Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Oneohtrix Point Never

  • Replica [Software, 2011] A-
  • R Plus Seven [Warp, 2013] ***
  • Garden of Delete [Warp, 2015] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Replica [Software, 2011]
Daniel Lopatin may be a deconstructionist, but he's no ascetic. Unlike too many post-rockers, he has a taste for content as well as form and for creation as well as contrarianism, harvesting a healthy plateful of diverse sounds and textured note sequences from his beloved analog keyboards and then arraying them in songlike tracks that stay in the four-minute range until the quietly celebratory seven-minute finale. Chugging, grinding, crackling, swelling, bubbling, babbling, these tracks don't sound like part of the natural world, but they certainly sound cognizant of the natural world. And although I may be missing some of their formal interrelationships, I swear they behave as one thing. A-

R Plus Seven [Warp, 2013]
Not weird enough--indulges the Jean Michel Jarre tendencies built into his DNA ("Americans," "Inside World") ***

Garden of Delete [Warp, 2015]
With R Plus Seven's Hammond B-3 vibe out of his system, Daniel Lopatin assembles something resembling an emotionally complex reflection on suffering humanity. Purportedly a concept album about a hypergrunge band called Kaoss Edge--no, there is no such thing as "hypergrunge" (so far), but that doesn't stop Kaoss Edge from having a website--it's as coherent as Lopatin wants it to be. Read along with the hyperautotune lyrics of "Sticky Drama" and hear an alt-teen pencil-dick love song transmute into an alt-contrarian death-metal horrorshow; read along with the cute-sounding electro-munchkin lyrics of "Animals" and learn they're about cages and worse. But the music is more playful and frankly interesting than these dark themes suggest--and also more multifacted, virtuosic, and urban than Lopatin's excellent stealth-pastoral Replica. I credit this healthy paradox to the guy's irrepressible sonic imagination. His mind may believe the earth is one big disaster area. But even so he remains a clever, funny dude who enjoys his musique concrete collages too much to set his sights on distant galaxies. A-