Review: With an extensive repertoire that includes breaks, house and techno, Sam Binga's switch to future jungle rhythms has spawned some of his honest, his most exciting and his heaviest tracks to date. Sitting in the same unclassifiable field as Om Unit and Fracture, his productions wobble, writhe and punch sweetly around the 160/80 axis and feature a wealth of killer vocalists such as Warrior Queen, Rider Shafique and Romaine. Part dancehall, part jungle, part mongrel bass, Sam's skills are showcased succinctly across Wasted Days with a consistency that ensures the album experience is just as hard hitting as the individual tracks hit the floor. Get wasted.
Review: Synthesis is the fourth Digital album and it might be his most ambitious undertaking yet! The album's sixteen tracks see the UK producer working alongside a swathe of high profile contemporaries. The danger with projects such as this, is the lack of cohesion and binding theme but its clear Digital conceived Synthesis as a display of all that's good in the current scene. Exceptionally well produced and engineered, it's nigh on difficult to pick out a highlight here with the likes of Om Unit, Nomine, Villem, Spirit and the mighty Klute excelling in their bass science explorations alongside Digital. An album to really sink your teeth into.
Review: The third and final instalment from Om Unit's Mahakala project, once again we're hurled back 20+ years into the bubbling vat of jungle primordial soup. "Tomahawk VIP" picks up the damage from the last release but with added drum tension and an even ruder rave edge to the bassline. "Blue" flips for more of Goodlookin flavoured vibe but with added techno energy in the drive and arrangement. Exceptional jungle craft.
Review: Om Unit pulls the trigger on his new decade gun with this fantastic extended release "Submerged". An exploration of techno influences, all at around his signature 160 speed, we kick off with a nod to the northern bleep bass movement at the very foot of the foundations. Elsewhere "A Groove" is pure UR, all four-to-the-floor and dreamy bluesy synths, "Vertigo" is percussive, loopy and hypnotic, "Runes" weaves elements of dub into the fast-paced insistent rhythm while "Long Summer" takes us back to Detroit but more on Carl Craig, jazzier tip. Finally "Peninsula" closes on a dub techno tip where the heaviness is perfectly countered by the nifty, skippy rolling breaks. Some outstanding adventures to be found in here.
Review: We all know by now what to expect when we see a brand new Om Unit release hit the shelves, and that is the unexpected. The Bristol based compositional guru is back at it here with a bag of new tricks as we begin our enjoyable trek through 'Violet' with the post junglistic drum flips and switches of 'Sleeping Dragon'. Next, we look at the expansive harmonic structures of 'City Lights' and the smooth sub pressures and sparse melodic landscapes of 'Shackup'. Finally, we take a turn down a more abstract route to finish the EP as 'Righteousness' appears, armed with a tonne of unusual synth energy and shimmering drum processing. A very concise project indeed.
Review: Returning from the highly well received release of 'Self' the Om Unit wave continues as Cosmic Bridge put together an official remix selection, spanning a range of styles and adding some cool additional depth to the project post release. To begin the party, DBridge gets to work on his official modification of 'What I Can Be', working it into an unpredictable tech expanse before SKRS revamp Passages into a progressive roller with their 'Batta&Bruise' VIP. Next up, Sorrow gets into his zone giving Rider Shafique's exceptional vocal performance on 'Normal' a crystallised stepper rework, before O$VMV$M finishes up the project with an extremely atmospheric overhaul of 'Tahatan'.
Review: Cosmic Bridge founder, longstanding beat sculptor, futurist, absolute don: Om Unit continues to compose some some of the most beguiling, bewitching and immersive compositions in the bass sphere. Self is his third and most explorative album so far as he guides and glides us through powerful atmospheres, dynamics and textures from palpitating ambient such as the opener "Cold Love" and harmonic "Passages" and warped light fractures of "Fieldofdreams" to neoclassical motifs on rolling tracks such as "Out Of The Shadows". Other unmissable highlights include the haunted Rider Shafique sermon "Nothing", the jittering cosmic soul of "Make Believe" with DRS and Amos's heart-pulling mystic soul of "What I Can Be". One of those albums that continues to offer more and more with every listen, Om Unit has created something incredibly special here.
