The 22nd release from White Peach Records is the Marbles EP, a four track collection by Opus. The first track, “Hide You”, has an obvious jungle influence, with filtered breakbeats which drive the song and intermittent vocals which add atmosphere. The strong pulsing wobbles of the bassline mirror the stop-start nature of the drums, with which it has an almost call-and-response relationship. This builds the song into a frenzy of bass weight, and it’s obvious from the drop that this track would sound amazing on a big sound system, sounding brilliant on my comparatively meagre Mackies. The second track on the A-side is entitled “Bleep”, and is in stark contrast to the driving rhythms of “Hide You”. A melodic arpeggiated lead dominates the track, with a shattering sub line underpinning sparse drums. Filtered, panned, insect-like hats add contrast to the strong sub bass and give the track a sinister flavour, intensified by dark pads and recurring vocal stabs.
The first track on the B-side is the title track “Marbles”, which continues the sinister theme set by “Bleep”. A haunting pad overlaid with rhythmic percussion and chimes gives way to a gut-wrenching wobble bassline. The stripped back beat helps intensify the tangled bassline, which meanders through the soundscape of pitched vocal stabs, dark atmospheres and trickling percussion. The final track is called “Rimstone”. You could be forgiven for thinking that the track would be a more subtle ending to the EP, with a calming reversed sample at the beginning. How wrong you are! The sample quickly fades away to a nasty drone bassline which acts as a sturdy backbone to the track. The beat seems unquantized, which gives the track a nice lurching feel to it and mirrors the loose feel of the chimes which are prominent throughout the track. A unique Arabic string lead progresses the tune, giving way to dark wobbles and percussion. The calming sample that began the track ends it, providing a nice counter to the bass weight that came before it.
The Marbles EP is a triumph. Whilst beginning with a seemingly more upbeat, jungle-esque vibe, the EP delves deeper through the remaining tracks, with the dark percussion, vocal stabs and strong basslines helping to tie the 4 tracks together. Opus has combined influences from many genres to create a fantastic collection of tracks which would be a welcome addition to anyone’s collection.