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Objects For An Ideal Home

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Album Review

Sweet, candid, and uncluttered, Thomas Knak's full-length debut as Opiate helped introduce elements of the everyday into electronic music's ongoing dialogue. As implied by song titles such as "Toothpaste," "Quick Save on a Sunday," "Monday Nightcap," and "Tennis at Wimbledon," this is music more enamored with the ennui of day-to-day life than with future rhetoric or machine fetishism. That human position is reflected in Knak's arrangements, which are infused with a warmth that conjures images of comfort and domestication. Since Knak (who is also the founder and head of electronic boutique label Hobby Industries) favors a less-is-more approach, Objects for an Ideal Home relies on space, subtle interplay, and simple melody for impact. "Try a Balloon" and "Below Minus 4" are good overall signposts for the album; both employ single melodic motifs over chattering rhythms and subsist by toying with timings and counter-rhythms rather than introducing new instruments into the mix. Perhaps this elegance was what won Björk over; after hearing Objects for an Ideal Home for the first time in 2000, she was moved to contact him. As a result, the pair eventually co-wrote "Undo" and "Cocoon," both of which appeared on 2001's Vespertine.


Born: 07 February 1973 in Glostrup, Copenhagen, Denmark

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

b. Thomas Knak, 7 February 1973, Glostrup, Copenhagen, Denmark. Juxtaposing skittering micro-beats and minor melodies, Opiate creates beautiful music. On his 1999 debut Objects For An Ideal Home, he echoed Brian Eno’s original conception of ambient as simply ‘environmental music’, to create an album specifically devised and intended for home listening although the musician says that the ‘home’ isn’t necessarily ‘your three bedroom flat’ but can be ‘your body, your brain, your mental space or anywhere...
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Objects For An Ideal Home, Opiate
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