Omar Souleyman has long been known as the hardest working man in Syrian show business, touring constantly and releasing literally hundreds of tapes of his keyboard heavy, ultra-high energy wedding rave-ups (the official count is somewhere around 500, but it’s impossible to confirm exactly). While long well-known as a performer in both his native Syria and throughout the middle east, Souleyman came to Western attention when his tracks began to appear on compilations by the Sublime Frequencies label. Successful tours and festival appearances followed, and several compilations drawn from his voluminous back-catalog have been released.
Now, Souleyman has confirmed that he is at work on his first album recorded in the west, and indeed, the first album that he has ever recorded in a studio. Excitingly, he is working with Four Tet, an eclectic producer whose intelligent and varied approach to electronic music seems as if it would be an excellent fit with Souleyman’s aesthetic. Given the increasingly good track record of collaborations like this (Bombino’s last album being only the most obvious example) we have pretty high hopes for this record!
For a taste of what’s to come, check out some fairly bouncy video of Four Tet dropping one of the album’s tracks into a live set.
Also check out an interview that Afropop conducted with Omar.