rust, guns and women with tails

Muffler, at all of 22 years of age, has released an impressive number of house, jungle and drum'n'bass records the world over. The Helsinki native has just made his debut on Britain's Hospital Records, and what a debut: one couldn't ask for a lusher, more dreamy d'n'b track-- in fact, the record sort of sounds like what would happen if Vangelis decided to assist in making d'n'b records rather than disco records. (See his work with Demis Roussos for the Vangelis disco experience).

"Mermaids" begins with watery, hi-frequency noises and relatively standard d'n'b percussion. Within a few seconds, though, synthesized, ascending vocal samples beginning looping heavenwards, and then the killer, brooding piano loop comes in. All this time, seagull-like squawks, beachy whooshes and bleeps lurk in the background. The bass-line is smooth and not too high in the mix, and just when you think that the track can't get any lusher, chanting female vocals begin hovering in the background, eventually coming to the fore and leading to the track's major valley. The summit, though, is close enough, and soon all of the elements are back, the female vocals taking over for the piano's major melodic role until the track's ending. If anything, this track is proof that d'n'b can be gorgeous, plaintive music with many nuances (as well as melodic appeal). Certainly check out the other track from this EP ("Waves Breaking") as well as Muffler's other releases-- he's been making tracks since he was a young lad, and he can only get better with age.

Muffler- Mermaids (Original Mix)

So, where to begin with Omar-S? The "grandson" of Detroit techno is a DIY mother with attitude, releasing his own records on his own label, telling people who don't give him respect to fuck off, and otherwise just being a badass. See that guy in the picture? Yeah, that's him, and yeah, that's a gun. Before I even go into his track that I'm presenting today, I'd like to point out that he sells his records for almost NOTHING. You can get a great number of them for what you'd spend on two records from some German record label, so there's absolutely no excuse not to support this underappreciated genius of Detroit.

Omar's latest release is a one-sided, backwards-spinning (as in it plays from the label out, not the usual way) affair that guest stars Theo Parrish on percussion. The track is based on a simple synth loop that continues for the track's 11:35 run-time, with nice padded kicks, wonderfully-syncopated jangle bells, alien-like squelches, and sustained tones. The effect is a mesmerizing-- nay, hallucinogenic-- techno masterpiece, with a break that is so long that when the beat comes back in, it is a total mind-melter. Certainly one of the dirtiest, craziest Detroit tracks I've ever heard, this one should be talked about for years to come. Here's to Omar-S, and here's to my associate the lfam for sending this great piece of vinyl to me.

Omar-S- 008

Next time, some new minimal from Adam Beyer. Additionally, I broke down and decided to start paying for more storage space on yousendit, so tracks will once again be up for two weeks or 500 downloads. And thanks for all of the great notes that people have been sending!


davor o said...

hey i'm just listening to this track and yeah the detroit guys always seam to be on the edge, no matter how obscure sounding they are, it pushes a trend many people like to follow in their own production.

quite inspirational is his buisness model too, it makes me wonder if that's the future of the indie music business; everyone can sell their own music now, no need for the middleman when you can have your own outlet. but the battle for consumer attention remains. no wonder marketing is such a huge business today (and wondering why the labels keep trying to put an end to free mp3's on blogs. why ? it's free advertising, the change is here and it's a question of how well you can adopt to the current situation and use it in your favor. omar s sure did this, there are many blogs i've browsed in the past month talking about this guy doing production and selling his music from his room. much larger business are keeping quiet.

also, your comment about how much cheaper his vinyl is and how the germans can't top that (i've read your sentence like that). will the cheap production of vinyl provide americans with a superior position to the one of their pears in Europe in this story to run DIY labels that keep vinyl but also adopt to digital sales. this cheap production infrastructure is something europe definitely doesn't have and now decentralization is taking a faster pace (P&D deals don't return, P&D labels close, kids start their own shit). how many new labels opened in the past year ? gee, i'd like to know the number of that...

what do you make of all this ?

matt said...

Love this Omar-S stuff. Great music. Period. Thanks for all the great posts.

Anonymous said...

in response to whether releasing records yourself is the future of the indie biz, i think it depends on whether you have a record plant nearby. detroit guys can do it because they have a world class factory down the street.