Review

Ibrahim Hesnawi

The Father Of Lybian Reggae

Habibi Funk • 2023

Roots reggae from the Libyan capital, a mix of charismatic Arabic vocals and The Wailers. But with more synthesiser instead of the tried and tested brass section, which gives the whole thing a special character. Habibi Funk’s latest release is a retrospective of Libyan-born musician Ibrahim Hesnawi. Recordings that we would probably never have got to hear in this form. Because they have dug deep into their piles of tapes from the past here. It is said that Ibrahim Hesnawi was inspired by the sound of Bob Marley when he brought reggae to the world with the Wailers. It doesn’t matter that Hesnawi’s hometown of Tripoli and Kingston Town are separated by the North Atlantic and a 23-hour flight. Bob Marley’s influence is particularly noticeable on the tracks »Tayr Al Salama« and »Al Hob Wal Salam«, the way he sings, the vibe, shrinks the distance between the countries. There are a total of nine songs that do justice to the title of »The Father Of Libyan Reggae«. Of particular note is the appearance by a female guest, referred to in the track list only as »Suzan«, on the song »Only World«.