Music Review | posted 01.03.2017
Ahmed Malek & fLako
Electronic Tapes
Habibi Funk, 2017
Text Niklas Fucks , Translation Julia Frohn
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Cover     Ahmed Malek & fLako - Electronic Tapes

No one seems to know what Ahmed Malek was really tripping on in the late 1970s and the early 1980s. Back then already beyond 50 and one of Algeria’s hottest film composers devoted to psychedelic jazz, he discovered the synthesiser. Decades later, the label Habibi Funk, which focuses on forgotten gems of music from Arabic countries, got its hands on a box of cassettes full of jam recordings by Ahmed Malek. What to do with an extremely heavy raw diamond? You give it to a qualified specialist (in this case: fLako) to turn it into a brilliant. fLako converted the countless hours of material into the extremely complex record »Electronic Tapes« with titles like »Tape 27 Track 3 (Part 2)«, the rapid and psychedelic arrangements of which hardly ever crossing the 3-minutes mark. It’s this tendency to compression which makes this mix of field-recordings, synthetic melodies, fragments of Arabic melodies and rare drum-computer sounds even more unusual and remarkable then this ground braking discovery would be on its own. It remains unanswered whether this is due to fLako’s beat-tape-socialisation. Just as unanswered as the question what drove the musician, who passed away in 2008, to make this twisted kind of music (in the liner notes, fLako asks: »Was he on drugs? Did he smoke pot? Did he go to the mountains?«) or how he was planning to release this music (if it was to be released at all). Either way – the »Electronic Tapes« probably do justice to Malek’s visions, considering that they represent the overlap between avant-garde electronic and the soundtrack for a hypnotising strategy game. It could well be the first concise new-age record of all times.

You can find the compilation The Electronic Tapes at hhv.de:LP
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