- All you need to know about Omar-S's outlook on life is pretty much summed up in the title to his new album. From the music to the artwork to the infamous quotes, the message has always been "only I can do it." It's a miracle, looking back, that fabric was able to coax a mix out of him—and hardly a surprise that he chose to include only his own tracks. Like a lot of Detroit artists, Alex Smith seems suspicious of anything and anyone.
Funny, then, that hardly any of this attitude seeps into his raw and anthemic techno, house and acid. Listen to Actress, for example, and you'll hear a clouded mind, full of doubt. Listen to "Here's Your Trance, Now Dance" and you'll simply be moved to dance. The only time I feel uneasy over the course of It Can Be Done is during "Look Hear Watch," which features an extended porno clip over its downtempo beat for a very long five plus minutes. After Omar wipes things down with an interlude, "I Come Over," the album begins again in earnest with acid bounce ("Ganymede"), wispy keyboard work ("You Wish") and a rework of a previously released tune ("Over You Too").
The secret to Smith's best work is the mix of the raw and the beautiful. The smushed hats and clattering percussion is a perfect foil for the melodies and harmonies that float through "Here's Your Trance." The same was true of "Psychotic Photosynthesis." You almost don't notice it when you hear it—instead focusing on the indelible joy—but take away those unpolished aspects and you have…well…trance. Even his most subdued tracks, like the understated "Nite's Over Compton," has a hook to hold onto.
Looking at his discography over the past few years, it's almost impossible to compare Smith's strike rate to anyone working in house and techno. Redshape, Shed, Kyle Hall and a few others come to mind, but no one with the same amount of tracks to their name. This is, of course, largely due to the fact that he runs his own label and can put out as much material as he likes. It Can Be Done But Only I Can Do further proves that he's right to do so. There's not a bad track on this thing, and quite a few great ones.
01. Solely Supported
02. Supported Solely
03. Look Hear Watch
04. I Come Over
06. You Wish
07. Over You Too
08. It Can Be Done, But Only I Can Do It
09. Nite's Over Compton
10. Here's Your Trance, Now Dance
11. Skynet 2 B
12. Bobien Larkin