Music Review | posted 18.11.2013
Omar Souleyman
Wenu Wenu
Domino Records, 2013
Text Jens Pacholsky , Translation Julia Frohn
Your Rating:
8.0
User (1)
8.4
Editorial
Cover Omar Souleyman - Wenu Wenu

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.

You can find »Wenu Wenu« by Omar Souleyman at hhv.de: LP
Related Articles
Music Review | posted 15.11.2011
Real Estate
Days
One of the indie-highlights of the year? Real Estate are just drifting along and naturally carry us with them.
Music Review | posted 30.11.2011
Bonnie »Prince« Billy
Wolfroy Goes To Town
For years, Bonnie »Prince« Billy has been releasing his music on a constantly high level. His 21st record is no exception there.
Music Review | posted 06.01.2012
Peaking Lights
936
Having already been released in the U.S. the spring of 2011, one of last year’s top-notch records is finally arriving in Europe.
Music Review | posted 13.06.2012
The Magnetic Fields
Love At The Bottom Of The Sea
Stephen Merrit returns to the roots of his Magnetic Fields with »Love At The Bottom Of The Sea«
Music Review | posted 01.06.2012
Lower Dens
Nootropics
This album creates its own world and makes one forget that there is a world at all.
Music Review | posted 16.07.2012
Hot Chip
In Our Heads
The record’s predecessors have created high expectations, which »In Our Heads« cannot fulfill.
Music Review | posted 27.07.2012
Dirty Projectors
Swing Lo Magellan
With »Swing Lo Magellan«, David Longstreth and his Dirty Projectors are going for a new kind of comprehensibility.
Music Review
Bremer/McCoy
Natten
Jazz is more hip than it has been for a long time. The output is large, the return mediocre. But with »Natten« Kopenhagen’s Bremer/McCoy deliver a fantastic work.
Music Review
Kuunatic
Gate Of Klüna
Japanese trio Kuunatic debut on Glitterbeat with »Gate of Klüna,« a literally otherworldly psych-rock masterpiece.
Music Review
Quantic & Nidia Góngora
Almas Conctadas
Eight years after a joint EP, Nidia Góngora and Quantic intensify their collaboration with the album »Almas Conctadas«.
Music Review
Various Artists
Shouts 2021 Vol.1&2
With »Shouts 2021,« the British label Rhythm Section International follows up the first instalment of its compilation series with an even more ambitious second one.
Music Review
Trip Shrubb
Trewwer, Leud Un Danz
On »Trewwer, Leud Un Danz,« Trip Shrubb remixes tunes from a Folkways record from 1952. The results are disquieting.
Music Review
Grouper
Shade
»Shade« is the twelfth album release or so from Grouper and the question is: Can Liz Harris keep up the level of the previous ones? Spoiler: She can.
Music Review
Ka Baird & Pekka Airaksinen
FRKWYS Volume 17: Hungry Shells
On »FRKWYS Volume 17: Hungry Shells,« vocal performer Ka Baird collaborates with the Finnish composer Pekka Airaksinen.
Music Review
Warda
Khalik Hena
First released in 1973, Warda’s »Khalik Hena« has now been reissued via WeWantSounds for the first time since then,
Music Review
MLO
Oumuamua
More Virtual Dreams: Music From Memory pay tribute to MLO with an extensive compilation of the ambient duo’s mid-90s work.
Music Review
Sepehr
Survivalism
Sepehr pays his dues to the sound of the hardcore continuum. But his »Survivalism« mini-LP also offers much more than only that.
Music Review
Akiko Yano
Ai Ga Nakucha Ne
»Ai Ga Nakucha Ne« by Akiko Yano, released in 1982, was produced by Ryūichi Sakamoto and offers a wild mix of styles.
Music Review
Xochimoki
Temple Of The New Sun
»Temple Of The New Sun« comprises pieces by the project Xochimoki, which in the 1980s dedicated itself to reinterpreting Mesoamerican music forms.
Music Review
Soshi Takeda
Floating Mountains
Soshi Takeda translates the sight of Chinese mountain landscapes to lo-fi house with his »Floating Mountains« album for 100% Silk.
Music Review
Sault
NINE
»NINE« by Sault drenches all whites in hydrochloric acid, sends beautiful greetings from Stax Studios and holds a mass like Yeezus.
Music Review
Cindytalk
Wappinschaw
Once understood, it’s life-changing: »Wappinschaw«, 1994 released highlight of Cindytalk, has now been reissued on Dais Records.
Music Review
Various Artists
Eins Und Zwei Und Drei Und Vier
Kann eine Compilation über die Neue Deutsche Welle noch neue Einblicke ermöglichen? »Eins Und Zwei Und Drei Und Vier« zeigt, ja, das geht.
