With Zones without People (Arbor) and his upcoming megacomp Rifts (No Fun Productions), Daniel Lopatin's Oneohtrix Point Never project vaults towards the atmosphere, Roland Jupiter 8 and odes to pessimist philosophers in tow.
What does the Roland Jupiter 8 say to you when you two are alone?
I've never been alone with her. My synths are strictly upper middle class.
Does it know your mind is on other keyboards?
What's she gonna do about it?
Does it know which keyboards you fantasize about while in its presence?
She's so blase I don't think she cares. I fantasize about her, the Oberheim OBX, Ensoniq Mirage, Emu Emulator III, and Vincentuis Pratensis' polygonal virginal harpsichord, ascribed to Baffo, 1791.
What do you think of Hypnagogic Pop?
Well for one, Salvador Dali and Danny Wolfers are the godfathers of hpop — but also lets not overlook contributions made by DJ Screw (RIP), retro kids, Joe Wenderoth, Autre Ne Veut, Church In Moon and DJ Dog Dick. Hpop interests me yes… more so as a late 00s corollary of something even grander in scale that is happening, something that deals more broadly with new technologies that enable us to detour rigid works into malleable works. Really, we're entering into a very crude, very rude age for the digital arts. The dreams of 70s and 80s engineers working in the field of media arts are now easily retrieved, processed and ultimately dispatched BACK into society without all the smoke and mirrors, and lots of crazy new artists are finding a value. Add to all this amazing stuff they farm off of the net etc.
It's quite liberating because it means that work that is regarded as inaccessible (in either the copywrong sense, or more interestingly — the intellectual “high art” sense) are becoming even more open access. So it's not suprising that a lot of us working in the field of arts during this information science age definitely feel like archivists or anthropologists or time travelers. We've literally been equipped with everything we need to informally time travel via the arts and sciences. An interesting by-product is hypnagogic pop, which deals specifically with the nostalgia component of my generation's insane meta art project which I call NWB or Noise Without Borders. NWB is of course, the inverse of IDM or Intelligent Death Music.
What is your favorite personal memory from the 80s?
It's of riding my bike down a hill, and being proud of how sick my bike looked and kinda relishing in the feeling of going dangerously fast. I grew up in an ocean town named Winthrop in Massachusetts and there were lots of hills to cruise. Also I have really good memories of hanging out by the water breakers near the shoreline. They're called the Five Sisters, and I recently went back to check them out and they looked so small. Nostalgia in that sense is all about amplification and embellishment. It's pretty cool.
What is your favorite cultural memory from the 70s?
I have lots of favorite 70s films… probably my favorite era for film.
Fuck, marry, kill: Blade Runner, Logan's Run, Dune
Kill em all. I never liked Dune, I can't stay awake during it. I've never seen Logan's Run. Blade Runner is great but the only film I'd marry is Husbands.
Why did you name a song after philosopher Emil Cioran and who is he to you?
Cioran is a pessimist that is touched by beauty constantly. I named a track after him because he's one of my top dogs.
Do you get off, spiritually, that is, from Oneohtrix Point Never?
Not exclusively or consistently, but it has happened. I actually was thinking about this. A lot of people tend to describe their spiritual lives in terms of an art/life binary – like art is their last vestige of spirituality within an otherwise materialistic life. OPN has at times acted as a portal to forgetting, and sometimes that feels more like a regimen, or a drug even. At other times OPN feels like a gatekeeper, or a wizard or a missionary that provides spiritual passage to whoever is listening or partaking. And in the process, I sort of expend all this energy and dry up. Like E.T. At other times there's equipoise, and the things I need from the music are in concert with what I'm giving out… When that happens it feels like clouds clearing and I can just get super lost in the music without ego and without provocation.
How long on average does it take you to record your songs, and how much is improvised?
A ton of it is improvised. With the exception of sequencer based stuff, I record straight synth jams and then use that as source material which gets fleshed out and assembled on the computer.
30 second free association. Jelly donut. Go.
Arrays of flying donuts. Flying toasters against a backdrop of a Nate Boyce-esque 3D room. The room is like a DOOM environment except there's no scary monsters or anything. Something about the George Carlin Show set reminds me of the Ghostwriter set. I had huge crushes on the babes of Ghostwriter when I was a kid.
How's Infinity Window doing?
We’re slowly but surely recording our second record. Greg from Gary War saved our lives with his 8-track skills.
When/where was the last time you went “clubbing,” and did you put Patron on ice and pop bottles all night?
Stockholm, Sweden, Club Rygerfjord. All hands on deck.
If Planet Earth approached you to make a soundtrack for one of its visually stunning depictions of natural beauty, what location or theme would
When it comes to crazy earth shit like that it's ALL good, don't you think?
Oneohtrix Point Never performs tonight at Don Pedro's as part of our 4-night Imposition.