Interview: Oneohtrix Point Never
Psychedelic synths and drones from experimental electronica-lord, Daniel Lopatin
This article is from 2011.
We chat with Daniel Lopatin, the Brooklyn-based experimental electronica-lord, before he brings his Oneohtrix Point Never alias to Edinburgh
Musician, label owner.
Where are you just now?
What are you doing today?
Finishing the track arrangement for the upcoming OPN record.
Do you enjoy touring?
I do, I didn't always. It can be lonely as a solo artist but the reward is meeting people along the way and honing your craft.
As an artist that works mostly alone, did you enjoy collaborating with your friend Joel Ford for your mixtapes and Ford & Lopatin releases?
Yeah, it's a fun break from the solo pursuits for sure.
Do you have any plans for any upcoming collaborations? Or do you enjoy the process of creating music by yourself?
I am collaborating with Robert A. Lowe, also known as Lichens, this month. We hope to release something later in the year.
How do you feel about words like ‘chillwave’ and ‘hypnagogic pop’ being applied to your music? Are you bored to tears now by those terms, or pleased to be part of a genre that you think sums up your music well?
I'm curious about listening habits and ontologies so it's really interesting to me. I'm not offended. I may not always agree, but I'm not offended in any way.
Do you plan to make any other YouTube videos under your sunsetcorp channel?
Yes, I'd like to make one for each of the new tracks I'm working on.
How many times do you think is an acceptable number of times to listen to your ‘Nobody Here’ loop on YouTube? (I think I might have hit an unacceptable number of listens…)
Ha! I'm glad, that means that it worked.
The visual artist Martin Creed often talks about there being comfort in regularity, and repetition. A lot of your tracks, often the most enjoyable ones, rely on heavily repeated loops, and even the styles of music you draw from seem to ‘return’ to another era. Is that something conscious? Or do you prefer not to try and intellectualise what you do – and keep it simply as sounds that work well, and please you?
It's both for me. I'm conscious of it but the act of making music is often pretty instinctual. Then certain patterns and stories emerge that I can either get behind or ruin the experience totally. A lot of philosophy on repetition deals with how sameness actually generates difference, which sounds crazy but actually not at all. Listening to the same loop a bunch lends itself to listening to yourself and the variety therein. That's exciting for me.
What have you got happening for the rest of the year?
Lots of production work as we're starting up our imprint label Software in Brooklyn. Live dates are listed there too [for Ford & Lopatain and Oneohtrix Point Never.]
What music are you listening to right now? Are there any Scottish artists you’re into?
I had an incredible night when I played Optimo! Those guys are inspiring beyond words. Their spirit, energy, and love show how it’s done. I’m currently listening to a bunch of later era Terry Riley. Angus Maclise. And a great soul record by Womack & Womack called Love Wars.
What have Scottish crowds been like when you’ve played here in the past?
Kind, drunk, curious, appreciative. I really love Glasgow. It reminds me of Boston in parts.
Sneaky Pete's, Sun 7 Aug, part of the Edge Festival.