OPCION – MONOS/UND (LP by God Records) in Vitalweekly

OPCION – MONOS/UND (LP by God Records)

From Graz, Austria hails Nikos Zachariadis, who works as Opcion and his working principle is ‘reconfiguration’ by which he means ‘to use existing materials, structures, ideas, techniques, conditions, machines etc., to create new intense, gloomy or strident atmospheres and situations’. He was part of the label Splitterwerk until 2011, and exhibited his work at festivals around the world. This is his first record and on both sides he does something different. On the ‘Und’ side we find three pieces he recorded with a guest instrumentalist, Maja Osojnik (Paetzold bass recorder), Bernard Loibner (electric bass) and Kurt Bauer (violin). It’s interesting to note that in none of these three pieces it is easy to recognize any of these instruments, but that’s perhaps also because these players themselves use quite some electronics. In these pieces, Opcion (and guests) reach for a more heavy-duty musique concrete sound, leaning heavily towards the use of electronics to transform these sounds into pieces with strong dynamics, ranging from the quiet end to the massively loud ones. The other side also has three pieces and the spins from the label to the outer ring – a nice thing, which is not used a lot. Here Opcion is on his own and adds to the amorphous masses of granular synthesized ambient sounds a whole lot of drum samples, with some strong bass end. These beats not necessarily constitute of dance rhythms, but rather adding an unsettling character to the music and he manages at that. I can imagine this music in a live situation working even better than on record; the relative loudness at home may not work that well for this forceful stuff. Loud and intense, that’s what this music is about. Musique concrete spiced up with a strong set of beats. (FdW)