Habibi Funk

Habibi Funk: An Eclectic Selection From the Arab World (Part 2) 2LP


This compilation of songs is not meant as a historic reflection of popular music of the "Arab world." It is a very personal selection of songs Habibi Funk grew to like. It is music that historically never existed as a unified musical genre. The label thinks it's important to make this distinction and to have the listener understand that the majority of the music on this compilation does not come from the highly famous names of the musical spectrum of North Africa and the Middle East. Instead, the final body compiled for this record consists of some nichey pearls and often overlooked artists; resulting in a diverse range of styles from Egyptian organ funk, disco sounds from Morocco, an example of the lively reggae scene of Libya, political songs from Lebanon, soundtrack music from Algeria, a musical union between Kenya and Oman, and much more.

The compilation offers a much wider range of music than just funk influenced sounds. Sure, it brings back Fadoul, who Habibi have already dedicated a full length album to. He was the mystical Moroccan singer who - influenced by the sounds of James Brown - created his own musical vision full of energy but also still very intimate. Another artist they have featured before is Ahmed Malek, the grand Algerian soundtrack composer, whose music is largely connected by a distinct feeling of melancholic beauty or Hamid Al Shaeri, the Egyptian hit producer whose track "Ayonha" was probably the most widely appreciated track off the first compilation.

But Habibi has also learned that this format of a compilation can serve as a medium to introduce artists to their audience, who they're planning to dedicate full length releases to in the near future, such as Ibrahim Hesnawi. Hesnawi is the father of reggae music in Libya - a genre still widely popular in Libya - and whose presence in the country is commonly connected to the rhythmic similarities of reggae with some form of Libyan folkloric music. Nahib Alhoush is another Libyan artist, whose musical output they will spotlight in the near future. In the 1970s, he was the co-founder of Free Music, one of the first Libyan bands introducing western influences into their music. After the band stopped performing together he started an at least equally successful solo career under his own name.

All of the tracks on this compilation are fully licensed, most directly from the artist or in the case of artists, who are deceased licensed from the artist's family. There are two exceptions: Hamid Al Shaeri's track was licensed from SLAM! as the label is still active under the name Sonar. Zohra's "Badala Zamana" from the great Belgian label MTMU, who has reissued this track under license from the producer on 7" format before. 


  1. Haditouni - Douaa
  2. Music De Carneval – Magdy El Hussainy
  3. Ahl Jedba - Fadoul
  4. Sultan Qaboos Song – Sal Davis
  5. Heik Ha Nishtghil – Munir Khauli
  6. Zina - Ouiness
  7. Ya Aen Daly – Najib Al Housh
  8. Badala Zamana - Zohra
  9. Casbah – Ahmed Malek
  10. El Fen – Aït Meslayene
  11. Reet – Hamid El Shaeri
  12. Tendme – Hamid El Shaeri
  13. Free Blow – Tony Benn Feghaly