High-energy edits from a new Bahraini-British label.
Various - Dar Disku 001
Dar Disku is label founded by Mazen Al Maskati and Vish Mhatre, two artists who grew up "less than a mile apart" in Bahrain, a tiny island country located between Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Split between their home country and London, Al Maskati and Mhatre named their label after Dar, an Egyptian pop culture magazine active throughout the '70s (the label's name translates to "home of the disco"). Dar Disku 001 shows they also enjoy sounds from eras gone by. Its B-side, a bass-heavy new disco track, samples a '60s Arabic-language song from the Indonesian group Orkes Kelana Ria. Fun and groovy, it's the best tune on a bright record, chopping filtered vocals over flutes and a fat bassline that darts between the swung drums.
An edit of "Bas Esma3 Meni" by the Syrian singer Sarya Al-Sawas sits on the A-side. Loud hats, hints of white noise and soaring vocals make it a more obvious floor-filler—Moving Still, the producer behind it, said he "couldn't believe" the reaction when he played the original—but it's also less nuanced. Even so, it's a solid contribution to the first release in a growing list of labels embracing their Arab identities, a corner of music more frequently represented by outsiders.
Thu / 14
A Sarya Al-Sawas - Bas Asma3 Mini (Moving Still Edit)
B Orkes Kelana Ria - Ya Mahmud (Dar Disku Edit)