Wewantsounds reissue of ‘Khalik Hena, recorded 1973 by legendary Arabic Diva Warda who has been sampled by J Dilla. The album recorded in public mixes traditional Arabic music with a tinge of 70s grooves. Here Warda delivers a deep hypnotic performance backed by her full-size orchestra featuring those unparalleled Arabic strings that made recordings by Oum Khalthoum, Farid El Atrache and Abdel Halim Hafez so famous. ‘Khalik Hena’ is one of her all-time classics, written by equally legendary composer Baligh Hamdi and the audio has been newly remastered. This release features the LP original artwork with a 2 page insert featuring a new introduction by Mario Choueiry from Institut du Monde Arabe who curates Wewantsounds’ Arabic series of reissues.
Warda is one of the undisputed divas of the Arab world. Born in the Paris suburb from an Algerian Father and a Lebanese mother, she was discovered at 11 by Ahmed Hachlaf, Pathe Marconi’s heads of A&R specialising in Arabic music. having honed her singing skills at her father’s cabaret in the Latin Quarter, the Tam-Tam (for Tunisia – Algeria – Morocco) she quickly found recognition in the Arabic music circles.
The family relocated to Beirut in the late 50s after the police found arms in her father’s cabaret destined to the political group fighting for Algeria’s independence and was swiftly discovered there by an Egyptian film producer who brought her to Cairo to record and play in his films. From there, her career took a meteoric rise and she became a star working with Egyptian such stars as Abdel Halim Hafez and composer Mohammed Abdel Wahab.
However, in the early 60s a traditional marriage in Algeria stopped her career for a decade to be a housewife until Algerian President Boumediene asked her to perform for the 10th anniversary of the Nation’s independence in 1972. This was an epiphany and after a divorce she was back to Egypt for a triumphant comeback.
’Khalik Hena’ recorded in public in 1973 dates back to these glory days. Teaming up with her new husband, legendary composer Baligh Hamdi, she recorded a string of classic albums – hypnotic tour-de-forces stretching over two sides in an almost trance-like mode, enhancing Warda’s powerful vocal and ability to mesmerise audiences. Blending traditional and modern instrumentations (electric guitar, organ), the music is both complex and groovy, ‘Khalik Hena’ is one of her best LPs, sought after by Arabic diggers and collectors alike. An undisputed classic of Arabic Music, which Wewantsounds is glad to reissue on vinyl for the first time since the 70s.