Monday, October 22, 2007
K-N-J Spotlight # 2: The Opus
Since I'm blogging about Chicago today I suppose I 'd better mention another group outta Chi-town that deserves attention. The Opus.
Mr. Echoes (f.k.a. Fanum) and The Isle of Weight, both outstanding producers in their own right have been collaborating together as The Opus since the early 90's.
The first national attention they received was as part of the seminal Chicago group Rubberoom. In '94 Rubberoom (made up of The Opus on production and Meta Mo, Lumba, and SPO on the mic) released "Gothic Architecture." In 1999 they released the apocalyptic "Architechnology." The album, and it's production was a heaving mass of dystopian revelations. While EL-P and his production on Def Jux has defined and explored turn of the century, distorted, off-kilter, paranoia, "Architechnology" had few similar contemporaries or precursors. The sounds were certainly without precedent. Unfortunately for Rubberoom, like so many groups, label problems stalled the momentum and eventually dissolved the collaboration.
The Opus, however, carried on after the breakup. Even during Rubberoom's run The Opus produced tracks for other artists, most notably delivering a stellar underground release with Thawfor "Where Thawght Is Worshipped" in '98. 2002's "First Contact" was their first full length, post-Rubberoom release on, now defunct, Ozone Music (home of Mike Ladd, Sonic Sum and others). This album featured guest emcees Aesop Rock, I Self Devine, Slug, MURS and others. In 2003 they released the criminally slept on, instrumental album, "Breathing Lessons" on Mush Records. The album continued to define their sound with bone dry drums and claustrophobic samples.
The Opus also continued to perform live. Delivering layered and mesmerizing performances all over the country, they transformed their studio production into a live affair that is well worth seeing. I saw them in Austin Texas at South By South West and was absolutely blown away!
In 2007 The Opus self released "Blending Density" a dark and abstract sound scape featuring some rare and unreleased previous work alongside the duo's latest productions. The album is available in CD or MP3 format through the group's website theopusonline.com
Here are a few tracks from throughout The Opus' career.
Download "Sector Rush Rebuilt" Architechnology
Download "Luna Landing" Blending Density
Download "Mission Control" Breathing Lessons
Download "Films" ft Sonic Sum
Download "Pedigree" The Opus Remix of Brother Ali entered for the Skribble Jam Producer's Battle 2007