4/26/2012

Hiatus.


Hello everyone,

Regards and many abiding best thanks fer keeping a close look at my blog fer the last month or so. It's been such a riveting start fer me and many music to unravel in the next few weeks or so as I am about to give myself a tiny break from blogging here and focus instead on some more pressing issues.

Life, work... watcetra, these do not intervene with what makes music (and the joy of sharing it) a necessity. Music is everything.

Enjoy my stuff here, I hope you'd find something interesting here and I will do my best to make it always the more interesting and useful for you. Come back again and again. I'll be backers soon.
Thank you fer yer time.



Hup hup!

H.H.

4/17/2012

The Three Hürel Brothers: The Turkish... Cream? - Üç Hürel.

Turkish coffee? ‘neone?

I make my own: strong, kung-fu-kicking arabica cowboy-boiled black coffee that comes with a froth-tacular chocolatey topping. To make Turkish coffee is simple: add a small pinch of sugar to the hot water, wait... add ground coffee, boil only once, and please: NO Cream.

o(_)

*long slurp* Read on.




In the east, all people live by a philosophy of a life of happiness. On the individual's inner life, social life in the west is mired by technology and comfort and most people who are Westerners are tired of living this head-on life that begets them shart-all at the end. However, Westerners who understand that there is little to do with being happy to live comfortably, know also how hard it is to live like those people who are of an eastern origin. Thus, and painstakingly so, they try all the time to imitate the east (word to use for this idea is Eastoxification), and bury deeper into what makes the east so special; so... happy.

There is a high liberating aspect to sound; of music, with high energy. In the mid-60’s three-member proto-punk bands were called by many names like rave-up bands, power-trios, and such hard-sounding names to depict the rawness of their ‘new’ — at that time, sound. Bands like Cream definitely played loud. On the one hand, they weren’t playing as a unified unison of sound like our band that we’re going to feature here. Cream had no backbone to keep the body erect (to burrow but an analogy from boring anatomy textbooks). They in other plain English words... failed.

In the history of rock and roll music, some bands were meant to stay forever. Few do reach this understanding where a band stops being a group of people gathered for a certain period of years, passing interests, or just play their music and say goodbye. The Three H
ürel Brothers were in this exception area: they were a band of brothers who stayed playing for more than 50 years. Their story is a true story of rock and roll: they are this immortal banner of success.


The Three
Hürel Brothers Band - Üç Hürel:


Üç Hürel: Turkey's band of brothers. Year, 1972.
They first started as young kids playing accordion making their first steps in Cardigan-i-Sharif primary school theatres singing numbers by Elvis Presley and other simple rock-'n'-roll songs around the city of Istanbul where the family relocated to, from the town of Trabzon in north-eastern Turkey on the coast of the Black Sea. The band took its first musical steps on stage on November 27, 1965, at the Fatih Kamer wedding hall. With a heavy r-'n'-r influence from America, they named themselves Yankılar, or erm... The Yankees.
Feridun playing guitar
Biraderler, 1968.
Then they realised that there was another band with the same name, so they decided to change it into İstanbul Dörtlüsü (The Istanbul Quartet) playing with a fourth member. Again, they reformed as a trio this time and began naming it Trio İstanbul, then Oğuzlar (The Oguzes: from the common Oguz Budun tribe), Alizeler (The Pathwinds), Biraderler (The Brothers, we’re gettin’ closer...), until finally settling on 3 Hür-El (Üç Hürel: pronounced Ush-Eril).
İstanbul Dörtlüsü, circa 1967.
Their first ever tour outside of the school clubs, theatres, and small-bore gigs that they shared with other less-scintillating r-'n'-r bands like the Fitaş Brothers... went between the years of 1967-68, and soon financial rewards ensued with bigger venues and ultimately, the rock stage playing first with the Alagöz Orchestra, which included a very young starlet named Rana Alagöz. With the money these brothers earned from such fame and small-fortune, they focused on buying better music instruments and louder equipment to fortify their sound.
Feridun, first from right, seated.
The band had it all: wah-wah, fuzz, and distortion pedals, feedback, sustain, etc... and played far better than most western rock groups of earlier years safekeeping their distinguished Anatolian eastern rock sounds right inside these western instruments (namely; the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar). How they managed to do so? To conjoin two far-apart worlds into one? They invented a double-necked guitar and called it Saz-Gitar: it was a blend-instrument of the thousand-year old Turkish saz, and the 50-60 years only guitar (reason behind that was the impossibility of adding a fourth member on stage), then added a third neck to it later. Such a feat!
Feridun, Playing his Saz-Gitar on stage, circa 1974.
Their playing was starting to get some interest from other more-famous artists and bands like Aziz Ahmed, Ersen, Alpay and even some less-famous female pop musicians, such as Nesrin Sipahi. Every singer wanted these brothers, and guitarist Erkin Koray later asked the band to play along with him, which for Baba Erkin (as he’s called by most Turks), was like getting to terms with the inventiveness and genius of Üç Hürel. Erkin wasn’t nicknamed a guitar ‘God’ like Eric Clapton was. Far from it: he was just a father figure for their music. 3 Hürels’ most distinctive feature of all Turkish groups, was that they played for others their own compositions and did not end up sounding like a session band, or the singers they played for.
Üç Hürel at their starts, 1972.
The songs stopped sadly in 1977 after some went to draft at the mandatory military service, marriages, the 1980 Revolution, Feridun Hürel's going to England for a period of a time, and some death in the family which laid the kibosh on their active career at its most creative height. Not until 1996, when they decided to regroup and made a comeback album, and again in 1999 with their final nostalgia-prone '1953-1999: Album Dönerler Zaten’ which bore a picture of the Three Brothers as kids who stayed 3 kardeş'in (friends in Turkish) all these years making friends with other people with their loud sound, excellent dance tunes, lively beats, and only instruments of their own creation to a world visible to see the most "creative" group in the history of rock and roll take to reality. They are the best ever.

