Music Production

BT’s Electronic Opus (CD Review)

November 7, 2015 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook BT’s Electronic Opus (CD Review)on Twitter

BT’s Electronic Opus was released digitally to all Kickstarter backers on October 9, 2015 and released digitally worldwide three days later.  Since it’s release I have been following fan’s of BT’s reception of the album which has been enthusiastic and full of praise.  Feel free to take a look back at OSV’s earlier coverage of the album regarding its release and first preview.

I have spent a considerable amount of time listening to the album since it was released digitally, and now have a copy of the physical CD.  I hope you’re take some time to read my thoughts on why Electronic Opus is worth your precious listening time.

Full disclosure, I am a fan of BT’s music and have listened to his music for years.  BT’s Electronic Opus, according to the Kickstarter Campaign’s plan was supposed to be released to backers and the world on April 1, 2014.  The date came and past to the great disdain of many campaign backers who were later reassured that BT was still working on the album.  Updates later in the process were sparse but appreciated when they finally came.  The explanation for the delay in part was due to the difficulty in editing and mastering the combined trance and orchestra recordings as the audio files visually shared the same spectrum and were difficult to edit.

When I first listened to the album I was in a rental car on yet another Canadian road trip.  The problem with rental cars and I’m sure many of you readers can appreciate is that the equalizer are almost always tweaked with treble to the lowest setting, bass to maximum and balance shifted to the rear of the car.   At first listen I was deflated, almost saddened until I realized my amateur Hyundai Accent audio mishap.  Determined to give the album another shot I popped in my headphones on my Sony Walkman and made a second listening attempt.  Bliss is probably my one word description for what I felt hearing the first track properly on the album for the first time.

“Flaming June” is the first track on the album and is nothing short of remarkable.  The EDM anthem has been infused with the sound of symphony orchestra and is a wonderful introduction of the overall experience that is Electronic Opus.  The track opens with sustained emotional piano of the original track’s melody and soon after turns up the electronic music.  The track moves back and forth and then blends orchestra and electronic music exceptionally well.  The track ends with the sound of a cello welcoming the listener to the rest of album’s remaining 13 tracks.

When I first listened to the CD I was completely blown away at the clarity of the overall sound.  Besides having a ridiculous grin on my face, I was immediately reminded of a similar sonic experience.  I am not sure if any of you are fans of the classic anime film Akira but when it was released on Blu-ray the Japanese language track was hailed at the time of being ground breaking.  The reason was that the audio spectrum used for the mix was at such a high sound resolution it created something called the hypersonic effect as it presented the audio in a 24bit recording at 192khz.  Electronic Opus was a 24bit, 96khz recording and I swear my stereo was purring with glee.  To give you an idea of my at home listening setup for CDs I use a Yamaha Natural Sound Receiver, Yamaha 5 Disc CD player, Monster Ultra THX Speaker wire (which look like a garden hose), banana plugs, and Canadian made Paradgim Titan v.2 bookshelf speakers.  I also have cube like chair, and a fan for days when I feel like replicating the image below.

If you’re going to listen to the album for the first time, reset your equalizer.  I’m a firm believer that is a recording is well produced the album should not require any adjustment,  BT’s past works all have been exceptionally balanced.

The second track on the album “Simply Being Loved” is now record breaking as BT tweeted in March of this year that it now contained over 10,000 vocal edits.  Every time I listen to the track I fail to come close to being able to count them in my mind, but it speaks volumes to the time spent on making Electronic Opus the album that it is.

“Love Comes Again” is a track where the combination of the orchestra and electronic music really shines.  The song opens electronically, builds to the sound of the orchestra, and all combine with the vocals and just carries such a beautiful balance of all these elements throughout the track.  “1.618” a personal favorite track from BT’s critically acclaimed This Binary Universe becomes an entirely new experience with the backing of the orchestra.

If you have never listened to any of BT’s music before this is the perfect place to start.  The tracks on the album span much of BT’s musical career and the music is what I would consider to be the best representation of BT’s sound as an artist.  If you’re wondering why I’m covering this album on OSV its due to the involvement of some of the best people in the video game music business Tommy Tallarico who was a producer on the album, Christopher Tin handled the orchestra arrangements and Eimear Noone who conducted the orchestra, and BT himself has composed the score for several video games.

The CD Album is available for purchase at CDBaby for $12.99, and also available in FLAC or MP3 for $9.99.  CDBaby also offers free shipping worldwide if you order 3 CDs, I added Video Game Orchestra: Live At Symphony Hall as one of my additional CDs. I have not added samples of the album as you can listen to them on CDBaby’s site. The album comes in two flap digi-pak and for environmental purposes not wrapped in plastic which I really appreciated. You can see a 3D rendering of the CD here and the disc itself if a wonderful high quality pressing.

For me, Electronic Opus on CD is the album of the year. And if you aren’t planning on picking up the CD, please reconsider for your own stereo system’s sake.

Have you listened to Electronic Opus, or picked up a copy of the CD? Let me know what you think of the music of the album.

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