Review: The singular sounds of Jim Coles make their mark on Library Music as he drops his more typical tempo of around 85 to 70BPM with these cosmic futuristic bass jams. Pensive, slow-burning, laced with otherworldly textures and laden with chasmic dubspace: "Fire Exit" insists with a hypnotic twisted chime loop and shadowy basses groaning underneath and "Dark Vistas" takes us even deeper into the cosmic realms with heady layers of pads and ricochet heartbeat rhythm that envelop your every sense. Remarkable.
Review: Under the Om Unit guise, Jim Coles is probably best known for his left-of-centre - and really rather good - reinventions of jungle and drum and bass. Before that, though, he explored an attractive, pitched-down take on house music. It's that sound that's showcased on this surprise EP for Idle Hands. Apparently the tracks have been stuck in the vaults for years, but still sound wonderfully fresh. The warm, hazy and melodious "Friend of Day" is little less than the audio equivalent of a sun-kissed, loved-up hug, while the more experimental and off-kilter "Basement Superman" still boasts quiet positivity amongst the off-key loops and vari-speed riffs. As for "What It Is", you'll struggle to find anything deeper and more becalmed all year.
Review: Jim Coles has previously spoken about this second Om Unit full length being "a nod to the sound" of his "teenage self". Given the fact that he's rediscovered his jungle and hip hop roots in recent years, it's an accurate description. The fact that he's also mined Goldie's sample archive to help create the sound of Inversion is also telling. While it's not a straightforward jungle set - there are plenty of wonky moments, skewed downtempo interludes, footwork influences and trips into expansive IDMterritory - the skittish breaks, foreboding noises and murky textures all scream classic D&B. It adds a little spice to an already excellent set, delivering a range forward-thinking tracks with their roots firmly in the past.
Review: Jim Coles' decision back in 2010 to implement a swerve in his sonic trajectory away from his hip-hop past as 2tall in favour of a more all-encompassing approach that touches on various strands of bass culture as Om Unit has paid off and then some. Subsequent releases on Exit, Autonomic, Civil Music, Metalheadz and his own Cosmic Bridge imprint have all shown Om Unit eminently capable of tempo shifting productions that appeal to fans of bass music, drum & bass and footwork alike. The latter has been explored further while the Dream Continuum collaboration with Machinedrum on Planet Mu and his Philip D. Kick alias where the link between Chicago's juke heritage and UK jungle was explored. All this and more is included on Threads, a debut Om Unit LP for Civil Music that deftly collates various strands (or threads) of his production career over the past fifteen years for a cohesive 15 track set that veers through of hip hop, dubstep, jungle and even house.
Review: Om Unit is killing it right now. Whether he's mesmerising minds at the 80/160 axis or ripping out full-on audio attacks, his sonic execution is spotless. "Sleepwalkers" pays homage to the uncompromising Metalheadz motifs; all icy riddims and metallic bass. "Grey Skies Over Chicago" is a deeper vibe; ethereal synths moan and cry of a bed of tightly diced breaks and subtle, star-gazing arpeggios. "The Hand" completes the set on a more frenetic note; the drums are skittish, barely tamed by the faraway, naval-gazing synths and psychedelic flourishes. Each track a true treat, you won't be sleepwalking to this - you'll be sleepraving!
Review: London based producer Om Unit returns with next release "Aeolian" on Reso's Civil Music. Never restricted by genre, he traverses juke, dubstep, R&B, hip-hop, garage and all shades of the "bass music" spectrum, with a jungle influence sometimes creeping in. Opening with the esoteric "Ulysseus", this one is all about the rippling, rain-dancing rhythms and steady, stomping beats. Moving on to "Dark Sunrise (feat. Tamara Blessa)", we are treated to a storming dubstep banger with super sweet vocals in a dark, thunderous soundscape. "Fumes" is a more sparse and spaced out little number with dreamy, ethereal synths; while "Lightworkers Call" brings in the talents of Kromestar for another dark, nocturnal venture. "Slowfast Matrix" brings in a flurry of quirky rhythms to the equation before "Ulysses" is given the remix treatment twice over. Essential, no question.
