Published Sep 02, 2014Bay Area native and Mills College grad Christopher Willits describes his latest release, OPENING, as "a visual album." While this would set up most albums for disappointment, picturing a hastily assembled YouTube montage, it works flawlessly in this case. The seven compositions of OPENING are being physically released by Ghostly International, making it his third solo album for the label.
Meanwhile, Willits has uploaded a video version, and the rest of the immersive experience is said to play out in photo prints and multi-channel live performances. It was intended to be a meditative, lighter take on the style of Baraka and Koyaanisqatsi film, so the visual imagery focuses on blue skies, white clouds, ocean, sky and vibrant terrain, with a hint of fractals, rather than a starker contrast of man vs. nature.
The music captures the visuals perfectly, minimizing the experimental glitch aspects of Tiger Flower Circle Sun in favour of a more accessible but no less sophisticated ambience, heavenly sighs and effervescent melodies rolling onto the shores of pulsing bass lines. There is an effortless flow throughout the album, quite a feat considering all of the highly designed processes at work. Combined with a more elongated, downtempo focus, OPENING brings to mind the warmly filtered, vaguely nostalgic IDM surf aesthetic of label and touring mate Tycho. (Ghostly International)