With widespread DJ support across the board, versatile producer Om Unit is fast establishing himself as one of the most talented and talked about producers in the country, forging this name with his own brand of expansive, genre spanning electronic music. With his third EP Aeolian due out at the end of the month on Civil Music and a DJ slot at Fabric on July 27, we thought it high time to catch up with the man himself to discuss the release and music in general.
One element of your music I found fascinating on this and previous EPs, is your ability to fuse different and often wildly contradicting musical elements together, like the juxtaposition of the earthly and organic sounds, with the otherworldly and futuristic on Ulysses. Why do you think this works so well on your records and is it something you actively strive for?
I think it works well because there are threads between supposed genres that don't get explored that much, if you take electronic music back 20-30 years, the lines were even more blurred. I think people should judge a record on whether they think it's well realised, regardless of what other people say about it or what scene it came from, so I think in a way I like to synthesise elements or idiosyncrasies from various styles and make something more interesting to me.
Is messing with peoples preconceptions an important tool in adding musical interest and vital in keeping things fresh?
It's essential. I think that the homogenisation of life's many aspects is turning people even more into idiots. I think if you challenge an audience you pave the way for them having to think more for themselves. They probably won't like you for it, but I think it's necessary. I go with the “spoonful of sugar,” method though, I think there's usually an easy handle to get where I'm coming from at the same time. I do however have some deeper tracks out there for those that have the ears, Fibonacci 10 on Hoya:Hoya for example.
How do you envisage expanding this envelope further in the future?
Really I just stick to where my feet are and I say cross that bridge when I come to it.
What kind of environments and situations inspire you and your music?
Being in clubs, architecture, geometry, my own reflections on things, I like to think that the music has a space of it's own though, there's a lot of imagination going into things but they are personal and I don't claim to be able to make loads of people see the same imagery as me so I keep that private.
The groove on Dark Sunrise for example I found quite totalitarian, especially that mechanical, warbling bass. Was that made in response to the lyrics or is that something Tamara brought to the table after perceiving the same?
I wrote the beat first, it's definitely stern but that's just how it came out, Tamara read it how she did and it became Dark Sunrise, we have similar political views so I think the feeling gels in that sense.
Let's talk about your set in room three of Fabric on July 27. How do you incorporate, if at all, the almost ambient soundscapes of tracks such as Fumes with more obvious and perhaps expected floor fillers?
I tend to go harder with the DJ sets but still weave in and out of stuff; I just feel it out as I play. I think that usually ¾ of the crowds I play to haven't heard the tunes I play, so usually I fight a bit of a battle but I like the challenge
Do you ever remix your tracks to alter the experience, especially at a club such as Fabric or are you happy with the effect they have on that system as it is?
Not really, I like to leave stuff as it lies. If anything I'll play dubs other people have sent me and fresh stuff, sometimes new ideas, testers and other people's VIPs.
Can you tell us more about the artists you've chosen to remix your tracks on this EP?
Reso – goes without saying he's a studio gangster, his attention to detail and knowledge of sound design and processing sounds is up there with the best. I hear his album is going well, I can't wait to hear it.
Sweatson Klank – formerly known as Take, he's a friend from L.A. who owed me a remix and I called it in for this project as I felt he's in a really good place right now with his new Sweatson Klank project. He founded the Sketchbook night in L.A., which basically was the birthing place for the whole Brainfeeder thing.
What do you feel they've added or even taken away from the originals?
They both remixed Ulysses. Reso's mix really goes in on the drums, the fills sound like Chris Daddy Dave doing drum & bass! He just nailed a great sound overall, the bass and the way he's flipped the feel in the melodies; sick.
Sweatson went in with a deeper spaced out mix, just a ticking rhythm and these great spacials coming in and out all the time. Really smashed it, took it to the headphones!
This is your third release with Civil, you obviously have a good working relationship with those guys?
Yep, they don't muck about and they do what they say they're going to.
What's in the pipeline for Om Unit? Where can we get hold of this EP?
More of the same! The EP is out digitally July 23 and vinyl July 30 on Civil Music, get it direct from the label to support us.
Words: Sam Oliveira
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