Boomkat Product Review:
Omar Souleyman's debut release outside of Syria, released in 2007 when he was 41 years old, by which point he had put his name to over 500 albums.
This scorching set of Syrian Dabkes (regional folkloric dance and party music) culled from tapes dating between 1995-2007 all feature synth-whizz Rizan Sa'id, the guy responsible for Omar's electric backing tracks of florid key work and frenzied percussion. They're joined for a few tracks by the distinctive twang of Hamid Souleyman's Bouzouk and poetry from Mahmoud Harbi, Ahmed Al-Samer & Hassan Hamadi. Their combined effect is simply potent, striking a nerve with nearly all who encounter their mesmerizing, fiery and unusually futuristic sound.
Their musical purpose is rooted in functionality; they play heavy dance music at numerous weddings and other celebrations, but in the most exotic manner possible, to western sensibilities. Blending electronic pop sounds with a more traditional folk song-structure, Souleyman came up with a formula that went on to give him years of success...