OMAR SOULEYMAN – Haflat Gharbia – The Western Concerts
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Back in 2009 Syrian superstar Omar Souleyman embarked on his first proper tours of UK, Europe and the US. Since then the Omar Souleyman Band have also performed their unique brand of Kurdish Dabke Techno as far afield as Australia. This CD documents the very best of those shows, including nine live recordings made on three continents, all edited and assembled by Sublime Frequencies associate Mark Gergis. It takes in ‘Mawal Hejaz’ performed in Philadelphia, 2010, through an energetic recital of ‘Gazula/Shift Al Mani’ from London’s Tufnell Park Dome in 2009, to their scene stealing show at Sonar in 2009. There’s also a lush version of ‘Baghdad Araby’ from the Brudenell Social in Leeds, plus a suitably boshing turn of ‘Haram’ in Belgium, 2010, and a stirringly epic ‘Kaset Hanzel’ performed at the HKW in Berlin, 2009. As practically anyone who attended the shows will attest, Omar and his band deliver an unforgettable live experience and Sublime Frequencies have done a sterling job of representing that here.