Omar Souleyman “Dabke 2020: Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria” (2009)

August 8, 2011

Omar Souleyman seems to be one of the most popular singers on this planet. He’s from Syria, performs in Arabic and Kurdish and reportedly has made around 500 (!) albums to date. Dabke 2020 is Omar’s second compilation under the Sublime Frequencies label. You’ll either love it or hate it. The tracks are mostly speedy, party-suitable (Omar has been a popular wedding artist). The synthesizer is almost ubiquitous but the record is far from being kitschy. On the contrary, Dabke 2020 shows Souleyman as a serious musician who combines traditional mawaal music with Western pop and electronic sensibility to a great result, like on a trance of a song La Sidounak Sayyada. The closing Kaset Hanzal comes as a nice surprise – it’s a pulsating desert slow jam.

hydrameter: 4/5

Key Tracks: Kaset Hanzal (Drinking from the Glass of Bitterness), La Sidounak Sayyada (I’ll Prevent the Hunters from Hunting You), Lansob Sherek (I Will Make a Trap)

Listen to La Sidounak Sayyada: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4JeijO0Qq8

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