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 an album. After three compilations and a live release, Wenu Wenu is his first album to be recorded in a studio and is due for release on October 21st in the UK & Europe (October 22nd in North America).
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.
Wenu Wenu will be available on LP (RBN029CD), CD (RBN029LP), digitally (RBN029D) and cassette (RBN029MC), the latter of course being Souleyman's most popular worldwide format to date.
Omar Souleyman will be performing later this year. Find all dates at the bottom including more to be announced soon.
1. Wenu Wenu
2. Ya Yumma
5. Warni Warni
6. Mawal Jamar
2nd: Stockholm, SE - Stockholm Music and Arts Festival
24th: Katowice, Poland - Nowa Musyka Festival
25th: Los Angeles, CA - FYF Festival
29th: Austin, TX - Red7
31st: Brooklyn, NY - Issue Project Room
1st: Reykjavik, IS - Iceland Airwaves
2nd: Paris, France - Pitchfork Festival Paris
1st: Tokyo, JP - Hostess Club Weekender
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.