Oneohtrix Point Never - CCA, Glasgow, Tue 1 Oct 2013
Visuals-heavy set mixing tracks from new album R Plus Seven with older ambient ambient noise-based material
Daniel Lopatin's new stage show is brought to a halt before it even starts as an over-eager smoke machine puts the first notes of his set in direct competition with the CCA smoke alarms; it's a strange setback but feels strangely appropriate for his disjointed wormhole electronics.
When we do get started (minus the smoke) his meticulous circuitry works in tandem with a large projection, beaming a peculiar array of gaudy sci-fi images, mostly abstract shapes which birth amorphous creatures in 3D-rendered environments. It's an unnerving transmission but the production values are impeccable; it all looks grotesquely pristine. There are some not so subtle nods towards an anti-consumerist theme, akin to the ‘vaporwave’ movement for which Lopatin is something of a progenitor, but trying to make sense of it all is seemingly pointless. One video pairs a zebra-crossing with guns and some sort of ceramic dog; it's futuristic absurdism at its most grossly unintelligible.
His tracks are more enjoyably twisted though, building fragmented melodies through a collage of cut-up samples which never quite fall where expected. Deep roaring bass-lines are his most potent tool, shaking the room and allowing all other sounds to wash over the crowd which, when paired with the visuals, makes for a mesmeric experience. The setlist finds a good balance of material from new album R Plus Seven and older ambient noise-based material. Lopatin is clearly keen to set a mood for the performance though, spending the entire gig huddled behind his electronics system and only speaking up to check if there's time for one more. His studious mood is matched by a highly attentive crowd who absorb the full Oneohtrix Point Never experience, in all of its hypnotic and alienating turns.