Balance Selections 041: Omid 16B
They don’t come more experienced in dance music than Omid Nourizadeh aka Omid 16B. For the last 20 years the Londoner has done it all: manage record labels; releasing on pivotal imprints; performing all over the world, and even compiling mix CD compilations. Back in the early 00’s you would’ve been hard pressed to find a DJ tracklist which didn’t feature a 16B remix or track. Surely, one of the more memorable moments of the whole Global Underground series has to be on CD1 of John Digweed’s Los Angeles outing: Madam’s frenetic ‘Penetration’ (Madam vs. Bipath) mixing into 16B’s blissed-out remix of Electric Tease’s ‘Your Lovin’.
His productions and remixes on prog house imprints like Hooj Choons, Yoshitoshi and Bedrock included the euphoric ’Driving To Heaven’ and the provocative beats of ‘True (The Faggot Is You)’. His outing with Desyn Masiello and Demi as dance trio SOS lead to a mix compilation for Balance, for many a definite highlight of the whole series. Yes, the term legend can get watered down in today’s climate of click bait headlines, but in this case it is extremely justified. For this podcast Omid have opted to go with what he knows best, creating a journey through sound: ‘My aim was to find a balance between what makes one move and shake through to being able to lay back and have a musical experience with a story!’ What a treat.
Balance Selections Q+A
16B / Omid 16B / 16 Million Dollar Man
Labels affiliated with:
What music did you listen to as a child?
My dad had a breakfast show in the early hours on the radio and always opened up with ‘Oxygen’ by Jean Michele Jarre, my mum loved everything from Elvis through to early Pink Floyd.
Whatever they played ranging from William Orbit, Hendrix, Queen through to the Bee Gees, somehow got me listening more carefully to music and what it does to your being.
One track that sticks to mind which my brothers and I used to request all the time was ABBA - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
When was the first time that you realized that you liked electronic music?
Ever since my dad bought a Casio VL tone back in 1981 my ears were getting tuned to synths and machines, although I did get into guitars and drums, starting a band later in my teens. Six years later I came straight back to electronic music after discovering acid in the early 90’s.
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
A friend of mine was moving to America and had some killer records he was selling, most of his collection was from the late 80’s till ’94. It was all acid/dance music, some really rare stuff too! I got lucky and bought the whole lot, it was like a wormhole in the universe. It saved me so much time and gave me a crash course in most of the music I may have missed before I discovered it.
One of the first DJs I saw was Mathew Ballester from Enjoy in the early 90s at a party my friend Da Billa was involved in. He happened to play an exquisite range of deep house through to the more USA style vocal house. Having the records I bought I made a connection with Mathew’s style and the music I was starting to get into. Good thing with the early acid house tracks was the way tunes were made back then. They went through so many ears before they got pressed, so the final result had more quality control than at present.
Which producers/artists/acts inspire you?
As a DJ Laurent Garnier, Mathew Bushwacka, Mr. C, Mr. G, DJ Kammi and Carl Cox are inspiring to watch, not throughout their entire set necessarily but at some point I’ve witnessed all of them doing something entirely unique but completely on the edge!
As far as producers go Trentemøller is diverse and on the money with most of what he’s done, sonically on his own grounds too.
What was the last album that you downloaded/bought?
‘Dissonance’ by Valgeir Sigurdsson on Bedroom Community is so good. It’s his fourth album, it’s almost futuristic yet very classical at the same time. I like listening to music with very little drums or percussion, my approach is feeling the layers building in a piece. Tuning your ears is key in keeping your focus on all details especially when you’re working on various tracks at the same time.
Valgeir Sigurdsson and I have one thing in common, we both like to hide little sounds in places for you to discover after a number of plays, and that’s really not very easy! I find BLEEP.com a great place to discover music that is slightly out there and not very common, good thing is that almost everything is worth listening to, even if you’re as crazy as me and can’t help buying everything you hear!
What is your current production and DJ setup like?
Throughout the years I’ve managed to collect a fair bit of analogue gear, mainly the older Roland stuff like the Jupiter 6 Tr909 Tr 808 TB303 SH101 Juno60. I also love my pair of EL8’s Distressors, the compression is on another level.
