Opaque Black was not called Opaque Black. It was not called anything. It all started with 5 songs I made in a row back in 2011 and because they were created at the same time, they kinda kept the same atmosphere to them. Not much room for breathing in them, not a lot of light or dreams of sunny days and clear skies. Darker Days, Darling. Tell me! Then and now. Not always. Then and now. Sometimes. Yeah. Sometimes. More often sometimes than I wish they were. A song for my adored friend Ivo consisting of guitar feedback manipulation and noise because... feedback and noise are what we are also made of.
One day I was listening to "this" song and wanted to rip off a line of it and thus "The Urgency Of Life" was born. And that's all I wanted to say: (thru' heavy drumming and an orchestra of introspective ghosts): It all goes by too fast. Heads up in case you haven't noticed yet, youngsters out there! It's gone by too damn fast. "The brevity of youth astounds me". Does it you?
I've got a lovely friend called Jack who lives in NZ now. He came to my office (at work) one day and we talked about the guys who make music in the state we were both born in, trying to understand what music genres they could be possibly into since their music is so uninteresting, so soulless, so dull. We agreed it's because - maybe - you can't make beautiful or meaningful or inspiring or painful art if you haven't been thru' a lot, if you have never listened to THE RIGHT THING. When Jack left I made "Oh Jack, They Must Suffer And Cry Before They Get It Right". So, Jack, this one is yours.
"Cinders" works as an intermission on the album. It was not thought to be that but when choosing the album song order, it was clear it had to be the song before the last one: some wind like noises and lost voices in limbo. The sound of nothingness, of the hollow. It sets the stage for "In A Turbine Of An Old Design". An old miniscule loop called "Aborted" was what I used as the sound source for the song. That and some manipulated mallet sounds. "Aborted" was deeply ruined by wrong limiting and not well EQed distortion and yet I loved it. I challenged myself to change THAT into a long drone piece. I tried a lot. I didn't know where to go from what I'd achieved with it and then I just called it quits. I'd only listen to it again many months later and it was like listening to another song. I grasped it then.
The title "Opaque Black" came some time in 2012. I love the word "opaque" and I thought the word "black", albeit a little obvious, had to be in the album title. "Black Opaque" or "Opaque Black"? The latter won.
I hope these songs will mean something to you as they mean a lot to me. Thanks for listening.
Gimu became an instant sensation one magical day in late 2011 when Soundcloud decided to make him a featured artist to those who sought such genres as Drone, Dark Ambient, Noise, etc. I listened, I was enchanted. I messaged him, immediately offering my services as a music journalist. He was very kind, and let me know that the website’s decision to put him in such an unexpected limelight overwhelmed him in the best way, that so much positive reaction to his art had him replying to what seemed like endless personal messages from his new followers. The man had a repertoire that was ghostly, and his prolific nature sees an ample chance for everyone to find their preferred blend of atmosphere, ambience, and/or, subtle grit within his spectrum. While I was initially impressed, my motivation to write was wavering, and I found myself waiting — following, as it were.
The short album being reviewed here is actually material that was composed shortly before that Winter began, a few months before the rush brought on by sudden endorsement. This set was recorded consecutively, and it struck me immediately as having the densely stark quality that I look for to share with our readers. Opaque Black has made my wait worthwhile, as it has the same sonic aura as Theologian‘s 2012 droning stretch of desolation, The Chasms of my Heart. While not based on anger, distrust and betrayal as many of Lee M. Bartow‘s work is, Opaque Black adds to Gimu’s works a piece that is glacial, not only shrouded as with a veil like most Dark Ambient.
This set runs wide, cold, but with meaning. This album is tied to friendships, born of experiments, and is, as with “Oh Jack, they must Suffer and Cry before they get it Right”, a questioning among friends as to why there is a lack of music of substance in his locale. I found it very well put that he mentions on the bandcamp page that hosts this work that experience does in fact help bring about better art: “you can’t make beautiful or meaningful or inspiring or painful art if you haven’t been through a lot.” The sound is inundated with prolonged breaths of icy atmospheres, minimal but heartfelt and rich synth-tones, and just enough noise to keep things interesting. An excellent work, one of my favorites of the year from a very accessible and humble person.