Oneohtrix Point Never - Magic Oneohtrix Point Never: Review
Oneohtrix Point Never is the moniker for experimental artist/producer Daniel Lopatin, who has delivered a plethora of music of various ranges and has composed two amazing films. His experimental nature is the subtle touch underneath the mask. His new album Magic Oneohtrix Point Never, does so with great spacey wave type electronic vibes with influence in various ways. It allows it sounds to transfix us into a world of pure internal contrast in our thoughts with its themes of self discovery and warped realities, similar to his best work.
As a multi-instrumentalist, Daniel Lopatin has a craft unlike many others. The range of instruments that he uses in his music is very different from standard experimental electronic artists. Like on “Long Way Home.” The Caroline Polachek co-written track features her vocal lows in ominous fashion, as Lopatin adds backing harmonies. The opening violin strings bring life to the track that weaves light hit hats and synths. It holds presence even when it isn’t played. This act allows the track evolve into something more. Or like on “Tales From the Trash Stratum,” where the xylophone becomes its own character within the confines of that world. Most times it feels like the score/soundtrack to a modern adaptation of The Truman Show, if it was made by a subdued Gaspar Noé.
Like the experimental nature in his production, Oneohtrix Point Never surprises with some uncredited guest vocals that add their own touch to the album. The Weeknd’s somber vocalization blends with an instrumental more attuned to his style than Daft Punk on Star Boy. He does so similarly with Arca on “Shifting,” which is reminiscent of “Nonbinary” on KiCk I with static like percussion and Arca rapping in her own broken and interesting way.
Though the experimental nature of the album is far from the various instruments warped into the outer layers of the track. He takes influence from a style of talk radio and a certain frequency in which it is delivered. Like the static-like voices of the dead in that Michael Keaton film, White Noise.
It is like a DJ set that needs to be heard from start to finish to truly grasp it. Those pivot points come in certain intros to tracks and the “Cross Talk,” interludes that rounds out these moods evoked by the album. But it isn’t a perfect album, there are moments of lengthy repetition in the instrumental that it can get moot, like “Bow Ecco,” which feels like it only has three instruments doing the same thing. This is apparent within small factions of the album like on “Imago,” which doesn’t seem to hold itself together fully.
Magic Oneohtrix Point Never is the strong hold that brings back OPN to earlier roots where his presence was minimal. Now with a more notable platform that music has taken a refreshing turn for the trending sounds.