The best bit about this year’s ATP? Well, thanks for asking, it was giving the first Animal Collective set a miss and heading to the Crazy Horse danceteria for a good hour’s worth of Sublime Frequencies DJ action. In-between the Iranian disco and Javanese psych: ‘Shift Al Mani’ blaring from the decks, dusty, tinny and mad dancable. That’s an Omar Souleyman song by the way, just one from his 400-odd album cannon, the Syrian dude having been a little busy over the last 20 years or so. I would seriously like to attend one of the weddings he primarily plays at; on record it sounds like the biggest sandblown headflip ever. This is from the liner notes to ‘Highway To Hassake’, the compilation that first gained Omar attention outside of the Levant:
“Here, classical Arabic mawal-style vocalization gives way to high-octane Syrian Dabke (the regional folkloric dance and party music), Iraqi Choubi and a host of Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish styles, among others. This amalgamation is truly the sound of Northeastern Syria. The music often has an overdriven sound consisting of phase-shifted Arabic keyboard solos and frantic rhythms. At breakneck speeds, these shrill Syrian electronics play out like forbidden morse-code, but the moods swing from coarse and urgent to dirgy and contemplative in the rugged anthems that comprise Souleyman’s repertoire.”
Which is another way of saying: get there and get down. Especially as the bash also features tropical funk blasters Zun Zun Egui and another of Team Brick’s many guises, the weirdo ruckus of Fairhorns. It will be hot.
A hotter-than-warm-up show for Omar Souleyman as he gets set to bring his Syrian techno-folk firestorm to the fields of Worthy Farm, Pilton the day after. This marks your only chance to see him in a sweaty little room, up close and intense. Plus the last Bristol show for a stretch for ZZE, and sandblasted drone-pop from Fairhorns (Team Brick/Klad Hest).