Oneohtrix Point Never, otherwise known as Daniel Lopatin, is widely heralded as one of the most technically gifted electronic and experimental music producers of the new decade. Lopatin’s main route into popularity came via the release of the incredibly well received album Replica of 2011. Using a combination of synthesizers and samplers Lopatin is able to create the densest of ambient electronic soundscapes commonly branded as ‘drone’ and ‘vaporwave’, the latter genre seen especially more in 2013’s R Plus Seven.
Lopatin usually approaches atmosphere from an incredibly heavy and intense direction, creating haunting and eerie tracks. In Garden Of Delete Lopatin has taken all his intense experiments multiple steps further. In tracks such as the single ‘Sticky Drama’ his experimentations verge on complete genre transformations. An electronic ambience with ethereal vocal samples is transformed into synthetic industrial black metal. Driving blast beat kick drums ride abstract waves of screaming chords; abrasive, computerised cries hold the song together at the end of the track as if the front man of said black metal act has been trapped inside a computer.
His takes on electronic music are similar in effect to that of 65daysofstatic which makes Lopatins lack of instruments even more impressive. It is this lack of “real” instrumentation combined with the dense layers of ambiguous noise and sound that give the album its astonishing sense of intense wonder. The compositions have drops and progressions like any other electronic music, but used in an off-kilter and abstract fashion. Listeners will be kept on edge when this abstract approach to rhythm as it is accompanied by the aforementioned infrequent instrument sample, such as the lead guitar heard under a heavy flow of base on ‘Lift’.
Listeners will feel overwhelmed at times if not by the heaviness of the computerised black metal then by the beautifully kitsch nature of tracks like ‘Animals’. Sadness is evoked through a wonderful synthesizer melody and, once again, highly edited high-pitched synthetic vocal that makes one feel instantly connected to the computerised ghost in the album that they never have and never will meet.
This is a truly unique and spectacular album that should leave many as stunned as they are delirious.