Omar Souleyman captures the essence of Syrian pop music. Wenu Wenu is steeped in traditional rhythms and instruments, rich with the essence and soul of his home country. Springing from a genre of traditional dance music called dabke—a type of line folk dancing popular in many Middle Eastern countries—the music bounces and bubbles, moving with a rapid grace and kind of euphoria. Just as Western electronic pop pulls listeners to the dance floor like a magnet, so does Souleyman’s brand of Syrian party music. Using synthesizers in addition to the hummingbird-like oud notes and sparkling and thunking percussion instruments (and a delightfully rubbery tablah), Souleyman uses his voice like another instrument; it’s husky and sharp and earthy, though on tracks like the more languid “Mawal Jamar” he softens his delivery into something more inviting. The energy here is palpable; it's reportedly quite accurate in representing Souleyman’s exuberant, somewhat overwhelming live performances. The man is a legend in Syria; this is his first proper studio recording after years of bootleg cassettes and live recordings, and he brought his entourage to Brooklyn to do it.