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opto (carsten nicolai and opiate) - 2nd
Opto is the collaborative project of two highly respected and influential electronic music composers : carsten nicolai and thomas knak. Nicolai has recorded under the 'noto' and 'alva noto' monikers for some years and is part of the revered Raster Noton collective. Thomas Knak is best known for his work under the 'Opiate' moniker and was involved in writing and producing Bjork's 'Vespertine' album as well as releasing for pole's Scape imprint together with friends under the collective title 'System'. '2nd' is a follow up to 'Optofiles', released by the raster-noton label back in 2001. Back in early 2003 Nicolai found an old battered cassette in a forest, north east of Berlin. The tape contained almost inaudible lo-fi recordings of someone playing small guitar pieces intermingled with an unusual forest ambience - noises that would become the template for '2nd'. Nicolai got help from assistants to restore the recordings of the found magnetic audiotape and passed the guitar files to thomas who started working on beat structures, eventually adding recordings of a nearby forest to further widen the scope of the project. these recordings were made at different hours during two days, hence the tracktitles - guiding you through 48 hours in about 40 minutes. The result is a haunting, mesmerising siesta, dense and intense static crumbling into a crisp grain of acoustic sounds, traces of piano and loose limbed guitar. If you can imagine a cross between Snd and Max Richter, or maybe Ryoji Ikeda and Sylvain Chauveau, you'll have an idea of what to expect. Sublime.