|MH-225 The Opus - Breathing Lessons
After locking themselves in their Chicago studio with a mountain of dusty vinyl and two lifetimes worth of musical inspiration, the Opus have finally emerged to deliver Breathing Lessons a mesmerizing collection of reflective, instrumental hip-hop. Using their signature palette of chopped percussion and intricate drum programming as base materials, they expand their compositions, adding layers of strings, detuned piano, analog synths, floor rumbling bass, and reverb to haunting effect. Although the all-too-brief vocal appearance of Lord 360 reminds listeners of their productions for MCs on Rubberoom’s Architechnology and their own 2002 debut First Contact, this release is clearly intent on establishing the Opus as a production duo capable of creating music that stands on its own.
|One of the underground's finest beatmaking tandems - Urb / A fine example of instrumental hip-hop - Exclaim! / Call it good mood music for bad moods - Entertainment Weekly / Quality stuff for the introspective heads, and recommended - Undercover / Nocturnally restful and hauntingly evocative - Igloo
|The Opus are hip-hop noir, and on "Breathing Lessons", the second album to come from the duo of Mr. Echoes and The Isle of Weight, their sound is dark, charged with tension, and punctuated by solid, funky beats and infectious synth hooks. Swinging freely from down tempo hip-hop to dark drum 'n' bass cuts, The Opus deliver an album that is as dramatic as it is smooth. You'll find some amazing beat-centric, down tempo rhythms here, from the opening track "Fanum's Organs" featuring cuts by Big B, to "Mission Control", or "Life's Endless Cycle (part 3)" to "Symbiotic" an experiment in electronic freestyling recorded live to disk. At times their sound leans toward the ambient, and others (ever so briefly and uniquely) to a more conventional hip-hop style, as in "Isis" with vocals by Lord 360. A recommended soundtrack for the darker shades of your mind. - Properly Chilled