Omni Anti
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Omni Anti

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"Omni Anti"

With a brand-spanking new EP on offer, Brisbane’s Omni Anti are taking local hip hop to all new organic heights. Move over The Optimen, Pure Product and Resin Dogs, you better make room for Omni Anti!

Live instrumentation in hip hop! It’s where it’s at no doubt and with their ‘Blackbird’ EP Omni Anti show us that there’s more than one way of doing it. The variety on the record is amazing.

Founder Tobias tells us how they go about things. “Johnno and I, the keyboardist, we’ve written the music and just got our buddies on board who are really full-on musos. So it’s all a live band, y’know? It’s an eight-piece band when we’re all on stage. That’s including a female vocalist, saxophone and a violin player.”

Somewhat left-of-field instruments for hip hop but fairly indicative of the broad scope Omni Anti take on. For instance, ‘27’, track 4, is a zingin’, big beat stomper of a number with super slick production that would get any club dance floor banging. But then the surrounding tracks are more in story-mode hip hop. Swerving melodies, smooth soul and no-nonsense beats providing a bed for reflective, at times harsh but mostly kinda caring, concerned lyrics.

Tobias it seems, and in turn Omni Anti, are somewhat drawn to the seedier, darker, soul-less side of the urban experience. He expresses some ideas that are mirrored in the Tom Wait’s biography I am currently reading. Much discussion on literary influences ensues, including my personal fave Bukowski. Blah, blah, blah - but this literary bent is reflected in the weight given to the actual lyrics of their songs. Not only do they tell stories and convey emotional pictures well, but damned if they aren’t actually distinguishable.

As Tobias says, the words are important. “I really started as a poet and Johnno’s been in a few bands and we just decided to start doing something because we really enjoy live hip hop and we really want to put poetry with this music, with this kind of feel, that mood that comes from the instrumentation of these kind of dirty instruments being thrown together,” he says.

Okay, so this story isn’t ever going to be long enough to give you the definitive Omni Anti story - but don’t worry you will be hearing a lot more of them anyway - but if it gets you to pick up the ‘Blackbird’ EP, then job done coz you’ll be hooked anyway.

Omni Anti’s ‘Blackbird’ EP is out now. Catch them playing at Sands Tavern, Maroochydore, June 19; Swell Tavern, Burleigh, June 20, The Hi-Fi July 4 and The Globe Theatre July 25.
- Scene Magazine


"Omni Anti - Blackbird EP"

Omni Anti are a real band, they have instruments, singers, lyrics, the whole package. What I’m not sure of is why they’re trying to make hip hop. As a soul, funk, jazz combo with pop appeal and wonderful timing, they’re a great listen and, I am sure, a fantastic live act, but as a hip hop group they make almost no sense.
But that’s marketing, and classification and Linnaeus isn’t here to preside over things so let’s focus instead on the EP.
This eight-piece band started in 2007 when Jonathon Bolt met Tobias Broughton and a concept was born. Having hit the scene and paid their dues on the stage this EP marks their coming out, pretty young debutants. The eclectic sound they produce is rich musically and interesting. The first and title track Blackbird sums up all their great points with Veronica Merry’s blissful vocals carrying a solid tune which drips funk and soul with Tobias’s verbalisation blending in to the sung track beautifully.
A poet, first and foremost, it takes a moment to register that this isn’t meant to be sure-fire rapping, but a story in words. This comes out on True Love too, a dissertation on relationships and emotion. The hip-hop genre does snap in to focus on The Floor Above with DNO from the Resin Dogs featuring over a melodic, jazz number, sax on full, a chilled-back beat, sort of reminiscent of the Dogs, unsurprisingly.
My favourite track, however, has to be 27 with its dramatic score, almost a cinematic sound, and orchestral inserts as they ponder those who die young, good and bad. It is, admittedly, a slightly morbid concept but somehow comes out as uplifting and has my favourite lyric in it: “The only one that really danced with Iggy Pop was Ian Curtis.” That’s some striking imagery right there. Finally a mention has to go to Psychochromatosis, downbeat, edgy, funky, again with the cinematic scope but this time building to a poem, more than a hint of The Streets meet The Last Poets with a definite Australian twist.
I enjoyed this EP a lot and it grew on me with repeated listening, be coming a soundtrack to my mind at times. I’d advise a listen and, more importantly, if you get a chance to see them live I reckon they’d blow the stage up, so get in there fast. There’s something pleasing and unique about these guys, they’re likeable, and while they’re not exactly hip hop, their deviation from it is a boon. Why waste these talented musicians on a narrow genre when you cannot open up a sound of your own?
- inthemix


"New EP from Brisbane group Omni Anti"

