5.24.18 / New York / New York

‘MYRIAD’ Brings Oneohtrix Point Never’s Operatic Vision to Park Avenue Armory

An enigmatic contemplation on the end of time

  • [Photo: Drew Gurian]

  • Few artists have gained the reverence of Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, who has put out a string of cutting edge, genre bending, and thought-provoking albums over the course of his career. That’s why it was fitting that as the 2018 Red Bull Music Festival in New York comes to a close, its most prominent headlining act performed a grand “concertscape” at Park Avenue Armory titled MYRIAD. The show on Tuesday was the first in which he performed songs from Age Of, his highly anticipated new album out next week on Warp Records. Known primarily as a producer, MYRIAD was also the first time Oneohtrix Point Never performed with a live band. Their instrumentation was used to showcase the eclectic sounds on the album, which ranged from abstract, synth-driven tracks to folk songs—many of which caught the audience by surprise.

    The detailed synopsis of MYRIAD might leave you scratching your head, but it provides an insight into the strange world of Oneohtrix Point Never: “MYRIAD: The Extraordinary And Fantastical Deathsong Of The Worst Timeline Immemoriam, In Which We Bear Witness To The Tribulations Of Puppet, A Wretch & His Dumb Friends; A Rat, A Garbage Bag, & the Rest Of It.” To gauge whether this is a form of social commentary steeped in metaphor, or if this is just Lopatin’s introspective reflection revealed as a narrative would be difficult going by the enigmatic text alone. In recent interviews Lopatin has discussed the world of MYRIAD, where he details its science-fiction backstory of Artificial Intelligence being the gods at the end of time (it’s the modern version of a rock opera). But beneath the surface, MYRIAD is essentially rooted in our deep dive into digital information, how it disconnects us from our realities, and how it prompts us to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. The show was split into four ‘epochs,’ each focused on its own narrative: “Age of Ecco,” “Age of Harvest,” Age of Excess,” and “Age of Bondage”. Make no mistake, if you attended the show and went by sound alone (ironically, this is Oneohtrix Point Never’s most accessible music to date), you wouldn’t have been able to recognize anything resembling a traditional story, but there were detailed, graphically rich zine-like concert programs for people to unpack not just the show but the album itself.

    This is precisely what a progressive musician does: envelop his audience in esoteric sounds that simultaneously fascinates and challenges. The Park Avenue Armory setting lent itself to this, with the music reverberating through the massive hall, a large light video installation in the background, and two twisted sculptures hanging from the ceiling. It was a new way of experiencing Oneohtrix Point Never’s ceaselessly spellbinding, textural music, and a unique insight into the mind of Daniel Lopatin.

    MYRIAD continues at Park Avenue Armory with two final shows tonight, with limited tickets at the box office

    ‘Age Of’ is out on June 1st on Warp Records 

  • [Photo: Drew Gurian]

  • [Photo: Drew Gurian]

  • [Photo: Drew Gurian]

  • [Photo: Drew Gurian]

  • [Photo: Drew Gurian]

  • [Photo: Drew Gurian]

  • [Photo: Todd Owyoung]