Having recently opened himself up to working with a non-Syrian producer in a regular studio with the Four Tet-assisted Wenu Wenu a few years ago, Omar Souleyman has since been working with a number of Western producers. Bahdeni Nami includes infectious productions and remixes from Four Tet, Modeselektor, Gilles Peterson and Legowelt. Sweet sweet Souley-music on Monkeytown.
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 22 July 2015
Well, would you just look at that production lineup. Hasn’t Omar Souleyman got some talented friends? That’ll bring in the punters. One mention of a certain Peterson and whoosh, the popular stampede takes form and promptly crushes any other musical interest you may have hoped to have. He does find some good music though. Anyway, these lot wouldn’t all be here if it weren’t for Omar himself, the inclusive visionary that is.
The fact that this is on Monkeytown is weird, I thought they just signed dingey Deutsche club tunes; this is pretty festive in comparison. It begins with ‘Mawal Menzal’, a tame, chilled lumberer featuring some lovely soft saz wanderings and Souleyman’s Syrian enunciations to ease into the LP. It flies into full party mode, with the next 3 tracks (featuring Four Tet, Gilles Peterson and Modeselektor) all displaying Souleyman arguably more at ease than the first, in his element, celebrating all sorts of shit. ‘Bahdeni Nami’ is a thumping middle eastern house banger featuring electronified saz and keys going wild, an example followed by the next one which features some great call-and-response between vocal breaks and saz perfection.
His band is so good! I keep coming back to the saz but it’s wonderful, with phrases that alternate between spidery and silky with ease. Percussion contributions aren’t credited, but whoever did it is in full command of the rhythm of Bahdeni Nami. A positive, funky record of big feelings.
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- Bahdeni Nami by Omar Souleyman
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