Amrak Seedna & Abtal Wa Harameyah

A 22 track middle east album (37m 18s) — released May 3rd 2024 on Wewantsounds

Ziad Rahbani is a living legend of Arabic music and a cultural icon in Lebanon where he was born. An accomplished musician, pianist and producer, Rahbani is also a celebrated playwright and a political activist. His father was the famous composer and musician Assi Rahbani, of The Rahbani Brothers' fame and his mother is the legendary Lebanese Diva, Fairuz whom he produced in the late 70s and 80s with such classic albums as "Wahdon" and "Maarifti Feek" that have become highly sought after among Arabic music DJs and collectors over the years.

Rahbani also released a succession of cult classics of his own including "Bennesbeh Labokra Chou?" (1978), the highly sought-after Disco 12"EP "Abu Ali" (1979) and "Houdou Nisbi" (1985), released by Wewantsounds for the first time on vinyl in 2022, curated by Lebanese DJ Ernesto Chahoud.

The album "Amrak Seedna & Abtal Wa Harameyah" was released in 1987 on the Beirut-based label Relax-in' and is the soundtrack to two theatre plays written by famous Lebanese playwright and actor Antoine Kerbaj (born 1935). These two plays were released in the middle of the Lebanese civil war and Although Rahbani (who is also an actor) doesn't act in these, he masterminded the soundtrack, composing and recording them at his By-Pass recording studio in Beirut.

The album alternates between instrumentals, short interludes and songs sung by his regular fellow singers, Sami Hawat, Abbas Chahine, Nabil Qazan among others, mixing Arabic music with Rahbani's usual blend of jazz-fusion, funk and groove. Besides the "James Bond Theme" adapted here as a recurring motive on the "Abtal Wa Harameyah" soundtrack, we find such jewels as the funky, bass-led "Break" and "Al Jeel (The Generation)" and the beautiful "Mashhad Al Hob" featuring Rahbani on Fender Rhodes accompanying a dreamy flute. the "Mashhad Al Hob" melody actually comes back later on the album with jazzier arrangements on the title "Slow." Traditional Arabic music is also present with the track "Hake Ad Ma Baddak Fee" followed by "Oghniyat El Gharam" featuring typical oud and percussion heavy arrangements.

"Amrak Seedna" ("At Your Orders Captain") and "Abtal Wa Harameyah" ("Heroes and Thieves") flow effortlessly and display Ziad Rahbani's knack for catchy melodies and funky contemporary arrangements, making the album a valued addition to his highly sought-after body of work. Wewantsounds is delighted to bring the first reissue of this iconic LP to the world in almost 40 years, an event for all Rahbani fans and Arabic music lovers

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