Ferkat Al Ard :: Oghneya

Oghneya is one of the most interesting recent additions to the impressive catalog of Habibi Funk, a label that aims to circulate Arab funk and soul records from the 1960-80s to a global audience. Originally released in 1978 by the Issam Hajali-lead Lebanese trio Ferkat Al Ard, the record appears heavily influenced by bossa nova and Brazilian prog-jazz, which makes as the Lebanese diaspora to Brazil is so significant that the Lebanese-Brazilian community is currently larger than the population of Lebanon itself. At the same time, Oghneya‘s sound is sui generis, maintaining the modes and melismas so associated with Arabic music while entertaining cinematic orchestral arrangements within a pop psych-folk compositional framework. Full of unexpected turns and variations, Oghneya never ceases to surprise, and is kept together by a sense of longing throughout: it is a mellow and even somewhat comforting ode to the cosmopolitan, pre-civil war Beirut of the 1970s, through the lens of the sort of intercultural exchange the city allowed for. In this sense, Oghneya is Arthur Verocai as much as it is Dezo Ursiny, if he had been deep into Palestinian poetry. | r moraes

For heads, by heads. Aquarium Drunkard is powered by our patrons. Keep the servers humming and help us continue doing it by pledging your support via our Patreon page.