• The Forgotten

Interview: Opake



Opake is an experimental/techno project coming from Lima, Peru. His sound approach moves between dark, cathartic atmospheres and aggressive stomping rhythms.


He has announced his album on Borders Of Know Records, a record label focused on the avant-garden sounds, whose main objective is to promote emerging talents that the electronic music circuit is offering on a daily basis.


The album is a sound journey that pays tribute to the worship rites of Ancient Civilizations of Peru. This EP represents the cultural and historical perspective that the producer has on his native country.


TF: Tell us how you got involved in producing music, how did your journey start?


OP: Well, I was involved in music since many years ago playing guitar at death metal / grindcore bands. After I got a bit saturated of the style, I got interested on electronic music, experimental, ambient, etc . When I lived in Argentina I met what we should call a "real" techno scene (because in Peru didn't exist anything like that on that time) and decided to take courses of music production, which helped me to make music based on all my inputs and then leading to find my type of sound.


TF: Why did you decide to migrate to Madrid? What is happening now in the city? How has the city influenced your career?


OP: Madrid is a city open to anything, lot of cultural movement that gives you lot of opportunities. Now because of the COVID19 crisis, the nightlife is practically over and prohibited and there is no much support coming from the government, so artists and collectives are thinking in some other ways to earn money and pay their rents. Madrid gave me the possibility to see some nice artists that influence on my sound. I had the pleasure to see acts like: Belief defect, Nightmare, Restive Plaggona, Sam KDC, ANFS, Alessandro Cortini and more. If I'd have to mention some collectives to follow I'd say Trauma collective, more oriented in this Ritualistic / Industrial sound and CALMA, which is a pretty nice collective that focus on ambient, experimental music based on audiovisual performances. Of course you have the LEV festival, which has a similar concept to MUTEK.


TF: What do you think is the most difficult thing about being an artist in these times?


OP: The fact that the artists specially in the underground circle make money with the live shows. So, with these kind of restrictions there is no way to earn a living, unless you're big enough. About the artistic approach, I think is an interesting time that would open some doors for more non oriented dancefloor music.


TF: What does Latin America need to have a solid electronic scene like in Europe?


OP: I think that difference doesn't exist, there are lot of quality artists in South America, like for example Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, which In my opinion, it has the most solid and interesting scene nowadays. In Peru the "scene" is pretty new and is more generic driven techno. Me and some friends have a collective there since 2016 and we see how the scene is slowingly increasing.


The big "disadvantage" I'd say is the distance and flight tickets, is really expensive to travel to Europe and play there, especially if you aren't big enough to cost a tour.


TF: What do you think is the role of new technology in composing music? Do you rely more on digital or analog sound?


OP: Technology has helped a lot, it gives possibility to anyone that want to portray their ideas on music. There is always this kind of purist struggle about digital or analog, I would say there is no better than the other.


The only thing that matters is the message you're giving and how that reaches and affects the listener. In my case, nowadays, I rely more on digital sound. Maybe in the future with more machines I would mix them but for live purposes I'd stay on something practical and easy to transport.


TF: You usually do DJ sets, but what about a live approach? Do you plan to work more on this aspect in the near future?


OP: Yeah, I'm in the process of preparing something to be played as a live act, and maybe in the future an A/V show would be great.

TF: What was the most challenging part of working on your new "El Devenir de la Carne" EP that you’ve worked with Borders Of Know Records? What has made your connection with his label so special?


OP: Well, I think the most challenging part was choosing the main theme, what the message would be and how it would work as a soundtrack and a experience for the listener.


Borders Of Known is one of those really interesting labels out there despite being relatively new. I felt support since the beginning, I showed some demos to Sophie, and she got really interested, after that she explained me her idea and the music approach, which I really loved. As we share the same music taste, I feel very free and confident to express what I want.


TF: The sound art of your album is very interesting. Explain us the conceptual idea (musical / visual) of this album, what do you want to expose with this sounds?


OP: This type of opportunities help you to express something very intimate and special to other cultures. In this case, I wanted to show how Inca culture venerated the deads. Death is a taboo topic in our societies which is kind of contradictory because death is the only certain thing we know about our existence.


The cult of dead in Andean culture consisted in beliefs that included the departure of the soul from the body at death. Death was perceived as a state of transition.


All mourning before the death of a being is composed of a series of rites, events which we could associate with stages. According to that I wanted to depict those rites through a sonic journey.


TF: How is your live set up going to be? Any particular equipment? What’s your favourite track to play live and why?


OP: I'd try to keep it simple and easy to be transported. Some midi controllers, my laptop and a microphone, drum pads and pedal effects. I don't have any favourite I'd like to show the product as a whole.


TF: How do you want your music to affect your listeners? What do you want them to take away from the experience of hearing your works?


OP: I'm a really fan of A/V acts, cinematic scores and conceptual music. My music is an interpretation of certain topics im currently aware or interested. So my biggest goal is that the listener feel what I want to say, the same way the music affects me when I'm watching a movie.


TF: What are your plans for the next year?


OP: Hopefully when all these restrictions are finish , we could be able to go shows again. I have a couple of pending releases, so Id be busy with that. Besides that, promoting my music and prepare more stuff for live show.


TF: What was your creative experience with the track that you premiere on our channel? Why is it called that?


OP: I wanted to create something heavy that feels very epic and glorious, a great track to finish the journey. The track works as a closure statement of one of those ancient emperors showing their legacy, before their step to the other realm.


This would sound kind of geek but the name was inspired by a quote of Ozymandias, the megalomaniac character of Watchmen graphic novel, in the DC Universe crossover "Doomsday Clock" which I strongly recommend if you are a fan of the original Alan Moore graphic novel.



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