Mad Decent – November 22nd
Before civil war forced him to flee Syria in 2011, Omar Souleyman had already racked up more than 500 albums. The part-time wedding singer and former farmer developed a respected marriage of beats, digital tricks and love poetry that caused brides to blush. His fourth album in exile, Shlon, features Hasan Alo (double keyboards) and Azad Salih (saz), with lyrics from long-time collaborator Moussa Al Mardood.
Five of the six tracks are full of bleeps and plucked strings as they hurtle you towards the dancefloor. But the heart of the album is revealed on beautiful slowburner ‘Mawwal’. It’s a traditional song about a love that lasts forever and provides a necessary ballast to its head-first dance tunes. Here, Souleyman’s singing seems to revel in the time and space to create something fragile.
Live: EartH on February 6th