Omar Souleyman Bahdeni Nami

Omar Souleyman Bahdeni Nami
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Even at this stage in his eventful musical career, Omar Souleyman still has something to say in his own inimitable way. Bahdeni Nami finds the 49-year-old, Syrian-born singer on the Monkeytown label and again working with producer Four Tet on production. By now, Souleyman's high-energy sound has become his signature, but this seven-track effort switches things up ever so slightly; subtle twists of pace, cadence and lyrical content reveal a more introspective endeavour.
 
It's worth noting that the album literally means "after sleep" and conceptually is about lovers and longing. Names like Gilles Peterson, Modeselektor, Legowelt and Cole Alexander of the Black Lips lend a hand, but largely don't tamper with his established sound on standout danceable numbers like "Leil El Bareh," "Darb El Hawa" and "Enssa El Aatab." Simply put, the trademark synth-heavy dance sound of the former wedding singer features a bit of a more traditional folk flavour this time around, and it suits him perfectly. (Monkeytown)