Friday, October 5, 2012

The Return Of Omniscence

Man, it is a good time to be an Omniscence fan. In fact, what with his debut album getting eaten alive by East/West Records, and plans for it to be finally released online decades later also never materializing, it may be the first really good time us Omniscence fans have during his twenty-plus year career. First we've got Dope Folks Records rereleasing his epically rare debut appearance on the Back To the Lab compilation (you can expect a blog about that soon, as well), and then they're also releasing his original indie debut EP, The Funky One Liner (more on that in a later post, too!). And on top of all that back catalog finally being put into the hands of his fans, he's got... brand new music?!

Gentleman's Relief Records, the same label that put out Low Budget's material, which you may remember me excitedly praising, has just put out a brand new, 7" single of new a (2012) Omniscence song: "Raw Factor 2.0." Raw Factor, as you may recall, was the title of his unreleased album; but seventeen years later with "2.0," we find he hasn't missed a beat.

Paying attention to his lyrics, we can tell this is brand new material, with references to internet porn and Debonair P (of Low Budget), his producer this time around. His rhymes - clever yet subtly using punchlines that manage to never cross the line into becoming too jokey or corny - his flow - smooth with a touch of gruffness - and even his production, all would have fit in perfectly on Raw Factor one, alongside his earlier singles like "Amazin'," without sounding the least bit out of place or time. Just check this syllable-flipping verse and tell me it's not completely in keeping with his "Rhyme of the Month" back in The Source so long ago:

"Let's raise the issue,
Hit you with the flavor crystals;
Who played with pistols,
And pushed the latest rentals;
Basic misuse of the supreme alphabetic,
How pathetic would you MCs be
If you had no promotion?
Back where you came from,
Doin' the locomotion.
Kill the commotion or get lost like Billy Ocean.
Suddenly, you try to bring trouble to me, G,
Strip your title like WBC.
My clique thorough rockin' with the sixth borough;
I leave that ass dizzy like my man Derrick Fitzgerald.
Omni, comin' back with no changes,
And to quote Ginuwine, 'I'm so anxious'
To get the show on the road,
You know like Lollapalooza.
This style y'all gotta get used ta.
But I've been doin' it too long to ruin it;
Fuck a dollar and a dream; I'm pursuin' it."

And Debonair doesn't try to stick Omni with that boogie sound he creates for his group (as much as I enjoy that); he comes with breaks and vibes just like Omni had back in the day. If you missed the old Omni stuff (you're missing out - go get his old 12"s, quick!), then think of Grand Puba's production, that cool vibe he had on tracks like "2000." And being a DJ, Debonair is more than capable to provide Omni with the kind of slick scratch hooks he favored back in the day, too.

So you get the main mix on side A, and a remix (also by Debonair P) on the flip. The remix is nice, too; basically swapping out one set of instrumentation for another, while keeping the same skeleton and scratches. It's hard to pick a favorite, I think it's just a question of which you're in the mood for - the A side is a little edgier, and the remix is a bit smoother. Both are very worth having.

This is available in a limited run of 300 7" singles, 150 of which were pressed on white (white) vinyl, and 150 on light blue. And they come in a hot picture cover, as you can see above.  And, further in keeping with bringing the spirit of '95 back to life, GRR is also pressing up a limited run of cassette singles, available soon.  Click here to go back in time. 8)

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