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My Own Private Shaabi Boat

shaabi-boat

Welcome to the Nile by night. Throngs of little falouka boats, covered in neon lights, all compete to overpower your eardrums with their distorted car-battery-powered sound systems. What are they playing? Electro Shaabi. It’s the highly auto-tuned Middle Eastern cousin of reggaeton, and I’m very happy to share some with you today. Finally back home in LA, I had just enough time to settle in, do laundry, and catch up on work, before leaving the country again tonight for the Caribbean! Next stop Honduras: can you tell I’m smiling as I type this? But before I bounce, I put together some recent gleanings from my last trip. A touch of roots, some slightly more experimental mid-east flavors, and a handful of top-notch electro shaabi for you. Outside of North Africa and the Levant, I think it would be pretty difficult to track some of these tunes down. Apologies for the lack of artist info and song titles, some of these come from bootleg CD’s and I wasn’t able to get my local friends to help translate everything before I left. If you have any info, please share!

Abadi Al Jawhar : Atshan (Thirsty)
a nice mellow bit of roots music from this Saudi oud master to kick things off

Elias Rahbani : Dance Of Maria
a classic break from the younger sibling of the legendary Lebanese Rahbani Bros. This family is semi-royalty in the mid-east musical lexicon. I’ve been looking for this LP since O-Dub posted it years ago, and was lucky enough to get a copy in Beirut for $10 from the son of the guy who produced Ziad Rahbani!!! (please excuse the record nerd freakout). Best believe I already made a beat out of this in my hotel room too!

Ahmed Fakroun : Soleil Soleil
another artist who I had known about for some time via disco edits that I had by Prince Language & Golem. Didn’t find the original on vinyl, but this mp3 is still sounding nice.

Judah Warsky : Think Of Me (Acid Arab Instrumental Remix)
this French duo is doing some of the more forward thinking blends of electro-arabic styles with more classic house and acid sounds. This one in particular goes deeeep.

Hoba : Hagaraan Ala Al Shesha
one of the big chaabi hits, praising the glory of hookahs.

Ortega : Haty Bosa Ya Bet
one of the young punk stars of shaabi, a member of the group known as 8%

DJ Figo : Sa3it El Basha & Mahragan Agagaga
taken from a brand new EP I got thanks to my Beirut homie Tres who runs Audio Kultur mag

Egyptian Mystery Artists : Track 08 & Track 01
I wish I could tell you more. From a compilation CD. Track 01 sounds like a little kid singing with swag.

Helm : Hosanni (Acid Arab Edit)
great DJ tool or soundtrack for bedroom bellydancing

Palestinian Mystery Artist : Track 05
very serious flute solos going on here

Amer Zayan : Track 02 & Track 04
big current pop star from Lebanon, but damn listen to that crazy triplet swing!

Restless Leg Syndrome : Habibi
some Austrian dudes are sampling old school mid-east records and making dope beats like this

Mayssa Karaa : White Rabbit
first heard this dope Arabic version in the soundtrack for American Hustle, but got it on my trip from my homie DJ James Jocksmith

  • shermine

    LOVE IT >> DIGGIN THE DIGGIN

  • Weedy Dave

    Thanks for your nice blog! International record out now. Released on the 18th April 2015 Label Mo’ Beats. Available on Amazon now. weedy dave. We’re selling International music record.

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Slow Lane Style

camels
Sorry for lack of new tunes, I’ve been non-stop bouncing from one place to the next, often with very little access to reliable wifi connection. Also, there has been a whole lot of partying going on- dropping sets alongside Nickodemus at some very major events in Dubai, Beirut & Cairo. Later today we are hopping on a boat to play records while cruising the Nile, so yeah, that’s my excuse. Then tomorrow off to Amman, Jordan for another gig on Thursday. Having never explored this part of the world, my mind has been substantially blown each and every day. Making a grip of new friends, eating some absolutely unforgettable food, and holy celestial diety- THE PYRAMIDS!!! I will do a proper post once I get home next week that includes a bunch of the local music I’ve been picking up (whatchoo you know about Shaabi?!?), as well as some floor destroyers that I copped from Daddy G and Nicko. For now though, some proper chill tunes to keep you sliding safely in the slow lane (the fast lane in Cairo traffic is the one which kills you- namely all of them).

Kadhja Bonet, RJ & Mark Maxwell : Latenight Munchies
super smoothed out collabo thanks to Redbull studios

Son Little : Cross My Heart
serious soulful sounds, keep an eye on this guy

Oneness Of Juju : Poo Too
classic afro-funk break, because why not?

Los Mirlos : Chinito en Onda (Dengue Dengue Dengue! Remix)
Peruvian psychedelic chicha getting a nice rework

Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft. Mø : Lean On
sometimes I want to be mad at Major Lazer, but tracks like this make it impossible. Reggaeton-electro-pop

Andreya Triana : Gold (Fakear Remix)
some nice choppy swing on this one from this Frenchie

Phil & Friends : This Man
old & rare italo-cosmic-disco tune I recently discovered and am seriously digging.

Gregory Porter : Liquid Spirit (Claptone Remix)
uptempo jazzy house rework from this Berlin beat bigwig

Bata Ketu : Iroko (Jose Marquez Edit)
roots aka raíces aka good music from Haiti given a special touch from maestro Jose Marquez

Uknown Mortal Orchestra : So Good At Being In Trouble
an older indy tune that I love and don’t know why I never posted before

Alina Baraz & Galimatias : Fantasy
new super slow-mo chilled out electro-pop-funk. The drop on this one gets me up!

