In existence since 2012, British-based bedroom label Opal Tapes has rapidly created a strong identity through a relentless release schedule of music that thrives in the increasingly grey area between heady clubs and headphone listening.
While starting out as a DIY magnetic tape label, Opal Tapes has since expanded to vinyl and digital formats, gathering increased attention as it adds ever more finger-on-the-pulse artists to its roster. Representing the label at CTM 2014 will be label head Stephen Bishop, performing his destructive crushed house as Basic House, as well as Karen Gywer’s galloping avant-techno vortices, the warm off-key synth tunings of 1991, and Lumisokea’s propulsive sound achieved with reel-to-reel tape saturation.
Performing during the same evening is Helsinki-based producer and noise figurehead Tommi Keränen, who creates multi-layered, engrossing amalgams of abstract sound with customized software and will present a heavy drone piece.
The spiraling sonic helices of Karen Gwyer, fusing classic house and avant-techno sensibility with East African wedding songs and psychedelia, have recently snared considerable critical praise.
The initial full-body paralysis induced by the soporific industrials of Belgian-Italian duo Lumisokea (Finnish for 'snow-blind') soon gives way to mesmeric, hyper-attuned listening experiences.
1991 is the alias of Swedish producer Axel Backman, whose episodic, analogue soundscapes are built around warped synths, vintage tape distortion, and charred atmospherics.
The destructive crushed house of Stephen Bishop aka Basic House distinguishes both the attitude and aesthetic of his own Opal Tapes, the UK-based imprint known for textured and frayed, exploratory club music.
A practitioner of experimental electronic music since late 1990s, Helsinki-based producer and noise figurehead Tommi Keränen primarily works with live electronics and computers with customized software, creating multi-layered, engrossing amalgams of abstract sound.