The Three Brothers in a promo picture, circa 1973.

Discography:
The Gold Record Awards, 1972.
A series of consecutive 45 RPM records started in late 1970 after signing a deal with Turkey’s best record label at that time Diskotür. They sang six songs and six new series of 45s collected in 1972, consisting their first LP album (self-titled) which won the LP Gold Record Award for the music market and drew in the chart sales. By 1974, the group tried a new style which was slower and more melodic. The second half of the '70s witnessed the increasing dominance of arabesque (Arablar) sounds, but soon two brothers (Feridun and Haldun) left for 20 months of military service.
A rare picture of 3 Hürels.
After military release the band tried something new for the first time in Turkey: they composed music for a poem by Omar Khayyam. That was unheard of in Turkey. Then, Feridun decided to leave his brothers after a tiny copy-right, illegitimate cassettes sales tizzy in the late 70’s which he has discovered by mere chance walking into a record shop in Istanbul. He went solo at first in 1977, and when he knew he couldn’t separate himself from his brothers he went to London in 1980 and returned to them only in 1996.

Haldun, Feridun, and Onur Hürel.

1999 was a year of chaotic circumstances: a major earthquake took place in Turkey that year, and the political scene wasn’t stable. However, the band managed to make one last album which was nicknamed by most fans as “The Three Hürel Photo-Book” with a sepia-tinted old picture of them as small kids along with their parents. That was their message to their fans to say words clearly audible in a single picture: We are still brothers. It was this feast for both auditory and visual senses.

 
The Band of Brothers:
Feridun Hürel.
Feridun Hürel:
He was responsible for all the lyrics and compositions of the band and played as its lead guitarist. Born in 30
th April, 1951 in Trabzon.
Onur Hürel (left).
Onur Hürel:

Onur was the bassist and the mind of the band and the thinker among his other two brothers. Born in Rize on the second day of December, 1947.
Haldun Hürel.
Haldun Hürel:

The drummer and the heart-beat of the band. A much published writer (his first book is Live by Dying). He was born 8th May, 1949 in Trabzon. 
 
The Band's logos.


Singles:

2.) Gurbet Türküsü - Didaydom.
3.) Pembelikler - Ağıt.

4.) Lazoğlu - Gül'e Ninni.

5.) Yara - Döner Dünya.
(Feridun Hürel Single).
6.) Ağlarsa Anam Ağlar - Kara Yazı.
7.) Madalyonun Ters Yüzü - Haram.

8.) Canım Kurban - Anadolu Dansı.

9.) Ömür Biter Yol Bitmez - Sevenler Ağlarmış.

10.) Hoptirinom - Mutluluk Bizim Olsun.

11.) Küçük Yaramaz - Gönül Sabreyle Sabreyle.

12.) Boştur Boş - Ben Geçerim Gönül Geçmez.



Various record sleeves of  Üç Hürel.
Discography:


Üç Hürel & Rana Alagöz – Düğün Alayı - Bir Gölge Gibi.
Üç Hürel – Ve Ölüm - Şeytan Bunun Nersinde.
Üç Hürel – Gurbet Türküsü - Diday Dom.
Üç Hürel – Pembelikler - Ağıt.
Üç Hürel – Lazoğlu - Gül'e Ninni.
Üç Hürel – Yara - Döner Dünya.
Üç Hürel & Ersen – Dertli Kaval - Beni Hor Görme Kardeşim.
Üç Hürel & Aziz Ahmet – Onbeşinde Aldım Sazı - Haram.
Üç Hürel & Alpay – Aşk Böyledir - Gönüllerde Bahar.
Üç Hürel – Ağlarsa Anam Ağlar - Kara Yazı.
Üç Hürel – Madalyonun Ters Yüzü - Haram.
Üç Hürel – Canım Kurban - Anadolu Dansı.
Üç Hürel – Ömür Biter Yol Bitmez - Sevenler Ağlarmış.
Üç Hürel & Nesrin Sipahi – Bir Mevsim Daha Geçti - Keçi Vurdum Çayıra.
Üç Hürel – Hoptirinom - Mutluluk Bizim Olsun.
Üç Hürel – Gönül Sabreyle Sabreyle - Küçük Yaramaz.
Üç Hürel – Boştur Boş - Ben Geçerim Gönül Geçmez.
Feridun Hürel – Bir Sevmek Bin Defa Ölüm Demekmiş - Üzülmeye Değmez Hayat.

