Oneohtrix Point Never

Garden of Delete

Warp

Nov 11, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Since Richard D. James first plunked out esoteric keyboard melodies and launched ambient IDM into mainstream consciousness, few producers have been as consistently creative and adept at establishing mood as Oneohtrix Point Never's Daniel Lopatin. He makes abstract electronic music, often employing interesting and jarring production techniques like sudden stops, skips, and the occasional blast of incoherent noise. It's arresting, and very effective at making the listener pay attention. While many ambient producers make distant soundtracks that drift in the background, OPN all but demands a response from its audience.

Lopatin's new album Garden of Delete comes after a profile-widening opening gig for Nine Inch Nails. He spoke around that time about listening to a lot of guitar music and wanting to step away from the soft synth textures that defined 2013's R Plus Seven. All the heaviness around him seems to have seeped into Garden, as it's Lopatin's heaviest work in years. "I Bite Through It," the lead single, pummels and throbs with noisy percussion and distorted samples. About 30 seconds before the end of the track, one can even hear a one-second thrash metal sample. The one-two punch of "Mutant Standard" and "Child of Rage" anchor Garden's enveloping darkness.

OPN's defining work thus far was 2011's Replica, which changed Lopatin's game with the addition of samples to his music. Garden of Delete leans heavily on techniques used on that album, with the addition of live instrumentation (the occasional stringed instrument, the pipe organ on "Freaky Eyes") and plenty of industrial elements. It is a complex beast of shade and mood, and it's Lopatin's best work yet. (www.pointnever.com)

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