Brooklyn experimentalist Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, appears to have spent just as much time teasing information about his second album for the Warp label, Garden of Delete, as he did making it.
A cryptic PDF file, a blog interview with an alien named Ezra and a website dedicated to a fictional genre called “hypergrunge” are just some of the bizarre tactics that have been used to promote the record, an early sign that the 33-year-old remains as challenging as ever.
The dedicated fans who embarked on Oneohtrix Point Never’s unique scavenger hunt will no doubt be delighted with their prize, with Garden of Delete serving up a similar palette of dizzying and deliberately abrasive sounds that defined 2013 predecessor R Plus Seven.
“Mutant Standard” is an eight-minute whirlwind of pummelling beats and industrial synths which can only be described as post-apocalyptic trance. The glitchy IDM of Iead single “I Bite Through It” is so impenetrable that it makes Aphex Twin’s output resemble that of David Guetta, and “Freaky Eyes” is a creepy collage of church organs, extra-terrestrial sound effects and interference from half a dozen radio stations.
But there are a couple of significant differences which ensure that Garden of Delete stands out from Lopatin’s prolific body of work. Recent support slots with Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden seem to have sparked a new-found love of rock, with the industrial techno of “Sticky Drama” featuring the kind of guttural growls you’d expect to find on a death metal track, and the New Age ambience of “Lift” interrupted by a squalling guitar solo which suggests Slash gatecrashed its recording.
It’s also his wordiest record to date, although the amount of distortion that the vocals are treated to means it’s unlikely that anyone other than Lopatin would know whether the lyrics are profound or just meaningless gibberish.
Restlessly flitting between the serene and the nightmarish, Garden of Delete isn’t for those with a nervous disposition, but it’s another wall of noise which proves that Oneohtrix Point Never remains electronica’s king of organised chaos.