this album is a collection of material written between 1999 and 2001 by thomas knak / opiate. in past few years he started his own imprint hobby industries, collaborated with alva noto (among others), released material on vertical form and city centre offices; he is also a part of system (also known as future 3) that recently put out their debut on ~scape.
opiate was a pleasant surprise, an unexpected treat when I got to hear him live during his american tour with lali puna last year. opiate's sound possesses a unique warmth and depth outlined by fractured syncopated splinters. contrary to usual mechanic sound of clicks and cuts genre, opiate uses a multitude of organic elements to create a balance of melody and stuttering shuffling microsound devices. the result is incredibly fragile living texture that transcends cheap melodramatic qualities of usual idm, creating smooth compositions that at times linger for an extra moment in the shimmering darkness, paying tribute to meticulous obsessive sound architecture.
it seems that instead of usual abstract unconnected sounds of glitch style, opiate employs an army of technoid yet very tangible, recognizable sound sources that contribute to the overall "living" nature of music. a microscopic world of anthropomorphic mechanisms comes to live, reminding me of intricate constructions by brothers quay.
opiate might remind you of early bauri ep's with an added distinct organic touch and feel for space and dimension. what sets opiate apart from everyone else is the composition and development of music themes that captivates the listener at all times, escaping the usual tech-only fascination of the genre. with an upcoming ep on morr music, opiate becomes a figure too significant to overlook.