Opien – Atlanta
With influences from euro pop and dark disco themes running throughout, Atlanta is a punchy and melodic release from Opien.
Opening with ‘Peace of Mind’, there’s immediately a touch of Chvrches to be found in the tones being used, dark synths and tight snare hits, and an emotional vocal that harks back to the eighties disco pop of new Order and Joy Division. ‘Let Me Down’ makes use of a squelchy sound that is reminiscent of Daft Punk’s ‘Da Funk’. Where that classic track geniusly repeated around and around, here there is much more going on in terms of sonic exploration, with a chorus that leaps into centre stage with all the glitz of an excitable mirrorball. ‘Ready For Tonight’ keeps things going in the same vein, although at a slightly slower pace, creating a delicious sleaziness to it all with its swelling horns and undulating rhythm.
Berlin based Niko Stoessl certainly has hints of fellow local Alec Empire of Atari Teenage Riot, but if all the aggression and anger has been removed to leave only pure song construction and melody behind. Some of the interesting elements on Atlanta are in the drums – ‘Motives’ with its world music aesthetic, and ‘So Far’ with its thundering, insistent beats, and ‘Stop’ with its ever so slightly fizzy, overdriven snare hits.
Closing with ‘The Void’, Atlana reaches its conclusion with a manic, fuzzed out celebration of synths and vocal effects, and features some electronic surprises along the way, before coming to an end on a real high point of anthemic proportions.