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Copies from copies of copies upon copies to copies through copies on copies of more copies. Daniel Lopatin was but a babe in the early '80s - the global time frame which stands central to his Oneohtrix Point Never project, where Russian TV advertisements, faded slow-jam hits, and forgotten futures all get misinterpreted, rewired, and misremembered through an android dream. Much of his past work revolved around the step sequencing and ambient swoosh that filtered through the kosmische aesthetic of Conrad Schnitzler with plenty of sci-fi sound design moments thrown in for good measure amidst the angular trajectories of his obtuse electronica. Where Lopatin had been instrumental in bringing this retrogarde aesthetic to a broader audience, he's dropped much of the compositional framework that went into albums like Zones Without People and Betrayed In The Octagon. Some of the swelling Vangelis synth pads reappear on Replica, but this album has much more in common with a plunderphonia aesthetic, with his 'ghost vocal' samples getting caught in an inexplicable feedback loop as a self-perpetuating syntax error within a Cray supercomputer which got hung up trying to come to terms with the audio-visual data from bad VHS transfers from old episodes of Max Headroom. Some of Lopatin's sounds originated from a series of compilations of late night TV commercials from the '80s, with the saccharine strings, flutes, and pianos cycling in elliptical patterns that scrub backwards and forwards. On "Sleep Dealer" in particular, these loops snap with a hard-disc rigidity more in common with the Oval disc-skipping mantras on Diskont 94 or the winking electronica of The Books. "Submersible" locks onto a middle-eastern rhythm, conjuring the ghost of Muslimgauze in an appropriation of an appropriation. For as much hype as this record has received, Replica is a very abstract and deliberately confusing proposition for OPN, one which we have been digging quite a bit. Killer cover art to boot! (Aquarius)
Cat. number: SFT010
Year: 2011