Oneohtrix Point Never’s Age Of, birthed from an obsession with connection-drawing, is terrifying and comforting in turns. OPN juggles eminently digestible pop riffs with demented minimalism and gut-grasping harmony, plunging into deep seas of color and tearing out threads of melody. The material may feel alien, but the scale of the thing is most decidedly and affectingly human.
Oneohtrix Point Never (OPN) is Daniel Lopatin, award winning musician, composer and producer whose work is meticulously conceived and obsessed with it’s own innards and corners. These are hallmarks that have made OPN a very tempting collaborator; in the time since his last studio album, his work has ranged from film scores, to art commissions and straight-up pop production.
“After Garden of Delete, I found myself working on collabs with other artists a lot. That became my life. So I was thinking a lot about music labor in the antiquated sense; the state or church-appointed artist. It was refreshing and funny to let that energy into my solo work, which suddenly seemed so constrained and private to me. Nothing felt more wrong than making a strictly conceptual album. It needed to be a record of little air-conditioned nightmares that reflected my life as it was.”
Age Of nestles in the psyche somewhere amid literal space opera, b-film, internet addiction and François Rabelais. One could list off another thirty references in that format that would make perfect sense. The whole album in fact has a kind operatic structure; it’s a set of interconnected songs that loosely address humanity’s abuse of Earth and its fetishistic obsession with understanding itself.
Age Of should be terrifying, but it is unrelentingly gorgeous. OPN’s obsession with modernities throughout history, and our need to self-soothe through its premature lens comes, ultimately, from a place of deep affection. He views our moment from a distance and spins it into something hard and beautiful, Our air-conditioned nightmare looks pretty tantalizing from this angle.
Essay (excerpt) by Nadia Sirota
Release: June 1, 2018 - Warp Records