Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oriental Discotheque - Disco Not Disco (2012)

01 - ahmed fakroun - njoom al leyel
02 - tanya - darladi ladada version
03 - antares - arabian dance
04 - orient express - abdullah dollar (jean pierre massiera '83)
05 - les mogol - madimak
06 - baris manco - aheste (baris k edit)
07 - rachid taha - agatha
08 - djamel allam - edit d'algerie (julian horn)
09 - bjork - crystalline (omar souleyman remix)
10 - elias rahbani - dance of maria
11 - abdul hassan orchestra - disco arab
12 - ait mislayene - el fen
13 - ahmed fakroun - yo son (prince language edit 'soleil soleil')
14 - raina rai - hagda
15 - les edits du golem - sumak

I have always liked the various forms of oriental music from the Middle East. Listening to my father playing some Mohammed Abdel Wahab (check out the classic Abdel Halim Hafez song Ya Albi Ya Khali produced by him) or Farid El Atrache tapes as a child was always deep and fazinating stuff! And the record covers of some of his Belly Dancing albums never seemed to disappoint. In recent years, whenever listening to some oriental music, I found myself mostly listening to music from Nickodemus, Zeb, The Spy From Cairo, Rachid Taha, Natacha Atlas - music which sometimes is summarized/described as global grooves (whatever that means) - music shared on many great Putumayo, Rough Guide to... or Turntables on the Hudson compilations and mixes. Today's compilation is a little different. Kind of Oriental Disco, Disco Not Disco, No Wave, Leftfield, Edit, Balearic, Italo Disco with an oriental theme, Pop-Boogie-Electro, Cosmic... I have always collected "oriental" songs which fit the above mentioned description. One of the first songs for this compilation might have been track #7, Agatha by Rachid Taha. Found it one a nice Balearic mix, whose name I have forgotten. Another early favourite is track# 10, Dance Of Maria by Lebanese musician and composer Elias Rahbani. What a stand out track with great drum breaks, killer organ, flutes... Too beautiful not to cry! Taken from his 1972 album "Mosaic of the Orient". Let me share what Little Danny, who is responsible for the great Officenaps blog, writes on soul sides - he did a great job describing the surroundings of the song: "In 1972 you’d still come across references to Beirut as "The Paris of the Middle East" in current issues of National Geographic; the city was, after all, the region’s nerve center of television, cinema, and radio. And Lebanese pop wunderkind Elias Rahbani was squarely in the middle of it all. His "Song of Maria" works precisely because of its cosmopolitan soul: it’s Eastern melody with Western circuitry, experimentalism with a sense of pop humor, and it’s crammed with flowing Farfisa organ lines, electric bass, keyboards that aren’t mizmars but sound exactly like them, bouzoukis, guitars, and even a few choice moments for you breakbeat aficionados. But, then again, this was 1972, a ravaging decade and a half of civil war was still a few years away, and, as far as Rahbani was concerned, there was room for all of it inside the pleasure dome.“ Read the rest here. The song that really got this compilation rollin' was track #13, the Prince Language killer edit of Libyan singer Ahmed Fakroun's 1983 hit "Soleil Soleil". Find the original here. John Storm Roberts, of Original Music, wrote that "among rai singers, the pop-oriented Ahmed Fakroun stands out on two grounds. First, he is influenced by Euro-pop and French art-rock (...) Second, he's a multi-instrumentalist in both traditions as well as a singer. He plays bouzouki-like saz, mandol and darbouka drum, as well as guitar, bass guitar and keyboards." This is what the jonosaudio blog had to say about Ahmed Fakroun, far the best introduction to this fine musicians I found on the blogsphere: "Multiinstrumentalist Ahmed Fakroun musical career started already in the early 1970's after which he had several lenghty recording and performance sejours in England and France. (In 1974 he recorded "Njoom Al Leyel", which is the first song featured on this compilation. Produced in England by famous BBC Radio producer Tommy Vance in 1974, it features some funky flute workouts over a deep groove. In 1977 he worked together with famous Greek composer and artist Vangelis resulting in the track "Nisyan". Listen to the Les Edits Du Golem edit of the same song on youtube.) In 1983 his Mots D'Amour album was released including the hit single Soleil Soleil to make his mark in world music circles, combining traditional Arab instruments and melodies with modern electronic music and dance rhythms. But then came the US aerial bombing of Libya in April 1986, followed by years of international sanctions and isolation, ...(which) seriously impeded its citizens' freedom of movement and Fakroun's international career plans were effectively put on ice." Here is another lengthy article about Ahmed Fakroun from the BBC website - well worth reading. If you want to further explore Fakroun's musical works, check out his website. Some of his original recordings can legally be downloaded through CD Baby here and here. Track #8 is another song I would like to mention. A brilliant edit of Djamel Allam's Fatiha from his 1974 album "Laissez Moi Rancorter" by Julian Horn. Julian Horn aka. Giulio DJ started his career DJ'ing in Vienna around ten years ago, bringing his love for authentic disco, balearic beats and cosmic leftfield sounds to the plates of many locals. Check out some of his music released on Is it Balearic...? and Elevator People. And don't forget to give this amazing song and video on youtube a listen. Pure feel-good-music! Educated as a sound engineer in London, Giulio's musical visions mostly expand on the themes of balearic disco, fusion jazz, and prog rock. I hope he will soon share another magical edit of a north african, arabic, oriental delicacy! I would have loved to include the 1978 song Do You Love Me by the Bendaly Family from Lebanon on this compilation, but I couldn't find a copy of it anywhere. So, you gotta watch the youtube version right here:

