Om Unit - Torchlight Vol. 1
Label boss Om Unit delivers his first full solo release for Cosmic Bridge!
Jim Coles, aka Om Unit launched his Cosmic Bridge imprint in 2011 with his (now highly prized) collaboration with Kromestar, ‘Solar Cycle/Merkabah’ and despite further appearances on the label; remixing and collaborating with Moresounds, Danny Scrilla, EAN and compiling the labels DJ Mag nominated compilation of the year ‘Cosmology’, solo material from the prolific producer has been noticeably absent from the Cosmic Bridge release schedule... until now.
Om Unit is constantly mutating his take on UK soundsystem music and following his acclaimed ‘Inversions’ LP for Metalheadz ‘Torchlight Vol.1’ is sure not to disappoint. Drawing on his perfect storm of influences the innovative hip hop and drum’n’bass dismantling outsider builds some of his most progressive music yet . As Om Unit tells it...
“This record is the result of many studio jams using outboard gear and less rules. Applying these almost non-techniques to the 160bpm bass music template I was seeking new ideas by breaking up the work flow. The result whilst some might say is not a million miles away from music I’ve made before, is a step further out of the box I feel I have helped create somehow.”
Opening track ‘Wagonist Riddim’ hints at some sort of anti-gravity Dub-futurismism; atmospheric squarewave soundsystem skank exploded and reconfigured at 160. A dynamic balance of halftime restraint, purring FX and rude analog nostalgia. ‘Spirit- werk’ counters with high-octane percussive alchemy, combining grime, footwork and rave and thrusting its technoid weirdness and headrush fills in the face of a faded/commercialised/gentrified recollection of original rave culture’s paradigm shift. This ain’t no frequency study. Move.
Jungle veteran, DnB legend and Function Records boss Digital (Metalheadz, Phanton Audio, 31 Recordings and more) guests on dark steppa ‘Midnight Oil’ lending his heavy, dub-influenced sound to the raw breakbeats. Together the two influential producers flex some proper ‘ardcore torque and bruising sound design and the result is a ‘92 breakbeat version of the detroit techno sound; sleek lines, sci-fi punch and sense of space and momentum.
The last track on the wax ‘The Lake’ ebbs and flows, an immersive adventuring mechanical-soul-scape that calls to mind some of Leftfield’s finer ‘Leftism’ moments. Inspired by a mediative experience at the clear, pure and still waters of Lake Volanselkä outside of Helsinki it’s a feast of downtempo nordic infused dub sonics and fluid etherial syncopation. The title of Torchlight’s icy bonus cut ‘Demons Out’ does nothing to belie its nature; described by Coles as “a Ritualistic cleansing for a soundboy’s head” the track closes the EP - slow, offbeat, halfstepping and atmospheric - and gives time to contemplate the vision and potency of it’s makers music.
As Torchlight’s name might suggest, and the graphic on the B side of the vinyl reiterates (the alchemical symbol for fire), Om Unit is shining a light into the void. Look out for Om Unit performing this summer at the dates below and his upcoming US tour.
Torchlight is released 31st July 2015 on Cosmic Bridge on Limited Edition 12” Vinyl and Download.
a1. Om Unit - Wagonist Riddim
a2. Om Unit - Spiritwerk
b1. Om Unit - Midnight Oil (feat Digital)
b2. Om Unit - The Lake