Discography

Friends of Bamboute: 20th Anniversary Edition

(2009)

Catno
30IPS FOB1869
Formats
CD, 
Flac, 
MP3
Type
Album
Distributed by
Proper Music Distribution
iTunes
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Amazon
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Bandcamp
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Veteran Egyptian musicians, singers, fishermen and philosophers El Tanbura celebrate two decades as the custodians of Simsimiyya music with Friends of Bamboute: 20th Anniversary Edition, the long-awaited follow-up to 2006’s Between the Desert and the Sea.

Recorded in Cairo and on location in Port Said, the album recounts tales of the 19th century Bambutiyya merchants who frequented the old-time cafés and smoking dens along the path of Suez Canal and also showcases devotional Sufi songs from the Egyptian Delta.

Press Quotes:

Celebrating 20 years together, the Port Said ensemble play the sufi soul that could once be found in the coffee houses and hashish dens of the Nile delta. Work and love songs, devotional music and deviously ambiguous lyrics combine with the twang of the simsimiyya, a lyre that could be 5,000 years old, to give a lusty flavour of Suez life.

****The Times

The swaying rhythms, vocal harmonies and labyrinthine percussion make this Buena Vista for Egyptian music an unforgettable journey.

****The Independent

An institution, both in their native Egypt and abroad

*****Songlines Magazine – TOTW album

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Between the Desert and the Sea

(2006)

Catno
30IPS BTDATS1989
Formats
CD, 
Flac, 
MP3
Type
Album
Distributed by
AWAL, 
Bandcamp
Bandcamp
Buy Here

Originally released in 2006, “Between the desert and the sea” is an enchanting acoustic mix of Egyptian folk melodies, Sufi verses and sea shanties from antiquity, led by the captivating sound of the Simsimiyya and underpinned by Arabian grooves.

Named by Songlines magazine as one of the “All-Time Top 50” world music albums.

Press Quotes:

El Tanbura mix chanting vocals with the desert flute, the nay, and the ancient lyre, the Simsimiyya, that looks like something you’d find on a painting in a Pharaoh’s tomb

****The Guardian

Sounds that have evolved through male camaraderie and the sheer physical joy of collective music-making over many centuries

****The Telegraph

El Tanbura have been playing the music of their native Port Said since the late 80s and, with the release of Between the Desert and the Sea, it seems that their time has finally come

****Songlines Top of the World album

They croon the region’s old songs of love, pain, exile and resistance…”Between the desert and the sea” is a good calling card to the world

fRoots

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Ahwa Qamar

(2003)

Catno
Mastaba MASTCD003
Formats
CD
Type
Album
Distributed by
El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music (Egypt)

El Tanbura’s second album, produced by the El Mastaba Center for Egyptian Folk Music in Cairo features studio renditions of the band’s most requested songs from their weekly concerts at Port Said’s Negma Café. The disc also marks the recording debut of Hassan El Ashry’s unique multi-stringed Simsimiyya.

Material from the album can be found in the soundtrack to Philippe Dib’s film “El Tanbura: Capturing a vanishing spirit”.

A legendary musical troupe

The Cairo Times

La Simsimiyya de Port Said

(1999)

Catno
Institute du Monde Arabe 321026
Formats
CD
Type
Album
Distributed by
Distributed by Harmonia Mundi (France)

Critically acclaimed live recording of the band‘s sold-out shows at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris during 1996 showcasing rare European appearances from veteran El Tanbura vocalists Ahmad Nasr (Hamam) and the late El Rayis Imbabi.

Quite magical… it is easy to imagine why Simsimiyya players were employed on Red Sea ships to charm the winds

Songlines