on December 14, 2011
Listening to this album (particularly on headphones) is like being transformed into an android with feelings, transported 1,000 years into the future, and dropped alone onto a distant planet that constantly rains. If that sounds interesting to you, then you will cherish this album. The soundscapes that Daniel Lopatin crafts for "Replica" are unlike any I've ever heard. I would say "alien," but they don't sound organic. Nor do they sound computerized. It's an otherworldly masterpiece and my favorite album of 2011.
on July 18, 2012
For a while i thought i'd outgrown rock music. Go easy on me i was in my late teens and was yet to realise i'd barely scratched the surface with the vast and diverse genre at this point. Plus, my obsession with a little known band from Oxford, England who just happened to turn it's back on the familiar three chord back beat formula with their now seminal album Kid A, was at an all time high. During this relatively short period in my life, i waxed lyrical about the greatness of electronic music, particularly the bands dubbed Intelligent by the critics (IDM). Boards Of Canada were my favourites amongst this sub genre. I found Their approach to music making incredibly unique and totally beguiling, at the time i wasn't aware of the methods behind how the music was actually being made (in all honesty i'm still not quite sure) and i think that was part of it's appeal, i just felt completely immersed in it's warped acousmatic ambience.
Years have gone by and although i've always remained a fan of electronic music in all it's permutations. I have to admit to crawling right back to rock with my tail between my legs quite some time ago, championing it as comfortably my favourite genre of music. It's albums like Oneohtrix point Never's outstanding 2011 opus Replica that get me genuinely thinking maybe i was right all those years ago. Even though this album was pretty hyped by a few "alternative magazines" when it came out, I'm not sure how many people went out and actually bought this or even streamed it. If you didn't you should have. This felt and still feels like a landmark record, from the moment i press play and "Andro's" ominous synths blare out of my speakers to the disturbingly eroticized vocoder sounds that close out "Explain". I love how Daniel Lopatin (OPN) has constructed these songs, they're steadfastly gripping and superlatively creepy. The sounds he sampled for the songs on Replica (mainly from 1980's commercials) have been so cleverly recontextualized and sequenced i could even imagine the KLF blushing whilst hearing them.
Take "Sleep Dealer" which only plays for a little over 3 minutes, but throughout that time it creates a dense, otherwordly universe of abstract beauty. Repeating and interweaving the gasps and sighs of an annonymous voice(s), whilst layering them with a thumping percussive pulse, warbly synths and cinematic drones. "Nassau" manages a similar feat by using many of the same ingredients although it's an altogether more fractured and cacophanous work albeit no less remarkable. The more minimalist drone pieces like "Submersible" work incredibly well also, conjuring up images of baron lands of eternal darkness and unspeakable devastation. The absolute crown on here is the title track though, the understated piano motif and the nefarious drones effortlessly come together to create a masterpiece of melancholia capable of stopping you dead in your tracks. For anyone who slept on this last year go pick this up pronto it's beyond essential listening.
on May 4, 2012
I've listened through this album about 10 times now. It sounds like Sigur Ros got haunted by a digital ghost that can't seem to speak. The music is incredibly intriguing, strangely nostalgic, and is able to convey feelings without ever really saying a word, much like good classical pieces. (In fact, I believe the only real word ever 'spoken' on the album is a loop that simply sings "Remember, remember, remember ...".) This record is best observed in full ... the individual tracks are just movements in a larger piece.
Seriously, spend the money. This album will take you on a journey, and return you right back where you began. In this way, you'll want to listen to it over and over again, to repeatedly take that journey, to see and hear the things you missed before.
on June 28, 2014
I must admit that I knew nothing of OPN beyond Lopatin's work with John Ford, so when I grabbed a copy of 'Replica', which everyone raved about upon its release, I was downright confused by what I was listening to. I wasn't prepared for the ambient loops and little nuances that mutated beneath, so I dismissed the album a lot more quickly than I should have. Flash forward a couple of years, and now I know what OPN is all about. Suddenly, 'Replica' is on repeat, and I revel in what these songs have to offer. It's swift and melancholic, but beautifully so. 'Power of Persuasion' has shades of Vangelis, and the title track is held together by shrill droning noises and piano keys that could have been lifted from an older record lost in obscurity. These are all deceptively simple songs that penetrate your psyche the closer you listen to them. I know now that there are legitimate feelings running through what I would have classified as repetitive slop a couple of years ago. I don't know how many people felt the way I felt when I first heard 'Replica', but if you find yourself put off by what's on the surface, just hold onto this record; it will grow on you.
on October 15, 2015
With every album I listen to from Oneohtrix Point Never my immense amount of respect for him continues to grow. As I'll say for all his work, it might not be for everyone, however if you can enjoy abstract musical compositions then this is a must have.
on June 12, 2014
I really dig this record for it's simplicity and diversity. There are some excellent pieces of music and beautiful arrangements. It seems as if the artist just decided to do his own thing in the studio and had no desire to conform to any ideas or concepts and simply created from the heart. We would have much better music if this was the norm.
on February 4, 2016
This album is a really great album that deserves to get a little bit of more recognition. The vinyl record, case, and papers came in new and pristine condition without even a scratch! Vinyl record is thin, and sounds like it has really good quality when it is played on vinyl. I would definitely give this one a listen on vinyl!
on February 4, 2014
Oneohtrix Point Never are one of my favorite electronica artists to emerge in the last several years. I am immensely interested in his future releases, as what I have managed to listen to up to this point has been quite excellent! This is probably my favorite of his new releases.
on February 5, 2014
Nick- This happened to be my first purchase of any of OPN's work( after listening to Sleep Dealer and the title track elsewhere), and I must say I'm very impressed. It's very relaxing and ponderous at the same time; as soon as you start listening to it, there's no leaving it. It deserves five stars.
on April 18, 2012
This is music that somehow fades before it starts, the hazy and obscuring nature of the synths and the abstract samples (reportedly stemming from 80s TV ads) conjure up ideas and images of old Polaroids that float around your brain, fading and returning. The simplicity of the samples reminds me of The Field's debut, however Daniel Lopatin's use of them is much more intricate and orchestrated than that of Axel Willner. Lopatin's method of welding bizarre sounds together inseparably with melody feeds off of the kind of borrowed nostalgia that inspires the deepest of reverence for everything that decays and passes in time, a universal concept, present in everyone--an esoteric reminder of our own mortality and the fleeting nature of joy and human experience.