Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal

Editions Mego

Welcome to cryptic caustic contained chaos. Nil Admirari is an odd opener, but proves its point, taking no prisoners. This is Oneohtrix Point Never (Daniel Lopatin), a Bostonian building his bite since ’07. After entering this maze the blend of sounds land smack dab in a trancendentalist Tangerine Dream soundtrack of sorts. This dark passageway strides through both the luminous Describing Bodies and the ambient/rubbery Stress Waves. Returnal is Lopatin’s fourth record, and not your average bear, nor a rocket ship for that matter. There’s this flavor of a tinkering experimenter tuning things and along the way discovers and embellishes some finer elongated melodies. That futzing plays in its favor. Then comes the title track, only strangely transitional, which sort of plays like a down-mixed variation on The Knife vs. Vangelis on sleeping pills. A flare of psych haziness is scattered throughout (Pelham Island Road), a bit like a bad trip I might suppose. And then comes the restrained tribute to Steve Hillage on Where Does Time Go with repetitious and cooler tone moogy rhythms. The overall atmosphere on Returnal is pretty grey, effervescing for shy moments only to retreat and carry on. Not for everyone (mastered by James Plotkin), discs like this often disappear into the greater subconscious only rising up for the true lover of the unexpected.

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