Enigma (2006)

The third, much awaited CD by Opium and Alio Die is finally out!

Enigma is an ambient album, with drones and dark ambient elements. Eight imaginary landscapes wavering between the earth and the cosmos, sometimes returning on the dark atmosphere of the first album, but with a few acoustic elements more clear. The album begins with some obscure and enigmatic atmospheres transitioning into more open/light tracks: looped sounds of the played cords of the zither, tubes, treated field recordings and small sounds of shells and bells add layers to the electronic magma. An intimate / introspective CD.

 Label press / Projekt

MUSIC Ambient environments thick with obscurity and ambiguity. The album opens with muted shufflings and reverberating disturbances - a sonic wind rising and falling in the background. Some sounds have a human origin indicative of mysterious presences. Much of the sound here is suggestive of  'found sound' as though harvested from sonorous spaces and unmusical activities. Plucked notes and droning tonal loops sometimes rise to the fore rolling in layers, the noise of whirling tubes ghostly, fluctuating, bells and flutes hang in the air. In many places there is a dense sonic soup where undulating tonalities curl and revolve - mysterious effects drifting past the ear - aspects of harmony appearing incidental. Field recordings are woven into the sound, murmuring voices birds and water spectral elements in this land of enigmatic peculiarity.

ARTWORK   Artwork consists primarily of classical imagery featuring mazes and labyrinths - the pack is fronted by a painting where knights battle centaurs, a particular dual taking place right at the centre of a circular maze structure - two seated female figues holding the foreground.. The rear cover contains a brown tinted medieval cityscape with another round design in the middle. Inside is the track list along with credits and 'instruments' used for the project. Artwork is credited to Hic Sunt Leones (here there be lions).

OVERALL    Enigma is the third collaborative CD by Opium and Alio Die. Here the duo present mystifying a series of eight "imaginary landscapes" where beats are totally absent and musical structure is loose and meandering. The atmospheres are frequently disquieting, haunting and full of subtle perplexity. Acoustic and organic sounds are embedded deep within hazy drone textures, the artists employing drones and loops, zither, flutes bells and field recordings with Opium focusing on programming and wave editings. It must be said though that the sounds produced by the items listed are not necessarily those you might expect, these guys are not into dainty melodies and sweet tunes.

Morpheus Music Rewiews