Opitope: Hau

Bob Burnett: A label I've recently discovered that offers a bounty of interesting releases is Spekk. A current favorite and excellent starting point is the 2007 release Hau by Opitope.

Opitope is a Japan-based duet made up of Date Tomoyoshi and Chihei Hatakeyama. They play a variety of instruments: electric guitars, acoustic guitar, piano, bass, vibraphone, electronics, voices and effects. On early listens the sound reflects in spirit the sonic tapestry of Harold Budd /4AD label albums. There's a lot to like about this album; beautiful textures, thoughtful compositions, interplay that is unique and challenging to offer a few quick descriptions.

To move away from my own offerings and get to the source, I found Opitope's own description of the work on Discogs:

"This an imaginary album traveling from the north to south, overlapping the images of transition of the four seasons. In reality, indeed one things always leads to an end and I feel sad every time I think about that. In this album, we tried to express this sorrow feeling changing gradually into hope as we travel south. Seasons have no end. It always moves from spring, summer, autumn, winter back to spring.. And just like the changing seasons, the tracks in this album constantly shifts another and the last piece connects to the very beginning which forms the never ending circle. We have expressed the images of these "endings" with "never endings" by music. These thoughts were brought up naturally during the making of this album and it's not that we had this idea from the start. Another concept of this album is "symmetry". There are 9 pieces in this album and is constructed by track 5 being the axis of the symmetry - like in terms of composition, 1st track is a piano piece and also the 9th track. The same thing goes to the arrangements like you will notice sounds that forms contrasts between the left & right speaker."

Hau is available via emusic as well as Boomkat .(both mp3 and FLAC)

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