Üç Hürel: The best power-trio in the world. 1973.

As you can see above, these are all of their singles as a band and also with other artists. Feridun gets an extra bonus Single for your DL-ing pleasures. Ten of
Üç Hürel's singles are here to download, too.

One last thing I shall give you is their second LP downloadable as an extra bonus
. Dig it.

3 Hürel - Hürel Arşivi (The Archive).

Note: If you liked the sleev-o-rama of these old, Turkish 45s, you have to go see this website with its wonderful library full of Turkish 45s (called Likler), filling more than 530 pages! Wow! Amazing!

Stay tuned for more Turkish music right here on the Audiotopia.

Bubai fer nows.

H.H.

Intermission - Lebanese 80's: Lubnanyat Compilation - لبنانيات الثمانينات.

Hi and welcome to the last part of our Intermission, 'ere at The Audiotopia.

Writing an interblog won't make anyone a 'weblebrity' by the longest scratchin' chalk-mark, because this is unreal, and whatever's on the Interwebs stays there as mere, cold duff. The Internet is like this huge cache of moving memorabilia... a fantasmic world full of nothingness to use but an oxymoron.

I'm doing this scratching right in the back of my mind these days, sayin': is it worth it; truly commendable? or, maybe someone somewhere might deem this as important? Hmm, it's that I still am baby-steppin' in this world of Globlogs. After all, it's all done for the music. Music lives and transcends this pile of pixellated angst bunnies, power-trippers, and no-brow end-'lusers' that want to find some self-worth amongst this e-rabble. 


Hellooo, Beirut.
This artwork was created by, Mo Kalache.
(Sternpidly stupe peops aside, music it is then... les' begin by calling Beirut).
 

Lubnanyat Athamaninat - لبـنـانيات الـثمانينات:
Today's so special for music, 'cus we're about to hear some beautiful tunes straight from one Middle-Eastern country that never got any deserving airing before; songs, bands, and artists who sang their hearts out for their beloved (and very beautiful) Lebanon (Arabic: لبنان pronounced Libnan/Libnayn).

A debka band behind the ruins of Baalebk, 60's Postcard.
This country is small, but big when it comes to art and music. The capital city of Lebanon (Beirut - بيروت) is so beautiful and very unique so much that it was called the 'Paris of Arabs', and the 'Switzerland of The Arab World' for its sheer beauty, and varied weather patterns: it has many different climates that range from Mediterranean subtropical meadows to Alpine, all-year snow-capped mountains, right to dry, Bedouin-inhabited deserts. Lebanese people are known as free-thinkers, get-goers, somnabitches who really don't give. They know how to live and enjoy their life to the max, even when Israeli bomb shells were falling down by the truck-load in Harb Tammuz (The Second Lebanon War), in October, 2006.
From crowded dance-halls to warring crowds: 70's Lebanon.
A belly dancer, 1961.
Lebanon and, Beirut in particular, has always been an attraction site for tourists from all over the world, and the wealthy Arab millionaire's playground who went there to spend his mils throwin' a coupla thous at some belly-dancer's feet... gamblin' in the world-famous Casino du Liban, which gave it a cosmopolitan tint that witnessed its height in the early 70's before the Civil War (1975) tore that city into two warring halves and forced most of the population (almost one-third of the entire Lebanese population left, and that included most musicians), to flee to nearby Jordan and Syria and chose these countries as safe havens for their art and music.
Casino du Liban in the early 70's: Beirut's heart and hub of life.
Ali Chalhoub on a New-Year's
Eve party poster early 80's.
Some artists decided to go elsewhere other than neighbouring Arab countries taking their music along with them: it's how Lebanese singers always were trying so hard to become International stars and in faraway western countries like the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Brazil, and France. But, few had any success there except for playing at a handful of schmaltzy New Year parties, or pay-per-night 'personal' concerts in the mahjar (Arabic for expat country or diaspora), and nary made it in terms of record sales. One has to know that in the Arab world, there are no real 'Hits-Charts', or Billboard-like record sales. Neyt. All there's are some made-up lists of this month or that top-five stars, or an impromptu, end-of-year, pick-your-favourite-star phone-athons. Also, around Beirut, underground music wasn't born until the mid-90's. (Check this site, and this one here to get the 411 on the latest Lebanese underground artists).

