Replica (Oneohtrix Point Never album)

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Replica
Replica (Front Cover).png
Studio album by Oneohtrix Point Never
Released November 8, 2011
Studio Mexican Summer Studio
Genre Ambient, plunderphonics
Length 40:54
Label Mexican Summer, Software
Producer Daniel Lopatin, Joel Ford, Al Carlson
Oneohtrix Point Never chronology
Returnal
(2010)
Replica
(2011)
R Plus Seven
(2013)

Replica is the fifth studio album by Oneohtrix Point Never, the alias of American electronic musician Daniel Lopatin, released on November 8, 2011 by Mexican Summer Records and Software. Produced in-studio by Lopatin with collaborators Joel Ford and Al Carlson, the album marks a stylistic shift from his previous synthesizer-based works, opting for a sample-based approach and drawing on lo-fi audio procured from 1980s and '90s television advertisements.

Upon release, Replica received positive reviews from music critics and subsequently featured in the year-end lists of the best albums of 2011 by several publications, including The Boston Globe, Pitchfork Media, Resident Advisor, and Tiny Mix Tapes. The album peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums and Top Heatseekers Albums charts.

Background[edit]

Replica was produced based around lo-fi audio from television advertisement compilations procured by Lopatin, who purchased a series of DVD compilations of 1980s and 1990s television commercials then proceeded to isolate the audio from the commercials, listening for sounds that would strike him as being "harmonically intense" and sampling them.[1] Lopatin described the album as having "as much to do with environmental, broadcasted, and club sounds as it does with more direct musical influences."[2] Asked why he opted to use commercials as sample sources, Lopatin described his process as "looking for old things that are meaningful" then "restructuring and rearranging it to interfere with the original narrative and creating this new poetry."[3] His production process involved opening several music players simultaneously to listen to several sounds in tandem, which he described as "raw listening and sketching".[1] Lopatin focused particularly on "strange pauses and little incidental sounds" found in the commercials to use as samples.[4]

Lopatin attributed the title to "the idea of the replica in culture as a way we deal with the decline of knowledge, or human knowledge going to waste because we're not immortal. But it's not a solution, it's just a way of coping with those mysteries... it's like an artistic attempt at conveying the original, and not a copy, so there's inherit failure to it."[5] The cover for Replica is a 1936 illustration by Virgil Finlay from the pulp magazine Weird Tales, depicting a skeletal vampire looking at himself in a mirror.[6] Lopatin felt that the image was an appropriate metaphor for the title and described it as "really morbid, but there's humor to it, too, because the skeleton's hair is pasta-like", which he jokingly called "a good approximation of how I deal with lots of depressing things—just put pasta hair on top and it's OK."[4][5]

Composition[edit]

Daniel Lopatin conceived Replica as an "an electronic song cycle" and, despite the lack of conventional singing on the album, aimed for the album's tracks "to feel like vignettes that are recognizable and hummable, instead of just letting things glide ambiently."[1] Replica is more substantially sample-based than Lopatin's previous work, described alternately by Miles Bowe of Stereogum as "chopped and screwed plunderphonics"[7] and Exclaim!'s Mark E. Rich as "a sharp left turn that has him indebted to early 2000s electronic visionaries like Matmos, Akuen and Matthew Herbert, utilizing a specific sample source across the record."[8] The presence of rhythmic structures is more apparent in the album's songs, albeit through the use of sampled loops as opposed to conventional drum tracks and beats.[9] In addition to the Roland Juno-60 synthesizer, prominently used in preceding Oneohtrix Point Never albums, Lopatin and collaborators Al Carlson and Joel Ford utilized other digital instruments, including samplers such as the Roland SP-555 and Akai MPC and synthesizers such as the Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Roland D-50, and Yamaha CS-01.[10] Replica was Lopatin's first album to be completed in a formal studio setting, with recording sessions taking place using the complex owned by his label Mexican Summer Records.[11]

Lopatin, Carlson, and Ford opted to keep Replica minimal in nature, and Lopatin noted that they "had a unwritten rule that we wouldn't get into more than 8 tracks per song".[10] Jon Pareles of The New York Times identifies Lopatin's "preferred sounds" as sustained synthesizer chords and fragmented piano bits "that well up gradually, then ripple off into the distance."[12] Jeff Siegel of Resident Advisor notes that "where many of his peers and forebears build their ambience from microscopic variations on the same few sounds, Lopatin doesn't settle for long", citing "Andro", where opening synthesizer swells eventually give way to a "drain-swirl of errant ticks and drums", and the "cut-up vocals" of "Remember".[13] "Power of Persuasion" incorporates a shifting series of piano figures,[9] and "Sleep Dealer" is built around several looped samples from a Wrigley's gum commercial, with repetition of the piece being tweaked from section to section.[10][14] One of the album's more "percussive moments", "Child Soldier" incorporates "voices programmed into a martial cadence" juxtaposed with distorted samples and synthesizer sounds, and Carlson describes the song as "the thesis of the record; smooth meets agro."[10][12]

Release[edit]