Music Review
Palmbomen II
Make A Film
Film without music is possible, but meaningless. Palmbomen II thought so and created 24 musical sketches that invite you to »Make A Film«.
Music Review
Various Artists
Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989
In Mexico, too, synthesizers and drum machines were popular in the eighties. You can listen to them on the compilation »Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989«.
Music Review
Nala Sinephro
Space 1.8
The most successful example of jazz that holds its own in open dialogue with electronic approaches comes this year from Nala Sinephro and is called »Space 1.8«.
Music Review
Angel Olsen
Aisles
On »Aisles«, Angel Olsen covers songs from the eighties that she heard as a child in the supermarket. A little masterpiece of five songs.
Music Review
Tata Vasquez & His Orchestra
Ecstasy
Tata Vasquez is another musician for whom it is hard to understand why he hasn’t made more records. But we can be very happy with »Ecstasy«.
Music Review
Hiro Kone
Silvercoat The Throng
With the album »Silvercoat The Throng,« Hiro Kone significantly expands their sonic palette without losing their signature style.
Music Review
Flying Lotus
Yasuke O.S.T.
A bit like haiku without words: With the soundtrack to the Netflix series »Yasuke«, Flying Lotus once again shows all its skills.
Music Review
Uman
Chaleur Humaine
Freedom To Spend reissues »Chaleur Humaine«, the 1992 debut by the French sibling duo Uman.
Music Review
Little Simz
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Forget Drake! Kanye West anyway! The rap album of these days is called »Sometimes I Might Be Introvert« and comes from Little Simz.
Music Review
Jan Jelinek
The Raw And The Cooked
With »The Raw And The Cooked«, Jan Jelinek has cooked up a nice soup for us. His work, originally composed for SWR, is now available on vinyl record. Delicious!
Music Review
Hozan Yamamoto & Yu Imai
Akuma Ga Kitarite Fue Wo Fuku
The soundtrack to the 1979 film »Akuma Ga Kitarite Fue Wo Fuku« composed by Hozan Yamamoto and Yu Imai has now been re-released.
Music Review
Jolly Mare
Epsilon
Mediterranean summer music: You have to imagine the sea of Jolly Mare on »Epsilon« as a cheerful one.
Music Review
The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble
Le-Le
On the threshold of acid jazz, »Le-Le«, by The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble from Philadelphia, was released in 1987. Now comes a reissue.
Music Review
Venetian Snares
Rossz Csillag Alatt Született
The finally rereleased LP “Rossz Csillag Alatt Született” is and remains Venetian Snares’ most ambitious album.
Music Review
Park Hye Jin
Before I Die
»Before I Die«, the debut of the South Korean musician Park Hye Jin, released on Ninja Tune, follows a sophisticated architecture.
Music Review
Xique-Xique
Na Lagoa
»Na Lagoa«, into the lagoon, is where the Brazilian duo Xique-Xique go on their now released debut album.
Music Review
Tülay German & François Rabbath
Tülay German & François Rabbath
On the first of their two joint albums, Tülay German & Francois Rabbath explored Turkish folklore. The result from 1980 still sounds timeless today.
Music Review
Sarah Davachi
Antiphonals
Milky shimmering pearls: Canadian musician Sarah Davachi has released a great new album with »Antiphonals«.
Music Review
Ian Carr
Belladonna
»Belladonna«, Ian Carr’s gem from 1972, has now been reissued. Jazz lovers should get their hands on it.
Music Review
Arpanet
Inertial Frame
With »Inertial Frame«, the third and last album by Gerald Donald’s project Arpanet, released in 2006, is now being reissued. The past catches up with the future.
Music Review
Al-Dos Band
Doing Our Thing With Pride
Recorded in 1976, never released until now, Kalita brings »Doing Our Thing With Pride« by the elegantly sparkling Al-Dos Band to life.
Music Review
The Pro-Teens
I Flip My Life Every Time I Fly
Is Melbourne the secret capital of retro-funk? With »I Flip My Life Every Time I Fly«, a band called The Pro-Teens is preparing to confirm this assumption.
Music Review
DJ Seinfeld
Mirrors
»Mirrors« is the name of the second album of the Swedish producer DJ Seinfeld. And compared to previous music, the mirrors are well cleaned.
Music Review
Sorcerer
Kids World
»Kids World,« the new album from California based musician Daniel Saxon Judd aka Sorcerer is out on Growing Bin.
Music Review
Sofie Birch & Johan Carøe
Repair Techniques
»Repair Techniques« is a classic Sofie Birch album, but not only thanks to Johan Carøe also much more than that. Her collaboration on STROOM~ impresses with small gestures.