There are fewer places I’d rather be on a Friday night than a sold-out Do Lab show at King King. A tiny venue in the heart of Hollywood, King King is an anomaly to the area. Tucked away in an alley, you can escape the gritty sidewalks packed with a strange mix of shirtless hobos, high-heeled clubgoers and drunk Ironmen posing from pictures with children. The evening’s show was curated by LA’s own merry band of pranksters—The Do Lab. The crowd is always appreciative and never pretentious — I’ve met some of my best friends at King King around 1:00 am.
Here’s the strange thing about Opiuo: anybody that has heard 30 seconds of his music is immediately a fan for life, but for some reason he hasn’t swept the world of electronic music quite yet. Hailing from Australia by way of New Zealand (a very important distinction), Opiuo has been developing a steady base of extremely loyal fans for years but has never quite “broken through” (though what does that even mean anymore?).
So what’s the big deal? Why do people fall in love with him and immediately start shaking their booties without regard? Because he’s the downright funkiest, grittiest, hood-rattiest producer in the game and I’m not even exaggerating. Just give his 2011 album Slurp & Giggle a listen and tell me you don’t agree and that you haven’t sent the link to like three of your hood rat friends already. Rattled by churning, grimy bass lines carved to a point with a sharp glitch-hop edge, some of my favorite electronic songs of all time are on this album.
The performance on Friday was a brilliantly funky display of the talent, innovation and creativity of my personal favorite Kiwi on the scene: Oscar Davey-Wraight. The sold-out crowd of thirsty fans screamed with glee as Opiuo took the stage. When the music began, there was nothing to be done but dance. It drives you as instinctively as a heart beat. With the happy-go-lucky attitude of Down Under emanating from the stage, he captivated the room and never let us go. We was gettin the funk down.
Heavy as hell, but buoyant enough to float, Opiuo crafts a brilliant balance of soul-shaking low end elements and choppy, percussive rhythms. Bringing the music to life with synths and drum-pads, his performance is incredibly physical. He was often joined on stage by a crazy talented multi-instrumentalist that contributed some badass EDM-flute and sax action to the table. Opiuo played a solid mix of old favorites off of Slurp & Giggle and brilliant new material off of 2014’s Meraki. He was sure not to leave out the more obscure crowd favorites, including his grade-A remixes of “Benzi Box” and Pretty Lights’ “Done Wrong”.
I really can’t say enough good things about this amazing producer. Through years of continuous producing, he has retained an individual, unique sound that has never been replicated. His enthusiasm and joy is infectious—on stage and in his music both. Seriously, DO. NOT. SLEEP. ON. THIS. Below are some of my favorite Opiuo tracks to get you headed in the right direction:
Patchouli Dump Truck