Self Issued (label)
12 October 2013 (released)
12 October 2013
This has been playing on my decks for weeks and I’ve been agonising over just how the hell to review it!
Antun Opic is a completely uncharacterisable musician. He hails from Germany via Croatia and plays music that has a Balkan edge – sometimes.
A lot of the time he has a folk or even a west coast timbre to him but the one thing he isn’t is a traditional anything. I guess you could put him in the ‘singer/songwriter’ camp but that would eschew his classical edges and you could say that he is a writer of love songs but there is a deeper philosophy than that. He is an anomaly and after listening to this album maybe a dozen times I am still desperately struggling to work out how to explain him – I only know that this is one of the best albums I have heard this year – or probably in recent years.
The album is loaded with pathos – you only need to hear him singing “keep your clothes on, I’ll pay the night, don’t worry, I just need a hug” in the title track but there is humour too as in the cabaret-like campness of ‘Informer’. He is a superb guitarist but an even better vocalist and he has surrounded himself with a powerful set of musicians in Tobias Kavelar (guitars etc), Horst Fritscher (bass), Jan Kahlert on percussion and Heinz Peters on saxes, mainly playing acoustic but always underplaying the songs which are the stars of this album.
There are many tracks to pick up on: the emotive ‘Moses’ with a bass line that reminds me of Danny Thompson at his best – or ’Troubled Waltz’ with close-miked metal guitar strings a feature or ‘Rootless Trees’, his vocals cracking and breaking.
It actually seems to have all the best features of the emotive side of the Blues while telling folk stories and there isn’t a moment on the album that I didn’t go back to time and again to simply enjoy again.
A genuine masterpiece.