Review: Omar S

omar-s-free-ra-e

From The Kazimier to Camp & Furnace, Abandon Silence makes Invisible Wind Factory its third home for a new electronic music night entitled Echoes, and what better way to launch it than with a colourful set from Detroit’s Omar S. Making his first ever appearance in Liverpool, the celebrated producer of house and electronic music is well known for transcending the modern-day expectations of an artist. Omar can’t be found on social media, self-releasing his music through his own label, FXHE Records, but has nevertheless built an acclaimed reputation by having both an old-school and innovative sound and technique. His unique and raw musical identity is evident in his rich set that incorporates funk, soul, R&B and disco into his deep house tracks.

On the raised platform of Invisible Wind Factory, engulfed in fiery red lights and overlooking his tipsy 2:00am crowd, Omar engages with his bouncing audience and graces the night with an energising, slow-building momentum. The simple and moody electronic beats gradually evolve into triumphant overlays and mixes that are uplifting and anthemic. He begins by immediately bringing us to life with a heavy, fast, pounding bassline that beats in your veins and compels you to dance. This thumping rhythm is mixed with an 80s-style disco groove and soaring underlying vocals over drum machines. The immense venue suddenly shrinks down to an intimate dance floor, with Abandon Silence’s impressive and surreal lighting installation hanging above; an animated canopy seemingly brought to life by sounds.

Although a traditional electronic set, Omar continues to keep it fresh and creative. Funky motown undertones of female vocals are heard beneath the repetitive house rhythms and off-beat cymbals. His smooth transitions allow for this fluid blending of sounds. All the while, the installation above us presents splashes of strobing colours and bizarre shapes that morph to the music. Omar slows the rhythm and the canvases go blank, but return in the form of relaxing, firework-like bursts of blue when he introduces a soulful, synthesised saxophone. We have a quick breather, before the mechanical beat picks up again with Omar’s own track, ‘The Shit Baby’. Again, a typical deep house rhythm, but Omar keeps us on our toes. It is overlaid with fast-paced piano and trumpets that add an unexpected salsa influence and South American vibe, but complements the ongoing electronic beat of the night. The installation again heightens the change of pace with intensely bright and vibrant colours that flash with each piano note.

Upon finishing his set, Omar steps down from the stage and holds out a gracious hand to his grateful crowd, who scurry forward and reach up for a handshake. Did he enjoy the night as much as we did? If so, this is one for the history books.

7th October 2016

Omar S – Echoes: The Launch – Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool

Photographer unknown

Review written for and published by Bido Lito! Issue #73 page 49

http://omarsdetroit.us/

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