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OMAR SOULEYMAN

Syrian wedding singer turned global dance icon Omar Souleyman releases his 4th studio album Shlon via Mad Decent / Because Music.

On Shlon (Arabic for “how,” or literally “which color”), Omar Souleyman presents 6 new techno-meets-dabke songs of romance and love - singing poetry of a woman’s lips as sweet as Hillah’s dates on “Layle”; an intriguing woman he watches from afar whose kiss would be worth 10 million other kisses on “Shlon”; a lover ready to offer his beloved anything she wishes under the sun on “Shi Tridin” (“What Do You Wish For?”); a man in admiration of a woman with green eyes and blonde hair on “Abou Zlilif” (“Her Face is Like The Moon”); a song about love that will last forever on “Mawwal”, a traditional — all superimposed on complex techno arrangements by Hasan Alo, and based on the hi-speed Kurdish and Arabic dabke and baladi styles with the exception of “Mawwal” being presented in its traditionally slower pace.

Shlon features double keyboard work from Hasan Alo, a fellow native of the Hasaka region in Northeastern Syria who has recently been active in the vibrant nightlife scene of Dubai. Azad Salih, a young Syrian man currently living in Mardin, Turkey, accompanies on saz, with the lyrics and love poetry written on the spot during the album’s recording session by longtime Omar collaborator Moussa Al Mardood - also currently based in Turkey.

Omar Souleyman, who has collaborated with Björk and Four Tet, began his career as a prolific wedding singer, releasing nearly 500 live albums before civil war broke out in his native Syria in 2011. He then moved to Turkey and in 2013 released his Four Tet-produced debut studio album Wenu Wenu via Ribbon/Domino, which NPR called, "...a jam so visceral, thrilling and intense as to make the mysterious matter of earthly borders seem hardly worth the time to contemplate." His 2015 sophomore album Bahdeni Nami (various producers including Four Tet, Gilles Peterson and Modeselektor) garnered widespread critical praise including The Guardian, who proclaimed "It's so fast that the only appropriate way to engage with it is to wriggle your limbs. Melodies are both abrasive and ebullient, chattering endlessly like raucous birdsong," and 2017’s To Syria, With Love via Mad Decent placing Omar firmly in the canon of global electronic music.

Souleyman has bolstered his growing status as a world and electronic music icon establishing an extensive international following after touring widely and performing at major festivals including Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Pitchfork Paris and Roskilde. Since its founding in 2013, Souleyman has been an advocate for the charity "Our Heart Aches for Syria," which operates in collaboration with Doctors Without Borders. In that same year, he performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway.

Omar Souleyman has been touring tirelessly since the release of To Syria, With Love, or in fact for as long as he can remember in the last 10 years. He has crossed the planet – now seeming quite small – several times over and looks forward to meeting his fans everywhere to celebrate the release of Shlon.


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Arabic wedding tycoon-cum-electronica's strangest cabaret act, Omar Souleyman rolls out his trademark, techno-meets-dabke showpiece once again for his 4th LP to date!

TRACK LISTING

1. Shlon
2. Shi Tridin
3. Mawwal
4. Abou Zilif
5. 3tini 7obba
6. Layle

Omar Souleyman

Jazeera Nights: Folk & Pop Sounds Of Syria - RSD Vinyl Edition

    THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

    This retrospective features live recordings spanning 15 years of Omar's tireless repertoire, and is rife with frenzied Syrian Dabke (a regional folkloric dance and party music), Iraqi Choubi and a host of Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish styles, among others -- an amalgamation that exemplifies the musical essence of Northeastern Syria. Culled from cassettes recorded between 1995 and 2009, this collection offers a further rare glimpse into Syrian street-level Dabke folk-pop – a phenomena seldom heard in the West, not previously deemed serious enough for export by the Syrians and rarely, if ever, included on the import agenda of worldwide academic musical committees. Over the years, Souleyman's popularity has risen steadily and the group tirelessly performs concerts throughout Syria and has accepted invitations to perform abroad in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. In 2006, Sublime Frequencies partnered with Omar to release Highway to Hassake, the first compilation of his works to be issued in the West. The success of this release and the video for the song "Leh Jani" helped see Souleyman and his group invited for their first Western tour in 2009 alongside label-mates Group Doueh from the Western Sahara. This successful tour quickly elevated Souleyman to the status of an international legend -- and deservedly so.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Hafer Gabrak Bidi (I Will Dig Your Grave With My Hands)
    2. Ala Il Hanash Madgouga (The Bedouin Tattoo)
    3. Hot Il Khanjar Bi Gleibi (Stab My Heart)
    4. Labji Wa Bajji Il Hajar (My Tears Will Make The Stones Cry)
    5. Dazeitlak Dezzelli (I Signal, You Deny)
    6. Li Raja Behawakom (I Beg You, Baby)
    7. Kell Il Banat Inkhatban (All The Girls Are Engaged)
    8. Mandal (I Don't Know)
    9. Eih Min Elemkom (From The Day That I Told You)

    Omar Souleyman

    Wenu Wenu

      Omar Souleyman - the Syrian artist who not only changed the vibe of weddings throughout the Middle East with his Shaabi street sound but also brought it to the West through his notorious late night festival slots - has finally recorded a proper album. After three compilations and a live release, 'Wenu Wenu' is his first album to be recorded in a studio.

      Produced by Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), 'Wenu Wenu' combines aspects of Middle Eastern dabke dance music and traditional songs with his own contemporary style. Often described as “Syrian techno”, Souleyman records and performs live with long-time collaborator Rizan Sa'id.

      Citing Hebden and Bjork as fans, Souleyman’s audience has expanded, no longer just appealing to those interested in Middle Eastern music and tradition. His festival performances including this year’s Primavera Sound in Spain has seen appreciation for his well-crafted, hectic and - at times - intense music grow and transcend not only language, but cultural barriers.

      Recorded in Brooklyn primarily live in the studio, 'Wenu Wenu' distils Omar's enthralling live performances into a fury of ascending and descending techno scales punctuated by his iconic voice.


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