Patricia Johnson

Music News, Reviews, and Interviews

DJ Set of the Week: Omar-S

Detroit house OG Omar-S has a bit of a reputation. He’s notorious for his occasional aggressive attitude in interviews, for bitterly shunning the music industry, and for making the following statements, among others:

On DEMF: “If they haven’t invited me already, I don’t need ‘em. They can go to hell.” (XLR8R)

On his Fabric mix: “A few assholes are talking about ‘Oh, Omar-S. He did the same thing as Ricardo Vi-vi–….’ whatever the fuck he’s called. I don’t even know who Ricardo Willalobo is. I ain’t start hearing his name till like a year ago. Who the fuck is that?” (RA)

He can be kind of, let’s say, outspoken. And yet, he is a deeply well-respected and accomplished producer and DJ. Why?

See Exhibit A, his Boiler Room set from earlier this year, below:

There’s a reason for his blunt attitude: Omar-S occupies the underground, answering only to himself. He is fiercely independent and doesn’t buy into the BS of the music industry, which allows him to be as straight up honest as he desires.

He admits that sometimes he makes cheeky statements to raise people’s eyebrows and “fuck with their heads with some off-the-wall shit.”

Omar-S is entirely self-made. He produces his trademark raw house tracks using old school synths and drum machines and releases them on his own independent record label, FXHE. A true veteran of the D, he was raised on the classic ‘90s Detroit house legends and works a day job at the Ford Motor Company. He says,

“I certify parts with a marker. That same exact marker that I certify with, I usually take some home, that’s what I usually write on my records with, the same exact marker I use at work.”

Can you get more Detroit than that?
omar-s2This Friday, Omar-S stops in Boston at Good Life for Social Studies, one of the city’s best monthly parties for underground sounds. For further insight into why this guy is a serious force in house music, I asked resident Alfredo Rico-Dimas why they chose to book him:

“We wanted to book someone we respected more than idolized. [Omar-S] fit exactly that category. He’s been successful all these years because he’s stuck to his own ways. Recording with Analog gear straight into tape… check. DIY ethos… check. Trash-talk… check. While he might be the most complex personality in dance music (according to the press), there’s something really honest about what he does that has gained him enough followers outside his native Detroit.”

There you have it. If you’re into bona fide Detroit house music with the true spirit of the underground, as demonstrated in the Boiler Room set above, check out Omar-S at Social Studies Friday. Hit up Beantown Boogiedown’s ticket giveaway for the chance to get in free. See you there.


FRI 9.27.13

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