Omar Souleyman Le Poisson Rouge Concert Recap [PHOTO SLIDESHOW]
Omar Souleyman is Syria's king of techno. His fans range from EDM kids to musicians including Bjork and Damon Albarn (Gorillaz), and his work infuses Eastern and Western influences.
His music is high energy and goes from dancey to trancey in an almost hypnotic fashion. His style is an exported version of Middle Eastern wedding and celebration music called dabke and is reinvigorated with blasting electronic sounds and meandering melodies.
For his upcoming album, Wenu Wenu, he enlisted Four Tet's Kieran Hebden to do his mixing.
Souleyman made a rare U.S. appearance last night at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City's lower east side. NPR hosted the gig, which also featured Cults and Pusha-T. Although it seemed that not everyone in the crowd had heard him before (many were clearly there to see Pusha), he got the crowd dancing almost instantly, and the dancing got wild.
The performance was very subdued, however. Just he and his DJ occupied the stage. He moved from one side of the stage to the other, standing fairly motionless throughout, as he sang into the mic and occasionally lifted his hands to clap. The music spoke for itself, though, so theatrics weren't necessary to boost the energy of the place.
If you haven't heard him before, go ahead and stream his most recent album free on NPR.
Wenu Wenu officially drops via Sublime Frequencies on Oct. 22.