On August 17, 2011, Daniel Lopatin announced that Replica would be released on November 8 via Software, the imprint operated by Lopatin and Joel Ford, and Mexican Summer Records, and revealed the album's cover and track listing.[15] On September 17, Lopatin previewed material from the album at a show held at the Rhythm Factory in London.[16] In the build-up leading to the release of Replica, Lopatin released three songs from the album: "Sleep Dealer" on September 7,[17] "Replica" on October 12,[18] and "Nassau" on October 28.[19] In addition, Lopatin released the music video for "Replica", a self-made collage of cartoon footage, on October 17,[20] and the video for "Sleep Dealer", directed by Inga Copeland and Dean Blunt, on October 31.[21] The album was made available for streaming in its entirety on November 1.[22] On November 8, Replica was made available for purchase in CD, LP, and digital download formats.[23] It peaked at numbers ten and seven on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums and Top Heatseekers Albums charts, respectively, for the week ending November 26, 2011.[24][25]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 80/100[26]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[9]
The A.V. Club B[27]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[28]
Mojo 4/5 stars[29]
MSN Music A−[30]
NME 8/10[31]
Pitchfork Media 8.8/10[32]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[33]
Spin 8/10[34]
Tiny Mix Tapes 5/5 discs[35]

Replica received widespread acclaim from contemporary music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 80, based on 32 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[26] Mark Richardson of Pitchfork Media found "a real sense of discovery here, or possibilities being probed" and wrote that "what's most striking about Replica is how well-constructed these tracks are, which is especially impressive given the record's brevity".[32] John Doran of NME acknowledged that "the theory side of what he does is interesting, but above and beyond that he continues to herald the next stage of analogue future psychedelia beyond Boards of Canada's Music Has the Right to Children."[31] The A.V. Club's Christian Williams wrote that "its great strength and most beguiling feature is its ability to sand spiky textures down into soothing ones, and to transform the anodyne into the anxiety-inducing, simply through repetition."[27] Spin's Philip Sherburne called Replica "both lyrical and hypnotic" and "a deeply romantic testament to the possibilities of life in the Cloud."[34]

Phil Mongredien, writing in The Observer, called Replica "an ambitious electronic song cycle" that "rewards repeated listening".[36] The A.V. Club's Christian Williams wrote that "its great strength and most beguiling feature is its ability to sand spiky textures down into soothing ones, and to transform the anodyne into the anxiety-inducing, simply through repetition."[27] Robert Christgau, in his "Consumer Guide" column for MSN Music, commended Lopatin's "taste for content as well as form and for creation as well as contrarianism".[30] Dave Simpson of The Guardian stated that "if Replica occasionally drifts – literally – too close to the whiffy bongs and flotation tanks of 90s chillout, it's never predictable, and is best experienced in a continuous sitting".[28] K. Ross Hoffman of AllMusic stated that though the album's reliance on samples of commercials "makes for an intriguing compositional back-story—and it clearly provided him a rich sound palette from which to draw—it's rare that that source material is specifically evident while listening; at best it functions on a more energetic, subconscious level."[9]

Accolades[edit]

Replica appeared in several publications' year-end lists of the best albums of 2011. The Boston Globe critic Michael Brodeur named it the year's best record and praised it as a "whole new way to understand ambient".[37] The album also topped Tiny Mix Tapes' list of their top 50 albums of 2011[38] and placed in the year-end lists of publications such as Clash,[39] Consequence of Sound,[40] Exclaim!,[41] Fact,[42] Pitchfork Media,[43] The Quietus,[44] Resident Advisor,[45] Stereogum,[46] The Wire,[47] and XLR8R.[48] Replica placed at number 35 on The Village Voice's year-end Pazz & Jop critics' poll.[49] Pitchfork Media later included it at number 49 on their list of the 100 best albums of 2010–14.[50]

Publication/Author Accolade Rank
Boston Globe (Michael Brodeur) Top Albums Of 2011[51] 1
Clash The Top 40 Albums of 2011[52] 21
Consequence of Sound Top 50 Albums of 2011[53] 38
Exclaim! 20 Best Dance & Electronic Albums of 2011[54] 4
Fact The 50 Best Albums of 2011[55] 22
Pitchfork Media Top 50 Albums of 2011[56] 6
The Quietus Albums Of The Year 2011[57] 19
Resident Advisor Top 20 Albums of 2011[58] 9
Stereogum Top 50 Albums of 2011[59] 17
Tiny Mix Tapes Favorite 50 Albums of 2011[60] 1
The Village Voice Pazz and Jop 2011[61] 35
XLR8R Best Releases of 2011[62] 8
The Wire 2011 Rewind[63] 14
Pitchfork Media The 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far (2010–14)[50] 49

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Daniel Lopatin.

