Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, is equal parts philosopher and tech wiz, intellectual and sample merchant, his innovative electronic sounds mining deep strains of historic material and modern culture with 21st-century production tools. Lopatin’s music has been described as “high-definition living scenes,” “dreamily fragmented electronic music,” “hazy hypnogogia,” and a “psychedelic cosmic synth project.” At his core, this prolific musician is as inspired by contemporary visual artists, philosophers, and Allan Holdsworth as by Japanese culture, horror films, Quentin Tarantino, the Dust Brothers, Matt Wallace, Stevie Wonder, Bob Rock, Geddy Lee, and Daft Punk.
“My last album (and Warp debut), R Plus Seven, was made at home while my wife and I were hanging out all the time; it’s a very domestic record,” Lopatin recalls. “I made the new record in this fucking crazy underground room, The Dungeon. I’ve got this weird skull on a chain above me and not much else.”
A frenetic album that sounds light-years beyond such previously soothing and cosmic consciousness- expanding OPN releases as Betrayed in the Octagon (2007, Deception Island), Zones Without People (2009, Arbor), and Russian Mind (2009, No Fun Productions), Lopatin’s latest, Garden of Delete explores so many twisted samples and nerve-permeating themes from such a fractured cultural milieu that by the time one piece sinks in and you’ve nailed its sources, it races forward, leaving you suspended and wanting more.
“No Good” blends strange string vibrations and unintelligible Vocodered R&B vocals with hornetlike synths and what sounds like an ocean exploding. “Child of Rage” recalls the spook sounds of Boards of Canada upended by electronic thumb piano, chamber lute/psychedelic synthesizers, and thunder. “ECCOJAMC1” is uncomfortable and looming; “Sticky Drama” recalls JS Bach merged with Meshuggah; the frozen synths and metal guitar riffs of “Lift” intimate physical torture at the polar ice caps. This Garden is dark, menacing, troublesome. Oneohtrix Point Never: A dangerous mind at work, indeed.