The pedigree of the music Omni Trio makes today is due in part to the multitude of influences contributing to his unique sound.
In the early 80's, against a background of Euro, experimental and Miles Davis-esque futuristic jazz fusion, he formed an avant garde funk group, 'Truth Club', (through an ad in the back of Melody Maker no less) which supported Cabaret Voltaire and The Associates.
'I started listening to Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman. Their subtle progressions and repetitive patterns are, in my opinion, very similar to early acid tunes.' In 1983 he released a highly acclaimed solo LP, 'Notes From Underground'. This won 5 stars in 'Sounds' magazine and was termed 'Gothic Ambient'. Inspired by the Detroit sound and the British Techno of early Warp, Orbital etc., he opened an independent record shop specialising in underground dance music. To this day, the majority of the customers are unaware of how illustrious the proprietor was. His imagination fired by early Breakbeat House ('Shades of Rhythm', 'Rhythm Section' etc.), Rob then formed two record labels, PM and Candidate.
In January 1993 the latter released 'Feel Good', a track which sold 1000 copies in a week, largely thanks to the support of LTJ Bukem who smashed the tune on dub plate. This drew the eyes and ears of then local Moving Shadow team who signed up his exceptional talent before releasing 'Mystic Stepper Vol.2' (Shadow 32) and then the remix 'Feel Good 95' (Shadow 32R2). There then followed a succession of remarkable tracks, each selling extraordinary quantities earning the respect of influential DJ's such as Fabio, Grooverider, Paul Oakenfold, Gilles Peterson and Bukem, artists such as Orbital, Everything But The Girl, T Power and Goldie, and fans all over the world.
Here is a quick rewind of past triumphs -
'Renegade Snares' (Shadow 36) and the excellent remix by Foul Play (Shadow 36R); 'Thru The Vibe' (2-on-1, #2) the limited edition of 'Through the Vibe' sold 4000 in 3 weeks; 'Rollin' Heights' Vol.4 (Shadow 44); 'Living For The Future' Vol. 5 (Shadow 51); 'Nu Birth of Cool' (Shadow 67); 'Who Are You?' (Shadow 73);
'Trippin' On Broken Beats / Soul of Darkness' (Shadow 80);
'Twin Town Karaoke' (Shadow 106) The name is designed to mislead the curious and conceal the identity of the individual known as the scene's most reclusive musical maestro. Intriguing fans and media alike, he chose not to emerge for his first album, 'Volume 1, The Deepest Cut' (AShadow 1).
'In terms of importance,' he has stated, 'I believe the music is 99% and everything else, the interviews, the sleeves, the titles, make up the other 1%.'
In spite (or because of?) this anti-promotional technique, it nevertheless went on to become one of the year's essential records, listed in all the 'Top Albums of '95' charts.
'The Haunted Science' (Ashadow 6) album followed it to the #1 position in the Dance Album Chart (24.8.96 - CIN), #5 in the Independent Album Chart (31.8.96 - CIN) and, thrills and spills, #43 in the UK Top 50 (24.8.96 - CIN) as well as a place in the Honour Rolls of '97. These combined successes led to Omni Trio being commissioned to remix chart acts including Spring Heel Jack, U.S. band Soul Coughing, Foul Play, Morcheeba, and, most significantly, Everything But The Girl included his mix on their best selling album: 'Walking Wounded' (Virgin). 'Skeleton Keys² (Ashadow 10) saw a promotional exercise obscure to the point of sinister. Limited edition one-sided coloured vinylõs appeared behind the counters of 'in the know² record shops, in the sets of A-list DJs and on the desks of taste-maker media moguls. No information was provided, not even track titles. There were no press releases and distributors were sworn to silence. They were praised in reviews under their catalogue numbers, 'AC12001' (for Audio Couture), 'AC12002' etc. Each pressing was limited to 1000 copies and they exchanged hands like goldust: AC12001 (blue) - 'Skeleton Keys' original mix; AC12002 (yellow) - 'Sanctuary' original mix; AC12003 (orange) - 'Twin Town Karaoke' Guardians of Dalliance mix; AC12004 (green) - 'Red Rain', E-coli mix. LTJ Bukem instantly championed 'Sanctuary' (Shadow 115) and caned it at his own Logical Progression events around the country. Interest snowballed and they were heard at nights such as Tempo, Movement and PM Scientists dropped by the likes of Fabio, Blame, Tayla, Grooverider, JMJ, PFM and Ray Keith.
This experiment leads us neatly to his third album. Even after all the secrecy the album still breezed in to No.1 in the CIN Dance Album Chart.
Bringing the story up to date, 1998 saw the start of the build up to Robs fourth album, due out spring 1999. 'Meltdown' (Shadow 121), is Rob's latest release and features some harder beats, a deliberate move away from the current live sound into something that in Omni Trios own words can only be described as 'Deep electro funk'.