Arabic Disco

In the 1970's a band in Tunisia attempted to fuse disco grooves into Arabic versions of soul & rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Born from two other bands, Dalton and the Marhaba Band, Carthago blended western hits with Arabic influences, leading to their popular single “Alech” which had a lot of success on national radio.

The band’s concerts were a mixture of their own compositions as well as cover versions of the hits of the time from Stevie Wonder to Chicago

— Jannis Stürtz

Carthago

Jannis Stürtz, the owner of Habibi Funk, the label re-releasing Carthago’s recordings, tracked down Carthago's lead composer Fawzi Chekili and managed to acquire copies of their original recordings for this very rare release, Alech.

It was just in our DNA as we grew up listening to traditional Tunisian music! When I wrote ‘Alech,’ for example, it was very Tunisian, rhythmically and melodically, but as we were very interested in Western music, we said let’s add some chords, and some horn riffs.

— Tunisian composer Fawzi Chekili

Re-release

Alech is available now in digital form and as a vinyl edition, which comes with an 8-page 12″ sized booklet, from Habibi Funk Records.