Touch From A Distance Records
TBR: 12th October
Some time ago, Opal Sunn played a set of their experimental material at a Berlin house party. One of the guests just happened to be connected to Touch From A Distance's Nick Höppner. The stage was set from that moment on, as Opal Sunn clearly demonstrated a superior and professional command of their tools. Two Japanese ex-pats who chose to make their home in the centrefold of the electronic music scene, this Berlin based duo bounce their skills from each other's music to create a great uplifting and party based sound. Since releasing two EPs on their own label, Planet Sundae, Hiroaki Oba and Al Kassian move across to TFAD and all the firepower that goes with it.
The EP rips open with a down and dirty funk beat which pounds every other time with a sludgy bass tone. Airy fills waver over the top in a flurry of melodic harmonisation while a tribal style forward motion pours from the drums. Tingles and twinges in the top section revolve and eventually turn over the stone revealing a jewel dropped inner soundscape of catchy dance. Cerebral body music that takes a hold of our mind and stomach pulls us into the energy and gets us moving. Space building phases of sound grow and submerge in the frothy mix of drum, melody, and percussive composition. Parallax progresses into a frantic engine of rhythmic good vibes which seem to come from every direction.
A new sensation is delivered as Aura begins. Swerving tones and thumping cymbals sit on a foundation of subtle bass. New tuneful sounds bubble from the wellspring of silent potential giving an effervescent quality to the track. Echoing drums canter off into distant corners while the uplifting and pacey melody brings new directions in with each few bars. Drawn out sonic groans build themselves into the sound, ranging on the peaks left behind by the persistent and catchy drumbeat. Each subsection of sound brings home the right direction and tangent to the delivery of dance music to allow a full spectrum of prompts and timing.
Stripped down sounds comprise the third number, a minimal techno feel mixes with a heady sensation brought in by warm distortions. Allowing for more clarity in the composed melody, the nuances of pitch and synth tone build glowing spot-lamps of sound and flow. Smart and catchy hi-hat rhythms sit over the bouldery underscore while muddy coagulations of synthesiser simmer slowly over each revolution. Distances and journeys are represented by ever shifting currents of looped additions to the well crafted and multi-directional mix. Mirage perhaps builds an illusory wall of sound from several well-placed points on the sonic landscape.
As Phantom begins, earthy undertones build and waver on a flowing bed of club-based energy. More upbeat melody garnishes the harmonising bass and moody drum to form a dreamy layer of mind wandering and musical accompaniment. Pulsing tones build riffs and hammer them to the ground with pegs of high-end bass and frilly cymbal fills. Less in your face than the previous three numbers, Phantom turns the heat down a little to allow us to stand just that bit closer. Once through the open window, the clever use of ingredients makes itself even more apparent
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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