Live Review: Opiuo, Goosebumpz

23 April 2016 | 11:47 am | Samantha Jonscher

"His music isn’t just made for a dance, its made for a warm, big smiles party."

ANZAC long weekend got off to a good start at Oxford Art Factory Friday night when New Zealand-born Melbournite Opiuo served up a set of his sample and funk heavy drum and bass for his crowd. 

When he takes the stage and his kit is wheeled on behind him, one could mistake the man as cocky. He is welcomed by a chant from the crowd, one that he eggs on, pushing people’s hands into the air with his own open arms. But five minutes in, its clear that this enthusiasm isn’t for the producer’s benefit. 

His music isn’t just made for a dance, its made for a warm, big smiles party. For one thing, his own presence behind his rig is intensely physical. Two drum pads, set up either side of him, keep Opiuo busy for the whole ninety minutes, playing them with his palms like a bongo, the tips of his fingers like a key board and at times with a drum stick like a snare (This isn’t surprising from a DJ that sometimes tours with a live, five piece band). It keeps his music ultra present, so he is right there with his crowd. 

His music Injects soul and heart into drum and bass’s glitchy, dystopic landscape and accordingly, he makes his audience really savour what they have to work with. There aren't many drops here, its slow builds and smart, unwinding catharses. At one point he comes on the mic over a slow, grinding low point to tell his dance floor, "I do this for people like you so thanks for enjoying it”, a beaming smile crosses his face while he says it. Sure, they all say that, but when with a set that feels as generous as his, its hard not to think he is really doing it all for someone’s long weekend Friday.

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