Oneohtrix Point Never
Memory Vague


4.0
excellent

Review

by sportsboy USER (20 Reviews)
May 6th, 2014 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: there's nobody here

Most people have the assumption that the soundtrack to the apocalypse is characterized by post-rock. Bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky are categorized by ambient passages supplemented by flowing crescendos and fleeting epic moments. But what actually will be the apocalypse? Hollywood features have us believe that movies like Armageddon and The Day After Tomorrow are forthright depictions of the end of the world, wherein we'll all be decimated in quick succession. That does keep in line with the atmospheric grandiosity of the post-rock genre, but in Daniel Lopatin's eyes, the apocalypse will be tinged with melancholy and wistful regret. Memory Vague's abstract gazing into the doomed future makes it an excellent candidate to soundtrack our demise.

That sort of statement belies the fact that Memory Vague isn't actually a complete LP, but a compilation of tracks sourced entirely from YouTube. One would think this meant that the album lacks any sort of cohesiveness, but in true Lopatin fashion, his style is so distinctive and translative across his body of work that no song feels out of place or detaches from the mood he builds on the record. Each song belies the dreary, meditative quality in their own way, and it consistently reaches the forlorn setting aimed at. "Ships Without Meaning" sounds like an 8-bit dreamscape come to life, echoing electronic chants from little sprites, while "Memory Vague" has a despondent aura, synths layered on top of each other as everything is crumbling, piece by piece. And "Unmaking The World" feels particularly aggressive in such an ambient anthology, a track that markedly embodies how Memory Vague's semblance of hazy ambiance belies a coming cataclysm.

Were it not for Lopatin's ambivalence on clarifying what his albums are about, my sentiment here about what this record represents could very well be overblown and flat-out incorrect. Who in their right mind would connect an assortment of mere ambient electronic music videos to the collapse of humanity itself? Memory Vague and its incongruity in regards to an overall acknowledged motif could be construed in all sorts of ways. However, the compositions that Lopatin produced on this LP doesn't require an ostensible understanding of his previous works' motifs or even the essential releases by his contemporaries. All that's left is the music. And when the end of the world arrives, will you really need anything else?



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user ratings (27)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SpritzSpritz
May 6th 2014


528 Comments


OPN rules. good review.

Funeralopolis
May 6th 2014


14586 Comments


Lopatin rules, pos'd

sportsboy
May 6th 2014


702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

another lopatin review from me, surprise, surprise



i'm glad i know where sputnik stands on him, thanks guys!

menawati
May 6th 2014


16715 Comments


i dunno, the sort of apocalypse post-rock usually conjures up in my mind is everyone slowly dropping off for a nap and never waking up.

Nice review.

oltnabrick
May 6th 2014


40621 Comments


Wait, this is post-rock?

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
May 6th 2014


25702 Comments


http://vimeo.com/6074021

menawati
May 6th 2014


16715 Comments


just read the first paragraph oltna and you'll see what i was referring to

NakedSnake
May 6th 2014


665 Comments


Was this included in Rifts?

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
May 6th 2014


25702 Comments


no, but some of the tracks from his earlier works are a part of this so they are in rifts as well

PappyMason
May 6th 2014


5702 Comments


I haven't actually heard this (apart from the songs that were included in Rifts). Will be checking out this out soon. I'm a fan of Daniel's work.

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
May 6th 2014


25702 Comments


just watch the video, its that vimeo link up there

MisterTornado
May 6th 2014


4507 Comments


Nice write up Sportsboyahh ~. This only came out on DVD (although VHS would'a been kooler) and it's basically the pre-cursor to Chuck Person's Eccojams (+ some familiar cuts from Rifts and other arpeggiator oddities)

SB I'm sure you can relate when I question why END OF LIFE ENTERTAINMENT SCENARIO #1 was never included on a physical release when it had two chances (with this and Eccojams). I hate to complain with these things but damn

Aids
May 6th 2014


24509 Comments


cool review

I definitely need to explore the rest of this guy's work seeing how in love with Replica/R Puls Seven (and his recent splits) I am.

Rev
May 6th 2014


9882 Comments


lopatin's really lost me recently but i'll probably still check this out

MisterTornado
May 6th 2014


4507 Comments


This is actually a really good place to go next Aids. It's kind of like a test ground for his pre-Replica stuff. For some people Rifts can be a bit overwhelming in its length, although Returnal (which nowadays doesn't seem to get talked about alot =[) is another good place to start as it kind of bridges that early meditative sound with some of the structure and ambition of his latest two records.

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
May 6th 2014


25702 Comments


returnal is still my favorite thing hes done honestly even as much as i love everything else

i just love me some good old fashioned synth noodling ~~

MisterTornado
May 6th 2014


4507 Comments


~ a wonderful start to the R-series *see u in the cryotank*

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
May 6th 2014


25702 Comments


as beautiful as the chance meeting in a cryotank of a synth and an universal TV remote! -salvador dali

MisterTornado
May 6th 2014


4507 Comments


imma just let that quote defrost for a moment *sips fiji water*

sportsboy
May 6th 2014


702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea i really wished he'd released end of life #1 officially, but as a standalone it works incredibly by itself anyway



lopatin in the last 7 years has had probably the most accomplished body of work in music, it's fairly amazing how much good stuff he's recorded over this period



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