Review Summary: Very introspective, the 45th release in the Fabric series captures the raw essence of Omar S, reflecting his Detroit background through a style that strikes with full force.
Some people may find it interesting what production techniques lie behind an album. Yet while Omar S has gone completely analogue with Fabric 45
, more interesting than his lo-fi approach though is the sound it creates. The Fabric series has seen many solid albums in its time, including some stunners like Ricardo Villalobos’ (Fabric 36
) and Michael Mayer’s (Fabric 13
). Yet while the music of his contemporaries deserves recognition, Omar S draws all his content for Fabric 45
from his own past work. Content with his methods, Omar S produces some very raw house that pounces on the listener and lands each punch with full force. It doesn’t make for the smoothest ride, but where he strikes gold with his beats you’ll be drawn back in time and time again.
Drawing from his past albums, Fabric 45
takes much of his best work and puts a new spin on it, though not trying to redo what made each song intoxicating. Strider’s World
builds up about a minute in with a mammoth bass line as the rest of the song bounces about luring the listener in with an underlying confidence. Yet the desire of the album to look inwardly causes it fall flat for those familiar with Omar S. Strider’s World
and much of the rest of the album don’t do enough differently to make Omar’s Fabric album interesting to his fans. The Maker
still features an insatiable groove, though the accompaniment to the smooth vocals has more force. But compare it with the original, and you’ll be hard put to differentiate the two enough to pick a favourite.
While the mix has its shortcomings, Omar S still has a wealth of talent; and it is very clearly on display in the album. While the European house scene has its own fountain of talent, Omar S takes on house with an approach that is very much American, very much from Detroit. Comparisons to J Dilla certainly have weight, with incredible talent and a ferociously raw sound it certainly does distance him from the sounds coming out across the Atlantic. In songs like Psychotic Photosynthesis
all his talent pays off, the intricate patterns coming out through on-the-spot creativity rather than being calculated and constructed through computer programs. Yet while composed in very little time, the evolvement of each layer throughout the song is captivating.
For those with little time on their hands, Fabric 45
showcases a nice overview of the work and talent of Omar S. Yet for anybody familiar with him, it comes off more as a greatest hits collection than a rejuvenation of his back catalogue. It is an album packed with talent and beats that carry some significant weight. But if his raw analogue style proves to be your thing, you’ll probably head on to his superb 2005 effort Just Ask the Lonely
fairly quickly and not look back.