Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Oneohtrix Point Never: Garden of Delete [Warp, 2015]
With R Plus Seven's Hammond B-3 vibe out of his system, Daniel Lopatin assembles something resembling an emotionally complex reflection on suffering humanity. Purportedly a concept album about a hypergrunge band called Kaoss Edge--no, there is no such thing as "hypergrunge" (so far), but that doesn't stop Kaoss Edge from having a website--it's as coherent as Lopatin wants it to be. Read along with the hyperautotune lyrics of "Sticky Drama" and hear an alt-teen pencil-dick love song transmute into an alt-contrarian death-metal horrorshow; read along with the cute-sounding electro-munchkin lyrics of "Animals" and learn they're about cages and worse. But the music is more playful and frankly interesting than these dark themes suggest--and also more multifacted, virtuosic, and urban than Lopatin's excellent stealth-pastoral Replica. I credit this healthy paradox to the guy's irrepressible sonic imagination. His mind may believe the earth is one big disaster area. But even so he remains a clever, funny dude who enjoys his musique concrete collages too much to set his sights on distant galaxies. A-