Boomkat Product Review:
Opéra Mort - collaborators of the late, great Ghédalia Tazartès in Reines D’Angleterre - float their first new suite of roving, hallucinatory electro-acoustic works in 4 years on a return to Brittany’s Editions Gravats label.
Èlg & Jo Tanz’s hard-to-classify project Opéra Mort has been in operation since early moves on Jo Tanz’s tanzprocess label paved the way for a 2010 split release with the legendary Smegma, a cult pair of Reines D’Angleterre sides with august outsider Ghédalia Tazartès, and beguiling works for Luke Younger’s Alter label. On their new album ‘Le Présent’ they typically keep everything ambiguously out-of-reach and etheric in forms comparable to experimental ambient musick, electro-acoustic minimalism, and outsider psych-folk, never fully tilting to any of them, preferring a style of shapeshifting that works beautifully well on the back of calm, shut eyelids.
Through a process of improvisation, active listening, and highly attuned intuition, Opéra Mort proceed to induce hypnotic states of mind that encourage the imagination to wander, following a labyrinthine breadcrumb trail of sonic artefacts and fine timbral detail. Their reticence to supply any explicit cues works to the benefit of suspending the listener’s disbelief, reserving the right to surprise and colour the mind with reeling tapestries of phantasmic, fathomless apparitions.
‘Le Monde’ first splashes on the senses with piquant arps and bass drones coaxed into a lush lather that’s pregnant with theatric dread, threaded with alien whispers on ‘Secrets’, and spangled with spring reverb in the eerily naif creep of ‘L’humanite entiere’. Their organic, fractally shifting collage of tape loops and synths in ‘Oeufs’ feels as though we’re combed backwards below the waves on a dreamlike shoreline, where they metamorphose into discordant, howling rave hoovers and caterwaul with ‘La nouvelle fin du mode’, and the deliquescent lounge music ooze of ‘Damien Schultz’, leaving us with no firm grasp of what the hell we’ve just been listening too, but totally enthralled nonetheless.