Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden Of Delete - 2016 EDM Exp IDM Electronic 2015 2LP
Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden Of Delete
Label: Warp Records WARPLP266
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: USA, Canada & Europe
Released: 13 Nov 2015
Style: IDM, Glitch, Musique Concrète, Vaporwave, Noise, Synth-pop, Speedcore, Leftfield, Experimental EDM
In gatefold cover, with inner sleeves featuring artwork and lyrics.
Comes with a digital download.
A4 Sticky Drama
B2 Mutant Standard
C1 Child Of Rage
C3 I Bite Through It
D1 Freaky Eyes
D3 No Good
Mastered At The Mastering Palace
Published By Warp Music Publishing
Artwork Daniel Lopatin
Design Andrew Strasser
Lacquer Cut By Beau Thomas
Mastered By Dave Kutch
Mixed By, Producer [Additional Production] Paul Corley
Written-By, Producer Daniel Lopatin
In memory of Hans Reichel
The album's base notes will be familiar from his previous work; they consist of cool, frictionless pads, airy choral presets, and, especially, synthesized sounds that mimic acoustic instruments and revel in their own plasticity, like the tinny player piano of "Sticky Drama", or the jazz guitar noodling of "I Bite Through It". This time out, he ventures even deeper into the uncanny valley separating "real" sounds from mimetic ones. The references pile up in enormous slag heaps, and a few in particular stand out: the growls, chugging guitars, and blast beats of death metal; the flanged riffs of nu metal; and the garish synth stabs and grotesque vocal processing of contemporary commercial electronic music. Two years ago, after a bout of touring, he told Pitchfork, "I feel like I better understand the tropes and guises of EDM now," and you can hear that familiarity at various points in Garden of Delete.
That's not to say the album is a collection of big-room bangers. But certain techniques common on the Electric Daisy circuit have wormed their way into the music: Elastic trance riffs, vertiginous glissandi that zip upward like space elevators, and, especially, the highly processed and contoured voices of which Skrillex is so fond. Nothing in G.o.D. follows the usual Pavlovian dictates of mainstream rave: There are builds and drops, but they're always deployed in ways that throw the listener off balance. Instead of EDM's predictable roller coaster, he's constructed something more like Monument Valley's non-Euclidean architecture, where 2D and 3D spaces collapse into one another, and trapdoors open at the turn of a hidden dial.
Garden of Delete is the first OPN album to come with a lyric sheetno, reallywhich is nice, because the processed and distorted-to-hell "singing" on the album is mostly indecipherable. But even as a novelty, the lyrics sheet helps tease out the loose, extra-musical narrative developed across a range of apocrypha that orbit the album: a cryptic PDF of a crumpled sheet of paper in which Lopatin recounts, in the manner of a Joseph Conrad introduction, his encounter with a humanoid alien who gave him the USB containing the album's files; a Blogspot account for said alien (with posts dated as far back as 1994) stuffed with aesthetic theory, jokes, flyers for prog-rockers Rush, and musings on a style called "hypergrunge"; a website for the (invented) hypergrunge band Kaoss Edge; a host of (active) Twitter accounts for all these characters; and various mind-bending videos. (Various phone numbers referenced are, alas, red herrings; one is for Spotify's support line, another the Winthrop, Mass., police department.) This may all seem, from the outside, like so much masturbatory energy spillage, but dig deep enough, and they all become part of the larger work. When, in an interview, Ezra asks Lopatin what hypergrunge represents to him, Lopatin answers, "It's nihilist/formalist. Kaoss/Edge." You couldn't ask for a more succinct summary of his music's underlying principles.
None of this would matter if the music weren't absolutely grippingstrange, moving, hilarious, sometimes pushing the limits of good taste, but always in a way that makes you want to hear more. It is more songful than anything Lopatin has done. In "Freaky Eyes", minimalist organs give way to high-pitched voices in the style of Jack Ü; "Ezra" flits between the synth arpeggios of Rustie or Hudson Mohawke, Korn's nu-metal chug, and Japanese ambient; formally, it just kind of writhes in place, neither rising nor falling. "SDFK" interrupts graceful bells and strings with a crushing death-metal interlude that abruptly falls silent. And if Trevor Horn ever produced Slayer, it might sound something like "Sticky Drama". Your favorites will probably change over time, but the apocalyptic trance of "I Bite Through It" is a good candidate for the album's highlight, the vantage point from which all the surrounding chaos begins to make sense.