Daniel Lopatin’s last record (Garden Of Delete) was rolled out with such a hyped-up marketing circus that Age Of seems almost too fragile to penetrate in comparison. Without the force-fed dossier of influences and reference points, we’re left with no choice but to play the record from start to finish and draw our own conclusions - which is how we began consuming Oneohtrix Point Never records in the first place. He’s been toying with outdated musics for a while now, putting his deranged spin on prog (Rifts, Good Time), new age (R Plus 7), rave and nu-metal (Garden Of Delete), but Age Of finds Lopatin going waaaay back, slicing up medieval folk music and harpsichord and even adding his own vocals to some of the tracks. He reached out to James Blake in the final stages of the recording process, who’s credited with mixing and producing the album, and Blake is somewhat of a kindred spirit in the sense that he too put out a string of critically acclaimed instrumental productions before he decided to start singing. It’s hard to say how much of an influence Blake had on Lopatin’s vocal delivery, but it works so well, it’s as if it was lurking there all along. “Babylon” is a country-tinged autotune ballad poured over a sticky arrangement of plucked strings and coarse screamed adlibs courtesy of Prurient; it's almost like a perverted reimagining of Kid Rock’s “Only God Knows Why.” ANOHNI picks up some of the vocal workload on the epic “Same,” and there’s plenty of trademark OPN sound design brilliance to go around: “Manifold,” “The Station,” “Toys 2,” “Warning” and “We’ll Take It.” While his records sorta blur the lines between night and day, high-tech and lo-tech, this one seems the most *outdoors* to me for some reason…check out the netherworld Rennaissance fair stroll of “RayCats,” or the chopped-up babbling brook vibes on album closer “Last Known Image Of A Song.” Black vinyl pressing with clear printed outer sleeve, printed inner sleeve and download code; recommended.
- housed in printed resealable outer bag
- printed inner sleeve
- digital download included
- music label: Warp Records 2018
reviewed by edward james almost 06/2018
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