Nagat - Eyoun El Alb LP
Nagat - Eyoun El Alb LP (WEWANTSOUNDS/France)
Wewantsounds team up with Disco Arabesquo for the reissue of Nagat El Seghira's cult 1980 album Eyoun El Alb. Originally released only on cassette on the Egyptian label Soutelphan, the album has since become a sought-after classic on the Arabic groove scene and this is the first time it is released on vinyl. Consisting of four tracks, the album features two tracks, "Bahlam Meaak" and "Ana Bashaa El Bahr" produced by Hany Shenouda whose group Al Massrieen is a reference to the Arabic funk scene. The long title track "Eyoun el Alb" features a more traditional percussion-heavy orchestra enhancing Nagat's languorous singing and was recorded live while the track "Fakra" brings the best of both world with a syncopated rhythm and arrangements that are slightly more traditional than the Shenouda-produced tracks. When it comes to Arabic Divas, Oum Kalthoum, Fairuz and Warda usually take the lead in the poll list. But in her native Egypt, singer Nagat Al Saghira comes very close to this triumvirate. She rose to fame in the late forties and became an essential part of classic period of Arabic music, interpreting songs by such titans as Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Baligh Hamdy and Kamal Al Taweel. One such song is "Eyoun El Alb" ("Eyes of the Heart") which makes up the whole of Side 1 of the original cassette. Written by Mohamed El Mougy and Abd al-Rahman al-Abdouni, "Eyoun El Alb" is a love song made up of several distinct sections enhancing Nagat's hypnotic singing, accompanied by a percussion-heavy, traditional Egyptian orchestra. Side 2 is the "diggers" groovier side featuring two floaters, "Bahlam Ma'ak" ("I Dream with You") and "Ana Basha El Bahr" ("I Adore the Sea") produced by cult Egyptian musician and producer Hany Shenouda. Both tracks feature an infectious slow-burning groove and incorporate funk influences with fat bass and lines of synth and clavinet that adds a funky tone to Nagat's soft singing. The third track "Fakra" ("Do You Remember") brings the best of both worlds with a syncopated rhythm and arrangements that are slightly more traditional than the Shenouda-produced tracks. The album is now making its vinyl debut on Wewantsounds annotated by Disco Arabesquo and remastered for vinyl by Colorsound Studio in Paris for the joy of Arabic funk and Global beats worldwide. It includes the original cassette artwork plus a two-page color insert featuring liner notes by Disco Arabesquo.