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- Returnal by Oneohtrix Point Never
9/10 Ant Staff review, 09 June 2010
Peter Rehberg's ever 'on the money' Editions Mego label prove once again that the man has his ears to the underground with his latest score of signings. Barely giving us time to recover from the excellent Emeralds album, Editions Mego unleash a new album from synthesizer wonder-kid Daniel Lopatin AKA Oneohtrix Point Never. His vinyl releases disappear in the blink of an eye and the Rifts compilation CD flew out of Norman Towers faster than we could keep it in stock.
His tools of choice here are the Akai AX-60, Roland Juno-60, Roland MSQ-700, Korg Electribe ES-1 and the computer manipulation of his vocals. This set begins with a gargantuan and explosive rhythmic noise opener entitled ''Nil Admirai' which could have come from the mind of Astro or KK Null. It's like going warp-speed through colliding meteors and blasting neon lazers. A chaotic and intense ride to say the least.
'Describing Bodies' is the calm after the storm with its blissful and thought provoking sustained keys and muted bleeps.
'Stress Waves' is a little more playful but no less emotive, like a couple embracing each other in zero gravity. The cosmic waves of love flowing from the circuits of the synthesizers and evoking classic futurist imagery and polished chrome when staring at the back of my eyelids. 'Returnal' is probably the closest track here that resembles a song in the conventional sense. A melodic and super dreamy number that in some ways fits into the whole hypnogogic pop scene he's been occasionally pigeon-holed into. It really is a very beautiful, psychedelic acid fried space pop tune that tugs at the old heartstrings.
The epic 'Pelham Island Road' is like retina scorching rays of the sun blasting through the darkness, assisting new life through photosynthesis, warming the earth and ultimately warming this listeners heart. The true power of electronic music in action. The profound 'Where Does Time Go' is hypnotic and magical as swells of sparkling keys emerge. It's fairly simple in its execution but a perfect display of how the artist is able to articulate his emotions through his machines which is why I think he's been able to connect with so many people through his music.
Then onto the brief but gorgeous astral synthesizer orchestrations of 'Ouroboros' which has a very timeless and classic electronic music feel with its reflective and shimmering tones.
The trip continues where twisted cyber-new age trickling liquid synth sounds collide with dreamcatchers and windchimes on planet Mars while distant vocals hover over like the chants of shaman cosmonaut. A fine example of Daniel's retro-future sound and a perfect conclusion to the wonderful deep listening experience that is Returnal. A massive recommendation! (I probably wrote the word 'synth' there about twenty times but gimme a break...)
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