Opium Electronix Vol. IV Ambient, Drone Umpio Radio disturbances had always been spellbinding for me since I was a little child. My grandfather had an old radio tape built inside a huge and fancy wooden box with mechanical rotating wheels for stations search and tuning, with hypnotizing soft yellow lights illuminating a strict front panel that lured me to turn the radio on and start a magical trip between the mysterious radio waves. I was always wondering what was the source of those disturbances and why there were so many of them. Little kids' imagination drew a picture of some kind of aliens or extraterrestrial signals which had been trying to transmit some important information. The only thing needed was to crack those codes and the one that would be able to do so, would have gained the ultimate power. More than thirty years passed since then, but I still remember this excitement and the old memories rise up each time that I hear the soft cracking of radio waves between the stations. To my big pleasure, I discovered a few years ago that there are people out there who turned those disturbances into some kind of a musical art finding a rhythm and an inspiration in seemingly chaotic signals. I believe that it is quite hard to craft something artistic from the wrapped and entangled electrical impulses, but with a little bit of an imagination, fine tuning and some additional special effects, they can turn into some fascinating pieces of electronic experimental music. Therefore, when I received the new album of Finland based artist Umpio released through the famous label Zhelezobeton, I stopped everything that I’ve been doing and connected myself immediately to the fresh and undiscovered material. According to different announcements from the label, this record should have contained a good portion of a manipulation with different abstract electronic sounds and after spinning the CD for several times I must agree with the statement – the soundscapes are totally abstract. As you might have understood, the result of such a creative approach demands a certain level of intelligence and a highly developed sense of an aesthetic perception. I am not sure that I do possess those qualities, but I must give myself a chance to discover whether it is right or not and that’s why I dive into the hypnotizing atmosphere of Opium Electronix Vol. IV with the opening track 'Circuito'. I begin to understand from the first minutes of this composition that the main emphasis was placed on continued background disturbances and this wide field of almost monotonous atmosphere prevails throughout the whole album. This soft noisy background is tempered by practically insignificant splashes of different scratches or electronic impulses, but the whole picture continues to stay the same, hypnotic to the level of a freeze point. All four tracks run in a continuous flow without any specific highs or lows to such an extent that I start to perceive this creation as some nebulous accompaniment losing any connection to a specific thought or vision. I easily miss passages between the tracks and the only thing that indicates a transition between them is a slight change of a tension and a tone. Regrettably and disappointingly, there is not much to add about the music itself except this short paragraph above. I expected the sound of this album to envelop me with some cocoon of electronic mysticism, but somehow it dropped into the field of a background hum without any specific thought behind it failing to set a closer dialogue with my abstract thinking. Maybe in another atmosphere, during the live performance with a video playback behind, this kind of an art could have sensitize me in some way, but this time I just missed the point. 250
Brutal Resonance

Umpio - Opium Electronix Vol. IV

4.5
"Bad"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2016 by Zhelezobeton
Radio disturbances had always been spellbinding for me since I was a little child. My grandfather had an old radio tape built inside a huge and fancy wooden box with mechanical rotating wheels for stations search and tuning, with hypnotizing soft yellow lights illuminating a strict front panel that lured me to turn the radio on and start a magical trip between the mysterious radio waves. I was always wondering what was the source of those disturbances and why there were so many of them. Little kids' imagination drew a picture of some kind of aliens or extraterrestrial signals which had been trying to transmit some important information. The only thing needed was to crack those codes and the one that would be able to do so, would have gained the ultimate power. More than thirty years passed since then, but I still remember this excitement and the old memories rise up each time that I hear the soft cracking of radio waves between the stations.

To my big pleasure, I discovered a few years ago that there are people out there who turned those disturbances into some kind of a musical art finding a rhythm and an inspiration in seemingly chaotic signals. I believe that it is quite hard to craft something artistic from the wrapped and entangled electrical impulses, but with a little bit of an imagination, fine tuning and some additional special effects, they can turn into some fascinating pieces of electronic experimental music. Therefore, when I received the new album of Finland based artist Umpio released through the famous label Zhelezobeton, I stopped everything that I’ve been doing and connected myself immediately to the fresh and undiscovered material. According to different announcements from the label, this record should have contained a good portion of a manipulation with different abstract electronic sounds and after spinning the CD for several times I must agree with the statement – the soundscapes are totally abstract.

As you might have understood, the result of such a creative approach demands a certain level of intelligence and a highly developed sense of an aesthetic perception. I am not sure that I do possess those qualities, but I must give myself a chance to discover whether it is right or not and that’s why I dive into the hypnotizing atmosphere of Opium Electronix Vol. IV with the opening track 'Circuito'.

I begin to understand from the first minutes of this composition that the main emphasis was placed on continued background disturbances and this wide field of almost monotonous atmosphere prevails throughout the whole album. This soft noisy background is tempered by practically insignificant splashes of different scratches or electronic impulses, but the whole picture continues to stay the same, hypnotic to the level of a freeze point. All four tracks run in a continuous flow without any specific highs or lows to such an extent that I start to perceive this creation as some nebulous accompaniment losing any connection to a specific thought or vision. I easily miss passages between the tracks and the only thing that indicates a transition between them is a slight change of a tension and a tone.

Regrettably and disappointingly, there is not much to add about the music itself except this short paragraph above. I expected the sound of this album to envelop me with some cocoon of electronic mysticism, but somehow it dropped into the field of a background hum without any specific thought behind it failing to set a closer dialogue with my abstract thinking. Maybe in another atmosphere, during the live performance with a video playback behind, this kind of an art could have sensitize me in some way, but this time I just missed the point.

Jun 19 2016

Andrew Dienes

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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