If you’ve followed the blog for a while, Opus will be no stranger to you. The Bristol via Wales based producer blew up last year with knockout releases on Crucial Recordings, White Peach and Simply Deep. For his first release in 2019, he features on yet another prolific label in the form of Chestplate. A label that has consistently been at the forefront of UK Dubstep for the last decade and continues to put out the most powerful, boundary pushing and in demand material around. CHST046 is more of that, featuring three of Opus‘s darkest and probably hardest tracks to date. All of which will be familiar to dedicated listeners of the genre, having spent the majority of the last twelve months in regular rotation.
The record begins with the massive ‘Crumble‘. A track that sets the tone where Opus‘ begins his journey in expressing his dark side. As the title suggests, subject to the heavy frantic subs, not only does it shake the foundations, they crumble! The following two tracks come through with similar dark atmospheres, crunchy textures and striking unique melodies. Similar to the previous track, ‘Titan‘ leads the way with lingering vocal samples, stunning and angelic on the surface yet frenzied underneath. However even after these two heavyweight gems, it’s ‘Reach‘ that gets my pick of the EP. The minimal approach is powerful, built with heavy kicks and killer delayed snares. For me it’s the most atmospheric track on the EP. It also offers the coldest synths on the record and quite literally fizzes through, with it’s unbroken static crackles countering the relentless weight of the low end.
As previously mentioned, at over ten years deep, Chestplate continues to put together releases of the highest of quality. But what’s most remarkable is the ability of Distance and the label’s team to handpick tunes that have ‘the’ Chestplate sound whilst still keeping it fresh and contemporary. Tunes that without knowing what label they’ve found a home on, you can always bank on it being a Chestplate release if it possesses a certain weight, dark yet dynamic sound palettes that’re rich in texture and mixed to perfection. With that being said, Opus slots onto the roster perfectly, whilst still pushing forward into new, even fresher sounding territory.
CHST046 is out this Friday (22nd March) and available on vinyl here.