When 16B’s “Secrets” came out in 1996 it really stood out from the other tech house tunes that were flowing out of the UK at the time. It had a rolling funkiness to it and a deep melancholy mood, yet it swung in a way that NY garage cuts by MAW or Mood II Swing did. It was just a top-notch tune. I stopped off in London on the way back to Ireland at the end of 1996 and traveled by train to Omid’s studio in Putney. He played me a few new tunes and hooked me up with a few promos, including a couple of killer new ones by him and a wicked Weatherall single that wouldn’t see the light of day for a coupla weeks (Two Lone Swordsmen’s “Glide By Shooting”). We stayed in touch after that and djed together in Ireland and in San Francisco. I still feel he is one of the more musically talented producers of that early wave of tech house and an excellent dj to boot.
Interview With Omid Nourizaden aka 16B
Omid Nourizadeh aka 16B has an album out at the moment on Eye Q Records. Available on CD and double vinyl, it’s entitled Sounds From Another Room with Nourizadeh pushing the deep house envelope on eleven tracks that range from very deep to outrageously deep. However, what separates his work from the countless other deep projects out there is his effortless and unfailing capacity for the funk. Regardless of how textured and layered his sound is, his tunes always contain that hip-swaying variable, as displayed on his now classic, abstract bouncathon “Secrets.” Here we had a record that displayed qualities that make the likes of MAW., Carl Craig and Mr. May legends in their own studios/dj booths.
“Secrets” is not included on the album but it does have the synthetic jazz beauty of “Black Hole” and long time Francois K favorite “Water Ride.” Omid has been working on Sounds From Another Room since late ’96, as well as running his own Alola and Disclosure labels, and feels relieved that it is now out there waiting for individuals to exercise a mature and thoughtful consumer choice. He had this to say in a phone call from his west London studio: “Now that it has actually come out there and people can buy it, I can listen to it without having to worry about the tracks. It’s done, it’s finished, and it’s something that I’m quite proud of.”
Another trait that sets this album apart is the fact it contains only instrumentals with the exception of one track , which uses a treated vocal. This is quite a risky move in a market, which often drags house music kicking and screaming to be more accessible. Omid agred with this point, adding, “Putting an album out on a specialist level is always a risk because you’re not guaranteed any kind of sales. For me it was something I truly wanted to do, I wanted to make an instrumental album. 99% of what I have done to date has been instrumental and I would have defeated the purpose of what I’m doing if I had used a lot of vocal tracks. The album is saying this is, or was, the 16B sound up to this point.”
16B has recently been on tour around the UK, with rocking live sets at Slam and Cream’s outdoor shindig, Creamfields, and occasional dj sets around the country. The current single is “Falling,” with mixes from Andrew Weatherall. In the autumn Omid will release an Alola compilation with tracks from Charles Webster, Kevin McKay, and House of 909. A US licensing for “Sounds From Another Room” is a possibility as is a West Coast appearance in the fall by Omid Nourizadeh. Chris Orr