Opiuo explores the depths of glitch hop with ‘Omniversal’ [Album Review]
Opiuo, one of the pioneers of the future funk and glitch hop genres and a true genius at putting out some of the loudest-yet-cleanest electronic music productions known to mankind, continues to push the envelope and explore the depths of his musical creativity with his third full-length studio album, Omniversal. Released on June 3, the new 12-track has plenty of the classic Opiuo sound that fans worldwide have grown to know and love. However, he also ventures into some surprising new territory, expanding his signature style to encompass more four-on-the-floor and refined, mature repetitive melodies.
The album can be purchased here.
Starting things off, “Huxley Hustle” introduces the album on a nice ambient note, allowing a very atmospheric air to build steadily. He makes it seem like the song won’t be dropping too hard by introducing light percussion after the build peaks. But soon he makes his point by bringing in a substantial, mostly four-on-floor kick rhythm with simple percussion that dominates the middle section.
The next track, “Sneakers,” changes up the pace, bringing more of a classic Opiuo glitch-hop sound filled with incredibly creative synth design and a slightly vocoded vocal line that makes the listener feel pretty good about his or her speakers, boombox, hip pack, fanny pack, and most of all, sneakers.
“Waxomole” is another quintessential Opiuo track. Funky breakbeat rhythms are surrounded by whopping basses. With basses as massive as this, it listens almost like a dubstep track, but with that distinct Opiuo funk.
“Flanjitsu” returns to a steady, simple rhythm with big, sharp synth stabs setting the rather quick, adventurous pace – at least compared to his usual midtempo glitch-hop. Spacey and some subtly retro synth design provide the platform in this track for Opiuo to dig into the tasteful repetition that is brought in on many tracks on Omniversal.
“Paint the World,” featuring Little Dreamer, is the album’s first foray into vocals. Starting out with some future bass sound design, the track soon picks up a four-on-the-floor kick pattern for the single drop that fills the second half of the song.
“Jelly” was the second single to be released off the album, and features some extremely soulful vocals from Texture Like Sun. It is constructed out of stylings that were no doubt influenced by spending the last couple of years traveling the world playing shows with his live band. Funky electric guitar riffs and chord stabs interweave with sexy sax, resulting in a truly fun and energetic piece of heaven.
Continuing the funky, live instrumentation sound, “The Pepper” also has smooth sax and what sounds like recorded live percussion recordings coming together for a jam somewhat reminiscent of GRiZ or Big Gigantic.
“Kurdilly Boof” has a reggae rhythm and melody at the beginning, but soon drops into a heavy yet minimal drop with the hard-hitting synth stabs that can be heard throughout Omniversal. A catchy female vocal sample gives the song extra style points, even though it has plenty already.
With “Airy Watson,” Opiuo goes a little darker and more somber, showing a somewhat Bassnectar-ish side to him that has not really been heard before. Steady, buzzing bass is just about omniscient in this piece, only stopping to duck behind the kick, which is quite a bit more subtle than his usual kicks.
“Pumpernickle” also has a continuously buzzing bass oscillating up and down in pitch and providing a filling texture. A four-on-the-floor starts it out, but soon changes up to slightly more complex breakbeat as the song evolves. This track continues to prove that Opiuo can produce a multitude of different styles incredibly well, even styles that he hasn’t really touched before.
“Axolotl Throttle” returns once again to a more signature Opiuo sound, featuring hefty basses and glitched samples playing around with fast, well-designed synths.
The last track, “Pockets,” completes the 12-track adventure though space, time, and funkadellicness with a relaxed, downtempo vibe, though still filled with spacey synths and vocal samples. A catchy guitar riff takes hold half-way through and leads the way to glory.