Da`asa: The Haunting Sounds Of Yemenite-Israeli Funk 1973-1984 / Fortuna

It`s Tsvia Abarbanel`s version of Im Nin’alu that will draw most people to this collection. But there`s so much more here than that.

Tough drum breaks. Moog-y, Jazzy keys. Psychedelic organ drones. Duane Eddy / Link Wray / Ari San Rock N Roll twang. Heavy Psyche riffs. Jungle Exotica. Jimmy Castor bass-lines. Sweet vocal harmonies. All mix in a music that can`t seem to decide if it`s Pop or Progressive Rock Fusion. Dating from the `70s and `80s, it all kicks with a fuzz-toned `60s Garage sound. Blurring melodic boundaries between Israel, the Middle East, and contemporary Western influences.

Im Nin’alu (אם ננעלו) is a 17th Century Hebrew poem, made internationally famous by the “Israeli Madonna”, Ofra Haza in late `80s. Latched onto by DJs globally. Helped on its way when Coldcut sampled it for their Seven Minutes Of Madness remix of Eric B & Rakim`s Paid In Full. Tsvia Abarbanel`s recording pre-dates Ofra Haza`s by some twenty years. The players appear to have been listening to Cream`s Sunshine Of Your Love. The arrangement in the “Big Band” manner of Shirley Bassey`s Johnny Harris-produced cover of The Doors` Light My Fire. Tsvia`s voice, goosebump-inducing.

אם ננעלו דלתי נדיבים דלתי מרום לא ננעלו

Im nin’alu daltei n’divim daltei marom lo nin’alu

Even if the gates of the rich are closed, the gates of heaven will never be closed.

You can order a copy directly from Fortuna.

Reference Links

Ari San

Jimmy Castor

Sunshine Of Your Love 

Light My Fire


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