FARID EL ATRACHE – Nagham Fi Hayati LP


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Wewantsounds present a first time reissue of Farid el Atrache’s cult album Nagham Fi Hayati released in 1974 on Voice of Lebanon. It is the soundtrack of the eponymous film starring El Atrache. Sampled by the Beatles and nicknamed the “King of Oud”, El Atrache is one of the giants of Egyptian music together with Oum Kalthoum and Abdel Halim Hafez. The album which showcases El Atrache’s versatility and includes the monster groove “Hebina Hebina”, is one of Brian Eno’s favorite albums. Nagham Fi Hayati also contains an unedited version of “Takassim Oud” highlighting El Atrache superb oud playing. In the ’50s and ’60s, El Atrache became one of the most famous singers in the Arab world. One of his songs from the ’60s, “Awel Hamsa” even got sampled by the Beatles on their “Revolution 9” from the White Album. The album Nagham Fi Hayati (The Melody of My Life) released in 1974, the year of his death. It was also the soundtrack of the eponymous film directed by famed Egyptian director Henry Barakat and also featured female star Mervat Amin. The album is comprised of four tracks. “Alachan Malich Gheirak” (Because There is No One Else for Me but You) and “Ya Habaybi Ya Ghaybin” (My Absent Loves) are typical long romantic songs alternating lush instrumental parts by a full Egyptian orchestra with parts sung by El Atrache. “Takassim Oud” is an astonishing instrumental highlighting El Atrache’s virtuoso oud playing explaining why he was nicknamed “The King of Oud”. The song is released here in its entirety for the first time on vinyl as a small section that was cut from the original vinyl release, has been reintegrated. The highlight of the album is certainly “Hebina Hebina” (Love Us, Love Us) which has become an Arabic groove club classic over the years featuring a funky loop and groovy organ. The song and the album actually caught the ear of producer Brian Eno who named it one of his favorite albums in an interview with musician William Doyle in 2016 for The Quietus. Originally released on the label Voice of Lebanon, Nagham Fi Hayati was recorded by engineer Nabil Mumtaz (from the cult Polysound Studios in Beirut). It has become one of Farid El Atrache’s most coveted albums on the Arabic music scene. Audio newly remastered by Colorsound, original artwork and new liner notes by Mario Choueiry from Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.