Hymns Ancient & Modern
Mike Harding & Bana Haffar
with contributions from Norhal El Halwagy
1. Sohrab – Shouting at Dictators
2. Soliman Gamil – Pharoah Funeral Process [Soliman Gamil – Ankh, Touch 1990]
3. Ali Hamida – Lolaky
Norhal El Halwagy writes: The Ali Hamida song is off his debut cassette that came out in 1988. Egypt already had a thriving “street” cassette culture with its own set of stars. This kind of music was often referred to as “Sha’abi” or “of the people”. This song became as big as anything on “Thriller” in Egypt and almost everyone had a copy of this cassette. He was later eclipsed by others who rode the same wave that he did and seemed to have vanished somewhere in the 90s. The cassette appears on discogs amazingly!
4. Sohrab – Susanna [Sohrab – A Hidden Place, Touch 2010]
5. Soliman Gamil – Rhythmic Dialogue [Soliman Gamil – The Egyptian Music, Touch 1987]
6. Cheb Hasni – Tlabri Lefrak (You Ask For Separation)
Norhal El Halwagy writes: The Cheb Hasni track is a love song that I got from a complication of his. He did sing raunchier material and was the first Rai singer to be murdered my the then ascendant Islamists in Algeria in the lead up to their winning elections/the civil war of the 90s.
7. Jóhann Jóhannsson – Zarrin (remix) [Sohrab – You Are Not Alone l, Touch 2011]
8. Soliman Gamil – Clown Dance [Soliman Gamil – Ankh, Touch 1990]
9. Cheb Zahouani – Zid Serbi (ya moul el bar)
Norhal El Halwagy writes: The Cheb Zahouani track is the most provocative lyrically as “Zid Serbi (ya moul el bar)” translates to “pour me more, barman”. The story about this track is that during that time Algeria’s Islamists had sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia to see if there was a way they can allow the wildly popular Rai music while maintaining their religious credibility as music is frowned upon by the hardliners. On the first day of Ramadan, this cassette dropped, effectively giving them their answer. Here it is on discogs.
10. Sohrab – Pedagogicheskaya Poema [Sohrab – A Hidden Place, Touch 2010]
11. J.G.Thirlwell – Susanna (Uxorial mix) [Sohrab – You Are Not Alone l, Touch 2011]
1. Mohammed Khairi, Wajdi Min Al Hobb, Kamiliphone Records
2. Mohammed Khairi, Asbab Ma Raani Furquak, Kamiliphone Records (Baghdadi folk song)
3. Ahmad Al Hasan Abu Ali, Mawaal Shakawi, Kamiliphone Records
4. Jad Atoui & Jawad Nawfal, Pulpille [Prospect 2, Syrphe 2020]
5. Krouaan, Ya Oum Al Abaya, Kamiliphone Records
6. Krouaan, Limouni Alimouni, Kamiliphone Records
7. Al Hawi Salih Ibn Al Rih, Ya Damil Ein, Kamiliphone Records
8. Mike Dobler, Quad STO qstomx
9. Mohammed Khairi, Ya Madih Al Mousafa, Kamiliphone Records
10. Mohammed Khairi, Ya Mashir Al Nas, Kamiliphone Records
Kamiliphone was a prolific Syrian label based in Aleppo that specialized in Levantine and Bedouin music.
Their records were pressed in Lebanon and sometimes Greece.
Thank you to Diran Mardirian of Chico Records, Beirut for preserving and sharing these precious records of our Syrian Heritage and Ben Hovey for assistance in digitizing.