Alexander Omar Smith

It’s anyone’s guess why Alex Smith choose to name his latest record Simply (Fuck Resident Advisor) since he has not commented on it, and silence is gold. But the guy has been talking to RA since ’09 and it’s not too difficult to put 2 + 2 together and get why the much-revered London-based media has been getting on his nerves. Plus, street cred is a real thing, even in electronic music.

They did publish really akward reviews of some of his latest records. Writing that producing house music ”feels like his job” really makes you wonder what this writer believes artist do for a living. And it’s definetely not their review of a record that will make the payments on the car. The journalist regrets that there is not ”a lot of soul searching”, whatever that means applied to a mostly instrumental electronic album.

RA Reviews 23547

But to be clear they said lots of great things too :

Alex O. Smith’s interests include video games, street racing, blaxploitation flicks and perfect one-bar basslines.

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Sure, ten years ago, the feature that introduced him to a much larger audience really was sweet and full of love, but maybe he needed to remind them a bit about the tension betwen aknowledging, to an extent, the use of the media, and the right, to absolutely no extent, to fucking hate it.

RA Feature 1010

Of course it is a bit gratuitous, RA has produced great writings on lesser-known scenes, great individuals, legendary clubs or essential gear, things you would not find elsewhere. It’s even possible it is through RA that I learned about Omar-S in the first place. But the point rating system, which has since been eliminated, is clearly not adapted or even fair to independent artists putting it all out pretty much by themslves. And to what extent to they give back actual tangible support to local scenes they photograph and promote? Also electronic music is so damn serious sometimes,and I feel Alex Smith just wants to have a fun in the most serious of ways.

is it also because

when its about Black artists

especially an underground house producer

who used to work in car factory

some would prefer

a dead legend

an unsung heroe

or a ressurection story ?

Only a momma’s boy cares about artwork!!


INTERVIEWS

What’s the album going to be called and what’s the thinking behind the name?

Thank you for letting me be myself : I name it that because all my fans kept telling me to be yourself, keep doing what you do. Thanks Homie’s and Tender Roni’s. This is why I did this Album, for my fans. I wanted this to be a good listening Album from beginning to end which it is BTW!!

There was a six year gap between your debut album and It Can Be Done, But Only I Can Do It, but this third album’s only taken two years. Is this speedy turnaround because you’re going through a particularly creative patch at the moment, or do you just have more time to work on tracks?

Well, The Further You Look the Less you will see was a Album I never released. So I just broke up some of the songs into EP’s and a lot of tracks I just never released. Foe Da International Dj Only was another album that I only released on Double Pack there were five other tracks I never released from that as well. So there are Albums and Albums laying around on my Studio floor with Nike Shoe Prints and NUNNS Barbeque sauce on them!!

Your last album had a mixture of previously released tracks and some fresh productions – will you be taking the same approach with this album?

Nawl Dawg,, Dis Shit is all new Mane!!

Will it be coming out on CD only or will there be a vinyl version like your last album?

Both Mane!

You’ve also been doing a lot of collaborations recently with the likes of Aaron Siegel, L’Renee, and OB Ignitt – do you have any collaborations planned for the album you can tell us about?

Just L’Renee, the Girl is fast as HELL! She’s never in the studio more than 45 minutes and right back out the door. PAID AND FULL!! And my Home Boy D.Taylor who laced me up with some Piano freestyle typpa thang, on a track called “This the Shit”. My mean man Luke Hess mixed the track “I Just Want”.

For us FXHE’s artwork is an integral part of the label’s charm (OB Ignitt’s Oh Jabba being one of our recent favorites). Who is responsible for the artwork, and can you give us any indication as to what the artwork for your new album is going to be like?

Artwork is not important here,who looks at artwork on the dance floor you know? Only a momma’s boy cares about artwork!!

As far as we’re concerned FXHE had one of its best years to date in 2012 thanks to its diverse selection of releases – apart from your album, can you tell us what else might be in store in terms for yourself and FXHE 2013?

Thank You Sir,we all thought that 2012 was FXHE’s best year far as release’s like Wayne County Hill cops(part2), S.E.X, TONITE, OH JABBAH. I dont know what the future holds…I do, but I’ll never brake the Detroit Code!!!

