Brooklyn's OPPONENTS are currently riding their own, hard-to-define wave of greatness, with, one assumes, more greatness to come. These two sets stylistically encompass so many things I love --- grisly analog throbbing ala the horror soundtracks of 70s/80s cinema; beatific, long-form "head" music; echoes of the Con Schnitzler holy duality of Rot and Blau; and the casual intensity of brave young men with good ideas, coupled with the belief that there are no "rules" in how you get your music made.
OPPONENTS' live performance on the Castle waxes scary as often as it trips out, takes off and floats, and simultaneously at that. Set 1 features some deliciously in-your-face analog bubbling, that once layered with Aaron's processed vocals and mic sounds, gives the feeling of a super-creepy inter-dimensional kids' party—ya can't leave 'til the kid opens ALL his freakin' presents, and some of the packages are stained dark red. Set 2 feels like immediate bad news at the graveyard—you all shouldn't be drinking here! There are haunting electronics worthy of the aforementioned Schnitzler, and early TG. Both sets come off deceptively through-composed, in a series of well-taut "movements" that rise to a logical conclusion. Maybe Joshua and Aaron are not of this Earth, entirely...maybe the kids with the crisscrossed human/alien DNA are now coming of age and making music. When Josh slips onto the drum kit in the middle of Set 2, you know for sure that anything can happen, and does.
I never got to attend the groovy goings on at Berlin's Zodiak club, as I was six years old in 1970, and lived in the states—so the live dazzle of OPPONENTS foots that bill for me. Joshua and Aaron work so well together as improvisors, and I stress again that they are just now hitting their stride. I Swarm With a Thousand Bees, their CDr on Obsolete Units, is a must-have, and the as-yet-unreleased Together We Will End the Future, what I've heard of it anyway, is the fully fleshed slam-bang version of what's only hinted at in these powerful sets.OPPONENTS
Thanks as always to engineer/ sound-guy extraordinaire Glenn Luttman, who for the last year (along with Irene Trudel, who engineered for Ghost Moth) has aided me immeasurably in bringing some of the finest local electronic music to WFMU's airwaves; and to Tracy Widdess for taking my sloppy, in-the-moment iPhone captures and consistently making them into art. Thanks again to OPPONENTS.