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Highway To Hassake - Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria - Omar Souleyman

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Genre: World Music / Artist: Omar Souleyman / Audio CD released 2007-12-03 at Forced Exposure

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      27.03.2010 10:35
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      To look at you could be mistaken for thinking Omar Souleyman was Colonel Gaddafi, going for the moustache, black sunglasses and headgear look of many a Middle Eastern taxi driver, to listen to you'd think he was an upbeat young artist with a strong voice ---- Omar Souleyman is in fact, possibly Syria's best musician.

      The album Highway to Hassake (his hometown) contains a compilation of tracks taken from various recordings from 96 until 2004, anyone who has travelled in the Middle East will be familiar with the cassette kiosks that are scattered around the streets of the cities and towns blasting out the most popular tunes - that's how Souleyman's first song "Jani" made it big and there's not another artist that reminds me more of that type of music.

      Syria's music is quite a mix of styles and Omar Souleyman blends them together wonderfully on this album with Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Iraqi and Dhabke (Syria's own folk and party music), he has been using the same backing band now for 15 years, all originating from his province in the Northeast of the country - the percussionist in particular seems to get a real party rythm going, sometimes he's so quick that certain songs sounds like the most advanced drum n bass.

      The added electronic nature of this album is cool, the beats are relatively simple but typically Middle Eastern and blend well with the folk instruments, it has at times been dubbed "Jihadi Techno" but both words have a sort of negative connotation to me and this music is anything but bad.

      1 Leh Jani [When I Found Out]
      2 Jani [She Came to Me]
      3 Dabke 2001
      4 Atabat
      5 Arabic Dabke
      6 Alkhatiba Zaffouha [They're Celebrating My Fiancée's Wedding...]
      7 Jalsat Atabat [Atabat Session]
      8 Alshikhani
      9 Toul al Zeenah [The Length of the Bride's Ornament]
      10 Bashar Ya Habib al Shaab [Bashar, the People's Beloved]
      11 Don't Wear Black, Green Suits You Better
      12 Atabat, Pt. 2
      13 Jani, Pt. 2

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Leh Jani [When I Found Out]
      2 Jani [She Came to Me]
      3 Dabke 2001
      4 Atabat
      5 Arabic Dabke
      6 Alkhatiba Zaffouha [They're Celebrating My Fiancée's Wedding...]
      7 Jalsat Atabat [Atabat Session]
      8 Alshikhani
      9 Toul al Zeenah [The Length of the Bride's Ornament]
      10 Bashar Ya Habib al Shaab [Bashar, the People's Beloved]
      11 Don't Wear Black, Green Suits You Better
      12 Atabat, Pt. 2
      13 Jani, Pt. 2