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. On his last proper album, Garden Of Delete, Daniel Lopatin moved into even more idiosyncratic territory than ever, making a sort of concept album about an alien called Ezra who crash landed on Earth and fell into a depressed state among human society. Throughout the album, Lopatin’s voice could actually be heard in extremely warped tones, embodying his protagonist. Obviously, none of that is found here on Good Time, as it would clearly distract from what would be going on on screen – the complete opposite of what a good soundtrack would do. It is therefore perhaps understandable – though unfair – to see Good Time as a little bit of a step back for OPN, seeing as he’s had to reign in his weirder elements to serve the film. Despite this, there is still no shortage of Oneohtrix hallmarks throughout the 47 minutes of new music presented here.

The most exciting thing about the soundtrack for Good Time is just how kinetic it is. Lopatin is far from the first person to make a futuristic-sounding soundtrack based around vintage synthesizers, but the way he layers and produces them gives them a tangible feeling of urgency and paranoia throughout. Whether it’s the hyper-speed chase of the opening title track, or the more ascendant arpeggios of ‘Hospital Escape / Access-A-Ride’, Lopatin’s music puts you in the scene. The music is aided by Lopatin’s prerogative to name the tracks after the scenes they soundtrack, essentially giving you a shortcut to what he’s aiming to portray. For example, ‘Ray Wakes Up’ begins with a clip from the movie of that exact action, but then the following three minutes play out like a slowly groaning body coming to life after a long rest and then facing the upcoming torments of waking life. This might not have been such an easy image to conjure without the explicit title, but regardless, it still plays out as a classic slice of OPN ambience, which could have easily fit into his Rifts collection from back in the day. The names can be somewhat misleading though; ‘Leaving The Park’ sounds like a very mundane exercise, but with a M83-style laser-synth solo loping over the glistening undertones of the song, the simple exercise of the title becomes something much more grandiose and fulfilling.

Of course sometimes the songs are literally meant to fade into the background of the film, and on the album can have a tendency to do the same, as is the case with the simplistic ‘Entry To White Castle’ and ‘Adventurers’. Then, on the other hand, there are those that are surprisingly punchy and in-your-face. ‘Flashback’, which despite its title suggesting that it would be a mellow reminiscence, is actually an intense industrially burbling composition. ‘The Acid Hits’ is as frenetic and freaked-out as its title suggests, and while OPN could probably make a much weirder acid-inspired track, this one does the job of getting under the skin and crawling about, itching the insides just perfectly.

Of course the final track ‘The Pure and The Damned’ must be mentioned, as it features Iggy Pop, in an unexpected and unusual collaboration whose seeming incongruity is its advantage. Over a placid and pristine synth bed, Iggy uses his unmistakable throaty voice to close out the album and film with a downtrodden serenity, summing up the wrought emotions at play in the film and its soundtrack: “I look ahead at a clear sky/ Ain’t gonna get there/ But it’s a nice dream, a nice dream.” Lopatin punctuates his sundown sentiments with devastatingly rich and broiling keys. This collaboration, on top of the film itself and the fact of winning the Cannes award, will take notoriety of Daniel Lopatin’s work as Oneohtrix Point Never to new heights, which is exciting for the idiosyncratic producer. There is no doubt that he’ll be right back on track with his truly mind-bending original compositions on his next proper album (currently in the works), which will hopefully be reaching a lot more pairs of ears after the release of Good Time.