Fermata Over Whole Rest is not the most impressive source for everything electronic music, but I have listened to enough albums this year to be able to sort out the stuff that was lame and the material that I found awesome and inspiring. James Blake put out his fantastic self-titled at the beginning of the year, a work that was the culmination of his solid production skill and the vocalist that he wanted to be. Thundercat rose out with his jazz-fusion powered debut, fresh off of working with Flying Lotus, the winner of last year’s “Best Electronic” Fowry. Tim Hecker put out what I believe to be one of the finest ambient albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in a long, long time. This however, goes to only one, and this is who we think that “one” is.
Oneohtrix Point Never’s Replica is a mysterious, dark, and nostalgic affair. This artist, better known as half of Ford & Lopatin, conquered a boundary that I’ve noticed in electronic music past 2007: a typical lack of personality. Though Replica is stark in the way it presents itself to the average listener, Daniel Lopatin’s production is complex enough to give a mood and memory, neither of which are casual to me. I remember playing Street Fighter on a cold, rainy day at the now-closed pizza place that I went to as a kid, watching Blade Runner for the first time, and attempting to fall asleep on nights when I only toss and turn. The samples that are used are enough to make my head spin, just as these events felt to me as a child: cold, important, and sometimes unexplainable. I want to hear blues when I hear machines and that’s what I hear on Replica.