Habibi Funk 002: Al Zman Saib - 33RPM

Habibi Funk

002: Al Zman Saib


Habibi Funk

Genre: Funk
EAN: 673790031884
Regular price €22,00

Though Jannis Stürtz and Malte Kraus have an established reputation as co-heads of Jakarta Records, it wasn’t until last year that they formed the Habibi Funk sublabel in the name of reissues. Stürtz in particular had toured North Africa with Jakarta artist Blitz the Ambassador in 2012 and picked up a number of vinyl releases of which no trace could be found online. Seeing an opportunity altogether separate from Jakarta’s vision, Stürtz opened the Habibi Funk account with a scorching 7” reissue of Tunisia’s Dalton last summer. Fadoul’s Al Zman Saib, however, is a far more ambitious endeavor. The effort was well worth it. 

Stürtz’s origin story for Al Zman Saib will sound familiar to anyone who’s ever read the liner notes for a Soundway or Analog Africa compilation: Cruising through foreign city (in this case, Casablanca) with time to kill, record obsessive stumbles into unassuming shop with piles of obscure dead stock in the back; rifles through said stock, unearths unfamiliar wonders; does homework to little effect; travels by land, sea and air to track down friends and family members for licensing; triumphantly releases music after years of determination. 

Fadoul wasn’t a total unknown in his native Morocco, though. Despite a limited number of releases (made all the more challenging to find by the varying Romanizations of his name), he was prominent enough to land a jingle for a major orange juice maker at one point (I’d guess Citruma, though I don’t know for sure) and was making music up through his passing at the age of 50 in 1991. 

The recordings of Al Zman Saib (“Time is Hard”) date from considerably earlier. Though his backing band The Privileges isn’t explicitly credited here, the cover image to the album art suggests they factored heavily in the music-making. What’s most interesting is how Fadoul effortlessly marries the Arabic language to Western funk and rock sounds.