Release Date: 2014 Mar 28
Genre: IDM / Glitch
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Kahvi Collective
When I started listening to this release, I had the feeling that I had heard some of it before. It was almost like déjà vu. But it wasn’t specific songs that I thought I’d heard before, but it felt as if someone had been studying an artist that I knew, and playing almost exactly like them. But as I found out, the Opaeq Lunarblues Haarp contained a secret surprise, making this a special release.
The Opaeq Lunarblues Haarp
The surprise came in the form of an artist that is featured on this recording: Opaeq. Opaeq is (admittedly) a name I had not heard before, however, when I looked at the notes for this release I uncovered the secret to the mystery of my déjà vu:
An old friend in a new persona appears back on Kahvi now after a long break – Opaeq (you may know previously as Abyssal Plains) has teamed up with a new face on Kahvi – Lunarblues – they make a formidable team as you’ll hear!
Indeed! I had wondered where Abyssal Plains had gone, and what he was doing now. As I’ve mentioned in the past, Kahvi was one of the first netlabels that I started listening. Abyssal Plains was one of the artists that really turned me on to the whole scene.
Now, I have not heard of Lunarblues before. A bit of research (okay, so reading his profile on Kahvi is really minimal research, but it’s a good reference) shows that Lunarblues has been around the music scene for quite a while. From the late 80’s to the early 90’s he participated in several pirate radio stations, and began DJ’ing raves. From 1996-2000 he was a member of two DJ crews on Kiss FM. Then he took a break from music, but came back to it in 2011 with the advances in VST technology, started investigating sub 100-bpm styles, and self released his first album.
On this release the duo of Lunarblues and Opaeq is a force to be reckoned with. From the opening ‘Flow’ by Opaeq, through the remix of ‘Lyra’ we are listening to a pair of artists that have unique styles, and put everything into their works. Lunarblues brings his arpeggios into the mix, while Opaeq’s unique phrasing and synth washes can be heard all over the tracks. Rhythmically these tracks have a bit more variation. Some are more of a minimal counterpoint in the style of Opaeq, while other percussion lines are more a foundation.
The nice thing about this release is to hear the blending of two very different styles. In fact, it’s this blending on tracks like ‘Haarp’ that threw me off track a bit. Yes, there are some passages that sound like Abyssal Plains, but the way in which that portion develops is anything but Abyssal Plains sounding. But that is what intrigued me the most about this release: why did it feel familiar, and yet distinctly different. Fortunately now I know that the Lunarblues and Opaeq combination brings multiple strengths to the table, and makes for works that are wonderfully familiar yet still have a unique character.
It’s wonderful to hear Opaeq again! I have dearly missed his style. And, I really like the work that Lunarblues is doing. These two artists have produced an extremely strong release that anyone that likes Ambient / IDM style electronic music will like. Now I just have to check out Opaeq’s other (non-Creative Commons licensed – sigh) independent release to see what else he has been up to.
Hopefully we are going to hear more from this duo in the future. Both have strengths on their own, but melding their styles makes for an even more interesting listening experience. Sometimes the result of artists working together is greater than the sum of their parts. That’s something that I feel applies in the case of Luarablues with Opaeq. The Opaeq Lunarblues Haarp is a wonderful sound, not to be missed.