Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin is a remarkably gifted artist.
He expertly reflects the world we live in back to us in a way that future generations will study and puzzle over.
Although his music is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s poignancy is undeniable.
Unlike any other artist I can think of (save for maybe James Ferraro) Lopatin is hell bent on exploring the potential for harmony amidst the dizzying dissonance of Internet culture, finding accidental beauty in the chaotic flurry of endless open windows and tabs opening other windows.
Music, advertising, pills, pornography, viruses, pills, pills and robots…the (B)rave New World.
Years ago he created a series of videos that split the difference between the absurdism of TV Carnage VHS weirdness, mesmerizing New Age music and sample based nostalgia. “Nobody Here” and “Angel” were wistful, cheesily romantic exercises in Internet weirdness and fuzzy collective consciousness. His “Ford & Lopatin“ album had moments of odd-pop pleasure that felt like Steve Horlick “Reading Rainbow Theme” synth freak-outs.
But his newest record, his first release for the Warp label, R Plus Seven is a marked shift in tone.
Continuing down a darker path (he began exploring on 2011’s “Replica“,) Lopatin is seemingly less charmed with the endless possibilities of the Internet and exploring the ways in which our damaged psyches are exponentially damaged by access to anything and everything that allows us to indulge and share in that damage. (*See the extremely NSFW and upsetting video for “Still Life.”)
It’s not to say that the album is all gloom and doom, it has moments of shimmering beauty (“Chrome Country” and “Zebra” especially are real stunners) but overall it is a fearless and challenging journey into a pixelated heart of darkness where a bitcoin can buy you virtually anything.
For a virtual experience, it’s a harrowingly real but extremely rewarding trip.