HIP HOP
Omni Anti
Blackbird EP
(Hydrofunk Records)
4/5 stars
Musician Jonathon Bolt and MC Tobias Broughton from Brisbane hip hop collective Omni Anti, met in 2007 while on stage at a gig in New York. They bonded over their shared interests and ideas on music, poetry and art. When the pair returned to Australia later that year, they hooked up with some like minded local musicians and began to make a name for themselves at gigs around Brisbane, like Walk Against Warming and the Valley Fiesta.
Like most bands starting out, they honed their skills on the local circuit before they turned to Dave Atkins from the Resin Dogs to translate the magic from their live shows into an EP. That ‘magic’ comes from the quality of musicians that Bolt and Broughton have brought together, who include Veronica Merry, Cassandra Coleman, Kathryn Bishop, Matthew Napier, Dan Alder and Anthony McCall. Fifteen musicians in total helped out with the recording of Blackbird EP, which features 6 original tracks of soul and jazz infused hip hop.
The production on the album is first class. The guys definitely knew what they were doing when they signed to Hydrofunk records and invited Dave Atkins to engineer the album.
The title track Blackbird has a quirky little piano sample that compliments the big sound of the double bass, with Tobias’ laid back flow and rhymes matching the underlying sax beautifully.
The second track True Love, is reminiscent of Soul II Soul with it’s slower r’n’b type groove, while the funky 70s guitar and bass give Industrial Skyline a cool lounge feel.
27, has the awesome sound of a violin coupled with a big bad bassline and has Tobias telling the tale of men who die young.
One of the standouts on the album is the Floor Above which features rapper DNO and Dave Atkins from the Resin Dogs. It’s a jazzy number with a simple guitar hook and accompanying sax.
Keep an ear out for these guys, you will be hearing a lot more of them soon. You will be able to catch them over June and July.
- Courier Mail


"Aussie Hip Hop with Chris Yates"

Well it’s that time of year where local independent releases have all stood to the side to make way for the inevitable onslaught of major label Christmas time bullshit, there’s a CD that slipped past my radar for a couple of weeks that well and truly deserves a mention. Locals Omni Anti, pictured, have released a world class debut EP, with massive production courtesy of Dave Atkins. The group mix up a palatable blend of big beats with some jazzy instrumentation and Tobias Broughton’s rapping and Veronica Merry’s massive soulful voice really give Omni Anti a very distinctive sound that works brilliantly throughout the six tracks on the Blackbird EP. You might have seen them playing with the Resin Dogs recently or at the Valley Fiesta, but if not they are promising some more chances to check them out early in the New Year so get on their myspaz to stay in the loop. - Time Off


Discography

"Blackbird EP" MGM/Hyrdrofunk 2009

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Bio

“Omni Anti have released a world class debut EP, with massive production courtesy of Dave Atkins. The group mix up a palatable blend of big beats with some jazzy instrumentation and Tobias Broughton’s rapping and Veronica Merry’s massive soulful voice really give Omni Anti a very distinctive sound that works brilliantly throughout the six tracks on the Blackbird EP.” Chris Yates, Time Off

Funky hip hop beats, edgy lyrics, soaring saxophone melodies and infectious grooves – this is Omni Anti.

The Brisbane hip hop collective emerged in 2007 as a result of the collaboration between Jonathon Bolt keys/sax/producer and MC/beat poet Tobias Broughton. The pair originally met on a live stage in New York City’s Greenwich Village, and from there began a shared journey of discovery and appreciation of music, poetry and art. After many years of performing and touring the US, Europe and Australia in various bands and ensembles, Jonathon began experimenting with alternative musical outlets, and scribbled down what would become a collection of hip hop beats with jazz infused melodies and riffs. From there, the collaboration with Tobias began and the result was the first demo recordings for Omni Anti.

In August 2007, Omni Anti’s line-up expanded as they hit the live arena, debuting at the Brisbane River Stage for the 2007 ‘Walk Against Warming’ event. The on stage chemistry was immediately obvious, and the group proceeded to perform their newly composed material at a number of intimate Brisbane venues to an overwhelmingly strong audience response.

During 2008/09 Omni Anti delivered a multitude of performances in and around Brisbane including The Arena, Barsoma, The Step Inn, Brisbane HI FI, The 2008 Valley Fiesta and The 2009 Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival winning over audiences with their electric live show featuring MC’s, female vocalists, saxophones, live drums, bass, guitars and keyboards. Also during that period the group entered the studio to commence work on their debut recording with engineer/producer Dave Atkins. The recording process entailed the collective efforts of fifteen musicians who would become the extended Omni Anti family.

In 2009 with the blackbird e.p. omni anti are set to deliver a new and very fresh sound, belying the members many years of experience performing with such groups as Resin Dogs, Solotaro and Final Days of Autumn to name a few.

Omni Anti’s debut release blackbird e.p. is available now on itunes and though Hydrofunk/MGM distribution at all good music outlets.