Oneohtrix Point Never
Oneohtrix Point Never is Daniel Lopatin, a US native whose work has brought him to the forefront of the modern electronic composition scene. Though Lopatin’s rise felt meteoric following his 2009 double-disc anthology Rifts and its 2010 follow-up Returnal, (praised by the likes of Wire, Pitchfork, Fader, Guardian UK, The Quietus, and XLR8R) his love of polyphonic synthesizers dates back to childhood jam sessions with his father’s Roland Juno-60, an instrument which, like B.B. King’s Lucille, he has never left behind.
Audiences in the last year have gravitated towards OPN’s profound arrangements, which mange to touch upon both mainstream and discarded electronic music histories, and merge the structural freedom of noise with the abstract emotionality of work considered by many to be “background music.” His passion to find personal meaning in failed new age utopias and liminal science fiction environments often brings his compositions to the brinks of minimalism, drone, proto-techno, noise and pop, clarifying the past through a blissful repetition of its signifiers. If one can communicate efficiently within the realm of electronic music, OPN reveals itself as a project with a zeal for expression, an emotive blinking light on the cold horizon.
Replica, his latest effort, is an electronic song cycle based around audio procured from television advertisement compilations. These sample-based mediations are as lyrical as they are ecological, featuring re-purposed “ghost-vocals” which serve as narration for Lopatin’s signature amorphous, ambient passages. Lopatin’s commitment to his Juno-60 is still on display, but the placid, synthetic surroundings of Returnal are accelerated via darker, propulsive terrains using samplers, analog filtering, tape manipulation, acoustic piano, plate reverb and sub-frequencies. In his own words, “Replica has as mucht o do with environmental, broadcasted, and club sounds that I was exposed to while on the road over the past couple years a it does with more direct musical influences.” The result is a heightened sense of music as part and parcel of an overall sonic landscape.