Release Date: Jun 7, 2011
Record label: Software
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
It’s probably a given that a project involving Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Joel Ford (of pop-rockers Tigercity) is likely to involve some kind of retrospection. Lopatin’s OPN-related work generally harks back to earlier synth moments, be they the pioneering work of ‘70s Krautrock bands or the crisper ‘80s sounds of artists such as Jan Hammer. Tigercity’s sound, meanwhile, is molded by a pop aesthetic that can be located somewhere between the late ‘70s and late ‘80s (somewhere between Chic and post-Cupid and Psyche Scritti Politti).
Whenever a ‘supergroup’ forms, we start to imagine all kinds of power struggles behind the scene (witness the criterati’s commentary on the recent Flaming Lips/Neon Indian collaboration) but also recognize the love-in factor. It’s like a musical deathmatch played out in the sweaty, homoerotic arena of Mixed Martial Arts. What one rarely finds, however, is the synthesis of the sounds brought by such a group’s various components into a new form that nonetheless retains their recognizable trademarks.
Childhood friends Daniel Lopatin (the esoterically inclined synth/noise producer Oneohtrix Point Never) and Joel Ford (of the electro-pop band Tigercity) introduced their musical partnership in 2010, issuing several releases under the moniker Games. For their full-length bow the following June, the duo switched their handle to a more businesslike pairing of surnames, but that doesn't mean they've quit playing games with their art. To the contrary: Channel Pressure's impishly playful, retro-futuristic sci-fi sensibility is evident right off the bat, with smirking song titles like "Too Much MIDI (Please Forgive Me)" and particularly the perfectly pitched cover image of a boy sleeping in the neon green glow of a giant glossy screen, in a bedroom crammed full of outmoded hi-tech gizmos, his outstretched arm reaching for a joystick.
Ford & Lopatin is Joel Ford, a member of Brooklyn soft-rock fetishists Tigercity, and Daniel Lopatin, the guy behind synth-drone project Oneohtrix Point Never. Until late last year, they went by Games, but after legal snags (or, as Lopatin referred to it on Twitter, a "shwagy situation"), they decided to keep it to their surnames. Some of the duo's earliest releases came in the form of a series of mixtapes: the double-cassette Spend the Night With Games and the three-volume set Heaven Can Wait.
Ford & Lopatin make unabashed throwback music. They gleefully reinterpret archaic sounds that don’t often appear in modern music, sounds that, to people my age (22) sound like they belong only in old commercials and eighth grade science videos. They take these sounds and add new, modern elements, and have crafted an album that somehow sounds futuristic, despite using sounds that are far from it.
RONNIE DUNN “Ronnie Dunn” (Arista Nashville) For 20 years, it would appear, Ronnie Dunn was in a kind of jail. As half of the multiplatinum country act Brooks & Dunn he was that duo’s center, its conscience. But half isn’t quite a majority, and often Brooks & Dunn was a partnership that felt like a marriage of convenience. The pair’s mesmerizing 2005 single, “Believe,” was Mr.