Boomkat Product Review:
Goth ASMR hardcore flex from Opal X, alias of Astrud Steehouder (Nonexistent, Paper Dollhouse) exploring a sort of dank hypnagogic sound mulched from zonked electronics, gynoid vox and graveyard atmospheres - one for fans of Christoph De Babalon or Ectoplasm Girls
Chasing up 2020’s ’Something like the sun fell’ tape as Process XXI Opal, Steehouder veils herself under the Opal X aegis for a particularly maudlin session that repeats on both sides, all primed for looping to infinity in your mildewed bedroom. We can practically taste the mould mycelia growing off the cassette and forming a lattice over the music, suffusing everything with a queasy rotted tang of decay that will surely pique the interests of loner souls.
Like her evocation of suburban-meets-light industrial zones beside Luke J Murray (Stonecirclesampler, The Iceman Jungliest Kru) and Alexander Tucker (Microcorps, Grumbling Fur) in the Nonexistent trio, Opal X investigates a music of margins and liminality with a bias toward the English eldritch, summoning a feel of place and time that locates her sound in the c.21st, bathed in the fast dying light of a bygone rave era and divining its residual energies as petrified thoughts or frozen gurns.
Across the 38 min work she rolls off a frayed tapestry of cultural ideas signifying a strung out gothic tristesse, composting mutated ASMR, gnawing noirish synths, arcane dungeon pads and acephalic wails beside brusque doom raver beats and tear-out darkside synth vamps.