For the last 8 years, Daniel Lopatin’s work as Oneohtrix Point Never has mirrored the way we feel about our digital lives – with all of the requisite passion, excitement, anxiety, disgust, and grotesquerie.
And while OPN’s earliest works may have been content in idle detournements, with Lopatin flipping through the tasteless detritus of ’90s corporate culture like an Adderall-addled CEO tearing through their rolodex in search of new business, Garden Of Delete explores the Internet as an archetypal realm, connected to the physical world, but just barely.
Lopatin hangs these cerebral concepts on Ezra, a fictional teenager with a super sweet music blog, intent on creating the most epic trance chords ever, to create a loose, if bizarre, narrative.
Garden Of Delete was created in the wake of Oneohtrix Point Never opening for ’90s big room rockers Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails. Lopatin wanted to recreate the vibe of angsty aggressive ’90s guitar rock.
It says a lot about what a twisted genius Lopatin is that Garden Of Delete is what he came up with.
GOD is where the corporate-Muzak hacking of Vaporwave meets ambient digital exotica, epic mainstream hip-hop, and waves upon waves of pummeling static and noise.
Ultimately, Garden Of Delete, like all of OPN’s work, deals with how we deal with samples, reflecting how we feel about the past. The hardware hackers and industrial noise fetishists have forsaken samples entirely, bringing about a hardware renaissance. Then you have your bedroom producers, punk as sin, grabbing whatever they can to make their epic opuses.
This is the feeling Lopatin wants to convey, the divide he straddles. He speaks lovingly of generic drum ‘n bass samples in a recent interview with Thump, which he weaves together into a narrative on co-dependency on “Life”. Monolithic harpsichords and detuned, staticky vocals tell the story of a dying king and being animals in a zoo, simultaneously. It’s a weird, warped, and wonderful ride.
On Garden Of Delete, Oneohtrix Point Never encourages us to go further into our digital psychosis, and create something unique and personal, by whatever means necessary.
Video: Sticky Drama official video
—words by J Simpson