World musical heritage definitely needs more guys like Jannis Stürtz. The Berliner is living proof that the energy of a single die-hard enthusiast can keep great records from disappearing forever, or from being taken to their creator's grave without a single page in the history books being dedicated to them. Reissues of the genre are undeniably the holy grail for people like me who are desperate to know what’s going on elsewhere, outside the borders of an all-too-often self-centered Europe which tends to imagine that the Beatles invented everything. Habibi Funk thus appears as a small light shimmering on the web, opening its doors to anyone who wishes to drink in exceptional Arab music that might never before have travelled far from its creator’s front door.
Jannis is the man behind Jakarta Records, an independent label widely recognized on the hip-hop and electro scenes, and whose major artists are Anderson .Paak, JuJu Rogers, and Blitz the Ambassador. Completely by chance, while accompanying the latter on a tour in Rabat in Morocco, Jannis was blown away when listening to an old ‘45 in a local record store. Worried about the complete lack of information about these artists on the almighty internet, he decided to do them justice by going in search of his favorites, ideally with the aim of republishing them. This is how Habibi Funk was born, a structure 100% dedicated to music ‘from the Arab world’ influenced by sounds from all over. Between his exhibitions and DJ sets, Jannis travels, crosses borders, and roams the medinas in search of musicians and their families, like an orphan in search of his parents. Each trip is the result of some serious investigation, punctuated by encounters, discoveries, and any number of twists and turns, all for the benefit of us, the listener, impatient to know what the next discovery will be.
Searching within niche communities, accessing archives, getting hold of recordings that have become inaccessible due to political conflict, coming across old underground cassettes, or simply stumbling upon something incredible whilst browsing on YouTube… Each of the stories told by the label is unique and reinforces the impact of these precious and sometimes retro-futuristic records where disco, funk, free-jazz, and rock go far beyond local traditions, thanks to artists who are pushing the envelope and aren’t afraid to let their imagination run wild. If this singular music instantly managed to touch the heart of a discerning music lover, then why not us?
Through the Moroccan Fadoul fed with James Brown funk, the family choir of Attarazat Adahabbia, the Ethiopian and Congolese influences of the Sudanese Kamal Keila, the melancholic and groovy jazz of the Scorpions, the electronic experiments for the big screen of the Algerian Ahmed Malek, or the hit disco of Tunisian group Carthago, this playlist presents the authenticity, cultural diversity, and state of mind of the label in exactly 20 tracks.