Juno, 2013



One day we were sitting in the back room listening to records together and I told him about this demo that I made. He told me to bring it into the store and we listened to it. He then asked if he could keep the demo and I agreed. The next day Omar S. called me and asked if he could meet me and put out some of the tracks on the CD. This was Dubout #1 on FXHE records. He said, “Don’t give my number to nobody, you don’t know it!” I figured he meant business. Haha! Since then Alex and I have become great friends and he has been a huge mentor for my music career. (…) I’ve already explained how I met Omar S. But Omar S is a very special guy. As you put it, he just has the funk. He can whoop anyone on the streets with his driving skills. And he can whoop anyone in the studio with his style. He’s the new king of the Motown Minimal Sound – you better recognize! OYYYYyy! Hahahaha!!!

Luke Hess interviewed by Richard Fearless



”What people don’t understand, alot of the shit I do is DJ tools. You get some of those stupid ass motherfuckers probably from the suburbs or some shit like that who don’t even know what the fuck he’s talking about, been listening to dance music for like 6 months and shit, ain’t been listening to since back in the 80’s like me, know what I’m saying. You know how those motherfuckers is. Alot of tracks back in the 80’s, like the shit I’m listening to now (turns up car stereo bumping tracky drum machine track), you had to make shit out of it, you could ride shit, you could have one record ridin’ for like 5 minutes and people won’t even fucking know it. Like Oasis 14 is really a DJ tool. But you know what I’m sayin’, you got people like “Is that all the record do?”. Yeah bitch, that’s all the record do. Yep your lazy ass needs to do some other shit with it.”


Like most of our favourite artists, my fascination had as much to do with his character as with the music itself. He seemed to come to the scene with the confidence of a hip-hop artist. For example the names of a couple of his albums are ‘It Can Be Done But Only I Can Do it’ and ‘The Best’. Almost against the anti-ego code of dance producers, there are pictures of him standing next to his expensive cars. If this weren’t enough, apparently Omar S used to be a street racer.
But in some way, this macho persona and show-boating seems to be a sort of subtle joke. This is because the resulting tracks are so far from the bravado he portrays. The music he creates is both deep and thoughtful but with a simplicity that makes its expression genuine. His emphasis is not on layering many sounds but focusing instead on choosing the perfect tones to fit the puzzle. He uses warm pads, retro bass synths and old school drum machines to create music that is a unique blend of both house and techno.

https://www.residentadvisor.net/images/reviews/2016/omarsbest.jpg

Like your grandfather or your youth football coach, Omar S grouses to conceal the fact that he’s growing softer and more loving. There’s a reason for the enigmatic Detroit producer’s tough love: to keep us sharp, to beat into our heads that we’re a bunch of namby-pambies falling for the same old soulless bullshit. Omar’s testy, industry-averse persona has always been at odds with his genre’s M.O., which is basically to play nice with others both musically and otherwise– call him a pioneer in the harumph-house movement. His fourth proper album, Thank You for Letting Me Be Myself is a love letter to a few things Omar pretends not to care about: his fans, his hometown, and house music.

Pitchfork.com, 2013


FXHE RECORDS 2004—


I don’t have a schedule. Like I said, I just do shit spontaneous. If the police get behind me, I may pull over, I may not pull over. Especially at night. Ain’t a lot of people driving around. You can do what you want here in Detroit, you know what I mean?

I heard. Last time I was there, I was warned about that. But it seems like you’re taking good care of yourself out there. I heard it’s a lot of positive stuff out there happening, too.

There’s a lot of shit going on. It’s ridiculous. Parties and stuff. Not a lot of good restaurants in Detroit, I’ll tell you that shit. As far as everything else, yeah. It’s a lot of good neighborhoods here. A lot of people who aren’t from Detroit, they only go to the fucked up neighborhoods. They’re on some other shit, some evil shit. They come to Detroit and they want to see some burned down houses. There’s burned down houses in muthafucking Arkansas and muthafucking Utah. Who the fuck wants to go to that shit?

Instead of going somewhere positive.

Muthafuckaz come here and don’t even go to the Motown Museum. What the fuck?

Dâm-Funk interviews Omar-S, 2016


https://youtu.be/5151rRjRmmc

Londres, 2013
Naples, 2016
New Delhi, 2018

Some gear and a few records 🙂