Omar Souleyman – Wenu Wenu

AS WELL AS YOUR usual physical and digital formats, Wenu Wenu will be available on cassette – not just to keep the tape fetishists happy, but as a nod to how the dabke wedding music of gruffly expressive vocalist Omar Souleyman has circulated in his home nation Syria for the last two decades. Recording live, here producer Kieran Hebden has wisely left off altering the singer’s hyper-rhythmic, hip-rolling dabke-techno hybrid too much, though he possibly accentuates some of the synthetic mijwiz pipes’ serpentine riffing. As befits music intended for the common folk and cross-generational line dancing, songs like the mesmeric Nahy and Ya Yumma bring the high BPMs, while the dramatic, angst-filled Khattaba and the strangely latinesque Mawal Jamar provide moments of middle eastern saudade. Indubitably, worth the oxide it’s been taped on. Listen to the title track from Wenu Wenu below: