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Stunning Algerian Electronic Music from the 1970s Has Been Discovered

Some electronic music by Ahmed Malek, "the Algerian Ennio Morricone" was found by label Habibi Funk.

Photo courtesy of Habibi Funk's Soundcloud

Algerian composer Ahmed Malek, who scored Algerian films and television shows, has the reputation of being the Arab world's answer to Ennio Morricone. The composer's numerous works are about to see a proper release, but the label compiling them has also discovered Mr. Malek's secret passion — making electronic music.

OkayAfrica reports that label Habibi Funk, who was given all of Malek's material by his daughter, uncovered two hours worth of never before heard electronic music. "To our surprise Mr. Malek worked on electronic music in the late 1970s and early 1980s," wrote representatives from the label. "It's very different to the Ahmed Malek compositions we know, but very interesting…."

The two unreleased tracks posted by Habibi Funk on its Soundcloud display a unique marriage between Arabian modal structures, dusty and squinty-eyed film scores, and the gentle ambient works of Brian Eno. Over slowly arpeggiated synthesizers, Malek performs dusky and patient oud and keyboard solos that bring to mind Manuel Göttsching's and Michael Hoening's classic collaborative work Early Water. Listen to it below.

"From what we could find out we think this was kind of his private passion," stated the label. "There were [many] records with this type of sound in his record collection, and contrary to most of his other works, these recordings don't seem to have been made for films and documentaries. Most of the compositions seem to have been done for his visits to 'Spring in Valadera' an annual festival for this type of sound in Cuba."

[H/t: OkayAfrica]