Om Unit (UK)
As a producer and DJ, Jim Coles has been a significant and pioneering presence in various dance music circles for the past five years. Following a formative decade in the global hip-hop underground, Coles took the name Om Unit in the late 2000s and began to travel across genres and scenes in search of sonic tropes to cross-breed and re-imagine. Key to his approach is a desire to never settle for the destination and instead focus on what can be learned from the journey. What drives Coles is a desire to keep challenging himself, and in turn his audience. Over the past five years, this has led him to distill various influences — hip-hop, dubstep, ambient, jungle, footwork — into a fluid take on sound system culture that sidesteps the pitfalls of genres and pastiche and creates new potentials for exploration and inspiration, with many following in his footsteps. It’s how, in the early 2010s, he came to pioneer the stylistic and rhythmic links between jungle and footwork via a series of acclaimed edits that brought him to the attention of the drum & bass scene. In 2011, Coles set up a label, Cosmic Bridge Records, which represents a dual path of inspiration: that which Coles found in others’ music, and that which others have found in his. Coles is also a sought after DJ, with over 300 appearances in clubs and festivals in more than 30 countries he has made the equivalent of over a dozen trips round the globe and counting. A keen scholar of all music, he draws from the past and present to imagine the future, never content to remain in the same place for too long.