Fresh from a series of artist-led 12"s, Om Unit's Cosmic Bridge label returns with Dark Matter, its first compilation since 2017's 'Cosmology Selections'. Collected in a triple vinyl LP / digital formats, the release offers a fresh snapshot of the exciting possibilities and experiments happening at the intersection of hip-hop, jungle and bass music; a hybrid sound the label has pioneered since its first release eight years ago.
Across 14 tracks, Dark Matter showcases Cosmic Bridge's growing global roster of artists: Moresounds, Danny Scrilla, Proc Fiskal, Margari's Kid, Oliver Yorke, J:Kenzo, TMSV, vromm, alongside new faces Samba and Rude Operator, and perennial favorites Es.tereo, Synkro and Djrum, the latter two in collaboration with label head Om Unit.
Stylistically the compilation covers a broad range, and gives listeners the space to digest it all with a running time of 75 minutes. There are stripped-down, meditative rollers such as TMSV's flute-led 'Ominous', the bass hypnosis of Danny Scrilla's 'Sacred Waters', and Samba's snappy, booming remix of Om Unit's 'The Lake'. The timeless energy of jungle is channeled in Proc Fiskal's 'Death', a percussive, bouncy number, while Moresounds plays with filters (and your mind) as he refines a less-is-more take of classic themes on 'Watating'. J:Kenzo highlights the music's Jamaican roots on 'Dub For Bashenga'; a tough, pounding cut that goes straight for the chest and which finds its counterpoint in Rude Operator's 'Broken Sky'.
For those who like more expansive, cinematic approaches there are epic waves of drums, slick editing and euphoria in Es.tereo's 'Floating Point' and Vromm's 'Decentralized', while Oliver Yorke's 'Treasured' and Margari's Kid's 'Challenger' squeeze soul from colder sound palettes and tight breakbeats.
Om Unit's two collaborations, 'Reflections' with Synkro and 'Ruins' with Djrum, reflect the compilation's ambitions and breadth. The former is a delicate, uplifting roller that sets you up for the dark rumblings, freeform stylings and frenetic rhythms of the latter. The compilation ends with a track that arguably stands tall on its own, Crypticz's 'Chrysalis' feat. Amy Kisnorbo; an 11-minute epic that plays out like a love letter to the magic of breakbeat science, dub technology and human creativity.
Dark Matter is a finely crafted statement of intent from Cosmic Bridge and Om Unit, shunning easy self-congratulation for a dive into the musical potentials and connections of a sound that is now an established part of the global bass music vocabulary.
To be released on the 6th of September 2019.