Welcome to Streamline City, a megalopolis of the future rendered in the forgotten imaginings of people long past. A shimmering concrete expanse punctuated by eruptions of glass and chrome reflecting the harsh sun. Everything seen here is filtered through a haze of smog and VHS static. At first glance this city seems like an urban paradise, palm tree-lined streets filled with cafes and boutique stores, happy rich people drink, laughing, shopping… but don’t be fooled there is something more sinister at the heart of this place, some darker truth that lurks in the shadows threatening to tear the whole dream down.
Our tour guide to this strange new land is opal東京, a producer who on this particular release offers up 11 cuts of classic style sample-based hypnagogic drift. The tracks on Streamline City draw together a surprisingly diverse array of sounds and textures without straying too far from familiar sample-source territory, mining the rich veins of adult contemporary soft rock that are strewn across cyberspace. Each piece on this album functions as a meditation of sorts, using repetition as a frame opal東京 draws the listener in and focuses their attention. Looping fragments of sound over themselves ad nauseum, like a locked grove record, we are urged to really listen and consider that which we cannot escape. Audio processing is used to very good effect here to draw out a particular layer of detail from each loop, working in some instances with EQ and short delay to emphasise the driving industrial rhythms the are buried deep in the heart of the track or filtering through the mix in search of a sublimely atmospheric bed of ambient synth in order to drench it in a syrupy reverb and smother us in its smoothness.
One thing in particular that I like about this release is how it traverses a spectrum of different emotions. At times , tracks explores dark feelings such as the dystopianism on the title track, Streamline City, or the melancholic dreaminess of Deepsea Treasure and Eyes on You. And at other times, tracks are a ray of sunshine, like the upbeat funk of Duel Engines or the brightly pleasant meanderings of Gradient Mall. This diversity makes for a uniquely unpredictable journey through the sonic terrain of Streamline City which keeps the listener engaged from start to finish. My only criticism of this otherwise extremely enjoyable release is that I wished the track times ran a little bit longer to get the full value out of the hypnotic repetition and allow the listener more time of contemplate this beautifully curated piece of plunderphonia.