Review: Omar S has always been something of a maverick, but even by his own high standards, surprise second album It Can Be Done, But Only I Can Do It is something else. Like much of his work, it's an album of acute contrasts: tough and aggressive on one hand (the ragging acid of the opener and "Ganymede"), soft, calming and blissful on the other ("Nite's Over Comption"). Along the way, highlights are plentiful, from the heady deep house of "You Wish", sparse porno beatdown of "Look Hear Watch" and hypnotic rhythms of "Bobien Larkin", to the next generation Motor City techno of "Over You Two" and near-anthemic simplicity of "Here's Your Trance, Now Dance".
Review: Before Omar-S became a global cult hero amongst the underground house and techno community, there was Oasis - a collaborative project with fellow Detroit producer Shadow Ray that spawned two full-length albums of deep, stripped-back Motor City grooves. This timely reissue offers an expanded version of their 2004 debut set, Oasis Collaborating. Given that it was Alex "Omar" Smith's first attempt at an album it's pretty impressive, offering a hypnotic, otherworldly mix of cuts that icily flits between stone-cold drum tracks, droning ambience, mildly aloof club workouts and glistening, space age techno. This edition also includes three previously unreleased cuts, including two 2011 remakes that bring the originals bang up to date.
Omar-S - "Who Wrote The Rules Of Love" (Shadow Ray remix)
Omar-S & Kai Alce - "Jivetime"
Omar-S - "SEX"
Gunnar Wendel - "578" (Omar-S remix)
Omar-S & O B Ignitt - "Wayne County Hill Cops Part2" (Omar-S mix)
Omar-S - "Heres Your Trance Now Dance"
Omar-S - "Sarah"
Jason Fine - "Jack Yo Bodda"
Luke Hess - "Break Through"
O B Ignitt - "Oh Jabba"
Fit - "Enter The Fog" (feat Gunnar Wendal)
DJ Blend - "Eclat"
Review: It's been ten years since outspoken Detroit house legend Omar-S launched his FXHE label, which is no mean feat for a DIY label. To celebrate the fact, he's decided to put together the first in a series of mix CDs highlight the much-loved imprints vast discography. Entitled simply 1, the 74 minute vinyl only set takes an entertaining saunter through the label's bulging back catalogue, showcasing a range of well-known cuts ("Here's Your Trance, Now Dance" etc) and what the producer calls "some shit [fans] might have slept on". Predictably, it makes for a sumptuous and suitably groovy blend, moving between bespoke soulful house (Omar-S's much-loved "Sex"), deep Detroit futurism (Omar-S and O B Ignitt's "Wayne County Hill Cops Part 2"), dreamy jack tracks (Jason Fine's "Jack Yo Bodda") and tactile tech-house (Fit and Gunnar Wendel's "Enter the Fog").
Review: Alex "Omar" Smith has always come across as fairly militant in terms of his musical output, so it's still a surprise that he's chosen to celebrate the first decade of his FXHE label by putting out a series of mixes. This second installment expands on the first - released earlier this year - mixing familiar staples and scene anthems (Smith's own "It Can Be Done But Only I Can Do It") with lesser known gems. Musically, it's impressively raw, with Smith moving through a range of tough, stripped-back techno grooves and dystopian acid house gems before reaching for more melodious cuts such as the shimmering "Flying Blind" and melancholic "Three Blind Rats".