Singer Tony Hannah, 70's.
Anyways, flashback to the early 70's we still can see the wealthy, Arab-American expats who visited Lebanon on their summer vacations for example, as a great source of encouragement for fledgling Lebanese artists as they paid them quite well in coo' cash for their parties, and in turn some singers went to play in America, staying there for many years before deciding to come back to Lebanon after the war was over in 1990. Most of these singers became American citizens. Some are still there singing for the expat Lebanese community around L.A. and S.F. like our very own 'legendary' moustachioed singer, Tony Hannah.

Israeli troops withdrawal in 1982.
The Lebanese Civil War (El-Harb El-Ahliye El-Libnaniye - الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية) erupted when Muslim Palestinian guerrillas led by Yasser Arafat, tried to take over Beirut backed by Russian intelligence (who were again, backed by the C.I.A.), only for the Christian militias to fight them back, and bam! Israel came butting by, backing some militias to add to the chaos. (Note: there's none other than Filmon Wehbi's song 'Kalashnikov' to best depict this SNAFU, which you'll find in the comp). Israel tried again in 1982 to invade Beirut (power tactics as usual), but their troops withdrew back to the border.

Christian militia fighters (left), and Muslim guerrillas in Beirut mid-80's. 

Then, and to add stink to the the already-pilin' shit-heap... America deployed 1,800 Marines in the same year only for them to get their collective asses handed back to them in the October, 1983 bombing which forced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Beirut (Uh, America's Israeli's cash-cow and 'neyways they invaded Nicaragua in less than a month afterwards these mofotastic lamericunts!). These wars are a deeply-engraved scar in each and every Lebanese psyche: some recall their country's past thirty or so years as, an "always destroyed country, but the excellent mood, 'kief' remains" (Arabic: البلد خربان, و الكيف تمام). They just don't care!

Singer Mohammed Jamal on T.V. 70's.
Studio El-Fin '86.
All and all, the 'shituation' in Lebanon was dire, and music-retardant. T.V. came to the fore ever since the late 70's. The singers who fled outside of Lebanon got a better chance: Jordanian and Syrian T.V.s gave important air-time to those stars that went there fleeing the war. Television in Lebanon, meanwhile, played an important role in selling these singers that stayed around, and one Lebanese T.V. (Sharikat Television Libnan) was started from a merger of two already-established, older T.V. stations in 1976. This new T.V. station gave the few singers that chose to stay in Lebanon the 'silver screen' star status in the early 80's and multiple music shows were aired; most notably the star-factory Studio El-Fin ('Art Studio' started earlier in 1972 by Rimon Lahoud and Simon Asmar, but was stopped during the war), which gave birth to what became truly the real base for today's Lebanese singers and stars such as Ragheb Alameh who sang there aged only 16 who's now a world-famous singer co-hosting the Arab Idol T.V. sing-offs in April, 2012 along with some other Arab singers.
Ragheb Alameh, singing on Studio El-Fin, 1983.
Other newer, early 90's shows spewed a plethora of 'female' singers who in the mid-90's overcame the male ones until there weren't any 'good' male singers in the pop music scene starting from the mid-90's onwards. Today's Lebanese pop music scene is beyond pathetic (to say the least), where well over 1000 female singers who don't know how to sing are trying to become the Next-Monroe! Singers like Haifa Wehbi, Alissa, Nancy Ajram, Dominique, etc... aren't singing: they're gossip-fighting with each other trading out so much 'meh-you-suck' instead of 'music'. They all suck big time. 
Mansour Rahbani:
The father of Classics.
Fairuz in the dark:
in one of the Rahbani musicals.
Well, this timespan of almost 25 years of intermittent war and peace (1975-1990), is what really matters here to us. Most of the songs that were made during that period of time became classics whereas their style and musical arrangements had nothing to do with classical Lebanese musicians such as Fairuz (Fairuzyat); the Rahbani Brothers (Mansour and Assi Rahbani's Rahbanyat), Zaki Nasif (Nasifiyat), Nasri Shams Eddien (Nasriyat), Wadeh El-Safi (Wadehiyat), etc... . It's still, though what most Lebanese and Arab people refer to in a loving way as The Golden Days of Lebanese Music, or Zahabyat - ذهبيات, Lubnanyat - لبنانيات, Beirutyat - بيروتيات.

Debke troupe, Baalebk Festival, 1971.
Joseph Azar, 70's
and a debke dance.
Today, we're not going to feature any single song by these classic musicians, and instead will focus on the ones that sang either classical Lebanese music in a popular style heavily influenced by the masters, or songs purely of an eastern-western style (call it 'Weastern'). Moreover, we shall give a huge tribute to debke music and songs here in this compilation, in addition to the 'usual-suspect' forms of Lebanese popular singing styles and dances like dalouna - دلعونة: a form of debke which was how Armenian house-builders used to join hands, and 'stomp' their feet on rooftops to make it even that originated from Armenia in the 1800s, and as they did so, they called on God for help, or tha el-oun (ذا العون - The Almighty Helper. Note to reader: very few Arabs know the origin of this word); a'taba - عتابا: melodic, sad tunes sung in remorse or a'atab (عتب), for those who went and left their lovers and country; mijana - ميجانا: a shouting welcome for guests sung in the most high octaves ever conceivable by human voice where the songs always start with the line of Ya Min Jana: "Oh those who came visiting us!"; mawal - موال sharki - شرقي: a generic form of Middle-eastern dance, belly-dance music, funk, pop-rock, and other folklore-influenced pop styles of the late 70's and 80's.

