Oneohtrix Point Never

Oneohtrix Point Never’s new album, R Plus Seven, isn’t out for a few more weeks, but in addition to “Problem Areas” and an excerpt of “Still Life,” here’s a track that should definitely be able to tide fans over until then. That’s because “Zebra,” which comes right in the middle (and is in every way a centerpiece) of the record, is a world of a song. Over nearly seven minutes, Daniel Lopatin moves through section after section of heady, smooth textures that sacrifice none of their complexity or angularity. Opening with quick-cut samples of synths and human voice that punch more like staccato notes on a piano, Lopatin adds layer after layer until there are so many things happening at once it’s hard to even focus on one detail.

The track is one of the best examples of the way Lopatin has said he wants his music to make listeners feel like they’re moving fast and slow at the same time (2:00-2:30 alone moves from a steady melody, to beatless ambience, before jumping briefly into light-speed with a crunchy synth blur). After the spacious decompression of the middle section, “Zebra” eventually rebuilds itself with surprisingly natural sounds. Saxophone and string samples drift in and out of one another as if they were floating in space as the track gentley fades to a finish. It’s really the first good example to show that the talk about R Plus Seven being the closest Lopatin has come to making “conventional songs” is not the whole story, or something to even be worried about. This is proof. “Zebra” is a fractured puzzle of a song; as endlessly complex as it is effortlessly beautiful. Listen below.

R Plus Seven is out 8/1 on Warp

Comments (6)
  1. Simply an incredible track. One of the best he’s ever created

    • Yeah it really is.

      And the best part is he’s still holding out on releasing the best tracks (in my opinion) on the album. That said Zebra is definitely one of the best.

  2. Dude is really taking it to another level. This album is going to destroy completely.

  3. ugh this guy is so grossly overrated. there’s like 100 million other people doing the exact same boring crap. but somehow this is the one the hipster press decided needs to be hyped. herd mentality…

    • ^Actually true. OPN is like the hack performance artist who shits into a bag on stage and all the wannabes that prop it up have a hundred reasons why the shit fell perfectly or why the bag he chose was perfect or how the distance his legs were apart was just right…but come one, he’s still just shitting into a bag.

      I actually like a handful of Lopatin’s stuff but the level to which he’s being praised for doing what he’s doing is absurd. It’s another great example of what happens when the critics of an art form aren’t actual artists themselves…in other words, most music critics these days don’t know shit about actually creating music, because they’re just fans (I do not know anything about Miles here so I can’t say this directly applies to him/her).

      Most of OPN’s stuff could be parodied by a fourth grader messing with a few synths and random ’80s…throw some predictably minimal cover art on it, release it whatever the ironicly cool format is this week (elusive RealPlayer codecs), and watch the indie press go gushing.

  4. *”random ’80s samples” is what I meant to type on in that last paragraph.

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