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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.

Objects For An Ideal Home, Opiate
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