There was a faintly worrying buzz in the run up to the latest Oneohtrix Point Never album. It arrives (relatively) hot on the heels of a live tour where Daniel Lopatin supported industrial rock's own lords of pomposity, Nine Inch Nails, and the press has heavily focused on the promotional backstory (of fictional "hypergrunge" band, Kaoss Edge, which, you suspect, will date almost as quickly as David Bowie banging on about cyberpunk art crimes).
Relax... 'Garden Of Delete' is both very different to his last two albums, while still seeming of a piece with them. Where 'Replica' found dissonant beauty in the lossy sounds of YouTube videos and '80s commercials, and 'R Plus 7' made sweet lullabies from what sounded like a Windows 98 soundbank, 'Garden Of Delete' once again takes fragments of unfashionable genres – in this case EDM and metal - and re-fashions them to his own abstracted, contrarian and evocative ends. If you ever wondered what a Skrillex/Aphex Twin collaboration might sound like, then wonder no more...
Skip the annoying gurgling laugh that opens the album, and 'Ezra' comes on like a lost cut from the 'Replica' era – all stop-start vocal samples and a mutant guitar-line, before pitched-up female vocals and manic rave chords. A couple of tracks later, 'Sticky Drama' stretches those vocals until they disintegrate, at which point distorted beats and human screams take over. It's like a computer simulation of thrash metal, but, unlike some of the more po-faced Digital Hardcore LPs, retains a gleeful sense of humour.
Elsewhere, 'Mutant Standard' is an Autechre track you could actually dance to, while 'SDFK' builds and builds, like the intro to a goth epic. It's over, hilariously, in one-minute-and-27-seconds. But best of all is 'I Bite Through It' which seems to encapsulate all of Lopatin's career to date in three-and-a-bit minutes. Hyper, aggressive, silly and just-bloody-gorgeous, it's a perfect microcosm of the album as a whole.
Words: Will Salmon
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