Review: A hotbed of talent has emerged from the Civil Music camp of late, and this release, from none other than London based cross-genre magician Om Unit, is no exception from the rule. A stunning six-track EP, which kicks off with the oriental, shimmying "Swimming Dragon" with its razor sharp beats and enticing tone, is well worth a listen. Rumbling beats pervade "An Eternal Way" too, whilst "Vibrations" brings in hazy synths, echoing vocal and a thumping drum, which reverberates and dominates the soundscape. "Cold World" is the last original piece on the EP - an evocative concluding statement. Machinedrum and Ital Tek remix "Vibrations" and "Swimming Dragon", adding even more credibility to this already excellent EP.
Review: Largely the port of call for the drum and bass of Fracture & Neptune, Astrophonica's discography has seen curios like Machinedrum, Sully and Om Unit, otherwise known here as Philip D Kick, make an appearance over the years. As We Continue presents Om Unit's second release as 'D Kick' on Astrophonica, which may leave you wondering, do electric sheep dream of dubstep? If there ever was an answer it would most likely be "Drip", while for some uptempo, future bassline house look to "Clouds". With space age soul meeting the frenetic UK rhythms of jungle and bit-graded rave in "The Riveria" this EP moves from woozy ghetto house and footwork in "Summer Modes" to some Drexciyian electro motifs in "160909313", not to mention the post-post future dubstep of "Funk 160". You may pass, totally dope.
Review: Could Om Unit's twist on Nasty Habits' 1996 classic "Shadow Boxing" be one the most crucial VIP contemporisations in recent D&B history? Arguably, yes. The rolling drums, the slight melodic twist on the iconic bassline, the sudden moments of space... Whether you know this from back in the day or it's fresh to you, this really is a literally perfect example of how to VIP an influential classic. "Something Ancient" sees Om Unit team up with Thing for a cathedral-level stepper smothered in deep breath pads and mystic textures that sits somewhere between Clarity and Tobin. Immense.
Review: Four-to-the-floor, let us hear you roar... Fracture's Astrophonica goes into techno overdrive with this crucial collection of 4x4 inspired jams. With cuts from the bossman himself, Lewis James, Addison Groove, Moresounds, Sam Binga and Om Unit (under his Philip D Kick alias) all running rampant at around 160BPM there's a heavy stench of hardcore rolling throughout this unique collection. Highlights include the acid funk frenzy of Addison Groove's "Redeye", the ghettotek badness of Binga & ONHELL's "A Mighty Quest" and the late night 23rd century car chase vibes of Lewis James' "Kit5000". These are just a handful of examples of the truly unique fusions on offer here. Astrophonica are way ahead of the game right here.
Review: Om Unit takes it to the bridge once again. His label's first V/A collection since its evergreen Cosmology Sessions in 2017, it's another vast plane ripe in sonic depths and textures from some of the most left-minded, boundary-fusing captains in the bass game. Featuring two crucial link-ups from the bossman himself with two kindred spirits Djrum and Synkro plus a whole cosmic cornucopia of voyages from the likes of Danny Scrilla, J:Kenzo, Vromm and stacks more, every track is a highlight in its own beguiling way. No label flares with the same levels of dark vitality, there's more than enough for our brains to chew on right here.
Review: Let's just list the amount of stone cold bass OGs on this collection: Krust, dBridge, Om Unit, Danny Scrilla, V.I.V.E.K, Von D, Moresounds, AU, Oris Jay & Chris Innersound and whole load more of soundsystem culture's most innovative craftsman working at the deepest levels of the low end coalface all feature on this immense and forward thinking document. Including the curator Amit himself. Every track is a highlight, each one and abyssal, immersive experience but essential highlights include the toxic bass bounces of Moresounds' "They Can't Handle It", the 23rd century UKG of Oris and Chris's "They Can't Handle It" and Krust's big screen masterpiece "Escape From Finland". Amit deserves a holiday. Or a massive trophy. Or both. Bass compilations don't get much bigger than this.
Review: As dubstep and bass music in general continues to expand worldwide, we are starting to see more and more experimental selections come together, with this fantastic 14 tracker from the Cosmic Vibrations crew being just what the doctor ordered. They deliver an hours worth of smooth introspective soundscaping, with the roster including top names such as: Biome, Congi, Occult, Ill Chill and more. The whole tracklisting just breathes originality, with our favourites including the stunning UKG designs of 'Eyes Down' from the fabulous link up of Bonobo and Andreya Triana, alongside 'Nothing', an impactful piece of stepper poetry, crafted between the wonderful Rider Shafique and the ever-ready Om Unit!