DANIEL LOPATIN'S LAST FEW ALBUMS AS ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER HAVE GOTTEN PROGRESSIVELY MORE SCHLOCKY WITH EACH RELEASE, but each record pushes familiar tropes further into uncharted territory, ranging from hyperactive new age (R Plus Seven) to candy rave nu-metal (Garden Of Delete). Returnal is Lopatin’s breakthrough, and the last OPN record before the project fully departed from semi-traditional synth music filtered through the east coast noise/experimental tradition. After several CD-R & cassette releases on small east coast D.I.Y. labels, Lopatin caught the attention of Editions Mego, the highly respected Austrian experimental label run by Peter Rehberg. Returnal opens with “Nil Admirari”, 5 minutes of harsh noise which Lopatin describes as “like in a film, where the first shot is exposition that gives you a sense of location, and then it goes into the character world”. The suite that follows (“Describing Bodies” and “Stress Waves”) is pure ethereal Juno-60 bliss. “Preyouandi” is a preview of the frenetic sample collages Lopatin would explore on Replica, his 2011 follow up to Returnal. But the album’s highlight is the title track: a krauty, vocoder-led piece which caught the attention of ANOHNI, who later covered it (Lopatin returned the favor by co-producing ANOHNI’s 2016 album Hopelessness). Recommended.
- gatefold sleeve
- music label: Editions Mego 2010
reviewed by peanut dust 02/2017
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