Oneohtrix Point Never Age Of Warp
As Oneohtrix Point Never, Daniel Lopatin has always been something of a ghost in the machine, bridging and simultaneously destroying the gap between ideas of humanity and technology. In its fascination with horror, 2015’s Garden of Delete came closer to achieving this than any of his previous work. With Age Of, 0PN has once again taken things up a notch.
The titular opener is a twisted combination of medieval and MIDI that echoes Garden of Delete track Sticky Drama, wherein 0PN provides the most distilled version of his sound to date: something that speaks to both old and new ideas, conjuring thoughts of faith and Final Fantasy in equal measure. The elegiac Babylon goes a step further still, putting the focus on the compassion of the vocal take, which is flanked by backing vocals from Prurient’s Dominick Fernow.
Where Age Of differs most dramatically from its predecessors, however, is that it feels more like cut scenes interspersed with gameplay, with Lopatin having embraced a more fluid narrative feel. With its pitch bends and shimmering synths, Toys 2 evokes the curiously unnamed sensation of learning to sincerely feel for arcade game characters in story mode, while myriad.industries combines the blissfully uneasy feeling of exploring new terrain with the frenetic energy of half-expected violence.
As an album, Age Of is another lesson in machine empathy from 0PN. Between the self-destructing, Black Snow – which is voiced by Lopatin with Anohni on backing vocals – and the hectic roboticism of the James Blake-featuring We’ll Take it, these are 13 tracks which stand as testament that melancholy – above all – is not an exclusively human experience.