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Iman Omari – ‘High-Loops & Higher-Loops’ (Out Now!)

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Fresh Selects Presents…

L.A. singer/producer Iman Omari has been slow-cooking his spacey, mosaic textured R&B dreamscapes at the radar’s edge for a couple of years now. His music embodies the carefree nature of his hometown with leftfield neo soul and sounds like someone artfully flicking through a mixture of Sky Movie channel soundbites, LiveLeak videos and jazz breakdowns. Omari labels his songs as “vibe music”, and is latest album, “High Loops & Higher Loops,” develops on that with greater musical flamboyance. Influenced particularly by Stevie Wonder and J Dilla, Omari regularly utilizes strings, trumpets and relaxing melodies in his production work.

Standing out in a sea of producers rising from the L.A. beat scene, the prolific artist and record collector produces his sound by creating a pastiche of soul, jazz and hip-hop that melts together in a style uniquely his own. Given his work thus far, it’s clear he’s in it for the long haul. It seems Omari isn’t here to blow up from just one song, he’s looking to build a lasting legacy one beat at a time.

The interesting thing about the tape is that I’ve spent most of my days listening to the [flip’s] of some of the tracks featured on this album in anticipation for it’s release, so when listening to this mainly instrumental album, it had me “filling in the blanks” as if the flips were the original tracks and this was a bonus album, but actually its the other way round.

By definition, High Loops & Higher Loops is an instrumental release, yet Omari skillfully arranges these verbal fragments to liven the procession. In doing so, the album breezes through golden-era rap and R&B while remaining very much in the now. It properly showcases Iman’s wide-ranging sonic palate and offers a hearty glimpse into musical yesteryear. As a result, HL&HL feels remarkably nostalgic. It’s a fully realized effort, bridging a gap between older and younger listeners, and serving as a nice starting point for new Iman Omari consumers.

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