Fikret Kizilok, Erkin Koray, Temiz and co, a decade ago. Still dazzling, fresh, essential.
Wonderful 1970s album by the Roma violinist — mercurially improvisational, consummately skilful — leading a five-piece through the traditional repertoire, rhythms like the ciftetelli and karsilama.
Another unmissable Mark Gergis compilation of Iraqi folk and pop, from the Saddam era. Fiddles, double-reed instruments, bass, keyboards, and oud over a driving beat topped with rat-tat-tat-tat percussion…
Farsi love songs, including a tribute to Norma Winstone, from the German-Iranian singer Cymin Samawatie.
A ton of drunk people stomping about in a circle to the frenetic, overdubbed, distorted sound of electric saz, synthesized drums, cimbalom, and sheep sound effects: yep, Bengi Folk, Derdiyoklar-style.
An invigorating sampling of the prodigious output of this joint in Matariya, Cairo. Mahragan, or electro-shaabi, stripped down Sardena-style: auto-tuned, maxed-out vocals, thumping beats, synths, wild effects.
Cranked-up shaabi, hotly recommended. Islam Chipsy playing synth, with drummers Khaled Mando and Islam Tata. Check film of them here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNLv5WBWe6M
Epic poetry wrapped up in the rabab viol (a coconut shell covered with fish skin, with a long, spiked handle, two horsehair strings), the vertical suffara flute, the arghul double clarinet, droning and melodious.
The latest reissue installment of these amazing recordings of solo lute from Iran.
Out-of-this-world tanbur-lute playing, recorded in Tehran at the start of the 1970s (with one track, Tarz, from the 1950s).
‘Beautiful, haunting… spiritual reflection is sung with carnal force, songs of romance are rendered like hymns. For a few moments, on these ancient records, Baghdad sounds like paradise’ (Rolling Stone).
The complete recordings of this Tehran band — from late-sixties, early-seventies sevens (only) — all the better for their strong Middle Eastern flavours.