Raja Zahr, live on stage, 70's.
Lebanese singers depended so much on composers to write their music. Besides the Rahbani Brothers who were strictly folk-inclined and gave budding singers like Ghassan Salibah, Melhem Barakat, Hoda Haddad, Ronza, Joseph Nasif, Joseph Azar, Raja Badr, Abdo Yaghi, Marwan Mahfouz, the list is endless... their first singing tickets, Raja Zahr was certainly the first of these to fuse western pop songs into Arabic ones, and later composed music in the 80's for singers like Rabe'a El-Khouli and Walid Toufic. Other well-known and influential composers were Ehsan El-Munzir, Filmon Wehbi (he sang his own songs, some of which are featured here today), plus some few composers from Egypt writing music for Lebanese singers to sing in their Egyptian accent, all the way contributing to the mainstream styles.

Ziad Rahbani in concert, early 80's.
Then came the late 80's that gave birth to two totally different styles in Lebanon that had nothing to do with the place where they came from: first is 'Khaliji' music (Arabic: خليجي), which most Lebanese singers who were down on their luck and those who couldn't find any place to sell their records (or, even sign any record contract because the civil-war and then the Israeli invasion laid to waste almost 70% of Beirut's buildings), went to oil-rich Arabian Gulf countries to try and sing their songs in laughable Khaliji accents (called Aghany Khalijyah til this very day, with singers like Diana Haddad still shitting in high cotton in the oil-choked Emirate Dubai singing this odd-ball style. She even married an Emirati who owns Al-Nojoum music satellite channel, but got divorced in 2009). The second? Well, they tried their hands at the avant-garde! Free-form "oriental" jazz, quasi-bebop, and samba music played by Fairuz' son Ziad Rahbani who's the leader in this field (check this 'Yoube link for some of his live concerts), plus maybe few others like Makhoul Kassouf (مخول قاصوف) who played proto-fusion, and acoustic folk music. Ziad's first two albums however, were made with only belly-dance tunes, and Kassouf started in a beat rock band.
Bellydance: Lebanon's main asset.

At the end, one should realise that, 80's hit-songs were a mere continuation of older 60's and 70's music with added western instruments like the electric guitar and the drums. The two eras have no differences between them other than the way the 'same' music was rearranged into a more International style. Also, and in a turn of chronological tides, late-90's and 00's singers took the 80's songs and remade them again in newer pop-ish arrangements. Today, there's a huge 'tunestalgia' for these 'middle-ground' songs of the eighties that were and still are the true essence of all that is Lebanese music because they conjoin the past with the future.
The Bendalis playing in Jordan
Dora Bendali singing, early 80's.
As for the comp itself, I am sure you all will like and dig these tunes right here. The themes are enormous. Mostly, the singers sang about their love for their country, the hardships of the war, the economic crunch after the war, etc. The Bendali Family (عائلة/عيلة بندلي), for instance have some cool songs that really paint well this scene in Lebanon around the late 70's while they were giving concerts elsewhere in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, the U.S., and Australia. You will find 60 songs by this twelve-member band featured in the compilation: a whoppin' tote, making them the most-covered band/artist in the entire comp. They also sang about having to leave Lebanon, or going back and/or the need to be back home for good (ghourbeh: expatriation; which is such a recurrent theme in all Arabic Pop songs), and of course songs about beauty and love, marriages, folk dances, sahriye (سهرية - night gathering), children's songs, and many more. Some of their songs were covers of ahem, disco songs by say, Boney M. still they had this eastern-flavour that's cute, and funny all on its own. In future posts, I shall upload all of their cassettes: rare, lost audio gems of beautiful Leb-pop music. Be sure of that.

Singer Hoda Haddad,
with Melhem Barakat.
The language these songs were sung in vary from formal Arabic qasida and Andalusian love songs or muwashah, to some that are sung in Egyptian and Khaliji accents. The rest are sung in traditional Lebanese tongue known to be the sweetest, suavest, most charming way to speak Arabic. There's also one song sung in Armenian by Hoda Haddad. She's my friend Mutasim's favourite Lebanese singer (he's the collector I told you about in the previous post). Hoda's nickname was 'Yasminit Esham' ('The Jasmine of The Levant') in the 70's. Want to know something special about Hoda Haddad? She was (wait it...) Fairuz' middle sister! To wit, Hoda was another Fairuz casualty as I call most 'unsung' female Lebanese singers: her older sister stole the limelight from her, when in all honesty, Hoda's voice, looks, poise, and prestige were far better than Fairuz' by streets and miles. Not just that: adding insult to injury? Another Hoda Haddad came to the scene in the late 80's and that latter was more famous than her! Such injustices, really. And so, to him — and her I dedicate this comp's first song: Bayni We Baynak ('Between You And Me'), which whenever Mutasim started to listen to... he'd close his eyes, say nothing and just smile. This entire comp would put a huge smile on his face, I'm posit 'bout it. Live long and listen strong, Mo'!


