Om Unit steps into 2020 with ‘Submerged’, a six-track EP comprised of varied uptempo grooves, which in his own way defy categorisation once again. The EP draws influence from various aspects of the techno landscape as much as borrowing from tropes of previous work including his trademark use of space, rhythmic tension and sub-heavy hypnotic bass melodies. A record that showcases further diversity and sonic innovation within the realm of what has been coined ‘160’, a loose term to describe a movement which he himself has helped to pioneer since the early 2010’s.
Submerged opens with the electro-inspired ‘Patterning’, which takes as much influence from Detroit as from the rhythmic structure of jungle and broken beat, drawing a parallel between these forms in a similar fashion to artists such as deep blue or even 4 hero might have in the 90’s but with an upfront broken structure that might even be described as ‘retro-futurist’ in it’s electro sensibilities. ‘A Groove’ comes next leaning fully into a 4 x 4 foundation, with classic Juke-style construction, paying respect to modern funk in the process with it’s classic Roland pads and sun-drenched synth lead line whilst borrowing a jungle break here and there not in a dissimilar fashion to his work as ‘Philip D Kick’. Side A closes with ‘Vertigo’ which takes us in to a minimal eyes-down realm with a hypnotic vocal sample and a half-stepping percussive structure all supported by a seriously low sub-rhythm. Not one for the feint-hearted selector. Side B opens with ‘Runes’ which invokes a sense of nostalgia back to his work on ‘threads’ with gently rolling percussion and bass lines that support a synth landscape that invoke the a sense of the other-worldly dance-floor. Next up it’s ‘Long Summer’ a grounded and percussive Jazzy workout not that dissimilar to tracks from 2019’s ‘Violet’ EP, taking influence from Bukem’s classic ambient jungle of the 90’s but with his own unmistakable half-stepping ‘slow-fast’ groove. The record closes with ‘Peninsula’ which again whilst not being dissimilar to the work of ‘Violet’ this time takes the 160 realm into to a slow-mo 4/4 groove heavily inspired by the masters of dub techno, backed up with a classic syncopated breakbeat in classic Om Unit style.
This EP is another chapter in Om Unit’s work around the 160bpm realm, taking complete ownership of his process and leaning away from the confines of genre once again, expressing ideas that whilst lean heavily into known places make connections that some might not at first easily perceive.
released January 31, 2020
Artwork by Oliver Yorke
Mastered by Bob Macc at Subvert Central Mastering
Vinyl Cut my Lewis Hopkin at Star Delta Mastering