Following his critically acclaimed, Four Tet-produced studio debut Wenu Wenu, its follow up Bahdeni Nami, and 2017 Mad Decent debut To Syria, With Love, Syrian wedding singer turned global dance icon Omar Souleyman announces his 4th studio album Shlon due out November 22 via Mad Decent / Because Music. Listen to lead single Layle out now and streaming everywhere.
Souleyman also headlines EartH next February, following the release of this new record, which is on sale now.
On Shlon (Arabic for “how,” or literally “which colour”), Omar Souleyman presents 6 new techno-meets-dabke songs, of romance and love, to the world — singing poetry of a woman’s lips as sweet as Hillah’s dates on Layle; an intriguing woman he watches from afar whose kiss would be worth 10 million other kisses on Shlon; a lover ready to offer his beloved anything she wishes under the sun on Shi Tridin (“What Do You Wish For?”); a man in admiration of a woman with green eyes and blonde hair on Abou Zlilif (“Her Face is Like The Moon”); a song about love that will last forever on Mawwal, a traditional — all superimposed on complex techno arrangements by Hasan Alo, and based on the hi-speed Kurdish and Arabic dabke and baladi styles with the exception of Mawwal being presented in its traditionally slower pace. Shlon features double keyboard work from Hasan Alo, a fellow native of the Hasaka region in Northeastern Syria who has recently been active in the vibrant nightlife scene of Dubai. Azad Salih, a young Syrian man currently living in Mardin, Turkey, accompanies on saz, with the lyrics and love poetry written on the spot during the album’s recording session by longtime Omar collaborator Moussa Al Mardood-also currently based in Turkey.
Omar Souleyman, who has collaborated with Björk and Four Tet, began his career as a prolific wedding singer, releasing nearly 500 live albums before civil war broke out in his native Syria in 2011. In 2013 released his debut studio album Wenu Wenu via Ribbon/Domino, which NPR called, “…a jam so visceral, thrilling and intense as to make the mysterious matter of earthly borders seem hardly worth the time to contemplate.” His 2015 sophomore album Bahdeni Nami garnered widespread critical praise including The Guardian, who proclaimed, “It’s so fast that the only appropriate way to engage with it is to wriggle your limbs. Melodies are both abrasive and ebullient, chattering endlessly like raucous birdsong,” and 2017’s To Syria, With Love via Mad Decent placing Omar firmly in the canon of global electronic music. Souleyman has bolstered his growing status as a world and electronic music icon establishing an extensive international following after touring widely and performing at major festivals including Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Pitchfork Paris and Roskilde. In 2013, he performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway. Omar Souleyman has been touring tirelessly since the release of To Syria, With Love, or in fact for as long as he can remember in the last 10 years. He has crossed the planet – now seeming quite small – several times over and looks forward to meeting his fans everywhere to celebrate the release of Shlon.