Middle Eastern Heavens : Ihsan Al​-​Munzer – Belly Dance Disco

by Ernesto Chahoud

  • Record/Vinyl

    Vinyl tracklisting:

    Side A
    A1. Girls of Iskandariah
    A2. Night Entertainer
    A3. The Joy of Lina

    Side B
    B1. Dance of Tenderness
    B2. Jamileh

    Side B
    C1. A New Candle
    C2. Once a Year

    Side D
    D1. A Flower of My Imagination
    D2. A Night At The Station
    D3. Love of Laura

    Includes digital pre-order of Middle Eastern Heavens : Ihsan Al-Munzer – Belly Dance Disco. The moment the album is released you’ll get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ... more
    digital album releases January 21, 2020
    item ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      €33 EUR or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Includes digital pre-order of Middle Eastern Heavens : Ihsan Al-Munzer – Belly Dance Disco. The moment the album is released you’ll get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    digital album releases January 21, 2020
    item ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      €16 EUR or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Middle Eastern Heavens : Ihsan Al-Munzer – Belly Dance Disco. The moment the album is released you’ll get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases January 21, 2020

      €10 EUR  or more

     

1.
Girls of Iskandariah
2.
Night Entertainer
3.
The Joy of Lina
4.
Dance of Tenderness
5.
Jamileh
6.
A New Candle
7.
Once a Year
8.
A Flower of My Imagination
9.
A Night At The Station
10.
Love of Laura

about

The first release in Ernesto Chahoud’s ‘Middle Eastern Heavens’ reissue series for BBE Music, we are delighted to present Lebanese maestro Ihsan Al-Munzer’s 1979 album ‘Belly Dance Disco’.

In late 70s and early 80s Beirut, Lebanese organist, composer and arranger Ihsan Al-Munzer made a series of pioneering synth-driven fusion albums that reimagined Middle Eastern music. The records came at a pivotal time in Lebanon’s musical history of avant garde experimentation that was blossoming, just as the country’s 15-year civil war took hold.

Ihsan Al-Munzer’s first release as a solo artist, ‘Belly Dance Disco’ aimed to fuse ‘Western’ modern music and bellydance to make it more accessible to the local audience in the late 1970s. “I wanted to put a mixture of European beat with Arabic percussion, but I made the European rhythm and harmony very easy to listen to for the Arabic ear – soft and understandable” says Al- Munzer. Today, the composer’s music has made the return journey back to the West; with tracks on the album featured by hip hop artists such as Mos Def, who sampled Al-Munzer’s composition ‘Joy of Lina’ on his 2009 song ‘The Embassy’.

The 10-track album was released in 1979 on the legendary Voix De L’Orient label, which was also home to pioneering Lebanese composers The Rahbani Brothers. One of the earliest artists to introduce the synthesizer to Middle Eastern music, Al-Munzer leads the band, playing the main melody lines on the Kawai Organ and Solina String Synthesizer. Three of his original compositions feature on the album, alongside creative re-imaginings of Turkish and Arabic folklore and modern classics, pushing the boundaries of bellydance music to chime with the international scene.

Al-Munzer’s five titles from the 1970s and 1980s are part of BBE’s ‘Middle Eastern Heavens’ reissue series, a collection of groundbreaking productions from Lebanon, curated by Lebanese DJ, compiler and music researcher Ernesto Chahoud.

Notes by Natalie Shooter, a music journalist and researcher based in Beirut, edited by Will Sumsuch.

credits

releases January 21, 2020

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all rights reserved

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BBE London, UK

Sometime after the Universal Robot Band and sometime before where we are now, a pair of DJ/promoter/whatevers, Pete Adarkwah and Ben Jolly, ran a successful club night named after our eponymous song, playing a joyful mix of all they considered good. 'Wouldn't it be fun,' they mused, 'To release some of these tunes?' And so BBE (Barely Breaking Even) was born. ... more

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