Ahmed Ben Ali
Label: Habibi Funk
After working with Ahmed in 2020 on the 12” hit “Subhana” (Habibi012) (2.4M Spotify streams), Habibi Funk is back with a fulllength release focusing on Ahmed’s releases from the mid 2000’s. The tracks on the LP represent a blisteringly deep collection of heavy reggae rhythms and synthesized grooves from a singular creative force, inspired as much from Jamaican sonics as from Libyan folkloric styles, as Ahmed says, “it’s the Libyan style, not some bullshit.” Our work with Ahmed started with a 12-inch released with “Subhana” on the A-side and “Damek Majeb” on the B-side (track 4 on this release), which at the time were among the only songs we knew of Ahmed (Habibi012). After the release, he sent us some more songs, which we loved just as much. Soon after, the idea was born to follow up with a full-length release which Ahmed was happy to commit to. In early 2023, we met in person in Cairo to share a few more stories and to take some photos for the release, which you can find throughout the booklet accompanying the LP and CD. The lead-off single is the stellar rhythms of “Yarait”. Ahmed creates a singular sound that’s inspired as much by the Jamaican sonics as it is by Libyan folkloric styles, and the rap-refrain will have you singing along by the songs end, a perfect track for the warmer spring/summer days. Second single is the upbeat slammer “Aziz O Adda.” It’s hard not to feel happy when the horn refrain comes in, followed by the anthemic vocals that make you want to dance out into the street, a dancefloor sureshot for any party, especially the tropical outdoor variety. Third single is “Ya Ta’ebha,” a bass-heavy reggae slammer if there ever was one – with stabbing pianos and synths, deep bass, and a hiphop influenced head-nodding percussive rhythm, rounded out with a stunning guitar solo – the track will surely be on loop as you bounce down the block. Album focus track “Ghali” is another standout reggae-infused tune, with vocoder, anthemic vocals, and synthetic brass, a perfect sonic showcase of the immense creative force that is Ben Ali.
Key Selling Points:
-Libyan Reggae at its peak grooves courtesy of Benghazi-born Ahmed Ben Ali.
-Vinyl comes with an extensive booklet featuring background on Ahmed, including unseen photos, scans and more