Wenu Wenu - RIBBON MUSIC
FILTER Grade: 79%
By Kyle Lemmon on November 1, 2013
“Syrian techno” artist Omar Souleyman started his career performing traditional Middle Eastern dabke dance music for weddings, but now plays for much larger festival crowds in Europe and beyond. His sprightly and expressive electrified folk music is often recorded and performed live with longtime collaborator Rizan Sa’id. Recorded chiefly live in the studio with Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden, Wenu Wenu is a jubilant seven-track song suite that showcases the genre’s rhythmic and lyrical versatility. The Middle Eastern dance music stretches beyond its original purpose and becomes the delivery system for songs about self-flagellation for love, wedding parties and the emotional tumult of arranged marriages. Tracks such as “Wenu Wenu” (“Where Is She?”) and “Warni Warni” (“Come to Me”), once translated to English, reveal an experienced musician ready to push against the boundaries of a threadbare genre. At the same time, with Wenu Wenu Souleyman reveals that he enjoys a good love song just like the rest of us.