Release Date: Aug 11, 2017
Record label: Warp
Genre(s): Stage & Screen
His last record, 2015's Garden of Delete, was easily one of the essential records of that year, and centred upon one of my personal top-10 electronic tracks of all time, the disorientating epic, "Sticky Drama". And although this soundtrack to the upcoming crime thriller Good Time shouldn't be judged on the same terms as that last LP - it is, after all, a soundtrack as opposed to a standalone work - it's an exhilarating addition to his oeuvre, and could legitimately be understood as a logical successor to Garden of Delete. Lopatin's work has always defied categorisation; as much as his approach owes a certain debt to the New York experimental music tradition, his regard for impressing a raw, visceral effect upon his listener is never disguised.
Across his first seven albums, Daniel Lopatin has released some of the finest retro-futuristic electronic music of the past ten years under the Oneohtrix Point Never moniker. Lopatin's music takes its main influence from 1970s and 1980s synthesizer music—the first era when human creativity started to interact with the personal computer’s potential. In the same way that the music of the early 1980s foregrounded thought of humanity's interaction with technological evolution (and revolution), Lopatin's work is an inquiry into the potential of manufactured worlds.
Long before he won a soundtrack award at Cannes Film Festival, Daniel Lopatin, AKA Oneohtrix Point Never, thought of his music as being cinematic. In a recent interview with Pitchfork, he said, "... everybody has their Made To Measure moment where they're like, 'This is my imaginary soundtrack for a film yet to be released. Impressed?'" On his latest full-length, Good Time (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), an OST for the Ben and Josh Safdie-directed crime drama, Lopatin revisits the kosmische of his early records as a seasoned studio professional.
By the time Good Time won the Cannes Film Festival's Best Soundtrack award, Oneohtrix Point Never's Daniel Lopatin was an in-demand composer thanks to the potent moods within his own albums. For Josh and Benny Safdie's thriller about a man who has to beat the clock to get his brother out of prison, Lopatin uses his early work -- as well John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream -- as influences. On albums like Betrayed in the Octagon, Lopatin wasn't just ahead of the curve with these inspirations; he also used them less literally than many of the acts that appeared a few years later.
As Oneohtrix Point Never, Brooklyn-based Daniel Lopatin is no stranger to cinematic music. His emotionally damning electronica is often subdued, rising and falling just enough to perfectly soundtrack a journey, conversation or mood, while retaining an ambiguity in its exact motives. Now, Good Time Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Lopatin's eighth studio recording under this moniker, really is designed for that purpose - it's adapted from the score that won him this year's Cannes Soundtrack Award, composed for Good Time, a crime-drama or 'twisted odyssey through the New York underworld' starring Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and directed by Josh and Benny Safdie.
F ollowing seven albums of shapeshifting electronics, Daniel Lopatin is tasked with scoring a Robert Pattinson crime drama, Good Time. Divorcing film scores from their visual cues can feel alienating and pointless, and on initial listens it's hard to stop wondering what those cues might be. But by garbling snatches of film dialogue, Lopatin starts to create a sense of this being a separate psychological thriller, and dedicated headphone immersion proves thrilling.
The Safdie Brothers' crime drama Good Time opens with a helicopter shot of New York City, a gamble for any film but especially one this strange, cloistered, and intimate. It's one of the most photographed places in the world, an easy harbor for cliché and forced sentiment, and yet in the brothers' lens, the setting looks novel and uneasy, like a threatening frontier you're staring down for the very first time. That effect--of seeing one of the most recognizable places on earth as though it's brand new--is cemented by the music permeating the shot, an anxious drone perforated by synthesizer arpeggios that sound both retro and bizarrely out of time.
Coming into Oneohtrix Point Never's original motion picture soundtrack for Good Time with a view to reviewing, and essentially judging, is unusual compared to a regular album review. It's hard to have avoided the fact that OPN won this year's Cannes Film Festival award for best film soundtrack; does this mean that the Good Time OST should stand up on its own as a piece of music, or does it compliment the film so well that it's hard to extricate it from it? The answer, as usual with these types of questions, is a bit of both. It should be stated first off that I have not yet seen Josh and Benny Safdie's gritty, Robert Pattinson-starring thriller, but Good Time is certainly on my list of must-sees after hearing Oneohtrix Point Never's immaculate score.
R obert Pattinson recently claimed that he had to refuse to masturbate a dog for the production of Josh and Ben Safdie’s film Good Time, and then claimed that he was “joking.” Even if he was, his account of one of the brothers imploring him to “just do it for real, man” ….