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Torchlight is a series of releases from Om Unit dedicated to exploring ideas that are truly perpendicular to the standard templates of dubstep, jungle, and drum & bass.
The sold-out series began in July 2015 and ends a year later with Volume 3, offering listeners a trilogy of sonic meditations on form over function. Torchlight was started as a reaction to the stylistic boxes artists find themselves forced into, in this case the perception of Om Unit as the “footwork jungle, half time guy.” Written over the course of a year during a time of personal upheaval, the series explores the recesses of tempo limitation while also allowing Om Unit to question possible future directions for his artistry. “Often I would play the songs to friends who wouldn’t quite get it, which to me is a sign of things moving on.”
The A side is given over to the 8-minute-long, sprawling ’Underground Cinema’ collaboration with Bristol legend DJ Krust. Best known for his work with the Full Cycle label and Reprazent project, Krust’s own explorations of the limits of drum & bass in the late 90s have been a foundational inspiration for Om Unit ever since. As the title implies, the song is intended as an imaginary soundtrack with Krust supplying the bulk of the synth work and FX, and Om Unit handling the arrangement and rhythm. The result is a composition that brings to mind great moments in drum & bass history but yearning for something grander as it unfurls in delicate movements, each element finding its own rightful place, and with a calculated pace that engulfs the listener in a cinematic ride both physically and cerebrally.
On the B side, ‘Fuzzd An Soup’ laces a rolling break over a steady rhythmic pulse alongside delicate melodies for another take on eyes-down at a faster tempo. Things then slow back down to an imperfect quarter-time on ’Lightbody Transfer’ as energies are reset for the next step of the journey. The digital version of Volume 3 also features bonus cut ‘Only The Mirror’, an expansive ride from the same mould as Om Unit’s Threads LP.
With Volume 3, Torchlight rounds off a collection of songs charting the less frequented waters of uptempo dance music, a hand drawn map to other possibilities for fellow sonic adventurers and explorers.
A. Om Unit – Underground Cinema ft. DJ Krust
AA1. Om Unit – Fuzzd An Soup
AA2. Om Unit – Lightbody Transfer
Vinyl, Recommended, Vintage, Breakbeats, Drum & Bass, Jungle€14.99