“The mix centers around recent and forthcoming material on Opal Tapes bookended by some other gear from people I really like. It’s unmixed and most tracks play out in their entirety save for some fades. Still obsessed with hearing clatter on top of techno so there’s some of that. It was nice to revisit that Pev remix again and I’m glad to have some hypnotic hang from the new Druss. The new music forthcoming on Opal Tapes that can be heard within is from Lumisokea, Dreamweapon, Body Boys, Siobhan and Aniello and it smokes” – Stephen Bishop aka Basic House
January 2013 and Resident Advisor feature Opal Tapes as their ‘Label of the Month’ an accolade well overdue. With artists on the label from EE favourites Huerco S., Wanda Group & 1991 plus latest signings who have all featured guest mixes on ELECTRONIC EXPLORATIONS, Italian Shapednoise, Belgium techno producer Yves De Mey and English producer Bleaching Agent, this is a label that you should all be taking note of.
FACT Mag agree too, with their 18 labels to watch in 2013, including Houndstooth, the label I myself A&R, they describe Opal Tapes as “A cassette label specialising in frowzy synthscapes and deliberately clumsy dance music?”
“tapes & records – electronics & scuzz”
If there is one overriding feeling that hovers around Opal Tapes, it’s that of the DIY ethic. The presentation of the label is actually quite slick, with Stephen clearly a dab hand at graphics and layout, but when you find yourself lost in the sonic netherworld of the Wanda Group release, or flailing for a grip on the cobwebbed house impressions of Ond Ton, there is a sense of low budget charm that calls to mind the defiant anti-polish of punk – Juno Plus
“We’re in a phase at the moment where techno and house and musical tropisms are just being blown apart by punks essentially.”
It’s a conscious choice of Stephen’s to steer in that direction, and he couldn’t provide a better example than in his dealings with Ñenado, who has made a single Opal appearance on the Cold Holiday compilation. “This guy makes really gorgeous Jan Jelinek-style micro click house which I really love,” Stephen enthuses, “but he ends up sending me things which are just completely unsuitable. They’re almost too good, and it’s hard to tell that to someone honestly and say, ‘make something worse for me please’! Particularly when English isn’t necessarily their first language.” – Juno Plus
“For something based out of a bedroom, his label started out auspiciously. Bishop’s first releases came in the form of three tapes from already established artists: Australian beat shaman Dro Carey (as Tuff Sherm), American analog head Huerco S., and experimental underground all-star M Geddes Gengras (as Personable).” Andrew Ryce – RA