The work of Oneohtrix Point Never, a musical alias created by American artist Daniel Lopatin, is hard to put into words. If anything, his introspective experimental music and absurd visuals are wildly intriguing. In November 2015, OPN debuted his Garden Of Delete EP, uniting all forms of sounds from the serene to the chaotic. OPN has become a household name in experimental music ever since, often vexing our need for taste and perfection. OPN is much more than an (influential) musician; next to an album, he recently created a fictional online universe that holds an alien boy, a band, various twitter accounts, blogs, videos, and websites. Glamcult strongly felt the artist needed to explain some of it himself.
How did/do you reflect on yourself as an artist before and after making your latest album?
I reflect on it with excitement about getting deeper with certain things I started, I feel like I just scratched the surface of something. It would be great to expand on some of the peripheral materials from G.O.D.
Your music repeatedly surpasses the notion of ‘perfection for the sake of perfection’. In light of this, could you elaborate a bit more on the essay you wrote about the world repressing strangeness and maintaining a clean self-image? How do you translate this to music?
I feel that morality, and maybe ideology on the whole dilutes art and entertainment respectively—reducing them to the world of ideas instead of the world of aesthetics. So when I see art or entertainment that behaves like a politician, essentially, it only further clarifies my own position on things.
If your music could be a video game, which game would it be?
I haven’t played a video game that satiated me in the way music does… I’m not saying it’s impossible though.
In today’s industry of pop music, we feel like there’s some music made purely for the purpose of the capitalist world instead of reflecting upon it. Would you agree?
I think music and film are both going through a massive cultural shift as a younger generation begins to define for themselves how they want to ingest those things as products. Any time we talk about popular entertainment we need to acknowledge the investment-attitude that comes with it and we shouldn’t be surprised. It just happens to be that there was a time (for both cinema and music) in the second half of the 20th century when executives were much more adventurous—in both fields this was after the 1960s when the delivery method (cinema tickets, record sales) for music and film meant huge revenues. You always see a lot of creativity before those bubbles burst. You see great artists getting to scale up their work. Now is not that time, the bubble is starting over.
You appreciate all forms of sounds—“highbrow” and “lowbrow” sounds get equal footing. Do you think these terms are still relevant? Could you give some specific examples of what you like to listen to?
It’s relevant in that it tells us something about how people think about entertainment. I like to conspire against those types of differences, which are actually useless, and huge distractions. A musician should gather impulses and manifest them into something that people can feel on their body. That doesn’t make it anti-intellectual, it just means there’s a visceral language to music that remains largely mysterious to everyone and that keeps me interested in music.