Review: Some years back, Ben Norris AKA O'Flynn looked set for a major breakthrough, with his EPs on Blip Discs and Ninja Tune getting singled out for praise. Since then, his career has stalled, though we wouldn't be surprised if this impressive debut album propels him into the spotlight once more. It's a wonderfully fluid, evocative and enjoyable set that attractively sashays between languid ambience, Afro and Latin-influenced cut-up club cuts that cannily fuse disco, nu-disco and deep house, drum dubs and percussion jams, and off-kilter affairs that defy simplistic categorization. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the dreamy dub disco flex of "Tru Dancing" and jazzy deep house warmth of "Painted Wolf", to the huggable dreaminess of two-step shuffler "Celestine" and the loved-up haziness of enveloping closing cut "Neptune".
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".
Review: Last time it was only Omar S that could do it; this time he's thanking us for letting him be Omar S. That's right the FXHE boss returns with an eagerly awaited new album brandishing some 14 tracks. Omar S albums naturally tend to sell themselves but, for those still curious, Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself sounds like a perfectly executed culmination of the ideas AOS has explored on the numerous 12"s since his last album. As soon as the crunchy mechanical dramatics of opening track "I'll Bring U Ah Lil Sumpin Back" launch into action you feel like you're in for quite the journey and the subsequent swerves through Detroit flavoured electro, piano flecked house, beatdown and techno come with satisfaction guaranteed.
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".
A Toast To Momma Rose (Crowd Claps Jacked By Norm Talley)
That's Lil'Boy (feat Ian Finkelstein)
Second Life (feat John FM)
The Sound Of Neptune
Don't Get In My Way
This Love Is 4 Real
Hear Me Out (feat John FM)
Ambiance (feat John Cloud & L'Renee)
Coming Home Hum
Review: Those who've been paying close attention will know that Alex 'Omar' Smith has been mixing things up musically of late, veering away from the deep Detroit house he's famed for in order to explore a wider range of influences. New album "You Want" doesn't exactly reverse this trend, but it is far more rooted in his particular brand of seductive, off-kilter deepness and techno-tinged hypnotism than recent singles. That's undeniably a good thing, because nobody does crunchy, machine driven club jams better than the Motor City producer. There are nods towards Italian style piano house, disco, broken beat, jazz funk, Masters at Work and - more surprisingly - industrial techno (see the filthy closing cut) - but the resultant cuts don't sound like anything other than tried-and-tested Omar-S club jams.
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").