“Om” The supreme and most sacred syllable, and believed to be the spoken essence of the universe. “Unit” a single thing or person.
Over the past four years, Om Unit has established himself as one of the most consistent and original artists in the electronic sphere. Based in London, the producer first made his mark with a reworking of Joker’s ‘Digi Design’, getting the blessing of Kode9 for a white label treatment. This quickly led to appearances on Fabric’s ‘Elevator Music’ compilation, All City Records and Plastician’s Terrorhythm imprint with the ‘The Corridor’ EP, Om Unit’s first statement of intent.
In 2010 he joined Civil Music, exploring diverse sounds across three EPs and beginning a relationship that would lead to his debut album. The EP trilogy began with ‘The Timps’, a sub-aquatic journey into electro, was followed by ‘Transport’, a collection of experiments in mechanical soul and slow/fast, and ended with ‘Aeolian’ two years later, a cinematic journey through modern jungle. The last two EPs were informed by Om Unit’s work under the Phillip D Kick alias– reconfiguring classic jungle anthems with a footwork twist via the free ‘Footwork Jungle’ EP series – as well as the birth of his own label, Cosmic Bridge Records, and a revelatory night out dancing to a dBridge set. All this unfolded throughout 2011 and 2012 alongside appearances on compilations for Pinch’s Tectonic and Berlin’s Project Mooncircle.
The Red Bull Music Academy recognised Om Unit’s originality, dedication and pedigree, selecting him for its 2011 edition in Madrid. The accolade and opportunities offered by the experience fed the producer’s creativity while growing his public standing. DJ appearances increased throughout 2012 and 2013, including a residency in London as part of Tempo Clash (alongside Kutmah, Kidkanevil, Blue Daisy and Offshore), regular European shows and festival spots, a month-long North American tour in August 2012, a tour of Australia and New Zealand later that year and an appearance at Sonar Tokyo in April 2013.
Having retired the Phillip D Kick alias at the peak of its hype (read more here), Om Unit then connected with Machinedrum. Bonding over a common love of classic jungle and footwork’s hyperactive rhythms they released the ‘Reworkz’ EP on Planet Mu in early 2012 under the Dream Continuum moniker. It was this work at the intersection of hip hop, footwork and jungle that would ultimately land Om Unit some of his biggest musical accolades: a joint EP with fellow jungle experimentalist Sam Binga on dBridge’s Exit Records and a solo EP on the legendary Metalheadz label alongside accolades from luminaries of the genre such as Doc Scott.
With a solid foundation established through hard work and sticking to his guns amid a dance music scene obsessed with shallow revivals and trends, Om Unit is set to make his boldest statement yet with ‘Threads’, his debut album for Civil Music released in October 2013. Sidestepping the pitfalls of instrumental, dance music long players, ‘Threads’ sees the producer reconcile all his work, influences and interests with vocals appearances from Young Echo’s MC Jabu, legendary urban poet Charlie Dark, Gone The Hero and Jinadu. Since 2010 Om Unit has remixed and collaborated with an extensive list of peers and personal heroes including Mark Pritchard, Danny Breaks, Daedelus, Om’Mas Keith, Fracture, Starkey, Ital Tek, Shigeto, Pixelord, Kromestar, Lorn, Arp101, Stateless, Jehst, Sweatson Klank, Illum Sphere, Adam Freeland, VIVEK and Foreign Beggars. Meanwhile support for his sound has come from Boiler Room, XLR8R, FACT Magazine, Dummy, LuckyMe, Electronic Explorations, Clash Magazine, a cover feature in Computer Music magazine and more.
Om Unit is the alias of Jim Coles. Producing since his early teens, he started with jungle before graduating via the world of turntablism under the 2tall moniker and representing the UK in the DMC world DJ championships. As 2tall he appeared on the John Peel show, collaborated with Dabrye, Foreign Beggars, Kashmere, and Jehst. He also released three albums including ‘Beautiful Mindz’ a collaborative project with Stones Throw’s Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow, and ‘The Softer Diagram’ on L.A’s Content Records. After performing decks ‘n’ FX for dubstep pioneers Various Production’s live show, Coles retired 2tall in 2008 and reset the clocks.
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