Jamal Sul makes Arabic electronic bangers as Moving Still.
Bedouin Burger – Ya Min Hawa
This song has been on repeat. Lynn Adib’s voice is incredible and brings you on a harrowing/melancholic journey. Her influences of Jazz, Arabic and Bedouin music combined with Zeid’s electro elements is like salt and vinegar on a bag of chips…. It’s essential! Once you get to the end of the track, there is a little surprise!
This song was released in 2020 as a self-release. I can really see them playing a festival and hope we can get them over to Ireland.
Ko Shin Moon – Jamileh
The guys behind Ko Shin Moon are the soundest lads! They are multi-instrumentalists and are very very talented. I have been listening to them for a good while now, and when “Jamileh” came out, I think my mouth dropped!!! It was originally recorded in 1979 by Ihsan al Munzer and Ko Shin Moon’s cover is a delight – They brought it to life and while retaining its main aesthetic, they made it club-friendly.
This was released in December 2020 so I missed including it in last year’s top ten, but I want to shine a light on these guys as I can already imagine them headlining Body and Soul. Don’t sleep on this release.
Eternal Love – Mas Que Bonita
I have listened and played this out so many times! The feeling it brings is like being at Castlepalooza during the day in the courtyard, and everyone is in great spirits. The singing in this track is so joyous and brings a smile to your face. The chorus grabs you, and has you hooked.
This is an edit by Italian duo Eternal Love & Gusto. The two lads have been smashing it in the edit realm and working on impressive tracks. This was released in April 2021 in a compilation by Pompelope. The compilation is fantastic and worth copping if you haven’t already.
Taxi Kebab – Ttabla
I didn’t know much about Taxi Kebab’s live set-up until I saw them play in Paris a few weeks ago. They have a huge sound and are so friendly too. Early acid vibes vs North African lyrics. They played right before my set, and I have to say I was nervous having to take over from them because they literally killed it.
The dream lineup would be them and Ko Shin Moon at a festival in Ireland (Promoters get them booked).
Ttabla is a perfect combo of everything they do musically and was released as part of a compilation in September 2021. Again, another sick comp called Musique de Fête, Vol. 2 from KasbaH.
Altin Gun – Yali Yali
I am sure everyone has heard Todd Terje’s Edit of Yali Yali by Nese Karabocek. Well… Altin Gun do a cover of it, and I have to say it’s such a sick number. To be fair to them, Altin Gun are such a sick band.
Ever since it was released July 2021, I have stuck it on the USB to play out. I don’t want to say more as it will ruin the listening experience.
Fatima Al Qadiri – Malaak
I am a massive fan of Fatima Al Qadiri, and when I heard she was putting out an ambient album, I was pretty excited. Over the last year, I have been listening to a good bit of ambient tracks, so it was nice to hear it from an artist I look up to.
The track takes inspiration from female Arabic poets of the Middle Ages, and the use of different instruments and textures do work so well together. Fatima’s use of space in her tracks is quite beautiful. This one was released in May 2021. Definitely worth grabbing this record.
Il Est Vilaine, Narumi Herisson – Les Mysteres de Lorient
I am obsessed with this track. Narumi Herisson’s voice hits you, especially when the chorus hits. The pad/lead sound connects her voice and the rest of the elements, making it a track that doesn’t necessarily have a genre. I love songs that can be played at any stage of a night. Il Est Vilaine are a French duo, and they released this in May 2021.
Aili, Transistorcake – Pari Pari
This is a stunning track by Belgian-Japanese artist Aili. It has a lovely pulsating squelchy bassline. Aili’s vocals fit perfectly over those euphoric elements, making it a heartfelt track. This would go down well in a festival setting around 11pm.
This one was only released in November 2021.
Ktyb – Ananaya (Dirty Version)
There aren’t many words to describe this song except for North African Heavy Grime. While I was playing in Paris, I felt a moment that I needed to play this track. The reaction was more than I hoped for – I was curious about what it sounded like on a system and god it didn’t disappoint.
Kytb has incredible flow; he kind of reminds me of Knytro – Maybe some influences there?
This is also from late 2020 but deserves to be on the 2021 list – If you’re a fan of Novelist, this will be up your alley.
Majid Soula – Win Terram
To end my top 10, this is one of my favourite tracks, it is literally incredible. I had been listening to it for months and then found out that Habibi Funk is reissuing it. I am beyond excited about it.
“Win Terram” is Disco meets Punk, 90 bpm HINRG guitar-driven and synth loaded banger and it really grabs you once that synth comes in. There is a video of me playing it on Instagram (trust me it was a slam dunk!), it’s essentially a slammer. When I was getting ready to play Telephones I based my entire set to end with this song and man was the response incredible.
Originally released in 1982 on Majid’s album “Massinissa” and Habibi Funk has now reissued a collection of his work. Don’t sleep on this one.