⇪ Download Twelve Albums plus Bonus ⇪.

The Compilation:

In 12 Volumes, 125+ artists/bands and more than 500 songs... this compilation is an extensive look at the late 70's, and 80's pop scene in Lebanon. There aren't any comps to be found like this one here, trust me. This is actually nothing, because in future posts you're going to see this comp as a dwarf when most of these artists and bands would get their own separate posts 'ere at The Audiotopia. Yeah!

'Nuff said? Now, dig it.


Sammy Clark in a kids' party, late 80's.
Note: Lebanese garage and beat bands like The Sea-Ders, The News, The Kool Kats, etc... belong to the 60's and early 70's and will sure get a very detailed, separate post-spot on their own. Do not miss it! Also, noteworthy is the fact that some of the artists who got featured at the earlier post like Sammy Clark, Salwa Al-Katrib, Elie Choueiri, Samir Yezbeck, Samira Tawfic, Issam Rajji, and Azar Habib has got a few songs that are to be found in this comp, too.

Lebanese-Armenian rock band The News, early 70's.
To wax nostalgic now, I remember making small houses with my earliest Lebanese audio-cassettes collection that I used to shwinx from my elder brothers, and sisters way back in 1987. As an Arab, I feel proud 'bout knowing this music. Now it's all yours. Guess that's reason enough to blog about music, amirite? Music is funtastic!

Lebanese pop music is above all brave and entertaining. Lebanese people are free, and fun-loving. Their music is very sweet, and great to listen to. Here in hopes that you'd enjoy the 500+ songs that I, tirelessly, for the last two weeks or so, have been compiling for your listening pleasures.
One of the oldest known pictures for a debke band.
This was taken in Bint Jbeil, Nabatiya. Year, 1898.

(Bonus? I added another album smaller than the rest as a bonus for you guys. Funjoy it! There's a link that has a good collection of Lebanese music videos mostly belonging to the 70's/80's era. The titles are all in Arabic, so keep a Goo'-Trans handy JIC. Have fun).

Knock yerselves out!


Featured Artists/Bands:

