A long night researching the name Hany Mehanna on Google will result in failure, which looks like this: various Social-Media responses for the above name; a brief article by Ahram Online that refers to Mehanna’s imprisonment for refusing to pay a bank back, which escalated to fraud; they also misspelt his name in the process. Also, an unlimited number of questionable online stores that wish to sell as many copies of his 1973 release, but now reissued LP.
And that is it. However, it is the latter of that list that provides a sense of closure to this article, as painful as it is to write. In in the last few months, reissues have come and gone, but none — other than Hiroshi Sato’s ‘Orient’ (as shown in the previous pages of this tiny booklet) has proved as intriguing and as popular as Hany Mehanna’s 1975 LP, ‘Miracle of the Seven Dances’.
Released via Radio Martiko, Mehanna’s solo debut reaches heights of exotic psychedelia with forms of traditional Arabic musical notation, all the while experimenting with Organs, freestyle guitar and, of course, the instrument of the century that seems to appear out of thin air every five or so minutes: The Synthesizer.
In context though, this record is just one of many Arabic LP’s that has time has forgotten. As iconic and influential as Brazil’s and Western Africa’s hidden records are, they are so sought after that they often flood the reissue market. This, evidently, needs to change. God only knows how many pre-Iranian revolution records are stored in a lost void of an attic, waiting to be repressed by some wondering soul. Or better yet, God only knows how many records there are that have been lost inside a large time vortex. If only someone would set up a DIY Record Label, with the aim of rediscovering pre-Arabian Spring records and sending them off to the reissue factory. No hint intended, of course.