Oneohtrix Point Never
Rifts


4.7
superb

Review

by Hyperion1001 EMERITUS
July 19th, 2015 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Longing for the future of the past.

“All music is world music -- music is a way of dealing with reality”. It’s now been nearly 6 years since Daniel Lopatin said this in an interview with Tiny Mix Tapes. These words, published around the same time the Rifts compilation was released, have a special kind of poignancy in relation to the ideological space in which this album occupies. It seems almost like an exercise in coping; a cataloguing and arranging of the time-space and headspace that made up two years’ worth of compositions and ideas. As a compilation, Rifts functions less as an arrangement of music than it does a manifesto of purpose; a declaration of intent and a schematic of the aural design that went into developing the kinds of patterns and methods that would become a staple of Daniel Lopatin’s unique, personal style (all of which are still very characteristic, even today). Maybe that’s why Rifts works so well in the context of a single album, because it’s not just a catalogue of former, hard-to-find works. It is, in and of itself, a fully functioning piece of music that takes you on the same journey Mr. Lopatin took while writing the music that would eventually be compiled for this release.

Oneohtrix Point Never, as a project, has always seemed to be (for its creator at least) a conduit by which to update anachronisms and place them in the context of modern personal and cultural spaces. The underlying commentary of this process is that anachronisms are inherently fallacious, and that it is the context from which sounds originate that gives the illusion of age. Rifts is really nothing more than synthesizer music, taking sounds and instruments from decades past and updating them to new contextual standards. However, regardless of where, chronologically, the sounds originate from, the music itself doesn’t sound the least bit dated. Instead of trying to revive an idea (which can almost certainly be anachronistic), sounds are brought back and put in a modern context, using themes and motifs that resonate much more profoundly with the ears of a 21st century listener.

This idea is perhaps most apparent in the kind of existential anxiety that pervades Rifts. Whereas early synthesizer music was characteristically optimistic, clawing at the threshold of a whole new world of musical composition and expression, Rifts seems to look back on the naivety of the past and wonder why we still sit on Earth and wonder about exploring the cosmos, having never reached a future that seems to be perpetually just beyond our reach. It is, again, a forced attempt to deal with reality, the creation of an aural headspace the seeks more to alleviate these anxieties than it does to offer solutions. This, in and of itself, is the conundrum of the post-modern human, put into almost three hours of progressively mutating, melancholic synthesizer music.

Rifts can also be downright terrifying at times, not only longing for the future of the past but relinquishing itself to the reality that progress is always heavily sedated by risk. Daniel Lopatin’s compositions are neither totally human nor completely synthetic; they seek to guide machines to create something that is uncannily human; to coax out of them something that resonates deeply with the human spirit but at the same time preserves the mechanical nature of the noises. While flurries of arpeggiated patterns and serene pads dominate this compilation, there are points where it seems like Lopatin himself loses control of his machines and allows them to take total control. They do so, not with the quest for beauty that a human touch supplies, but with chaotic, random, and guileless noise that reminds the listener that he or she may lose themselves in this quest for progress, and that stepping forward always leaves a part of the self behind.

There is a reason that Oneohtrix Point Never has become more or less a household name in the experimental electronic world. Daniel Lopatin has always had a definite and focused purpose buried within his music, and Rifts functions as the point in his career where this ideology crystallized into a guiding principle rather than just being an esoteric groundwork from which to build. Rifts is a long, labyrinthine, challenging listen but, as with all great music, it rewards attention and effort just as much as it challenges the mind. Oneohtrix Point Never will go down as one of the most influential and unique musical acts of the 21st century (whose influence can already be seen reverberating throughout the current musical environment), and Rifts will serve as the fixed point to notate where it all began.



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user ratings (38)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hyperion1001
Emeritus
July 19th 2015


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7 | Sound Off

been kind of absent of late cause im figuring out where i want to be but at least i still set aside time to ~dream~

Asdfp277
July 19th 2015


16141 Comments


Am I having a deja vu? Wasn't this review already posted? :0

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
July 19th 2015


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7 | Sound Off

nope, this never had a review that i know of : )

Gyromania
July 19th 2015


23773 Comments


good review. i actually haven't checked out this comp or any of his eps tbh but i love r plus 7, replica, and zones without people.

also cool avatar - whenever i scroll up or down it looks like it's moving. reminds me of an optical illusion i saw recently

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
July 19th 2015


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7 | Sound Off

zones without people is included on here, it's basically a compilation of a lot of his older material up until returnal, but like the review says it's more of a curated thing than just a compilation. you should find a lot to like.

Asdfp277
July 19th 2015


16141 Comments


"This, in and of itself, is the conundrum of post-modern man,"
-"of the post-modern man,"?

", and Rifts functions as the point in his career where this ideology crystallized into a guiding principle rather than..."
-I think "crystallizes" works better here.

I dunno', I gave this a read and here's no typos or anything, great review!

I couldn't get into Replica but I loved R Plus Seven and I think this guy's amazing, will try to check this.

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
July 19th 2015


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7 | Sound Off

thanks for the heads up, theres always one thing lurking in there somewhere.



you should dig this, its different than r plus 7 but just as rewarding.

Ryus
July 19th 2015


15709 Comments


awesome hype
definitely checking this

Digging: DJ Richard - Path of Ruin

LordePots
July 19th 2015


38578 Comments


good review altho i personally think your glorification of lopatin's sound is way overboard

Digging: Blondes - Warmth

zaruyache
July 19th 2015


18096 Comments


on the "new reviews" list why does this put STAFF instead of hyperion? I clicked because I thought some troll had made his username STAFF to mess with people.

Asdfp277
July 19th 2015


16141 Comments


i think that happens when staff reviews old albums

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
July 19th 2015


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7 | Sound Off

i personally think your glorification of lopatin's sound is way overboard


i get what you're saying but i think writing like that just kind of goes with the music, i've done it with all the OPN ive reviewed. plus i really do think lopatin opened the doorway for an entire new "sound" of music. things like PC Music and 1080p wouldnt exist without him i dont think.

on the "new reviews" list why does this put STAFF instead of hyperion?


it started doing that for any review that shows up on the sidebar for staffers a while ago, guess it was just a change mx made.



Phlegm
July 20th 2015


7241 Comments


bless man

ShitsofRain
July 20th 2015


8042 Comments


zones without people yo

Digging: Dark0 - Xenotype

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
July 20th 2015


19975 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7 | Sound Off

my room tbh



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