Omar Khorshid - Guitar El Chark (4 stars)

Reissue of intoxicating compilation of Arabic guitar god

Omar Khorshid - Guitar El Chark

(Sublime Frequencies)

Arabic guitar god Omar Khorshid was a music and movie superstar in the 60s and 70s, working with the great Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi and backing the queen of Arab music, Oum Khaltoum. In 1973, Khorshid left Cairo to live in Beirut, where he continued his film career and recorded the far-out sounds collected on this intoxicating compilation, a CD reissue of an out-of-print LP.

Sold in the west as Belly Dance records, his albums of the time transcend any kitsch aura through their sheer brilliance. Khorshid’s twangy surf guitar, moonshot synths and psychedelic Joe Meek-meets-Hendrix production bring a heady space-age atmosphere to gorgeous Arabic melodies and wild dance rhythms. Sir Richard Bishop’s Saharan explorations start here.

Omar Khorshid - "Warakat Ya Nassib (Lottery Ticket)" (Guitar el Chark)

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