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Sometimes EP

Sometimes EP
(Morr Music)

Despite calling himself a "slow producer," Thomas Knak is in fact a fairly prolific one. In addition to working on several different collaborative projects, he's also released a batch of EPs and full-lengths under the Opiate name since 1997. Sometimes EP is his first batch of tracks solo on the Morr label, and like the other work that he's been involved with, has a definite touch of quality.

In addition to running the label Hobby Industries, he works with two other fellows as the group Future 3 (who contributed to Morr's recent Blue Skied 'An Clear compilation) and System (who just released a full-length on Pole's ~Scape label. In addition to that, he buys electronic music for the national radio station in Denmark (his home) and has worked with both Alva Noto and Bjork.

Musically, Opiate is what you'd come to expect from the Morr label. Knak nicely mixes organic instruments such as guitar and piano with fairly subtle digital manipulation and programming. His music has a nice, airy quality to it as it's not overladen with sound, instead more content to find the right sounds and let them work their magic. "Pedot" opens the disc with a squeaky beat and cut-up vocals and strings that run over a warm layer of clicky fuzz ala Pole. "Snow Story" seems to evoke its title almost perfectly, mixing pastoral strings and harp flutters over some more soft layers of fuzz and clicks. Play this on headphones while walking through a winter wonderland watching birds and I imagine you'll find it an uncanny soundtrack.

The middle of the EP takes a slight direction change as "Amstel" mixes slightly more pronounced beat programming with warm chimes and super high frequency tones, while "For Brian Alfred" sends sprays of cut-up chimes and hi-hats over an almost hip-hop beat. The closing track of "OpiTTT" takes the most playful route of all, lacing chirpy vocal bits with warm pad touches and a touch of noise. The six songs are all over in under 24 minutes, but credit must go to Knak for keeping things rather concise. Rather than work the same sounds over and over again (as was the problem with several tracks on the aforementioned compilation on the same label), he's conceived a nice little pop-length EP of warm, glitchy electronic.

Rating: 7