Maha - Orkos LP
Maha - Orkos LP
Habibi Funk (Germany)
Completely unknown album by Salah Ragab's Cairo Jazz Band vocalist Maha, recorded in Cairo in 1979. Features productions by Hany Shenoda of Al Massrieen. Maha’s “Orkos,” originally released on cassette, is one of these standout musical diamonds that combines Jazz and Egyptian vocal traditions with Funk, Latin and Soul. Out via Habibi Funk October 10th.
The arrival of the cassette age was a turning point in the music industry all over the world. Manufacturing a vinyl record was a time-consuming process, as well logistically and financially a barrier of entry for many. This soon led to a proliferation of smaller acts and record labels dedicated to a particular sound without the barriers present in making vinyl.
At the same time, in Egypt in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, a new generation of musicians and composers made their way into the scene. Hany Shenoda, Mohamed Mounir, Magdy El Hossainy, Omar Korshid, Salah Ragab and Hamid El Shaeri are some names that come to mind. They all made very different music compared to one another but what connected them was their desire to add something fresh and new to what was perceived as the widely monophonic musical traditions of Egypt. Many built their sounds on a combination of their own musical upbringing with influences coming from the outside. The success of these projects varied but for each one of these artists there were numerous lesser-known bands and singers. A lot of these often-short-lived projects would release their music on cassette on tiny labels.