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[DSC001] John Bilezikjian, Raja Zahr - Something Different (7" 45rpm "deadstock" from 1970!)

[DSC001] John Bilezikjian, Raja Zahr - Something Different (7" 45rpm "deadstock" from 1970!)

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All pre-orders will begin shipping on November 3rd, 2023!

[DSC001] John Bilezikjian, Raja Zahr – Something Different

Discotchari has uncovered an entire deadstock run of this ‘45, still in the factory boxes from 1970, and will be repackaging them as the exciting first release of the rare groove label! Previously unheard material from the most progressive oud player of the 20th century: John Bilezikjian 🇦🇲 and the Elias Rahbani of Burbank-via-Beirut: Raja Zahr 🇱🇧 Hundreds of "deadstock", 7” 45pm units, plus digital downloads and streaming on all platforms will be available November 3rd, 2023!

A dynamic duo too ambitious for its own good, Something Different produced a lone '45 RPM together in 1970 that ended up getting shelved as the artists' respective solo careers took off. Taking turns on lead, a barely 21-year-old John Bilezikjian plays a variety of strings including oud, bass and harpsichord alongside young Raja showcasing his talent in an arsenal of percussion.

"Zulu Man" is generally accepted to be the Side A of this '45, and secondary sources are inconclusive about who sang vocals - the songwriter himself John or perhaps one of Nose Records' session musicians credited on the center label. The track is a final breath of psychedelic 60's air, leaning more towards the obscurities of Gandalf and King Crimson than the soundtracks of the decade like Led Zeppelin's debut or "Are You Experienced?" The song is more epic poem than psych rock, measuring an African shaman against the weight of the world while John's oud pulls on the listener’s heart strings.

"Chemical Reaction" defies genre; it is the theme to its own world of sandy landscapes and scorching sun. "Lawrence of Arabia meets Hawaii Five-O"; "Cleopatra meets Baywatch", the scenarios are endless when it comes to properly categorizing the high times and low lunges this track can create on a dance floor. If it weren't for the love that John and Raja each had for their roots, their musical careers might have evolved differently together and Something Different could have been a familiar phrase for fans of The Eagles, Pink Floyd, and other introspective bands.

Originally Pressed by Nose Records in 1970

Side A:

  1. Zulu Man – 3:17

Side B:

  1. Chemical Reaction – 2:37

Something Different:

John Bilezikjian: oud, harpsichord

Raja Zahr: drums, Arabic percussion

Engineer: Drew Bennett

Producer: Paul Massaad

Liner Notes: Zach Asdourian

Personnel: Jim Zrake, John Mazo, Russ Viot

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