Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

11 July 2013


Omar Souleyman is a musician from Ra's al-'Ayn, Syria, in the northeastern region of Syria, born in 1966. He began his career in 1994, working with a number of musicians with whom he still performs. There are purportedly more than five hundred studio & live albums that have been released under his name. An estimated eighty percent of those releases are recordings made at weddings that were then presented to the married couple. Later many of these were copied & sold at local Syrian kiosks.

Omar Souleyman qualifies as a cultural phenomenon. Highway to Hassake was his first Western release. The album was compiled by Sublime Frequencies' Mark Gergis from cassettes recorded between 1996 & 2006. Most tracks were recorded for release straight from the mixing board at live events, making for often less-than-ideal sound quality. However, the performances are generally spirited enough to make up for the sonic flaws.

Souleyman is a charismatic performer. His rich, flexible voice dives into the frantic numbers (mostly in dabke style, typical Syrian party music), classical Arabic mawal-style vocalizations & ever so soulful in ataba songs (a mournful song style). Among his other influences are Iraqi choubi & Turkish pop music. Omar is also surrounded by highly talented musicians, including oud players Hamid Souleyman & Ali Shakir, & keyboardist Rizan Sa'id, whose lightning-fast solos can put Rick Wakeman to shame.

This amalgamation is the sound of Syria. The music often has an overdriven sound consisting of phase-shifted Arabic keyboard solos & frantic rhythms. Oud, reeds, baglama saz, accompanying vocals, & percussion fill out the sound. Mahmoud Harbi, a long-time collaborator is the man responsible for much of the poetry sung by Souleyman. Omar Souleyman is a man of striking musical integrity. His style is his own, he is a singular original.
Omar Souleyman - Highwayto Hassake / Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria 2xLP
Sublime Frequencies SF031, 2009. 
decryption code in comments

Side A –
Leh Jani
Dabke 2001
Atabat (2)

Side B –
Alkhatiba Zaffouha
Jalsat Atabat

Side C –
Jani (2)
Don’t Wear Black, Green Suits You Better
Bashar Ya Habib Al Shaab

Side D –
Arabic Dabke
Toul Al Zeenah



  1. Vso6OiogCJnwYGomtsfA4TvjwV9R4MY_4RUs-6J4VWI

  2. I had one of his elpees on my iPod but it disappeared when I upgraded the os... this is going to replace it... thanks very much!

  3. Every link I tried from this site was good. Bitrate is low though. Probably all 128k.


    As expected, I'm not finding much that I like among the Middle Eastern posts. As you know, I prefer the more traditional music, and the Arab voice is tiring on Western ears. I think my enjoyment will increase as you get into Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the other Stans.

    The Music Of Islam: Music Of The Arabian Peninsula(Qatar/Iraq) post was very good, and there were two songs I liked on the Yemen disc. I am downloading the whole Music of Islam series, mostly for discs 9 to 13.

    1. Glad you're still along for the ride. One of my favorites of this whole region is the Qawwali (sufi devotional music) of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan from Pakistan & indeed, the entire Stans region is most interesting. Don't know what you'll think of my choices for Turkey, however, probably going to be some 70s psych-prog & one of the few punk units.

    2. Oh yes, the Celestial Harmonies series of Music of Islam is over-all tremendous. Great sound quality & great information.If you come across vol. 2, 3, or 5, could you let me know. I am looking for those. They have a boxed set in wooden box, 17 cds (that I so can't afford).

    3. Man, as soon as I posted this comment, a friend of mine sent me a link to all the box set. After I get it all dl'ed, if you want anything special, let me know. As the prophet said, "Ask & ye shall receive."