Oneohtrix Point Never, 'Replica' (Software)

8
Replica
Critical Mass
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Label: Software

by Philip Sherburne

The futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that we'll upload ourselves to the Net, abandoning mortal meatspace to live forever in silicon. He calls it the Singularity, and you couldn't find a better musician to soundtrack the experience than Brooklyn's Daniel Lopatin. As Oneohtrix Point Never, armed with a vintage Roland Juno 106 and titles like "Zones Without People" and "Hyperdawn," he has channeled the kosmische tendencies of ambient pioneers like Klaus Schulze (who played briefly in Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel), with arpeggios zipping up and down like a DMT-powered space elevator. Meanwhile, his YouTube project Sunsetcorp chops and screws soft-rock classics into meditative loop fantasias, paired with flickering vector graphics or fuzzy VCR advertisements.

Here, Lopatin sampled the source material from 1980s television commercials, collected on DVDs that he claims to have purchased from a "hoarder/nostalgia-dealer dude on the Internet." Scraps of rustling percussion, hazy strings, and hiccupping voices provide the foundation, while gleaming synths and sparse piano melodies arc skyward, elegiac monuments to forgotten broadcasts and bygone media. Unlike his previous work's frenetic buzz, everything here is bathed in a warm, fuzzy glow, a high-density tangle of frequencies giving way to a languid journey into the cathode-ray-tube dreamscape. Both lyrical and hypnotic, Replica serves as a deeply romantic testament to the possibilities ?of life in the Cloud.

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