Daniel Lopatin, especially under his moniker Oneohtrix Point Never (0PN), has long departed from the world of pop music, from the idea of using music as entertainment or an invitation to move your body. Instead, he tries to move thoughts, and often does so in more classical cultural environments like art museums. His performances or installations, as I would call his “songs” at this point, are immersive and curious, but can be a bit exhausting and repetitive. So thankfully, the first track off his new album “R Plus Seven”, out on Warp on September 30th / October 1st, is more accessible than his last effort “Replica”, which received the highest praise by other critics – but mostly eluded me, I have to admit. “Problem Areas” now is another thing: Crisp and clean, casual and to the point, short and uplifting.
And as 0PN is at home in the art world these days, it is only comprehensible that he is using the visuals by another artist for the video of “Problem Areas”. The animations used are a compilation of different works of Takeshi Murata, a Chicago/NYC artist who uses perfect computer-generated images of rooms and objects to create a sense of hyperreality. Hyperreality means that the fake is so damn perfect that it feels more real than the real thing itself, challenging the distinction between reality and virtuality as such. In a way, Lopatin has always done the same with commercial sounds: Sampling, looping or mimicking them until they feel more relevant than the originals from pop culture or ad world.