"Meraki" is the latest from Opiuo, the self-described "swizzling swunk-o-bass-monk" out of Australia, and one of my personal favorite funk-masters. Opiuo is truly a unique artist, and not just for his glitch-hop style overlayed with syrupy, synthy bass. This guy truly loves creating and playing live with full synths, drum machines, saxaphone and guitars, and, as a result, has created an eclectic sound with a strong fan base that I predict will continue to grow following this release. The title of the album left me curious, and after some snooping on the Opiuo facebook page, I discovered this definition: "MERAKI: the soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your work."
The first track of the album, "Snorkle," builds slowly and suddenly drops a funky beat at about 1:17 that sets the tone for the entire album. "Meraki" is a funk-a-licious journey that hits fast and hard, and makes you never want to stop grooving. It slows down a bit with the final two tracks, one a lilting, melodious collaboration in which saxaphone is the star, with Russ Liquid titled "On Your Side," and the final a short, uplifting downtempo track simply titled "It Was" to round out this dynamic album. Featuring collaborations with Beats Antique, Gift Of Gab, Spoonbill and more, this album is eclectic to say the least, and always brings the funk. Listen and love it.