This spring we got a chance to hear excerpts of tracks from a project that was of interest to me, using sampling, Plunderphonics-style production, and an avant-garde spirit to create something that sounded very interesting. I wanted to here more, and now that I’ve heard it in full, it’s one of the best and more interesting albums of the year.
Økapi & The Aldo Kapi Orchestra have released Opera Riparata: Tribute To Bruno Munari (Illegal-Art), and while reading the title tends to bring visions and thoughts of what it might sound like, hearing it will make you understand why it is indeed an opera of sorts. The primary sound sources in Opera Riperata are from old opera and classical records. Each track on the album is exactly 1 minute and 11 seconds. Within that time period is a quest to create a statement of sorts before it leads to the next track. The source material is chopped, diced, sliced, and twisted, sometimes to where it becomes a new wave hip-hop jam, others that sound a bit normal but you sense something else is happening. It was very Art Of Noise, and how Trevor Horn and his production “theam” would combine old classical records with real instrumentation to make a new and perhaps more vivid sound. But it was also very Jan Jelinek, and how in some sections of songs, what’s used is the most miniscule but it turns into something where it becomes the emphasis of your listening joy.
It’s very much sound collage, and some of the best ones out there will make people say “it’s very well orchestrated”. In the case of Opera Rpparata, it’s orchestrated, and you can hear it. It takes something that takes a lot of thought and time, and then getting into its sense of continuity, you realize how operatic it is. You also realize the thievery involved, but that’s why this is on Illegal-Art. Think of how art is a currency, and how things are passed around for the sake of making a point. Opera Riparata could be considered a currency of sorts, but what it’s trying to buy or trying to sell you is either important or irrelevant. How so? Listen to it. It is indeed something, but what that something is depends on your comprehension. Or is it meant to comprehend? All operas are there to say something, right? Then this opera has a message, even if its message is currently embedded in the sounds compiled.