No. Title Length
1. "Andro"   3:56
2. "Power of Persuasion"   3:30
3. "Sleep Dealer"   3:10
4. "Remember"   3:19
5. "Replica"   4:36
6. "Nassau"   4:43
7. "Submersible"   3:49
8. "Up"   3:57
9. "Child Soldier"   3:12
10. "Explain"   6:45
Total length:
40:54

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Replica adapted from album liner notes.[64]

  • Daniel Lopatin – music, production
  • Al Carlson – production
  • Jesper Eklow – layout
  • Virgil Finlay – cover art
  • Joel Ford – production
  • Joe Lambert – mastering
  • Theres Wegmann – layout

Charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
US Dance/Electronic Albums (Billboard)[24] 10
US Top Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[25] 7

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bevan, David (November 7, 2011). "Strictly Commercial: Oneohtrix Point Never on the Found Sound of ‘Replica’". Spin. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  2. ^ Lynch, Will (August 17, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never preps Replica". Resident Advisor. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ Leitko, Aaron (October 26, 2011). "Be specific: Oneohtrix Point Never as aural Indiana Jones". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Dombal, Ryan (November 9, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Weingarten, Christopher (October 11, 2011). "Download: Oneohtrix Point Never's Buzzing 'Replica'". The Village Voice. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ Gunn, Tam (November 8, 2011). "Life according to… Oneohtrix Point Never". Fact. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  7. ^ Bowe, Miles. "Band To Watch: Saint Pepsi". Stereogum. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Rich, Mark E. (November 2, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never Talks the Left Turns of 'Replica'". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d Hoffman, K. Ross. "Replica – Oneohtrix Point Never". AllMusic. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Technique: Oneohtrix Point Never ‘Replica’". Dummy. April 11, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Download: Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica". Clash. October 12, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Pareles, Jon (November 27, 2011). "Tombs, Sonic Booms, Miracles and Immortals". The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  13. ^ Siegel, Jeff (November 23, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica". Resident Advisor. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  14. ^ Bowe, Miles (November 28, 2015). "The Essential… Oneohtrix Point Never". Fact. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  15. ^ Bevan, David (August 17, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never Announces New Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  16. ^ Murray, Robin (August 18, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never Plot New Album". Clash. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  17. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (September 7, 2011). "'Sleep Dealer' by Oneohtrix Point Never". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  18. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (October 12, 2011). "'Replica' by Oneohtrix Point Never". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  19. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (October 28, 2011). "'Nassau' by Oneohtrix Point Never". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  20. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (October 17, 2011). "Video: Oneohtrix Point Never: 'Replica'". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Oneohtrix Point Never – Sleep Dealer". Dummy. October 31, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  22. ^ Pelly, Jenn (November 1, 2011). "Listen to the New Oneohtrix Point Never Album Replica in Its Entirety". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
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  24. ^ a b "Oneohtrix Point Never – Chart history" Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums for Oneohtrix Point Never. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  25. ^ a b "Oneohtrix Point Never – Chart history" Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums for Oneohtrix Point Never. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  26. ^ a b "Reviews for Replica by Oneohtrix Point Never". Metacritic. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  27. ^ a b c Williams, Christian (December 4, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Simpson, Dave (November 3, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica – review". The Guardian. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica". Mojo (217): 99. December 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (February 3, 2012). "Listen . . . Oka!/Oneohtrix Point Never". MSN Music. Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  31. ^ a b Doran, John (November 4, 2011). "Album Review: Oneohtrix Point Never – 'Replica'". NME. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  32. ^ a b Richardson, Mark (November 11, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  33. ^ Cole, Matthew (November 7, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica". Slant Magazine. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  34. ^ a b Sherburne, Philip (November 15, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never, 'Replica' (Software)". Spin. Archived from the original on October 30, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  35. ^ Reid, Reed Scott. "Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 
  36. ^ Mongredien, Phil (November 5, 2011). "Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica – review". The Observer. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
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  47. ^ "2011 Rewind Chart: Top 50 Releases of the Year". The Wire. December 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
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  50. ^ a b "The 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far (2010–14)". Pitchfork Media. August 19, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "201014pitchfork" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
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  52. ^ "The Top 40 Albums Of 2011: 30 - 21". Clash. Music Republic Ltd. December 5, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  53. ^ "Top 50 Albums of 2011". Consequence of Sound. December 15, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  54. ^ E. Rich, Mark (December 2011). "Dance & Electronic 2011: 20 Best Albums Page 4". Exclaim!. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  55. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2011". Fact. The Vinyl Factory. November 30, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  56. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 50 Albums of 2011". Pitchfork Media. December 15, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  57. ^ "Here Be Monsters: Quietus Albums Of The Year 2011". The Quietus. December 23, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  58. ^ "RA Poll: Top 20 albums of 2011". Resident Advisor. December 14, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  59. ^ "Stereogum's Top 50 Albums of 2011". Stereogum. December 5, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  60. ^ "2011: Favorite 50 Albums of 2011". Tiny Mix Tapes. December 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  61. ^ "New York Pazz and Jop Albums". The Village Voice. Voice Media Group. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  62. ^ "XLR8R's Best of 2011: Releases, Part Two". XLR8R. December 22, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  63. ^ "2011 Rewind Chart: Top 50 Releases of the Year". Wire. December 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  64. ^ Replica (liner notes). Oneohtrix Point Never. Mexican Summer Records. 2011. SFT010.