FATIMA …AND THE MAMLUKS – The Hammer & The Heart

Angel Air 2018

FATIMA ...AND THE MAMLUKS - The Hammer & The Heart

The Hammer & The Heart

Eastern romance of a prince in disguise who walked the walk to dance the night away.

There’s no limit to Georg Kajanus’ fancy. Having turned himself from a romantic pop troubadour of ECLECTION to an almost salacious salty dog of SAILOR and then to a menacing electronic oracle of DATA, in the mid-’80ss this restless spirit conjured up a ghost of an obscure Egyptian ensemble and became Bousbir Baba, a singer who shared writing duties with the faithful friend Henry Marsh and vocal lines with the enigmatic Fatima. The project’s oeuvre may seem meagre – six pieces, one of those lost in the sands of time – yet their exotic disco pull was strong enough to warrant a few remixes that gloriously flesh out the original five numbers gathered here for the first time ever.

Not a pastiche by any means, opener “Hassan” strives to create a new context for Levant tunes wrapping the chanteuse’s invocations in delicately textured techno whose beats are dipped in synthesizers’ waves, while the voice of Kajanus is driving “The Hammer & The Heart” through dervish-like swirls, raps and riffs towards memorable delirium. The “Ghostbusters” theme never far away from these humorous tracks, Fatima’s insistent cries “Yalla!” and demented trills over cavernous undercurrent lodge “Toubib” into the listener’s lobes, whereas “The Heart” would relocate a strings-drenched drift from the banks of the Nile to the southern side of the Seine to pour a glass of champagne over its balladry. But “Behne (I Won’t Follow)” is a hard-hitting slice of heavy funk which hasn’t dated a tad in the last three decades to remain ripe for rediscovery and be able to ride the charts of today.

Weirdly fascinating, this album still packs a charming punch and stands as testament to one’s boundless imagination.


June 25, 2018

Category(s): Reissues
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