Omer

Snapping percussions, fierce basslines, swirling layers of melody and synths that resonate with warmth and emotion. We caught up with Israeli born DJ and producer Omer, who recently released his second EP via Paramida’s Love On The Rocks.

Once in a while you come across a new name that instantly demands your full attention. One of those artists comes in the form of Berlin-based producer Omer. Starting life in a small settlement in the West Bank, outside of Jerusalem – Omer found his way to the electronic music capital, better known as Berlin, a decade ago, where his work has become very comfortable within its surroundings. In those ten years, he has been regularly playing at Cocktail d’Amour, Buttons, Renate and SchwuZ – becoming a fixed member of the city’s exuberant nightlife.


Although having operated behind the decks, for quite some time, his first release came in the early months of 2016. Released via Cocktail d’Amour, his ‘Spring’ EP blends the sounds of the east with an immediately seductive atmosphere of bright melodies and melancholic moods, leaving the listener plenty of room to be transfixed through it’s entirety.

This summer, Omer shared his second EP via Paramida’s Love On The Rocks imprint – a beautifully arranged 3-tracker. The title track ‘Bye’ is the long-awaited, secret rework with its hands in the air hysteria that’s been doing the rounds recently among a tight-knit of trusted tastemakers. Snapping percussions, fierce basslines, swirling layers of melody and synths that resonate with warmth and emotion, we absolutely love it.


Welcome Omer! How have you been, and how has the summer treated you thus far?

Hey there, I’m doing pretty well. Summer has been really nice. My new EP ‘Bye’ came out and is well received, so that’s very exciting. Also got to play around Europe, and it was nice to see new places and check out other scenes.

Born in Israel, could you tell us a little about your time there, where you grew up and whether you had much of a musical upbringing?

I grew up in a small settlement in the West Bank, outside of Jerusalem. This is a very politically charged part of the country with conservative and right-wing population. Not the best place for an introverted little gay boy. Needless to say that none of it fit my way of looking at life, so the internet was a great source to see what’s happening out there. Even though it was quite an early era of the internet, I was digging and finding lots of new obscure music. Lots of experimental, noise and old school electronica were my main interests at the time. I was constantly looking for sounds that will make me feel somewhere else. I was learning to play the guitar and piano when i was young, but never really took it too seriously. I was mostly enjoying manipulating the sounds of those instruments on my computer with softwares I found online.


When did you make the move to Berlin, and why?

Around 10 years ago, I was working on a project with a friend from Jerusalem, It was a spoken word performance where she was reading her poetry and I was doing the arrangements and electronics. We were invited to play a show here in Berlin as part of a festival and I liked it so much that I chose to stay and since then i’m a Berliner. I wasn’t aware of how much freedom and acceptance can exist around me, it really opened me up personally and musically.

Since moving there, you’ve been regularly doing the rounds at Cocktail d’Amour, Buttons, Renate and SchwuZ. For people unfamiliar, what makes Berlin’s club scene such thriving environment for upcoming artists?

I think what made me fall in love with the city and with club music was how social and communicative the atmosphere was. Jerusalem is a heavy and charged place to be in, and it affects your output, also when it comes to partying.

I’ve had the chance to meet so many open minded / like-minded people and lots of them quickly became friends, and some later on colleagues. We exchanged ideas and our outputs and luckily they liked what I was doing and believed in what I have to say. There’s something very unpretentious in Berlin, people from all kinds of backgrounds and lifestyles merging together at parties very equally. Also, another thing that people tend to ignore is that outside the clubs, the city itself is very peaceful and quiet. Maybe it’s german pragmatism that creates designated places for pure hedonism but also gives you the right environment to simply live your life.

Who have been your main inspirations musically as you’ve been finding your own sound?

I was coming from a more raw, free-formed style of making music, drawing my early inspirations from old school electronica such as early Warp stuff & Pan Sonic, Industrial/No Wave artists like Swans and Glenn Branca, 70’s experimental folk artists like the Takoma Label and bands like Cocteau Twins and Durutti Cloumn. So basically a big salad of influences that doesn’t make much sense, in which I’m equally fascinated by sound and texture manipulation and beautiful melodies & harmonies. Moving to Berlin made me dive deeper into club oriented producers like Fort Romeau, Todd Terje and Mattheis to name a few.


A year after releasing your debut EP on Cocktail d’Amour, your second EP just hit the shelves via Love On The Rocks. Must feel good to land your first two EPs on such esteemed labels. How did you first get involved with them?

I can’t be happier to be part of these two outlets, which represent so much of what I love in dance music. I was attending the Cocktail parties from the early beginning, and felt like I found the perfect combination of good music and good crowd. Over time I became friends with Giovanni and Giacomo (who run the party), and sent them stuff I was doing. Same happened with Paramida later on. I’m really lucky to have them as friends and also for believing in what I do.

When comparing the two, your latest outing strikes us with higher tension and an more direct approach. With that, have you seen much of a change in your production style in that time?

Yeah, totally. On the first EP I worked together with Giacomo, so there was a lot of watch&learn going on. I brought some demos, and together we shaped it into finished tracks. It really helped me to sharpen my ideas and get some skills in storytelling and editing. The technical part is a never ending story. I’m still learning new tricks and methods every day. On the second EP I’ve done everything on my own, so it was very exciting to apply everything I’ve learned so far and also introduce new ideas that I had.


Could you tell us a bit about that recently released “Bye” EP on Love On The Rocks? How did it all come together and what would you like listeners to take away from it?

Initially it’s a summer record. We had Bye as the title track and together with Paramida we picked up some jams I’ve done, so that it all works together. I wanted to create something that flirts with early trance music and break beat, something psychedelic and groovy that gives room for melodies and harmonies to blend together and that will work both indoors and outdoors, daytime and night time.

The EP’s title track, which got nicknamed “the not-so-well-kept secret rework”, has been picked up by multiple high-ranking tastemakers. What do you take away from listening to the original, and why the decision to do a rework on this particular track?

Well, the whole thing started as a birthday present I’ve made for a friend of mine who was obsessed with this song and wanted to hear it when going out dancing. So I secretly worked on a version meaning to send him the file on his birthday. From the beginning of working on it I really fell in love with what was coming out. I mean, the original itself is awesome on its own, so there was a solid foundation. I decided to send it to some friends for feedback and Paramida was like ‘this is BIG, we need to do something about it’. It quickly caught up as a mini underground hit in berlin. For example, I remember hearing it been played twice on the last new-year’s eve party at Berghain. I’m really happy about how it moved so many people, and also for bringing this birthday present to life.

Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us? [where and how you recorded it, the idea behind the mix and any standout tracks you’d like to mention]

I tried to compile a bunch of tracks that I really enjoyed playing over the last year in gigs and to match them together into a story. It moves around a range of moods when the main goal was to keep it trippy and emotional. Hopefully it will be something that people can enjoy dancing to or playing at home.


What’s on the horizon for Omer?

I’m working on new material for both Cocktail d’Amore Music and Love on The Rocks, where I’m gonna continue exploring my current obsession with trance music but also reaching some darker tones.

Buy Omer’s “Bye” EP HERE.

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