Boomkat Product Review:
Opitope is the microsound duo of Date Tomoyoshi and Kranky recording artist Chihei Hatakeyama. According to the artists themselves this album focuses in on the theme of transition, shifting seasons and long journeys. It's always a bit tricky to attempt to make any sort of evidential connection between that sort of statement and the music actually featured on a recording, and sure enough, the brew of quiet lowercase frailty that characterises this album doesn't make any direct connection to the conceptual blurb it comes packaged with. What's for certain however, is that Tomoyoshi and Hatakeyama don't half know how to sew together a wonderful tapestry of sound. Hau is brimming with subtly processed environmental recordings and lulling electronic tones, all coming together to make a beautiful, shimmering gem of an album. In addition to the electronics and recorded sound matter, both performers contribute a host of instrumental sounds, most notably the wonderful piano piece 'A Far Room' which goes way beyond soundscaping, taking on a Harold Budd-like warm ambience. The album swells to its most noisy and bristling point upon reaching 'Mist On The Sea', a vibrant hub of different sound sources, incorporating voices, water, acoustic guitar and a heavily layered electronic presence, all of which moves into the concluding piece 'A Place Under The Paired Tree', by which point the album has returned to a variation on the kind of spectrally filtered haze that dominated its opening moments. A very fine piece of work indeed - highly recommended.