“Age Of”, Oneohtrix Point Never‘s latest chronicle arrives from the far future to advance all forms of RNB, black metal, electronica and chamber sounds with an album that both in sound and physical media packaging is so far ahead of the curve that it will take another album or two from OPN before you can even begin to unwind your head from its vaporous prog cloud. Pepped throughout with the talent of Prurient, Anohni, Kelsey Lu, James Blake and Eli Keszler, trust us when we say the robotic tendrils of “Age Of”, will hold tight.
Each of “Age Of”, ‘s thirteen pieces feels like its own miniature universe, every minute could theoretically be stretched out to form its own “Age Of”, offshoot LP. These are proper TUNES (a vital point to note, these are properly tunes and not just ‘tracks’) as exploration through lands rich with storylines, lives lived, heroes, villains, battles won and lost. Yet what’s first notable is OPN‘s use of his own vocoder vocals that make up the texture of the record and personally, we feel it adds a unique third dimension to his music. Showing that not only is he a dab hand behind the desk pulling notes out of the machines for Anohni, David Byrne, FKA Twigs and Iggy Pop or going Chi-Town Teklife techno with DJ Earl, but he can also write and sing with the very best of them.
The music on “Age Of”, is as expected, astonishing. From the opening harpsichord toll of lead cut “Age Of”,, we are plunged into a parallel universe where Current 93 is cutting dubplates on Different Circles (madness!), while back on Babylon Oneohtrix‘s voice takes centre stage for the first time, a counterbalance of zero gravity notes and a lullaby that once it gets itself crammed into your ears is hard to shake out. Elsewhere the music reflects the very best moments of his Good Time OST if they were thrown into a blender with some Boring Angel chords, bringing full circle the last few years OPN releases nicely. Instant hits Black Snow and The Station grab the imagination of Posh Isolation and Yung Lean devouts while throwing in moments that recall the Alaskan oil truncation of techno/pop concept group Gary Sloan and Clone.
We’ve long been devotees of Oneohtrix Point Never, but the recent years’ run of records for Warp feels like he has excelled at creating a new universe of pop music while staying true to his roots within the underground electronic scenes of which he first cut his teeth. In the range of records that have thrown curveballs that have knocked us sideways, dividing fans yet once bitten totally sunk in, orbiting forever more around our daily listening habits, and also just for sheer range and blatant disregard for any conventions or pre-conceptions of what may be expected of it, we’d say that if you are a fan of Kuedo’s Slow Knife or Varg’s Nordic Flora Series Pt.3 (Gore – Tex City) then “Age Of”, is gonna tick all the right boxes for you a thousand times over. Yet also like Varg’s Nordic series, “Age Of”, is packed to the brim with moments of head-melting mutations, collaborations and newly discovered conventions that offer new rewards time and time again. “Age Of”, is a truly excellent record in both the Oneohtrix discography to date and for years to come will be hailed as a properly classic Warp record.