Omni Music is a label on the rise. With a wide-ranging artist list, including some established names alongside some up and comers, the label represents variety and quality. We chat to label boss Chris about what Omni Music is all about.
Hey Chris, tell us about the history and the growth of Omni Music.
Well, I initially set up Omni Music as a platform for my own releases as Eschaton (pronounced 'es-kur-ton, it often causes some confusion!). Some of my sounds didn't have a natural home on other labels and I was also getting increasingly frustrated with other labels failing to do things they had planned or promised. After that I began to receive demos from other artists and it really grew from that point. The first release was a digital LP by myself called Quantum 1. It embodied what I wanted for the label, which was to release drum and bass and electronica from the deeper end of the spectrum, in both the dark and light forms. That's what the yin/yang symbol in the logo represents. After that LP, I ran a remix competition and released two remix CD's of the tracks from Quantum 1 featuring Stunna, Pete Rann, Shadow Boxerz (ex-Pariah of Goodlooking Records fame) and a host of other producers. I got a good response to all of that, so I just kept going and going, featuring a mix of free releases, EP's and LP's and a couple more CD's. I've just been pushing the sounds more and more and gaining better distribution and it feels like things are really beginning to click into place finally.
Who are some of the artists you've been working with? What are some of your bigger releases to date?
I've had a huge number of artists involved in the label, and am proud to have them all under the 'Omni' banner at some point or another. Personally I've worked with Parallel from the US quite a bit and have also collaborated with Stunna, dgoHn, the Latvian artist Jiva, and an Italian artist called Enjoy, who has been featured on Subtle Audio a lot. In terms of other artists on the label, I've been working with some incredible talent such as Voyager, Aural Imbalance, DJ Trax, Infest, Jason Os, Ricky Force, Madcap, Indidjinous, Fushara, Nic TVG (from the label Pinecone Moonshine), Marvel Cinema, and the Russian band Sky Residents. I could list many more, and I'm equally proud to have featured and worked with them.
The biggest releases so far have been in the form of LP's. Jiva's 'Periods of Constance LP' has gone down extremely well and it was a pleasure to release it. It's a very experimental epic album that crosses many genres, but is mainly routed in drum and bass, and it has done very well. Relics Volume 1 and 2 by Indidjinous have both done extremely well too, with some very dark dirty drum workouts on display. My first Quantum LP and my recent Drum and Space Volume 1 have been well received, as well as the collaboration album I made with the Russian band, Sky Residents, who have been busy touring the album and making it into a live experience around Russia. A few recent EP's have really sold well too, Expandism EP by St.Kaaz, Oracle by Noble Sense and the Passion EP by Limit. They're not artists particularly well know, but that is a travesty as their production, the ideas and the vibe they create, are just sublime.
You also have a list of up and coming, more experimental artists. Tell us about those.
We've already featured a lot of experimental artists that I am going to be harnessing again soon; mono_sono from South Africa, Relapse, Shebuzz, Jiva etc, but the way I run Omni is to allow a sense of freedom to experiment that little bit further to see if things work. That has resulted in some great music to come, such as Marvel cinema, Zengineers, Scale, Reborn, and Sub Filter, to name a few. Of course my own productions often descend into some form of experimentation, so I should probably add myself to that list. I like to see how artists create when not confined too much to a set system, as long as it fits the deep side of the music really, then I'm happy.
What would you say are the overriding qualities of the music you deal with? What unites the artists in the camp?
Overall I would say the timeless nature of what I try to release. When looking to sign music, it has to have an element that will sound as good in 5 or 10 years time. It has to keep an essence of the route of the music, whatever style it is, from drumfunk to jungle to atmospheric rollers. Having grown up since this music since 1990, I have seen the way it has evolved, and want to try and capture the best parts (in my opinion) of that progression. I think what unites the artists is the freedom I give them, the fact that I'm very approachable and like to help nurture new talent and support artists through their creative process. I like to think the artists are as proud to be on Omni Music as I am having them on it, and I hope that the listeners continue to support us, as ultimately we couldn't do what we do without them.
And tell us about the upcoming releases you have. What are some of your longer-term plans?
We've got quite a hectic schedule during 2013. Forthcoming we have a free EP from Dwarde and Tim Reaper on an oldskool jungle tip. That's followed by EP's from Tidal & Nemanoe, Scale, Madcap & Wilsh, Pete Rann and Marvel Cinema.
What I am most excited about is the next few limited edition CD's we're going to release and the very first vinyl release. CD-wise we have the incredible Infest at the end of March, with his Darkofi LP. It's a fantastic mix of dark breakbeat grooves, downtempo ambience and experimental drumfunk. After that there are two CD's of remixes from my Drum and Space Volume 1 LP (called Sound and Space), featuring Voyager, Aural Imbalance, Madcap, Sub, bassflo, Nemanoe, Tidal, Scenic and Advisory, Fada and many others.
The first vinyl is due out very soon too and features 4 collaborations with myself, Stunna, DJ Trax, dgoHn, Enjoy and Infest. It's been an interesting journey for Omni Music so far and I'm really pleased to be where we are now, and hopefully it will continue for a long time to come.
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