Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven

Ever since releasing his queasy 2011 album Replica, the synth-drone experimenter Daniel Lopatin, the man behind Oneohtrix Point Never, has stayed busy. He’s recorded an improvised album with Tim Hecker, he’s played in Ducktails, he’s contributed music to Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring. And now he’s getting back to the business of releasing OPN music. Lopatin’s new album R Plus Seven is coming this fall on new label Warp, and a press release claims that it “comes as close as Lopatin has ever gotten to anything resembling traditional song structure.” Check out the album’s tracklist below.

01 “Boring Angel”
02 “Americans”
03 “He She”
04 “Inside World”
05 “Zebra”
06 “Along”
07 “Problem Areas”
08 “Cryo”
09 “Still Life”
10 “Chrome Country”

R Plus Seven is out 10/1 on Warp.

Comments (3)
  1. Can somebody explain to me why this guy is so popular? I’m not trolling I’m honestly asking. I understand that his music is avant garde and interesting compositionally, but I find most of it cold and unapproachable.

    • I don’t think he’s TOO terribly popular. I was surprised when Pitchfork put “Returnal” in at #20 on their best albums list of whatever year, mainly because I too thought it was very deserving. I was kind of shocked at how all of a sudden they were all about Oneohtrix Point Never.

      When I first heard “Replica” I liked it, but not as much as “Returnal”. So again, imagine my surprise seeing it as their SIXTH album of two years ago. The fuck? Well, upon returning (hehe) to “Replica” on vinyl and giving it a few more listens, that album really is quite fucking impressive.

      I’m not going to re-type what’s been said many times about him, but his music puts you in a head space. A very unique one that is can be very accepting and comforting. I mean, there’s the (in my mind) famous track “Nil Admirari” that leads off “Returnal” that acts as a gatekeeper to the rest of the album. It almost says, “GO AWAY curious listener. This album is only for those who dare proceed.” That track is famous in my mind because WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT?! Five minutes of raw, dissonant noise as an intro track?! But then it ends and unwinds into an album of beautiful, and yes, cold ambiance. So the intro sort of acts as an Expectation Eraser before giving you the goods.

      I also REALLY loved Ford & Lopatin’s “Channel Pressure” released the same year as “Replica”. It’s way more accessible than OPN stuff, but I feel the same genius is at work.

      Finally, my introduction to OPN was his Sundial Remix for Blondes’ “Moondance” from their Touched EP. I didn’t know what OPN was, but when I delved into it, I found “Returnal” and “Rifts” and have been a huge fan ever since. Chill ass tunes.

  2. It’s a tough question to answer, and a lot of people ask it. In summary, OPN has a certain “je ne sais quoi” that a lot of his contemporaries lack. Initial responses to his music usually fall in to the category of “I’m aware of Klaus Schulze and this is basically that”, which often makes me grimace because despite the clear influence of the Kosmiche school, OPN isn’t beholden to their legacy. Even in his more straightforward earlier work, a great example of which is “Physical Memory” off “Russian Mind”, there is a multi-layered, non-hierarchical soundworld that blends the organicity of nature with the totally synthetic. There’s this kind of intense, phantasmogorical cyberpunk vision to albums like “Zones Without People” that is almost effortlessly transportative, and the ideas aren’t belaboured, merely hinted at, giving the listener space to journey. You could say that because of this, OPNs music is nebulous, shifting and uncertain and this confuses people, who, like us all, are happier being explicitly handed ideas and concepts surrounding music.

    But most importantly, the guy’s just got an ear for harmony, and a penchant for theatrics (the abrasive noise collage that melts away into pure synthetic bliss on Returnal is a great example). You spend a little time exploring his work and start getting into his head, and you realise the music is loaded with a great deal of wit, melancholy and drama – all delivered in his idiosyncratic style that hints at past musical tropes but manages to overcome them.

    So yeah, that’s a really hard question to answer. But please trust me, the guy is good. Give him the time of day and you will be eventually repaid tenfold.

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