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Oneohtrix Point Never ‘Garden of Delete’ – Album Review

Warp (2015)

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.


4 / 5 stars     

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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Electronic Music, Featured


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