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Search For The Perfect Hummus

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MidEastTour-Flyer470

I didn’t want to talk about this too much for fear of jinx-ing it, but now that it’s actually happening I’m still in a state of overjoyed disbelief. Currently writing this to you from 35,000 feet in the air on a non-stop Emirates flight to Dubai. For the next two weeks I have the immense pleasure of playing records alongside one of my favorite deejays (and friends), the legendary Nickodemus, founder of Turntables On The Hudson and Wonderwheel records. Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Amman… all cities I’ve never been, with really cool parties that I’m very excited to play at. The first one will be this Friday, March 27th at Zero Gravity in Dubai. Then on Saturday we’ll be in Beirut doing this RBMA event. If you have friends in the vicinity, let them know we’ll be bringing the heat! I will try to keep you guys updated with more details and mp3’s, but in the meanwhile, enjoy this ridiculous mix of rare funky vintage records from the mid-east that you probably won’t be able to find anywhere else.

  • Soul Cocina

    what a great experience. And this mix is platanos. amazing tracks.

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Luzmila Remix

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luzmila

Been busy all week locked up in a cabin in Idyllwild finishing an album with my co-conspirator Shana Halligan. This is the first time I can remember being so single-mindedly focussed on one project for so many hours in a row. The sleep is little, the mixing is long, but I’m excited about the music (which should finally be coming out this Summer). Due to my current hermitude, I haven’t had a chance to download any new music, or even put together a playlist of songs that I’ve been sleeping on, but I did realize that I never shared this recent Captain Planet remix of mine on this site. So voila! This is available on a truly great EP released by legendary Argentinian record label ZZK, which collected remixes of indigenous Bolivian singer Luzmila Carpio. I took her folk roots and added some heavy percussion and moody synths and a touch of my trademark marimba which I seem to never get enough of haha. Check it out below and please support if you dig it!

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El Coco Remix

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cocormx

Got another new one for you! Download is as free as the wind (for all my broke-ass Deejays out there).  I made this remix for a great new compilation of sounds from South America and beyond. You can check out the full comp Frenete Bolivarista right here. Funny thing is, they messed up the TITLE of the song and then it premiered on the THUMP Brazil music blog with the incorrect title. Ayyy chi! I want to apologize to the group Los Folkloristas, but then again, this is a bootleg remix after all, and things like this do get lost in translation sometimes when files are bouncing between continents. Once again, this is some bass-heavy latin roots designed to kick up dust on a dancefloor near you.

Please feel free to download the correctly titled MP3 right here, then bump loudly!

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Somewhere Else

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coral1

I’m currently feelin a strong itch to get away. Actually more like full blown poison ivy attack mixed with hives. That’s the kind of all-over full body itch I’m talking about. Maybe it’s partly due to the anticipation of travel that is hopefully (fingers crossed) in my near future. I try not to jinx anything until I have my ticket in hand. I’ve been working steadily on a ton of new music which will surely leak its way onto this site over the next several months, and potentially, I’ll be typing about it from someplace as pretty as the underwater world above. For now though, press play on this big selection of outernational sounds that can help you mentally reposition yourself closer to the equator (unless you’re reading this in Ecuador). I’ve got a touch of Jamaica, Colombia, Brazil, Cambodia and West Africa in the mix, plus some other goodies that should get you moving.

Tarrus Riley : Burning Desire
one of the finest reggae roots singers doing it today

El Búho : Pescado Negro
deep and trippy future cumbia vibes from this cat

Castro : Twitch (ft. Branko & Poté)
big collabo zouk bass tune from this UK producer

Joyce Moreno : Aldeia De Ogum (Psychemagik Remix)
the Psyche dudes hit home once again- trippy, breezy, and just enough bounce

Afriquoi : Kudaushe
african future roots outta London

Tony Quattro : Zulu Carnival
heavy big room tune from this NYC dj for Branko’s Enchufada label.

Davido : Skelewu
smash hit from Nigeria’s current mega-dude that I slept on for way too long

2face Idibia : GO ft. Machel Montano
another big name in the Naija scene featuring the undisputed Trini carnival king

Mc Jaja : Eu Quero é Tu
I hear from Chief Boima this one is making major waves throughout Brazil and I can hear why

Staff Benda Bilili : Osali Mabe
feel good modern roots music from the Congo

Vieux Gazeur : Mon Pépé
some drum-heavy zouglou bizniz from Cote D’Ivoire designed specifically to move your rump

Bulimundo : Santo Antoni la Belem (Hide & Smile Edit)
moving onward to the funky side of Cape Verde, comes this excellent edit from the Sofrito crew

Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra : Ghost In The Rain (ft. Clutchy Hopkins & Chhom Nimol)
leaving you with a moody psychedelic slow jam featuring the Cambodian songstress front-woman from Dengue Fever. Would love to collabo with her one day…

  • Jon

    WONDERFUL selections! Thanks so much for continuing to educate and share.

  • josh

    I am reading this in Ecuador. Represent!
    Btw, you’ve turned me on to so many bad ass songs. Hit me up if this is where you’re traveling to.

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