omniboi is a Los Angeles-based producer and composer, originally from Arizona. He rose to some prominence in 2016-17 with a viral video in which he married a Migos acapella with Nintendo-jazz-chic chords, followed soon after by a string of notable singles and albums. He’s current with a new EP, Panorama, out now on Canadian powerhouse label and management group, Nettwerk.
After listening to a few songs from Panorama, it won’t be hard to gather that this is music heavily inspired by video game culture. But it’s not really 8-bit or chiptune. Instead, songs like “Ghost Town, USA” or “Marathon” feel distinctly 64-bit, and would fit right in on an N64 of Wii score. Music from that era of Nintendo games was deeply charming; these songs carry much of that charm because they’re so clearly the product of omniboi’s sincere love for that music.
Nevertheless, I’d say omni is strongest when approaching the less overtly video game-inspired fare on the record. The EP’s lead track “Set Apart” (featuring vocalist Dona) and “Omni-Vision” (featuring nelward) both temper the rubber and sodapop aesthetic that omni’s most comfortable in with a touch of red leather and champagne. Neither would be out of place in the context of a late aughts fluokids party in Paris where the DJ was playing nothing but French Touch and bloghaus. None of that is to say these are stuffy songs only for millennials either—they’re not—they just seem aimed at a broader audience. (I caught my two-year-old absent-mindedly shaking her stuff to “Set Apart,” and babies don’t lie, so that might also tell you something.)
Ultimately, Panorama is omniboi continuing to write the kind of music he loves, but there’s also evidence he might be eager to see his music working a few more dancefloors.
Panorama is out now. Grab it on bandcamp or stream it anywhere streams are sold.
omniboi – “Set Apart” ft. Dona (sc)
omniboi – “Marathon” (sc)