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Musical Content: Opaline, aka Hunter Thompson, describes his music as “filtering sounds through prismatic layers of light and texture.” It’s a good description of what you’ll find on his very limited edition (and now sold out) cassette, Refractions. Thankfully, the digital download is still available on Bandcamp, so you should download this beautiful EP and enjoy it, despite the tape being unavailable (record it to a cassette if you’re that much of a tape freak).
On tracks like “Haze Bending” and “Mainframe Destroyed,” Thompson creates ambient pads that quickly mutate and regenerate. He has a good command of the language of synthesizers and ambient music. Optimal use of filters highlights the aural textures, the lines and melodies shifting like a kaleidoscope. The album closer, “Vision Realm Eternal” is a slow chill, the synth chords moving like waves.
It’s a gorgeous release, worthy of wider recognition beyond the cassette underground.
Sound Quality and Package: A great-looking release. All five tapes have different full-color covers featuring rain forest photos. The green-tinted tape shell is a nice match. Nice to see handwritten liner notes as well. Sound quality is excellent. Though you’ll hear hiss during some tracks, it’s probably on the master because you won’t hear much in between. It becomes part of the music anyway. I wish there were more available for fans. In the meantime, follow Opaline on Facebook or Twitter and make sure you get the next release. It’s bound to be as good or better.
Available directly from Opaline. Limited edition of 5 copies.