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

Here are a few tracks from throughout The Opus' career.

Download "Sector Rush Rebuilt"
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

Kid Sister

OK, at this point if you don't know who Kid Sister is then you're beyond sleepin'! You may need medical attention. There may be right wing TV hosts calling for your life to be preserved despite the fact that you are legally brain dead. You are in a coma from which you will never emerge. Catholics may try to make you a saint. Trent Lott may hold a prayer vigil/press conference outside your bedroom. Fox News may run a special on your plight. All this is true...

But on the heels of the Fool's Gold Tour that hit NYC for CMJ this year I feel as if it is my duty to once again try a "Grey's Anatomy/ ER" miracle and shock you back to life. It's what McDreamy would want.

Kid Sister is from Chicago. Her brother is in the DJ crew Flosstradamus. She rules dance floors and generally is at the forefront of the emerging club rap scene spearheaded by Floss, Diplo, Plastic Little, Spank Rock, A-Trak, and Tampa's own Yo Majesty.

She has a track called "Pro-Nails" that is, interestingly enough, about how her fingernails are done very nicely. Think a clubby Lil' Mama. Kanye West is on the remix and that is the track I'm gonna post here for ya. Get ready to buy this album because 2008 is the year of the Kid Sister!!

Download "Pro-Nails" ft kanye west