Sunday, 17 February 2013

Omni Trio - Feel Good

Omni Trio - Feel (Feel Good) (Candidate Records, 1993)

Omni Trio combined the breakbeat of hardcore with a keen ear for melody to produce music that was well ahead of its time. They were in fact just one person, Rob Haigh, whose career in music dates back to the early eighties when he was a member of an avant garde funk band called Truth Club. He went on to put out several solo releases, most notably the gothic ambience of Notes From The Underground as Sema, before Detroit techno and the early output of Warp Records inspired him to open Parliament Records in Hertford and start two labels, PM and Candidate, the latter of which put out the Mystic Steppers EP in 1993, with 'Feel Good' as its lead track.

It opens with a large chunk of the acid/proto-jungle tune 'Rat-Trap' by Spiritual Combat, which uses the Soul Pride break with synths and a bell sound. The track contrasts the euphoria suggested by its "Feel Good" vocal sample, taken from Eleanore Mills' 'Mr Right', with a dark edge thanks to its minor key synth riff and the disorientating reversed drums, accompanied by a booming sub-bassline and a take on the Hot Pants break. It was caned by LTJ Bukem and got the attention of Moving Shadow, who quickly released the Volume 2 EP which featured a remix entitled 'Mystic Stepper (Feel Better)'. It would be the first in a series of ground breaking records by Omni Trio for the label, including the massive Foul Play remix of 'Renegade Snares' which featured the original 'Feel Good' on the flipside.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to be given a number of Omni Trio's early releases for Moving Shadow, including the Volume 2 EP, by a friend who had actually purchased them at Parliament Records from the man himself and despite being rather worn I treasure them dearly. I've always preferred the original mix of 'Feel Good' though, which I got on vinyl thanks to Moving Shadow's 10th anniversary reissue series.

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