Fortuna Records are well known for their prowess in the matter of Middle Eastern groove reissues. After recent notables including the hypnotic ‘Jamileh‘ (from the Belly Dance Disco EP) and a collection of ultra rare cuts from the immense The Jazz Workshop LP, the Tel Aviv based label continue their great form with two psychedelic bruisers from Greek born Aris San, a king in his heyday of the ‘Greek Jaffa sound’ in the 60s.
The EP kicks off with San’s 1967 hit ‘Boumpam’, its fuzzy opening guitar riff epitomising the surf rock edge that came to define the 60’s sound, as electric guitar replaced the more traditional tones of the classical bouzouki (greek mandolin). Listening to San’s vocals glide irresistibly over swinging guitar strums and synonymous chord stabs from the electric organ, it’s no surprise this came to be a heavy hitter in taverns all across Israel.
The eastern mysticism continues on the reverse with snowballing ‘Dam Dam’. Using the same proven ingredients, this time dexterous guitar fingering technique comes to the fore. As the piece progresses, eddying drums help build intensity to a middle section that sounds a little like something you’d expect to hear in a fierce, drunken, high-energy hall dance.
FTN004 is released 15th January on Fortuna Records in vinyl and digital formats. Pre-order a copy from their website and all good record stores.