Amazing raw footage that leaves me jaw dropping stunned every time I watch it. And happy! For sure my favourite musical family out there - together with the Jackson 5... Doyo love me? Doyo Doyo...

Enjoy! DubMe

PS: This compilation fits perfectly on one CD - just click "NO PAUSE BETWEEN TRACKS" when you are going to burn it - and the CD will be exactly 79:59 minutes long...


  1. Replies
    1. Howdy.
      The 'Do You Love Me' song by the big, multi-membered Lebanese pop band The Bendalis taken from their 1977 album Kamera, '77.
      The song first was part of that album, sung as part of their live act (Note: The Bendali family depended on stage concerts for their popularity at the very early beginnings of their career). The song from that album is 'Ana Sarli Senin'. But, it was made famous all over the Arab world (and, ultimately the world), by way of the band being invited to perform on Kuwait T.V. in a couple of concerts held at the late 70's. The video clip is shot, by the way, in the capital Kuwait at one of its 5-star hotels' shores at that time (Guess it was the Sheraton?).

      It's easy to get that song in MP3 format, dubme. I have it added on one of the Lebanese Pop Comps at my own site. Here it is on a singular file: (Original). (DJ SuperB Remix). (Le Claudel Remix). (DJ Yoav R. Remix with Itis).

      P.s.: A whole page at Audiotopia will be dedicated to this wonderful Leb-Pop band soon, featuring at least 6 of their cassette albums from the late 70's through the early 80's with pictures and the like. Hope I can make it soon.
      In the meantime, one can enjoy this post which has a downloadable mega-comp with at least 60 songs by the same band.

      Dig and enjoy. And, yes thanks for the effort.


    2. Hi Hammer!

      Thanks for this super-detailed comment of yours! Woah! I will for sure check the Lebanese Pop Compilation + the other links you generously shared! And thanks for all the background info on the Bendalis! Pretty tight blog you are having... lots of info, good music and pictures! Thanks!

    3. Anytime, bro.

      Stay hip.


  2. several things:
    - I came across this blog whilst looking for more reggae disco and your compilation is terrific!
    - then I discovered a shared interest in arabian/oriental disco and really good discourse on the comments
    - then elsewhere I discover you're in China; so if you're ever in Shanghai definitely feel free to get in touch before hand and if you feel up to playing out , let me know - we run DJ nights in Shanghai and are always trying to expand minds.

    Nik / American Booze [my email if on my website: ]

  3. Hi

    This looks really great. But I am being dim. How do you actually download the comp? I can't see a link. Or is it just a list?

    1. DL is usually "hidden" in the first comment! Enjoy ;-)

  4. Ah, I get it! Thanks. Looking forward to it ...

  5. hi there. there is a chance to get the fantastic "my #1 oriental recordshop" picture with a higher resolution? if it's possible i'd really like to have it as my desktop background photo. amazing. thanks anyway for any kind of answer...;-)

    1. Hi!

      Sorry, I can't remember anymore where I got that picture. Must have found it on some nice blog while surfing the Internet. Unfortunately I only have it in that low resolution. If I somehow should stumble across the picture or the website where I found it again - I will leave a comment here for you...


  6. Hi there,

    I am desperately trying to download this file, but if I do, I only get a rar-file that plays for five seconds in my VLC-player. Am I doing something wrong? I would love to be able to listen to this.

    1. Hi! Sorry for my late reply. You should be able to play this compilation. Did you 'unrar' the file? Have you been able to listen to this compilation yet? Otherwise try and send me an email to - and I will see what I can do...

      Cheers; DubMe

  7. I love all tracks!
    what a nice & miscell selection! thx


  8. thanx-a-lot for the mix, it's awesome. What else do you know about the last track? It is a re-edit of Ziad Rahbani's Abu Ali 12'', but I don't know why it is called Sumak... Nice meeting you!

  9. hi! i've enjoyed the excellent "oriental disco & acid arab" comp, some of the featured songs were pretty amazing, great selection indeed! Any chance to re-up this comp too?

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment. The "Oriental Discotheque - Disco Not Disco (2012)" mix should still be online. I just checked (Check "dubme's first comment for the DL!!!). Sometimes it seems like you have to try a few times to open that Mediafire DL in your browser. (Sometimes the Mediafire link won't open - Mediafire telling you that xxx track is available on ama#zon. But after you try a few times it usually works. At least it does for me.)... Let me know if it works (