sabato 14 maggio 2016

The Habibiyya - If Man But Knew (2007 Sunbeam Records) 1972

Biography : The Habibiyya "If Man but Knew" Inspired by a trip to Morocco and a religious conversion to Sufi Islam, the Habiyya (a group that included members of Mighty Baby and The Action) created these beautiful spiritual devotionals, utilizing an array of unusual instruments and gorgeous collective singing. Folksy, atmospheric work with plenty of Mid-Eastern touches -- the only album ever issued by The Habibiyya, and one of the oddest sets ever from early 70s Island Records! The album's got a very spare, dream-like sound -- one that was inspired by the group's visit to Morocco before the record, and carried off here in a blend of percussion, piano, organ, and flutes - plus more exotic instrumentation like koto, shakuhachi, and mandola. The sound is often quite spacious -- stretching out on its own, almost organic accord -- and when vocals are included, they're often very low in the mix, echoing the sufi roots that inspired the group. The Habibiyya’s sole album stands as one of the earliest and most beautiful pieces of world music ever recorded in Britain. The musicians involved (including three members of UK underground legends Mighty Baby) had been profoundly affected, both musically and spiritually, by visiting Morocco in 1971, and became adherents of the sufi faith. Upon their return to London they made If Man But Knew, featuring exotic instruments such as koto, shakuhachi and mandola alongside guitar, organ and drums, conjuring a hypnotic, other-worldly ambience in the process. It makes its long-awaited CD debut here, accompanied by detailed liner notes, previously-unseen photographs, five rare bonus tracks and an introduction by the group’s leader, Ian Whiteman.

01.Two Shakuhachis
02.Koto Piece
05.If Man But Knew
Bonus Tracks
07.Procession of the God Intoxicated
09.Peregrinations Continued
10.Another Ode
11.Bird in God's Garden

Ian Whiteman - shakuhachi, piano, vocals, Bina organ, pipe organ, oboe
Susan Archuletta - shakuhachi, koto, vocals, viola, guitar
Conrad Archuletta - shakuhachi, vocals, nay flute, zither, banjo
Zahara Archuletta - viola, shakuhachi, flute, koto, vocal
Mike Evans - mandola, guitar
Roger Powell - drums, Safi drum

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