Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal [2010]

Posted in ambient,electronic,minimal synth by deek on December 14, 2010

Hailing from Brooklyn (though he records in Massachussetts), Oneohtrix Point Never seems to be ignoring all the wonderful hipsters and angsty song writers that heavily populate the community. Maybe he bought a bunch of synths from an indie band, but no one would have predicted he would play them all at once at live shows. He has said that after growing up listening to Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Birds of Fire he wanted his music to sound just like those synths, but without all the other pesky instruments. Having released a Santa’s sack-worth of very limited releases (all of which sold out quickly), Lopatin’s fourth full-length is a more complete feeling record, snugly composed from start to finish, exhibiting a freedom of space not often heard in strictly electronic drift artists. The music is certainly comparable to the adventurism of Burning Star Core, but without the music’s occasional attempts at killing the audience. The oddity of sounds, including Lopatin’s affected vocals on the title track (a nod to Fever Ray?), are certainly compelling, seemingly self-aware, moving, and living on their own terms. This, to me, is a great success. When music that is purely electronic feels alive, it is truly worthwhile. Retunal’s hypnotic ouroboros is just that. -The Silent Ballet

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