Ultra Fine One Ultra Fine One

EPs

Alex.O.Smith Alex.O.SmithUltra Fine One

8 / 10

Alex.O.Smith  Ultra Fine One FHXE (AOS432A, 12”

I have been following Alex.O.Smith – some of you will know him better as Omar S, the awesome and somehow cocky jackmaster from Detroit– on and off. Smith's profile has increased significantly during the past year and a half even though the rate of his releases and productions across various aliases and formats (even 7”) and vinyl are expensive enough to slow down the purchase of his entire catalogue, and even more so when we already support many other artists. There just isn’t enough money to go around. I believe that sometimes the music critic who still buys music is like the old dear feeding the pigeons at the park. In a nutshell: I’ve missed some releases so here’s the question. Is “ Ultra Fine One” the first acid 12” by Omar? I could swear it is. I would swear that in his sound palette, always of a lo-fi nature, there has always been room for classic techno machines, but there has never been a crack where the typical 303 mantra could filter through. If all the above is true, then this track is a hit. It would be because it sounds as impatient as the 303 of the old days, with the same harshness of ancient vinyl. Let’s put it into perspective: It’s not the classic sound of Chicago acid -there’s no 808 backing it up on the bass department and greater chromatic amplitude on the bassline- , but it doesn’t sound either like the clean new school of Jesper Dahlbäck. Omar S. keeps it analogue, with certain acid minimalism, as a flash of violent and dry energy of the early Plastikman and Frenchman Emmanuel Top. Fact: the B side is called “ Mid 90’s”–: regurgitated acid that instead of being built with care that flows like lava and gets under your skin. The Omar S sound rarely touches anything that's not for your feet. Here it doesn’t touch your soul, but gives you the jitters. Richard Ellmann

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