Omar Souleyman - Bahdeni Nami (Cassette + Download Card)
Omar Souleyman's Bahdeni Nami, featuring productions by Four Tet, Gilles Peterson, Modeselektor, and Legowelt, is now available as a cassette, with download code included.
Perhaps Syria's most successful musical export, international singer Omar Souleyman returns with his second proper studio effort and most personal album to date, Bahdeni Nami. For the album Souleyman opened his doors to collaborations with a number of renowned electronic producers, all of whom were established fans eager to offer unique interpretations of his sound. Four Tet returns to produce a track, Gilles Peterson lends his considerable talents to one song, Modeselektor turn in the two fastest dance numbers of the set, and Legowelt offers a remix of the title-track. Additionally, a 7" planned for release in August 2015 will feature a thoroughly distinctive remix of one of the album's heartrending ballads by The Black Lips' Cole Alexander (MONKEY 056RMX).
Bahdeni Nami was recorded closer to home, in Istanbul, and appropriately the singer is joined by traditional accompaniment. Souleyman has reunited with his favorite poet, Ahmad Alsamer (who penned his pre-west hits "Kaset Hanzel," "Khattaba," and "Shift -al Mani"), heard throughout the album offering claps and wails of encouragement. The songs come alive with musical contributions and support from the virtuosic sax work of Khaled Youssef, another longtime collaborator from his hometown. Rizan Sa'id's keyboards improvise devotedly to every tune and turn of Souleyman's choice. The lyrics are familiar territory for the singer -- declarations of eternal love, consolation of one's aching heart, pleas to his lover to sleep in his arms forever -- realized as four fast dance numbers, an introduction mawal, and an elaborate araby style ballad. Omar Souleyman continues to tirelessly bring his wild dance party to all corners of the globe, everywhere from SXSW to the Nobel Peace Prize Concert to rock clubs in cities around the world.
Originating from the Hasake region of Syria, Souleyman earned his reputation by singing and leading years of weddings, birthdays, christenings, corporate parties, and more, answering invitations from all peoples living in the region -- be they Muslims, Christians, Kurds, Iraqis, Syrians, Assyrians. Those parties yielded hundreds of cassette tapes at first offered as gifts and later distributed throughout the region and other Arab countries. Despite the world's insistence in associating him with his home country's unending war, Omar Souleyman gives back nothing but love.