Hoda Haddad (هدى حداد), Edgar Semaan (إدغار سمعان), Adonis Aqel (أدونيس عقل), Mohammed Hejazi (محمد حجازي), Ghaleb Antar (غالب عنتر), Melhem Barakat (ملحم بركات), Joseph Abu-Malhab (جوزيف أبي ملهب), Sobhi Murad (صبحي مراد), Farid Iskander (فريد إسكندر), Ghassan Salibah (غسان صليبا), Ahmad Doughan (أحمد دوغان), Nadim Berberi (نديم بربري), The Bendali Family (عيلة بندلي), Filmon Wehbi (فيلمون وهبي), Fouad Ghazy (فؤاد غازي - originally Syrian), Georgette Sayegh (جورجيت صايغ), Madonna (مادونا), Maya Yezbeck (مايا يزبك), Mohammed Jamal (محمد جمال), Osama Rahbani (أسامة الرحباني), Rana (رنـا), Nichola El-Ustah (نيكولا الإسطة), Samir Hannah (سمير حنـا), Mohammed Mara'i (محمد مرعي), Ronza (رونـزا), Mohammed Al-Abid (محمد العبد), Fariq Al-Liqa (فريق اللقاء), Milad Ghareeb (ميلاد غريب), Immad Sabagh (عماد صباغ), Mohammed Iskander (محمد أسكندر), Joseph Namnam (جوزيـف نمنم), George Karam (جورج كرم), Hadi Aziz (هـادي عزيـز), Abdo Yaghi (عبدو داغر), Joseph Sakr (جوزيـف صقر), Samir Yezbeck (سمير يزبـك), Khalil Hallak (خليل حلاق), Le Petite Prince (Al-Amir Al-Saghir - الأمير الصغير)), Cho Chou (شوشو), Mazin El-Bayea'a (مازن البياع), Afif Shyaa (عفيف شيـا), Muna Maraashli (منى مرعشلـي), Jacquline (جاكليـن), Misaed Radwan (مسعد رضوان), Robert Shama'a (روبير شمـا), Walid Toufic (وليد توفيق), Mustapha Uzbatchi (Lead singer of The Magical Fingertips Band, or '
Ferqat Al-Anamil Al-Sehryah' - مصطفى أوزباشي و فرقة الأنامل السحرية), Odette Kaedeh (أوديـت كعدة), Raja Badr (رجـا بدر), Sammy Clark (سـامي كلارك), Nihad Tarabyeh (نـهاد طربية), Khedir Naser Eddin (خضر نصرالدين), Dalida Rahmeh (داليدا رحمة), Joseph Nasif (جوزيـف ناصيف), Najah Salam (نجاح سلام), Nazieh El-Moughrabi (نزيه المغربي), Fahd Akiki (فهد عقيقي), Ayman Kafrouni (أيمن كفروني), Mazin Bayea'a (مازن البياع), Ragheb Aalameh (راغب علامة), Khaled Ali (خـالد علي), Douha El-Sabagh (دعاء الصباغ), Mazin El-Sawaf (مازن الصواف), George Wassouf (جورج وسـوف), Minem Freiheh (منعم فـريحة), Laura Hatim (لـورا حاتم), Joseph Azar (جـوزيف عازار), Sary El-Badiya (سـاري البادية), Hikmat Wahbi (حكمت وهـبي), Nihad Fatouh (نهـاد فتـوح), Jiselle Nasr (جزيل نصر), Azar Habib (عـازار حبيب), Rabe'a El-Khouli (ربيع الخولـي), Hoda Rouhana (هدى روحـانا), Marwan Adham (مروان أدهم), Marwan Mahfouz (مروان محفوظ), Samir Hannah (سمير حنـا), Tony Hannah (طوني حنـا), Samira Tawfic (سميرة توفيق), Diab Mash'hor (دياب مشهـور), Hiyam Youness (هيام يونـس), Adnan Fakher Eddine (عدنان فخرالدين), Fareeq Lana (فريق لـنـا), Elie Choueiri (إيلي شويري), Salem El-Hajj (سليم الحاج), Mohammed Sharif (محمد شريف), Jadd Nakhleh (جـاد نخلة), Boughos (بوغص), Sabah (صباح), Al-Amira Al-Saghira (الأميرة الصغيرة), Hadi Hazim (هادي هزيـم), Aiydah Chalhoub (عايدة شلهـوب), Pascal Sakr (باسكـال صقر), Taroub (طـروب - originally Syrian), Yousef Shamil (يوسف شامـل), Souad Hashim (سعـاد هاشم), Ridwan Sermini (رضوان سرميني), Carl S. (كارل س), Fadwa Obied (فدوى عبـيد), Albert Farhan (ألبير فرحـان), Fareeq Al-Liqa (فريق اللقاء), Nour El-Hadi (نـور الهدى), Majda El-Roumi (ماجدة الرومي), Ali Chalhoub (علي شلهوب), Majdly (مـجدلي), Adib Abu-Antoine (أديب أبوأنطوان), Antoinette Fares (أنطوانيت فارس), Fouad El-Hakim (فؤاد الحكيم), Nabil Harfoush (نبيل حرفوش), Salwa Al-Katrib (سلوى القطريب), Samir Samra (سمير سمرة), Amir Yezbeck (أمير يزبـك), Hiyam Saadah (هيام سعادة), Mishka (مـيشكا), Ziad Ghusoun (زياد غصـن), Farid Sakr (فريد صقر), Tareq Hilwani (طـارق حلواني), Mohammed Hussien (محمد حسـين), Randa Shemoun (رندا شمعون), Laura Khalil (لورا خليل), Umaima Khalil (أميمة خليل), Ihsan Sadiq (إحسان صـادق), Marwan Rahbani (مروان رحباني), Saad El-Husseini (سعد الحسيني), Issam Rajji (عصـام رجـي), Nadim Barbara (نديم بربرا), Houeyda (هـويدا), Patrick Simson.



*phews!*


Remember: this is jus' the beginning.

AMF!


H.H.

4/16/2012

Qat, Coffee, & Qambus: Check This Out!

Hi, and this here is not a post at all:

It's just a reminder that the Lebanese 80's Compilation (12 Volumes in total) is now being uploaded and everything will work out as smooth as a she-mouse's belly, very very soon.

I was a bittle busy again, but the sheer huge volume of the Lebanese songs (500+), has made it slimpossible for me to make it at any shorter terms of time.

Link: Download from Here.

Still, and in regards to Tristes Humanisté's latest post "V/A: Qat, Coffee, & Qambus: Raw 45s From Yemen - Parlotone LP" (Release Date: 23rd Feb, 2012 - Note to readers: The link at his wonderful site was taken down due to copy-right infringement), I am taking time to bring to your e-ttentions this LP release, and the fact that there aren't any copies left for those of you who wish to e-tail it from the web. This is just a good-to-see-this-LP-at-long-last-being-upped-so-marvelously-on-the-webbers post by yours truly, Hammer.

Guys, be sure as sin on Sunday to check this LP! This is the best reissue/resurrecord so far and will be the best for the year 2K12.

Right on!

Merci pour La'Humanité!

