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Black Opal Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Monster X
Ultra

If you like your beats hectic and tempos at break-neck speed then Monster X's new EP 'Ultra' (an apt name) might be for you. The insane density of Venetian Snares' music and Mouse on Mars' glitchy experimentation might spring to mind when listening to this, but the sound on 'Ultra' remains very much Monster X's own. It's intense and quite frightening but a thrilling joy-ride all the same. 
  • Label(s):
  • Black Opal

Domenico Crisci
Velvet

Techno that sounds like a collapsing building from Domenico Crisci. I've never heard music that sounds so much like its foundations have been shaken. On Velvet Crisci is not interested in giving you time to warm up, instead going full throttle all the time. Big, dark and distorted. Just how I like it. On Black Opal.

Fret
Salford Priors + Versions

Fret is of course Mick Harris, the relentlessly productive heaviness-maestro behind Napalm Death, Painkiller, Scorn… and now this. Salford Priors + Versions presents five different assaults on the track Salford Priors, put forward by Harris himself, Monster X, Stormfield, and Monster X and Stormfield together. Serious stuff mate.

Patricia
Heavy Merging

Another record of warm, slightly weird techno from Patricia here. Heavy Merging finds the Brooklyn-based artist returning to Opal Tapes sub-label Black Opal (J. Albert, Cloudface). This is an EP of muted club tackle characterised by lo-fi drum takes and watercolour synths. Think Huerco S. dropping something via Analogical Force.

J. Albert
Small Room EP

Super-prolific techno footmover J. Albert comes back for another 2016 12", this time channeling dusty inner city beats for a good 4 tracks. Judging by the quality of A2 cut 'Ting Waan', this will be stomping, keeping bodies warm and limber deep into the winter nights and beyond. While he's just got things moving with his own Exotic Dance label, this one comes out on Black Opal. Fair's fair in the realm of the thunk.
  • Label(s):
  • Black Opal

Sciahri
Quiet Witness

Sublunar Records boss and UNKNOT member Sciahri (Sciahriar Tavakoli) has his third bite of the Black Opal cherry. New EP Quiet Witness is a set of murky, mysterious techno that sounds like it was constructed largely from sonar signals. Anyone who’s dug recent drops by Pessimist or Sciarhri’s fellow Black Opal alumni Lyubocha should get to Quiet Witness sharpish.

Annanan
New Wave Of Nature

Following releases on Forbidden Planet, LL.M. and Pinkman, Annanan lands on Opal Tapes sister label Black Opal with a fine 4-track EP. Opening with the woody stomp, dreamy keys and squelchy bass of the titular cut and onto the lost in the night, melancholy of 'Bomb'. Over on the flipside 'Sphere' thumps with chunky drums, sci-fi electronics and spectral melodies. The EP closes with the sinister groove of 'Gone' which utilises the hefty skeletal drums which are present throughout the EP which ride underneath a quivering synth and dread filled piano. Tidy stuff throughout as ever from Black Opal.

Lyra Valenza
Scan, Deliver

Opal Tapes offshoot Black Opal (Metrist, J Albert) drop an excellent debut EP from Denmark’s Lyra Valenza. The duo of Hjalte and Severin’s Jens Konrad turn in four tracks of rave hyperrealism on Scan, Deliver. Numbers like ‘Reality Blizz’ enmesh the post-trance explorations of Lorenzo Senni with Special Request’s wildside junglism. We look forward to hearing more from this lot.

Lyubocha
Berzerk

This one doesn’t muck about. Opal Tapes offshoot Black Opal (Patricia, J. Albert) drop an EP of stern club fare from Lyubocha. Berzerk's four tracks bring together the hard techno of Ostgut Ton, Ross From Friends’ lo-fi house flex and bubbling acid grooves ala Matrixxman. They are the sort of DJ tools that will breathe new life into any mix.

Personable
Oyster

Tracks released by Ged Gengras under his Personable moniker tend to fizz with fresh energy: probably a consequence of his ‘live-in-the-studio’ production approach. House-garage-techno jams with a bounce and a punch, from a real synth talent. 4 tracks on Oyster, which is released by Black Opal.
  • Vinyl LP (BOP007LP)
  • £19.99 £11.99 (saving: £8.00)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Life's Track
Smell of Sanctity

Five tracks-worth of low-down heavy funky sound by Life’s Track on this new 12” EP. Smell of Sanctity bounces along powerfully with thick, irresistible beats that sound like they are kept on a short leash. Only 300 copies of this around, on the Black Opal label, so don’t wait around if you want one. Hand stamped too, for extra authenticity.

Metrist
This Is For Sore Is Just There

As track titles such as ‘Petrol Arses’, ‘That Prick I Hate’ and ‘Shit Patches’, Metrist’s music neither takes itself too seriously, nor cares if you like it. This Is For Sore Is Just There is rough and nasty, with distorted bass and distorted synths coalescing into rhythmic patterns, only to be fragmented by random harsh blasts. LP on Black Opal.
  • Label(s):
  • Black Opal