On the Radar: 16b – B4LP

House tastemaker Omid ’16B’ Nourizadeh releases his new EP, B4LP, this month via his Alola imprint. The Waveform Transmitter’s Simon Huxtable can barely contain his excitement.

Let me tell you a quick story…

It’s back in 1999 and I’m about 2 years in as a gigging DJ. I’ve got a fluid style and I’m allowed to play some deeper, less commercial dance music at the pub residency I have.

Things are going well.

On one of my many weekend vinyl explorations, I chance upon an EP on Airtight Recordings, an offshoot of Hooj Choons if memory serves me, by an artist I knew, but under a different name. The EP was split over two slabs of wax and I bought them both and played all four tracks endlessly. The EP was called The Metamorphosis and the artist, Changing Shape was also known as Omid ’16B’ Nourizadeh. That EP changed my life and the direction my DJing was headed – less of the trance-y stuff and more of the trackhead House stuff, in case you wondered.

Under his 16B moniker, Omid had a lot of success throughout the latter half of the 90s in a time when progressive and tribal house were in their second zenith, even though, strictly speaking, he made deep house really. Then, suddenly, he kinda disappeared. His label, Alola, continued to put out amazing music including a couple of concept mix albums I reviewed for other press outlets, but his personal output seemed to tail off. Blaze of glory and all that I suppose…

Fast forward to last week, I get an email from one of my promo companies with Brand New 16B tracks and promise of an album in the new year. I was cockahoop! The tracks are (and I hesitate to use the cliche) classic Omid 16B. No…they really are. It’s as if he went into cryostasis for 15 years and hasn’t been told it’s 2017 now. And it’s all the better for it. Same funk, same musicality, same vibe. Fucking  brilliant.

First up on this part one EP is Phone Call which has all the swagger and ballsiness of a mid-20s East End geezer strolling down the market for a moody timepiece. Rich, phat kicks envelop nuanced melody and funky bass to deliver an incredible hip-shaking, crowd-pleasing return to the top if ever I heard one.

Following that up is a live jam that took 20 minutes to make. The Morning After conjures up all sorts of memories with its murky atmospherics and the rawness appeals in this modern age of cleanliness and over-produced pop. Rounding out the EP is Believe It Or Not, an unreleased track from 15 years ago lovingly re-mastered from DAT that further displays the wonkiness of those days, while sounding perfectly contemporary for today’s audience.

There isn’t a word to describe how essential 16B – B4LP is for your collection. Just know that it is and buy it on the 27th November, please.

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