Om Unit – Acid Dub Studies
Buy 12″/Digi & Stream:
1:00 Bristol Theme
4:19 Treading Earth
12:16 Celestial Envoy
23:47 Rolling Stock
31:52 The Struggle
Jim Coles once again turns the tide towards a new horizon and travels further into the echo chamber. Leading on from the much-lauded ‘Secret Location’ mini-album with Seekersinternational, one-offs such as ‘Open Palms dub’ (Dub Stuy) and other teasings, ‘Acid Dub Studies’ is the fully-fledged result of the merging of the calligraphic expression of the 303 Acid bassline with the stern sway of Dub Reggae and the hazier edges of Dub Techno and Ambient music.
For those who have been paying close attention, this project will come as a welcome return to the vulnerability and playfulness of early Om Unit records such as his sub-radar single from 2010 ‘Lightgrids/Lavender’ (All City Records) or the unearthed chugging ambience of ‘Friend of Day’ (Idle Hands) and indeed in some sense draws from similar wellsprings as moments on 2013’s Bass classic ‘Threads’.
Whilst being perhaps an ‘interim project’ this is still a vital and important expression of exploration and playfulness. A study in the true sense and borne out of a subtle but pervasive frustration with the rigidity found in musical words he has up to now been cohabiting, Acid Dub Studies comes from the pressing need to break with perceived expectation and to explore an honest and natural space away from the genre labels and tags that had been often lazily applied to his sizeable catalogue of music.
With no desire to reinvent the wheel, rather to paint pictures in an honest framework, the LP was crafted using a medley of classic analogue mixing techniques inspired as much by the adventurous dubbing of Adrian Sherwood as by the inward-delving haze of Scott Monteith’s Deadbeat project. Created during a period of lonely introspective walks through his home town of Bristol, the cover art is a photograph of some of the iron kerbstones that are found almost exclusively in the characterful and hardy city which were installed in the late 1800’s to protect pavements from cart wheels. Something about the permanence of those iron slabs and cobblestones inspired a sense of comfort and determination.
Acid Dub Studies is due for release as yet another self-released label-free project leading on from recent EP titles ‘Violet’ and ‘Submerged’ both of which hinted at some of the shapes found in this full length album.
Once again Jim has shown a rare convincing adaptability that few electronic artists can embody. Another step on the journey of personal and creative curiosity that fans are sure to appreciate.