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Omar S & OB IGNITT – Wayne County Hill Cops Pt 2 review

In 2011 Omar S was seemingly on a mission to befuddle and inspire his fans in equal measure: first there was a shrewd, ahead-of-the-curve reissue of perennially under-appreciated house don Marc Kinchen, then came the all-conquering “Here’s Your Trance Now Dance” 12”, which was in turn followed by a surprise album and a collaboration with urban crooner Colonel Abrams. All of this was pulled off with the kind of cocksure bravado that invited both adoration and ridicule – no one gets house music fans riled up more than Omar S – business as usual at FXHE, then.

Here the producer, real name Alex Smith, opens his 2012 account with Wayne County Hills Cops Pt 2 (where, we ask, was Part 1?). A hook-up with the mysterious (and quite possibly non-existent) OB IGNITT, the eponymous A-Side is characterised by the kind of glistening synths last seen on “Here’s Your Trance Now Dance”, with a rugged analogue bass line emerging from the track’s bowels to give it some steel. Just like “Here’s Your Trance…”, it treads just on the right side of cheese, with the synth melody a heady, undeniably inspired concoction.

The record is ostensibly a homage to the 80s cop action movie soundtracks of the Beverly Hills Cop, Miami Vice et al era – with the titular reference supported by a hastily doctored image of Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley (Murphy’s character in Beverly Hills Cop happens to be from Detroit, too, a fact probably not lost on a fiercely proud Motor City native such as Omar S). On the B-side, Smith provides his own remix of the title track, and it’s probably even better than the original, with the synths drowned in dubby textures and showered with shuffling hats for an altogether more heads-down take.

Aaron Coultate