Update 14|10|2k12:

"As per requested by a user, this file is now available in good audio-quality (295 kips), and you can DL it right from the file-link under the cover picture itself, or by reading from the comments below.

Enjoy, 'ereyone!"

H.H.

4/12/2012

Pirate's Choice List of Globlogs: The Audiotopia.

Hey-lo there.

I was chaffed to read the name of my blog at the Pirate's Choice
list of music blogs today.

Such an honour to be named among those who cater for world musical taste, or as the slogo of that WordPress blog has it, to provide, "
...great music unreleased in western countries". The blog's a long, country-specific list of music blogs' links that share the love of music all around the world. To quote again: "Pirate’s Choice is a blog dedicated to the sharing of great music unreleased or impossible to buy in Western countries. Some posts are full albums uploaded, others are home made compilations..." Amen to that, as I'm almost done with the Lebanese Eighties "home-made" compilation. It's gonna be rockin' some serious jams 'moro, hopefully.

Pirate's Choice:
World Music Blogs Directory.

Cheers, boebis! Thanks and far-flung bro-fists!

H.H.

4/07/2012

Intermission - Ode to Moroccan Tape Stash: Mustapha Baqbu - المعلم مصطفى باقبو.

Hi there.

Tim Abdellah, the owner of Moroccan Tape Stash blog has done a great deal of goodness to all that is Moroccan music. His blog is a cache-reservoir full of old, rare Compact Cassettes that few in the west (or, anywhere else for that matter), has ever given a listen to.

In short words: he has taken upon himself the job of resurrecting these sounds from neglect-town, upping these cassettes without relent year after year... and as a gesture of mentioning my humble-pie-to-his-wedding-cake blog here, I shall humbly dedicate this swift, spur-of-the-moment Intermission post to his efforts.

You rule, Tim!


EL-
Maâlem  Mustafa Baqbu (also spelled Mustapha Bakbou or Mustafa Bokbou - مصطفى باقبو):

Mustapha Baqbu/Bakbou in the 70's.

Baqbu in 1975.
Born in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1954 to a large family of gnawi-sufists and zaouia players, his father El-Ayachi Baqbu taught him how to play the qaraqeb at first, then the santir (this three-stringed, plucked-lute-like instrument which has a rectangular shape and many names like sintir, guembri/gunibri/genbri, hajhouj/hejhouj... etc). His mother was also a moqadema, or leader in trance-sufi rituals, and so were his two older brothers Ahmad and Aziz Baqbu who as established players, got called around along with their father and Mustapha to play at times like jathbha (invitational ritual for Muluk), dabha (sacrificial ritual for Muluk), and other celebrations and festivals in Marrakesh.
Baqbu playing in Casablanca, 00's.
Baqbu wasn't interested in playing music, let alone the santir, but his father insisted and got him out of school at 14 to join his brothers. He played first with his brother Ahamd's band (ferqat Ahmad Baqbu), then went solo and later on played along with Moroccan gnawi-revivalist bands like Jil-Jilala in 1984. In 1970, he was nicknamed a Maâlem (معلم: Master), for he earned this title because of his voice that suited the religious singing of master gnawists. He was also credited as the first gnawist to fuse gnawa music with western sounds in the 90's.




     Gnawa - قناوة








Gnawa music can be dissected into seven 'Mahals', or maqams: El-Mersawi Eshini (a profane, D'jin-names-calling introductory maqam/mahal), L'Bidh (Whites), L'Zourg (Blues), L'Houmr (Reds), L'Kouhl (Dark Blues), L'Khodr (Greens), L'Soufr (Yellows). The number seven is known as a number of power (gnawists read this the same as the number of verses in the first sura of the Quran claimed to have some 'keys' to their lost world). The colours are actually those in which the muluk (daemonic beings, or D'Jins), appear in the trance itself at the Leila (nights, or sometimes daytime celebrations called derdebas), and maoulud (the birth-day celebration of the Prophet Mohammed). These entities are invisible to humans because they endure at the extreme ends of white-light (read: ultra-violet, infra-red).

Baqbu with Jil-Jilala, 00s.
Mustapha played many places around the world and toured Europe (France, Belgium, Holland, England) since 1974 when Katrine Forsitti invited him to play some concerts there, and of course in 1975 as part of Jil Jilala. His current four-members band 'Arrajah Bi'Allah' (Hope In God) played in 2010 along with Carlos Santana in May of that year, and is still playing around Casablanca these days. He's Morocco's best gnawist and a leader in his community of spiritual singers and masters or, maâlems.

This is Mustapha Baqbu's album (Moulai Abdel-Qadir), which I ripped just now (I had it on a CD-R a long time ago), as a dedicatory mini-post for Tim Abdella whose post was endearing enough for me to give something in return. A small dedication, 'sall.

Lots of respect, Tim.



(Mind, but in the meantime, I shall get busy with putting together the hugest ever Lebanese 80's Pop compilation that will see the light soon here at the Audiotopia).


Rawk awn!

H.H.