Dengue Fever, Omar Souleyman

Dengue Fever

Omar Souleyman

Tue, June 5, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$15-$17

This event is all ages

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Dengue Fever
Dengue Fever
DENGUE FEVER's new album Cannibal Courtship is now available on Fantasy Records / Concord Music.

DENGUE FEVER's psychedelic take on the Cambodian pop sounds of the 60s makes them one of rock'n'roll's most unique stories. Their Asian Psychedelic sound draws enthusiastic crowds from LA to the UK , from Maui to Moscow, and leaves critics rummaging through their thesauruses looking for new superlati...ves to describe their music. Amazon.com named their album, Escape From Dragon House, the #1 international release for 2005, cementing their position as a global phenomenon. In England, Mojo named Escape to their Top 10 World Music releases of 2006. In Rolling Stone's best of the decade issue, Kirk Hammett of Metallica named Dengue Fever's "One Thousand Tears of a Tarantula" as the second best song of the decade.

Brothers Ethan (keyboards) and Zac (guitar) Holtzman started Dengue Fever in 2001 when they discovered they shared a love for the Cambodian pop music of the 60s. After adding sax man David Ralicke (Beck/Brazzaville), drummer Paul Smith and bassist Senon Williams, they went looking for a Cambodian singer. Enter Chhom Nimol, who performed regularly for the King and Queen of Cambodia . Her powerful singing, marked by a luminous vibrato that adds exotic ornamentations to her vocal lines, and hypnotic stage moves based on traditional dances, complimented the band's driving Cambodian/American sound.
Omar Souleyman
Omar Souleyman
Omar Souleyman is a Syrian musical legend. Since 1994, he and his musicians have emerged as a staple of folk-pop throughout Syria, but until now they have remained little known outside of the country. To date, they have issued more than five-hundred studio and live-recorded cassette albums which are easily spotted in the shops of any Syrian city. Born in rural northeastern Syria, he began his musical career in 1994 with a small group of local collaborators that remain with him today. The myriad musical traditions of the region are evident in their music. 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 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. Oud, reeds, baglama saz, accompanying vocals and percussion fill out the sound from track to track. Mahmoud Harbi is a long-time collaborator and the man responsible for much of the poetry sung by Souleyman. Together, they commonly perform the "Ataba," a traditional form of folk poetry used in Dabke. On stage, Harbi chain smokes cigarettes while standing shoulder to shoulder with Souleyman, periodically leaning over to whisper the material into his ear. Acting as a conduit, Souleyman struts into the audience with urgency, vocalizing the prose in song before returning for the next verse. Souleyman's first hit in Syria was "Jani" (1996) which gained cassette-kiosk infamy and brought him recognition throughout the country. Watching Omar live, offers a rare glimpse into Syrian street-level folk-pop and Dabke - a phenomena seldom heard in the West, not previously deemed serious enough for export by the Syrians and rarely, if ever, included on the import agenda of worldwide academic musical committees.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123