The time has come that Kieran Hebden a.k.a. Four Tet has made me jealous: He actually managed to lure the one and only »street level Syrian and Iranian Dabke« into the studio. We’re talking about the man from Ra’s al’-Ayn, who, since gigging on a Syrian wedding in 1996, has only made appearances on a few compilations and on about 500 celebratory bootlegs. Hence, »Wenu Wenu« is the first studio album and thereby the official debut of vocalist Omar Souleyman and his keyboard-wizard Rizan Sa’id. Kieran Hebden deserves credit for almost managing to capture the original live-sound of Souleyman and Sa’id on this album – not many overdubs were used and everything is just as natural and harmonically dynamic as it is at the gigs. In contrast to the compilations, like »Leh Jani«, for example, »Wenu-Wenu« is surprisingly diversified. It’s clear that Souleyman has broadened his repertoire. While the title-track comes along in its typical techno-dress – it’s Syrian techno, including attacks of Bozouki and Rebab (a long neck lute and a single-stringed violin) – »Ya Yumma« increases the bpm and can almost be considered footwork. Especially because its fidgety rhythms accelerate the Rebab-sounds into Kraftwerk-references. The record’s creative core is definitely »Nahy«, flowing between four-to-the-floor and a teetering funky break-breat, while Sa’id is going wild behind the keybords, using all possible sources of sound that happen to fall into his quick hands. Sa’id is the secret star of the album, anyway. It’s crazy what kind of harmonies he manages to dig out and then straighten over the beats on stage: On »Yagbuni«, for example, he starts out at the Bozouki, brushes Lambada on his way to Daft Punk and then finds his way back. It’s crazy enough to make the listener both be astonished and crack a broad smile.