When we appraised space-rock back in RC 360, we included Omnia Opera’s vinyl debut as both a key example of the crusty amalgamation of Hawkwind and Here & Now’s improvised psych with anarcho-punk attitudes, and a collectable LP through its release on Richard Allen’s Delerium label. “Omnia was a mixture of energies culminating in this energetic heavy mind soup,” founder-member Andy Jones told us at the time.
They’d broken up when Allen started what Jones describes as “his tenacious nagging” to get them into the studio; if he hadn’t, what they’d have left behind would have been two highly successful (in an underground sort of way) cassette albums. Instead, Allen added the two LPs collected here. We’re thankful he did, since these recordings are classic outdoors, out-of-our-heads, space-rock perfectly epitomising the mud-strewn, dogs barking, free festival sites and sights.
That scene – in its death throes when Omnia Opera appeared in 1993 – had effectively ended before Red Shift arrived in ’97. If it does still live on, in little pay festivals supported by the faithful, it’s in part because of bands like this one, who made space-rock relevant to a new generation. Spaceheads be aware: a new Omnia album, Nothing Is Ordinary, is also available from their website.