Friday, 4 October 2013

Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven

Someone needs to look into the damage the modern world is doing to our attention spans. Patience is no longer the virtue it once was. Today, we want everything—music, news, food, sex, technology—at our fingertips. And once we've basked in this instant gratification, we're done with it, slavering for our next quick fix.

In a time like this, you'd expect Daniel Lopatin's—aka Oneohtrix Point Never—seventh LP, R Plus Seven, to perfectly complement our inability to sit still. Every one of its 10 tracks packs in an astonishing range of sounds and textures that hopscotch from one direction to another without any obvious rhyme or reason. In theory, this should be a sugar-rushing, channel-hopping Generation Y-er's dream.

Yet for all the skittering electronics and industrial crunching of tracks like "Problem Areas" and "Inside World," it's unlikely to have any sort of mass appeal. This is the kind of record that will excite bearded experimental aficionados, who are happy to excavate the never-ending sonic crannies that punctuate this avant-garde affair.

 For this rest of us, these computerised structures are a difficult trip to enjoy. The likes of "Americans" and "Cry" aren't so much songs but artistic statements. They flicker effortlessly between scar tissue-ripping pulses, ethereal drones, and ebullient cloudburst synths to create malleable sonic shapes intent on avoiding repetition. In other words, it's as straightforward as a bowl of noodles.

 Album closer "Chrome County" is the most linear track here. Swaying to the chime of melancholic keys and angelic harmonies, it maintains a consistency that is both rare and relieving. And while there are similar moments of brilliance buried away, their fleeting existence only serves to underline what could have been. The modern world has a lot to answer for.

First published here for Under the Radar

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