Blog March 5, 2021
Habibi Funk Announces Album of ‘70s Lebanese Folk by Rogér Fakhr

There’s a brief window of late-’60s/early-’70s music where folk, soul, jazz and a touch of psychedelia intermingle—think Pentangle, post-Pink Moon Nick Drake or Tim Buckley here in Anglo-America—that I love, but that is just too short lived. After an album or two, the artists seem to evolve into New Age schmaltz or prog or disappear all together. But the past isn’t staying “the past” anymore thanks to labels like Habibi Funk, which has made a name for itself, bringing funk and jazz from around the Arab world of the ‘70s and ‘80s back into print and to audiences that didn’t get it the first time around.

Well, bust out the fiestaware and polyester because Habibi Funk has got some new-old music for us from the Lebanese singer-songwriter-guitarist Rogér Fakhr and, if you didn’t recognize the micro genre I described above, hear it here, because this is it as well as its ever been done. In announcing the album they’ve released two tracks you should probably hear...right now:

Not that you should judge a record by its cover, but this record delivers on the promise of that moustache and tinged orange, right down to the funky phasered Fender Rhodes and big fat bass. Something this good had to come back, and as Fakhr puts it, he had to come back wet.

Recorded to reel-to-reel partially in Beirut and partially in Paris where Fakhr waited out conflict at home, only half of what is now the Fine Anyway sessions was ever released, and even then only on about 200 cassettes. Fakhr wasn’t well known to the general public, but in the Lebanese music scene at the time, he was well respected and a guitarist in somewhat demand.

With grooviness to spare, this makes me wanna lay back on some shag carpeting and work on some macramé. Fine Anyway comes out April 9 and is available for preorder via Bandcamp.

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