Oneohtrix Point Never: Age Of review – a subversion of expectations


The twinkling baroque harpsichord that opens producer Daniel Lopatin’s latest album is a perfect representation of his unpredictable work. Having made his name over the past decade with albums that encompass noise music, synthesiser-heavy electronics, and luscious harmonies, his ninth record continues his legacy of off-kilter composition and unexpected instrumentation.

Lopatin, AKA Oneohtrix Point Never, has become increasingly collaborative in recent years, producing for David Byrne, writing for singers FKA Twigs and Anohni, and composing an eerie soundtrack for the Safdie brothers’ 2017 film Good Time. As such, Age Of is a collective effort, employing Anohni’s choral vocals on the distortion-heavy Same, noise artist Prurient’s screams on Warning and James Blake’s keyboards on the pixelated melodies of Still Stuff That Doesn’t Happen.

Lopatin entices the listener through sweeping orchestrations, such as those of the title track and Manifold, and then abruptly manufactures discordance. Expectations are subverted, as when the opulence of the harpsichord is manipulated beyond recognition or a piercing shout infiltrates a rhythm. Since every composition holds this tension within its structure, it feels like an aesthetic choice rather than a gimmick. The more time you spend with Age Of, the more Lopatin’s instrumentations reveal depth.

Watch the video for Age Of by Oneohtrix Point Never.


Ammar Kalia

The GuardianTramp

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