Oneohtrix Point Never: ‘Warning’ review

What I Know:
Oneohtrix Point Never – better known to his Mum as Daniel Lopatin – is an electronic / experimental music producer from Massachusetts.

He was first brought to the wider public’s attention with the 2009 album Rifts, a compilation of several recordings he’d done to that point. Since then, he’s released five albums, the latest of which – entitled Age Of… was released this week.

What I Like:
“Insidious; like the voice of a computer insisting on the truth about history without any sensitivity given to how complex and non-linear systems might be.”

That was how Lopatin described the 1997 book The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe, which he says is an inspiration for the latest Oneohtrix Point Never album.

But he might as well have been talking about his own music, which, over the years has been equally as insidious, equally as belligerent and shown equal disregard for established musical systems.

In truth, 0PN has been an artist I’ve been aware of for some time but, while I’ve been able to admire his work on many levels, I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been a fan, simply because what I’ve heard of his music to this point hasn’t been able to make me feel anything.

Warning is different.

I love so much about the texture of this track, from the spacey, glitchy sound design of the introduction to the weird distorted koto-like instrument later on and, yes, even the bloke shouting ‘Warning’ at me. It’s just chock full of wicked sounds that you don’t hear in a lot of other music.

But, crucially, it also makes me feel something. Or, to be more accurate, it makes me feel many things, from relaxed at the beginning, to genuinely terrified when the song reaches it’s loudest point a minute in, to exhilarated as the track picks up pace from that point onwards.

Interestingly, Act Of… is the first 0PN album to feature Lopatin’s voice prominently – something he has ascribed to this album’s lyrics being more “personal” and his desire to be “sincere” in putting them across.

That really comes across even on a track like Warning, where the vocals are not only limited but also not written or performed by Lopotin, himself.

What we’re left with is all the best bits of previous Oneohtrix Point Never – the computer brain whirring and glitching incessantly, spitting out sounds you don’t hear anywhere else. But, for once, that’s joined by genuine human emotion.


Forest Swords: The Highest Flood
Mouse on Mars: Foul Mouth (read my review)
Aphex Twin: Come to Daddy


The Overview
Recommended Music | 8th June 2018

The ‘Charm Offensive’
Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson: Iguana Bird

The ‘Military Coup’
Halestorm: Uncomfortable

The ‘Peaceful Protest’
Umi Copper: Requiem

The ‘Quiet Riot’
Ben Howard: Nica Libres at Dusk