The Scor­pi­ons & Saif Abu Bakr Jazz, Jazz, Jazz

Habibi Funk

Future Music - - REVIEWS - Tom Jones

Ber­lin-based im­print Habibi Funk is reis­sue la­bel fo­cused on bring­ing eclec­tic, stereo­type-bust­ing sounds from the Arab world to a wider au­di­ence. These reis­sues have helped spread the word of some as­ton­ish­ing Arab artists across the globe. Their ninth re­lease sees them move away from com­pi­la­tion for­mat to drop a straight al­bum reis­sue for the first time. The cho­sen record is the won­der­fully en­er­getic Jazz, Jazz, Jazz al­bum from Su­danese out­fit, The Scor­pi­ons & Saif Abu Bakr. The band’s sole LP, it’s an ex­pan­sive fu­sion of styles. Ex­plor­ing en­er­getic funk, laid­back tra­di­tional rhythms and up­beat, gui­tar-driven cuts, the record has a good-time-driven tone that pro­pels the whole thing for­ward. Pow­er­ful horn sec­tions col­lide with surg­ing bass, bristling drums and pris­tine gui­tar lines as mod­ernised ver­sions of tra­di­tional rhythms and ex­cur­sions into Con­golese Souk­ouss in­ter­play to create such a vivid sound­scape. Im­ages of wild 1980s Su­dan par­ties leap into mind. Saif Abu Bakr’s soar­ing vo­cals add the fi­nal, unit­ing piece to this mes­meris­ing sound mesh, pulling all the dis­parate el­e­ments into one di­rec­tion. A won­der­ful and joy­ous record from start to fin­ish, let’s hope that Habibi Funk con­tinue to spread the won­ders of other less well-known gems such as Jazz, Jazz, Jazz around the world.

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