I use an Apollo 16 with outboard processing and effects! I like to work with the machines until I can bounce the parts in and then I can work from anywhere.
What releases do you have on the horizon?
I’ve been working on a new 16B album for over five years and part of me wanted to release some of the music a lot sooner, especially after the birth of my daughter last year, but, I felt I’d have more confidence and satisfaction if I could live with it longer and still find it appealing. In a world where things come and go more often than not you simply strive to be an example for the future generations. You should at accept at least some kind of responsibly in what you’re offering being more than a product in order to make sure it’s something essential that grabs your attention.
Each track on the album carries a signature memory in time, memories I hope I never forget. What if I forget with age? When I listen to the album I’ll instantly remember again. It’s in three parts, focusing on a wide range of musical emotions I seem to have attracted throughout the years. The three stages represent a circular journey starting and ending at the same place, a visit to my musical palace so to speak. From the softer and more pleasant sounds through to the more diverse and darker compositions that take you deeper within. We’re finalising the artwork for the album and singles right now, after which I’m taking a five-day break to Ibiza it’s been a heavy few years in the studio recording non stop!
Another project I spent a while on perfecting was my Loopmasters producer series sample CD I’ve got coming up, sharing some of my sounds and sonic pallets isn’t something I do very often.
Where can we hear you perform?
I am planning to do few small live shows in the coming months where I’ll be trying something different with my setup. I can’t give too much away just yet as it’s still in motion but a possible world tour for the new album is on the cards and although I tend to focus on one thing at a time as opposed to being on the road week in week out, I feel more energized now I have the music I want to share with everyone out there.
There’s some shows where I’ll be doing a DJ set, and somewhere I’ll be completely live with an intimate atmosphere. Sometimes I’ll be inviting other artists I admire to join in with an instrument of their choice.
Tell us more about the podcast you made for Balance?
My aim was to find a balance between what makes one move and shake through to being able to lay back and have a musical experience with a story! However, I did go through hundreds of tracks and transitions which all had an appeal but chose to do it live and really filter the tracklist down using vinyl and CDJs instead of Traktor or Ableton.
My style and love for music I play is so diverse an hour isn’t long enough to express that, I felt I did put across a little of everything I like from the more spacey to the deep and jazzy sounds through to the hypnotic grooves and basslines I’m looking for.
The top two tracks in my DJ wallet currently is:
If I could recommend only one of my tracks for you to listen to it would be:
My favourite Balance compilation is:
Sorry you may hate me for this but it’s SOS Balance 13 because it still sounds fresh and unique.
We did everything we could to make it timeless and relevant at the same time, history will tell. In my opinion it’s a reference to music with soul and the producers contributing either their very best or most unique tracks they’ve made, having heard all the other Balance mixes which mostly are very good I haven’t heard anything as diverse so there may be a good reason for us to do another SOS Trilogy to continue where we left off almost 10 years ago, something we’re thinking about.
The last movie I watched that I really liked:
Manuscripts Don’t Burn (2013) – Director Mohammad Rasoulof
My favourite TV show:
8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown
If I could choose anyone to compile a Balance comp it would be:
Ian O’Brien, for he is one of the worlds most underrated artists and has been a complete musical genius for some time now.
1. Hans Berg – The Secret Garden [Dream Maker]
2. Of Norway – The Loneliest Man In Space [Connaisseur]
3. Theo Parrish – Serengeti Echoes (Omid 16B Edit) [Sound Signature]
4. Leonce – Jungle (Omid 16B Edit) [Fade To Mind]
5. Iron Curtis – Maple [Office]
6. James Dexter – Whose Rules [Dessous]
7. Nick Stoynoff – Higher Self (Original Mix) [Alola Records]
8. Mono-Poly & GeistBoy – Paper Cut [Eresys]
9. TRU. – Trachyt [Loot Recordings]
10. Riton – Temporary Secretary [Ed Banger Records]
11. Nathan Jonson – Cross Colours [20/20 Vision]
12. Anthony Rotter – Destroy Him My Robots [Data Punk]
13. Tuff City Kids – Tell Me (Joe Goddard Instrumental Remix) [Permanent Vacation]
14. Nick Harris – Situation (Dub) [NRK]
15. Nick Harris - The Everlasting (Omid 16B Edit) [NRK]