Crossing the Cosmic Bridge: Five Minutes with Om Unit

Crossing the Cosmic Bridge: Five Minutes with Om Unit

This coming Thursday, 19 January, Cosmic Bridge bossman Om Unit (real name Jim Coles) will be returning to Singapore. Acclaimed for his numerous outstanding releases on renowned labels like Planet Mu, Metalheadz and Civil Music (alongside his own of course), Coles has been at the forefront of the UK's electronic underground for many years now.

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Most recently, his Torchlight trilogy of EPs and his contributions within the Richie Brains group has been further pushing his unique sound to the masses. Combining heady strains of drum & bass, footwork, hip-hop, wonky and leftfield electronic beats - Om Unit's stellar production work has steadily reinvigorated the bass scene in Britain and beyond.

For his forthcoming Singapore gig, Om Unit will also be supported by The Operatives' head honcho JPS (real name Jerry Poon).

Currently based in Melbourne, the DJ-producer is also active as a tour agent and promoter, responsible bringing out some of the most ground breaking experimental beat artists (ranging from DJ Rashad and Marcus Intalex to Gaslamp Killer and Theo Parish) from around the world to Australia and New Zealand.

But beyond his recent exploits in Oceania, veteran Singaporean heads might also recognize him from his deep roots in the local drum & bass scene, while younger fans might remember him from recent homecoming shows at Revision Music's Sub City and Laneway Festival Singapore last year. 

Ahead of their combined showcase at Cherry Discoteheque, JPS caught up with Om Unit to grab a quick chat to ask five pertinent questions.

JPS: Yo Jim, firstly thanks for taking all the Australia and New Zealand crew on a journey as always, it’s a highlight when you’re out here.

When you think Singapore, what comes to mind?

Om Unit: Food man, come on! Other than that, my experience has been limited. I played in Singapore back 2013 but didn't get to see too much of the place. The people were very excited and came from far to hear the music which was awesome.

Listen to Om Unit's guest mix for SWU FM.

There is a constant drive for people to associate your music with drum & bass, perhaps because of the releases on Exit, 31 Records and Metalheadz... but really it sits on a different scope.  How would you explain the difference to this young but burgeoning electronic music scene in Singapore? Perhaps what Om Unit and the label, Cosmic Bridge represent.

A simple way to describe what we do is this, if you understand for example how dubstep relates to garage, the sound we push is like that to drum & bass, the foundation is the same.

A lot of the music I make and the music on Cosmic Bridge is something like... reflections and blends of known styles, of various styles of electronic music. This includes drum & bass, dubstep, ambient and other electronic music in general.

But it certainly has been largely focused on the tempo and feel of drum & bass.

What are five current records that you have in your recordbox on high rotation?

Trash Lord - 'Castle'

Radar Bird - 'Execute'

TMSV - 'Jazz Error'

Om Unit - 'The Corridor (Danny Scrilla remix)'

Skit & Kareful - Lotus

Who should we be looking out for?

JD Reid! His Rinse FM show showcases honestly the freshest music I've heard in years.

Will you ever compete in the DMCs again?

Maybe if I have a mid-life crisis!