Oneohtrix Point Never & Rene Hell - Music For Reliquary House / In 1980 I Was A Blue Square
New York's Daniel Lopatin (better known as Oneohtrix Point Never) and Jeff Witscher (better known as Rene Hell) of LA have both gained deserved recognition in the American experimental scene in just a few short years, each releasing several of their own LPs as well as delving into numerous other innovative projects. Their latest release shows each artist contributing towards one side of a split LP and was released by Vermont's NNA Tapes; the imprint's second undertaking in this particular kind of format. The album is minimally titled after its two parts, Oneohtrix's A-side Music For Reliquary House and Rene Hell's B-side In 1980 I Was A Blue Square, each composition consisting of five parts.
The album begins and Lopatin's presence is immediately felt. The music from Reliquary House, 2011's audiovisual installation composed with videographer Nate Boyce leaks through broken phrases of sound with continuously stuttered speech that is gentle, yet unwavering, luring you almost to the point of hypnosis, where the fragmented prefixes and suffixes somehow intertwine and form a code, open to any interpretation. Supporting these shards of speech, electronics and static flows a river of otherworldly synths. As the composition progresses these foundational sounds root from a varying point in a brimming synthetic vista; steadily elevating like ascension into heaven, droning and sagging like stagnant church organs, tumbling over each other in a fast-paced techno speed chase. This half of the album truly promotes a sense of travelling along the structure of the music, the sheer variety and gloriousness of the fusion taking you in every direction possible. Lopatin's dissection of human speech and sound delivers hallucinatory, melodic charges, while simultaneously assembling scraps of sound like a modernist sculpture - punitive and inhuman yet undeniably magnificent.
Witscher's half of the album is also something truly special. Classical piano and strings relinquish a calming and reassuring respite from OPN's blitz of electronics and to put it in the simplest terms, the composition is truly beautiful. However, this sense of peace is also dashed with the violence of chaotic electronics, skilfully juxtaposing the classical with the contemporary. The raw sounds of the synthesiser and computer are exquisitely dispersed into the pacific and serene classical soundscape forming an ambience that is scenic, lovely and tasteful. Both Witscher and Lopatin deliver music that is creative, original and above all personal, creating a view into the listener's individual paradise.