Review: The latest installment of Alex Omar-Smith's Side-Trakx series - long an outlet for work that doesn't fit into his usual house/techno template - is a little different to its' predecessors. For starters, it features four versions of one track: Nite Jewel collaboration "Sky Train". The full-vocal original is something of a treat; a radio-friendly fusion of dreamy deep house sounds, picturesque vocals and a smooth but undulating, Herbie Hancock-influenced groove. The superb keys-work of local jazz pianist Ian Finkelstein comes to the fore on the hazier "Chattanooga TN" and "Finkell Avenue" versions (the latter an ambient treat), with the "Texas TN" mix moving further towards jazz-funk territory.
Review: The more Omar S material we get onto our shelves, the better off we all are. We love him, as you probably well know. The Detroit misfit has this knack for making simple house and techno sound rich and full of soul. That's not to say that he can't lay down some roughness and, in fact, that's exactly what we love about him. This EP, in particular, is one we've been wanting for a while' it's Alex O Smith at his damn best the whole way through, providing the dirt and the shine simultaneously. "Blown Valvetrane" is an absolute beat of an EP, a classic Detroit killer with an FX-drenched percussion, a simple drum machine groove and a whole heap of supreme nastiness - an absolute winner! "Busaru Beats" is a murky, distorted monster that lays in the shadows of its more aggressive A-side sibling, and "Deep Valve Cover" provides that classic Omar S hit; a joint that'll blow your mind with its utter simplicity and shady demeanour. SICK and BACK IN.