thu 01/10/2020

Omar Souleyman, New World Music Sensation? | reviews, news & interviews

Omar Souleyman, New World Music Sensation?

Omar Souleyman, New World Music Sensation?

Synth-driven Arab love poetry from Syria - an incredible sound

Omar Souleyman: New Sensation?

The world music scene is hungry for new sensations - and Omar Souleyman, about to hit London and the Shambhala Festival, well deserves to be one of them. In the early 1980s the hunger for the exotic focused on anything that came from the parallel universes untouched by the pressures of commercialisation: polyphonic pygmy singing from Central Africa, ecstatic Sufi soul doctors from Pakistan, drone-drenched bagpipe players from Bulgaria or heart-invading praise singers from Mali. Souleyman is the singer in a small band that plays dabke music at weddings in Syria.

The world music scene is hungry for new sensations - and Omar Souleyman, about to hit London and the Shambhala Festival, well deserves to be one of them. In the early 1980s the hunger for the exotic focused on anything that came from the parallel universes untouched by the pressures of commercialisation: polyphonic pygmy singing from Central Africa, ecstatic Sufi soul doctors from Pakistan, drone-drenched bagpipe players from Bulgaria or heart-invading praise singers from Mali. Souleyman is the singer in a small band that plays dabke music at weddings in Syria.

While purists may blanch at the rougher-than-rough street sounds, this boundary-breaking wedding music is a genuine product of 21st-century hybridisation

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