So here it is, making a late run for my album of the year, the new album by Oneohtrix Point Never.
Daniel Lopatin has already, as (I presume) the "Lopatin" half of Ford and Lopatin, produced a corker this year, with "Channel Pressure", their 21st Century ode to synth-etic 80s music.
However, under his OHP moniker, he has produced a sublime album of ambient drones, analogue synths and disconnected voices.
This beautiful and at times sinister drift music takes samples from TV adverts as the starting point. Not that this is obvious at any time - there's no "Um Bongo, Um Bongo, They drink it in the Congo" on this record - it's far more subtle than that (i.e. I can't place any of the samples)
I could list all the obvious and predictable reference points in the world of ambient/electronic music for this album, and at times those references would be spot on. However, those sort of reviews often comes across as trying to show how cool the reviewer is with their esoteric tastes. So, what the hell, I'll mention a few anyway.
At times the album touches on the darker edges of classic Global Communication or Aphex Twin's Ambient Works Volume II and, during "Power of Persuasion" (not, disappointingly, a cover of the ABC lost classic) threatens to merge into the Bladerunner Soundtrack via Philip Glass. Spooky, spellbinding and rich in melody and texture, with only the occasional track producing any noticeable rhythm to prevent you from floating away forever - this album is just too engaging to sit the background like some aural wallpaper, it's one of those "every time I listen to it I hear something new" sort of albums that people sometimes talk about.
Check out the artwork too - an 1936 illustration by Virgil Finlay of a vampire looking at his reflection in the mirror, seeing the skeleton of the person he once was.
Listen to it on Spotify: Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica