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Various Artists – FXHE 10 Year Mix Compilation 1

As it celebrates its first decade, Omar-S puts out the first in a series of mixes comprising material from his FXHE label. It’s hard to see this release appealing to fans of the label and its owner’s output, who will already own a lot if not all of the records that feature here. Maybe Smith is seeking out the casual listener who doesn’t have the inclination to search out FXHE releases? If that is his intention, as well as celebrating ten years of the label, then the Detroit DJ has succeeded in creating a mix that captures the listener’s attention throughout.

Various Artists - FXHE 10 Year Mix Compilation 1
Various Artists
FXHE 10 Year Mix Compilation 1
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Apart from some contributions from close associates, Smith’s distinctively driving rhythms and beats prevail on this mix. The mix starts with the cheese wire-sharp percussion and driving drums of Smith’s ownMotion” and “The White Castle Song”, before the electro funk bass of “Missin You” is dropped. From this opening point, his percussive approach is tempered by melodies and vocals. The first human voice to appear is a soulful male one on “Who Wrote the Rules of Love?” followed by the seductive female incantations on “S.E.X”.

More impressive is Smith’s use of melody. “Jivetime”, his collaboration with Kai Alce, sees spacey pads ascend over Smith’s percussive volleys, while Smith’s remix of Gunnar Wendel’s “578” could be a tribute to Lil Louis, with shimmering synths leading into acid-frazzled drops and break downs. The ubiquitous “Here’s Your Trance Now Dance” also gets an airing, but neither the label nor its owner are big tune supporters and it plays a minor role here compared to other contributions. Indeed, Smith’s release with O B Ignitt, “Wayne County Hill Cops Part2 (Omar-S Mix)” is a far more impressive track, based on dense off-beats and gradually-building synths.

As he brings down the chapter on the first ten years of his label, Omar-S can lay claim to developing a particularly distinctive brand of house music; this is audible in his own work and on the mix closers from other members of the FXHE family, the chord-heavy, bass-gurgling “Oh Jabba” from O B Ignitt and the “Enter The Fog” collaboration between Aaron ‘Fit’ and Gunnar Wendal. Here’s to the next decade.

Richard Brophy


1. Omar-S – Motion
2. Omar-S – The White Castle Song
3. Omar-S & Shadow Ray – Oasis#13
4. Omar-S – Missin You
5. Omar-S – Who Wrote The Rules Of Love (Shadow Ray Remix)
6. Omar-S & Kai Alce – Jivetime
7. Omar-S – S.E.X
8. Gunnar Wendel – 578(Mix By Omar-S)
9. Omar-S & O B Ignitt – Wayne County Hill Cops Part2 (Omar-S Mix)
10. Omar-S – Here’s Your Trance Now Dance
11. Omar-S – Sarah
12. Jason Fine – Jack Yo Bodda
13. Luke Hess – Break Through
14. O B Ignitt – Oh Jabba
15. Fit Featuring Gunnar Wendal – Enter The Fog
16. DJ Blend – Eclat