Pushing the Boundries: Opiuo X The Syzygy Orchestra Live at Red Rocks

Syzygy- A conjunction or opposition, a union of opposites

            On April 21/2018 something truly magical and unique took place at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, Colorado. A merging of the old with the new, renowned electronic music producer Opiuo took to the stage with the Syzygy Orchestra for the very first time. Having only rehearsed the full performance one time before the show, all the participants were nervous. No one was quite sure how this radically different style of music would be received. After 6 months of hard work composers Oscar Davey-Wright and Tom Hagerman were anxious to see the crowd’s reactions to the new compositions. The surreal splendor that was born from that fateful night was captured and released as a live album, one of the most groundbreaking and unique albums to be released to date in electronic music history in my opinion, and is now available across all platforms.

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Oscar Davey-Wright, also known as Opiuo, hails from a small town in New Zealand but now calls Australia his home. Opiuo’s unique form of glitch-hop inspired bass music has captivated audiences around the world. It has received accolades such as “Most Downloaded album of 2010” on additech records as well as “Electronic Album of the Year” in 2014 for his release Meraki. Opiuo is no stranger to working with live musicians, the translation from “digital to analog” shows the artists true musicality which he carries into all his endeavors. A live Opiuo show is an ever evolving feast for the ears. It can range from a one man show with drum machines and synths, intent on never delivering the same show twice, all the way to a collection of musicians dubbed as the Opiuo Band. The band is made up of the best musicians from around the world who have come together to play his “Electronic manipulations” 100% live.

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Why I think this album is so important

Well, first of all, it’s just plain good! The highs of the orchestra mix well with the grimy electronic bass lines. The world could always use more exceptional music. It is masterfully written and beautifully performed. One of the reasons I was attracted to bass music in the first place was because of the unique sounds of the electronically synthesized bass lines, they were like nothing I had ever heard before. Which brings us to the second reason I think this album is so important, the fact that it is like nothing I have ever heard before. It’s groundbreaking. It pushes the boundaries of electronic music (hell just music in general) and lets other people know whats possible. It raises the bar. It forces other producers to up their own game which can only be good for the genre as a whole.

The third and final reason why this album is so important is I feel like it breaks down the stigma of the “lazy DJ.” There are still a lot of people out there who think that DJ’s aren’t “real musicians,” that they are just up there “pushing buttons.” Of course this notion is ridiculous, as anyone who has tried to DJ and failed well knows. This performance is the perfect example to disprove those stereotypes. It shows the dedication and preparation that goes into a production that is really not uncommon in the genre. 6 months preparation with a 20 piece orchestra for a single show is far from lazy I think. 

You don’t have to take me at my word on this, listen for yourself. My personal favourites are Movement IV and Movement V