|Opium |Metropolis Records, 1984|
1. Fix Me Up, 2. Splatter, 3. The Smell, 4. Helmut Mein Helmut, 5. Warp'd, 6. Penetration, 7. Entschuldigung, 8. Cuntboy, 9. RAF OK, 10. Mating Sounds Of Helicopters.
Opium is the debut album by KMFDM released in 1984 (only 200 cassette copies). It was reissued as a remastered version with a slightly different tracklist in 2002.
This updated version sounds in step with our days thanks to a cleaner sound rebuilt with great care. Notwithstanding, the songs still retain their spirit and listening to them reminds one of walking along the Reeperbahn, Hamburg and breathing a smell of the port during the 80s.
Konietzko, Watts (KMFDM founding members) and Ton Geist produced the archetype of what would be later their trademark: the Ultra Heavy Beat sound.
"Fix Me Up" precedes the atmospheres of Hollywood by Marilyn Manson of twenty years. "The Smell" creeps into the mind with its analgesic and euphoric effects (VNV Nation should be inspired by this song for their track 'Descent', they sound very similar). "Helmut Mein Helmut" harks back to the Belgian EBM, mainly DAF, and it will occur not the last time considering that even in the song "Ultra" (from Nihil) Konietzko was inspired by the DAF track "Verschwende Deine Jugend (from Gold Und Liebe)".
"RAF OK" winds between samples and refined guitars. "Penetration" seduces the listener with the persuasive voice of Watts and warm atmospheres, as if projected at a dark night club like in David Lynch movie in the fashion of Twin Peaks or Blue Velvet. "Cuntboy" is an interesting experiment that encompasses many music styles; like for instance dub, that was developed in subsequent works later on.
Opium it is an attractive release which allows us to appreciate the most experimental sound of KMFDM, sometimes omitted in their discography, to give place to a simpler and monotonous composition formula. (Marco Gariboldi. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens)