Two years after To Syria, With Love, Syrian artist and producer Omar Souleyman just released a new album. Shlon is out now via Mad Decent and Because Music. According to the press release, he presents 6 new techno-meets-dabke songs of romance and love to the world — singing poetry of a woman’s lips as sweet as Hillah’s dates on “Layle”; an intriguing woman he watches from afar whose kiss would be worth 10 million other kisses on “Shlon”; a lover ready to offer his beloved anything she wishes under the sun on “Shi Tridin” (“What Do You Wish For?”); a man in admiration of a woman with green eyes and blonde hair on “Abou Zlilif” (“Her Face is Like The Moon”); a song about love that will last forever on “Mawwal”, a traditional — all superimposed on complex techno arrangements by Hasan Alo, and based on the hi-speed Kurdish and Arabic dabke and baladi styles with the exception of “Mawwal” being presented in its traditionally slower pace.
Shlon features double keyboard work from Hasan Alo, a fellow native of the Hasaka region in Northeastern Syria who has recently been active in the vibrant nightlife scene of Dubai. Azad Salih, a young Syrian man currently living in Mardin, Turkey, accompanies on sax, with the lyrics and love poetry written on the spot during the album’s recording session by longtime Omar collaborator Moussa Al Mardood – also currently based in Turkey.
He shared a new video for the track “Shlon“. It was animated and directed by Sound Visuals Club. Arabic for “how,” or literally “which color,” the “Shlon” video depicts an animated Omar performing to a crowd of energized fans, clapping along as the speakers bump his fusion of techno, dabke and love poetry while the crowd dances hand in hand. Watch it below and check the tour dates.
02/06 – London, UK @ EartH (Evolution Arts Hackney)
02/07 – Cambridge, UK @ The Junction
02/08 – Venezia, Italy @ Punta della Dogana
02/27 – Liège, Belgium @ REFLEKTOR
02/28 – Leuven, Belgium @ Vooruit
02/29 – Leuven, Belgium @ Het Depot
03/07 – Aarhus, Denmark @ Atlas
03/21 – Berlin, Germany @ Säälchen, Berlin-friedrichshain
04/23 – Madrid, Spain @ Sala Shoko
04/24 – Alicante, Spain @ Aula de Cultura
05/16 – Grenoble, France @ Magic Bus Festival