With a name like Oneohthrix Point Never you would expect something different from this artist and his work doesn’t disappoint. In fact trying to describe what Daniel Lopatin does is going to be pretty hard other than to class it under the vast umbrella of the genre electronica. If i strip it down to its fundamentals I would say that all of his music is derived from the heavy use of sampling and synthesisers but other than that his sound is truly unique.
What I can say is Daniel Lopatin could definitely be classified as an auteur. Although he samples and uses instruments that make each album sound completely individual. The way he programmes and produces the textures he uses all have his style etched into them. He doesn’t usually fit into a model of musical structure that were used to and melodies are usually sparse and rarely last a whole track. This makes his work, at first, hard to grasp. In fact I still find a lot of it perplexing. It’s this almost riddle like nature in his work that keeps me coming back to it time and time again.
R Plus Seven certainly holds the traditions of his previous work but i would say that this time the textures he has chosen to use are far more accessible. The use of choir like samples and syth pads are definitely the trademark of the album, which is a little more melodic and softer around the edges. For me this makes the album a perfect place to start for someone who wants to listen to his work for the first time. It introduces you to the his world but gives you a comfortable platform to stand on.
I will make a promise that anyone who listens to this album will like at least a part of it. Simply on the basis that there are so many different textures and melodies in its play time that it will be hard not to find one thing you like, even if it only lasts for 20 seconds. The album manages to sound mournful, playful, uplifting, ominous, relaxing and confusing and in some instances all of them within a few minutes. A perfect example of this is Problem Areas which is the track I have included below.
So were left with an album that seems to do what it wants, only fits into convention when it needs to and is continuously subverting and overstepping the boundaries it creates. It won’t be for everyone but for those who say that every thing’s been done in music, I would like to use this as a contradiction.
If you consider yourself open and interested in music and haven’t made your mind up by giving Onohtrix Point Never a serious listen then you owe it to yourself. Hopefully like me you will start by being hooked by small sections before you slowly succumb to the whole thing. Refreshing and Confusing, a constant contradiction to any preconceptions of what music can be. R Plus Seven deserves its place in any album of the year list.