Haflat Gharbia: The Western Concerts
US: 30 Aug 2011
UK: 5 Sep 2011
In 2006, Sublime Frequencies released a compilation of Omar Souleyman’s blattering, Syrian man-pop. Hooray! He was equipped with a new audience outside the Middle East. He went on tour, his shows were recorded, and Haflat Gharbia: The Western Concerts is the live album that came out of it. The sound is massive, fast, hard, and brilliantly artificial, the kind of music a pachinko parlour would make, if it were Syrian. And a showman. And able to go at you over and over again without a break, shouting “Yallah! Yallah!” and exhorting the audience to dance, dance, sweat, dance, and never stop dancing. The tracks run for four minutes, six minutes, ten minutes, relentlessly.