30/06/2023Elmir Records Reissue Female Icon Ettab's Ravishing Self-Titled LP From 1992 – A Masterpiece Of Arabic Music

Not ones to turn down a good reissue, we return today to bring you an essential production by Saudi Arabian icon Ettab. A descendent of the Hausa, an ethnic group native to the Central African Sahel region, Ettab was born in Riyadh in 1947 and went on to become "a celebrated singer, actress and [avid defender of women's rights] – and perhaps the only female artist of Saudi origin of her time to claim an international career." In 1992, she released her eponymous album on Relax-In. 

Produced in Lebanon by brothers Mahmoud and Ahmed Moussa, "Ettab" offers "a perfect introduction to her work" and recently resurfaced on Paris-based imprint Elmir Records, a relatively new label dedicated to preserve "the musical heritage of North Africa and the Middle East" and breathe new life into these extraordinary, sometimes obscure repertoires. "Resolutely modern in its pop arrangements with a finesse worthy of Curtis Mayfield, 'Ettab' takes Eastern classical music to new horizons." Led by Ettab's exceptional voice and ravishing delivery, this album is nothing less than a "masterpiece of Arabic music".

"Ettab" brings us eight exquisitely produced tracks, including a brilliant instrumental, that will have you shaking multiple segments of your body in no time and singing along if you happen to know the lyrics. Sounding wonderfully balanced with its lush orchestration, we assume this to be the ideal soundtrack for a night out on the 'medina' or one of those notorious feasts of Middle Eastern proportions. This record is an essential find for anyone harbouring a deep appreciation for the Arab culture and any fan of the genre. Click here to view some rare footage of Ettab.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom