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I entered through a network of wires. A constant buzzing sound rattled my ears and unsettled my nerves. In this place you have to move quick, fear lurks in every corner. Nothing dies here. Everything continues moving and droning in a senseless cycle. Once you are plugged in you cannot break free. I am doomed to this place forever.

Garden of Delete is a beautiful wasteland filled with fragmented memories and forgotten ideas. It is an immense world where trauma rules and adolescence continues forever on an incessant feedback loop. Filth and decay corrodes every surface, masking the original utopia and leaving a vast expanse of half-dead, alien-looking structures. Nothing is quite as it appears here. Everything is free.

I look for something tangible to grasp onto, but everything I touch melts into zeroes and ones. The physical world is a forgotten dream, a distant idea as faded and useless as this place. I scramble for something, anything. Rummaging through piles of rubbish I hear a melody building and drowning out the droning of the wires. Broken voices sing to me from their resting place here in this graveyard. I wander closer and listen intently.


Daniel Lopatin has established a remarkable chronology of challenging and experimental electronic releases under the alias Oneohtrix Point Never throughout the last 10 years. He has continually baffled and wondered audiences with his unique vision of space music, crafting wonderlands that expand beyond the usual expectations of electronica.

Garden of Delete is probably his most audacious project yet and the one that will most likely solidify his place among the upper echelon of computer producers. He's almost reached Richard D. James status now and the fandom for his music among the next generation of young producers is justifiably ravenous.

Built on a foundation of broken samples and arpeggiated synths, Garden of Delete plays like the soundtrack to a wholly frenzied and technologically overridden dystopia. It is without question his darkest and edgiest work to date; the influence of cybermetal, industrial and rock music replicate this bleakness, seemingly harkening back to a late '90s alternative adolescence, a time ruled by Nine Inch Nails, Aphex Twin and early Internet. It is a time Lopatin himself is obviously attached to for reasons beyond aesthetic or nostalgia. He may well have performed in a band similar to the fictional band Kaoss Edge during high school. He has certainly left something back there, in his adolescence, as I'm sure most of us feel we have, and it is something only good therapy, support, or creative exorcism can overcome. The entire aesthetic of the Kaoss Edge website and the ideas surrounding the album's creation are perfect exemplars of this time and are a rather obvious reference point for Lopatin and G.O.D.

These nostalgic themes are then funneled through ideas of expansiveness, outer space, all circling around this extra-terrestrial character named Ezra. Typically, Lopatin uses the aesthetic themes of his record as the building blocks to build his bizarre and overwhelming soundscapes. His music is truly out of this world here, as it has always has been, however deeply rooted in universal themes like adolescence and expansiveness they appear to be, there is always going to be something Lopatin does that sets him miles apart from his contemporaries.

Following a short, scene-setting introduction, Garden of Delete bursts into life with 'Ezra', the first of a series of thematic tracks that sound completely removed from the rest of Lopatin's chronology. Unlike R Plus Seven and his other "R" records, songs throughout Garden of Delete (particularly the first half) appear more rigidly controlled and tied to standard song structures. Some of Garden of Delete's best moments, tracks like 'Ezra', 'Sticky Drama' and 'Animals', are neatly contained with these distinct choruses and verses, something Lopatin rarely seems interested in perusing in his expansive and improvisational sounds. However, none of this means that Garden of Delete is an easier record to digest than his previous work, or that R Plus Seven was without purpose; G.O.D. just seems to follow a slightly more readable and circular narrative.

Much of this is to do with the extensive pre-release campaign Lopatin created for Garden of Delete. Through a series of bizarre links, MIDI uploads, twitter accounts, weird interviews and other nonsense, Lopatin lured his obsessive fan-base (author of this piece included) down a rabbit-hole of speculation and conspiracy surrounding the thematic and conceptual elements of G.O.D.. The supposed existence of aliens, the perpetual rumination of adolescent trauma and nu-metal bands of the 90s are relevant to thorough enjoyment of Garden of Delete.

Regardless, sonically, nothing else exists quite like this record and Lopatin is pushing the boundaries of good taste as far as they are willing to be pushed. On 'Sticky Drama', the album's boldest statement, he crudely staples together metal-breakdowns with delicate MIDI flourishes and hyperspeed vocal samples, crafting something so ugly and baffling that it could very well be one of the best singles of 2015. Similarly, 'Animals' sounds like a lost adult-rock ballad from 1993 on speed, all 3/4 finger-plucked guitar and stratospheric vocal acrobatics for the chorus.

The second half of Garden of Delete softens the sharp tones and surreality of the first, allowing for a gradual descent. The metal samples and alien sounds give way to a gorgeous atmospheric stretch, seemingly helping prepare the audience for re-entry into the earth's atmosphere following the hypergalactic journey that is G.O.D.'s first half.

If To Pimp a Butterfly weren't also released in 2015, Garden of Delete would probably be my AOTY. It is a wholly singular and groundbreaking release that, while adhering to many past and present genre trends, seems prepared to go further in collating and collaging influences than most other electronic releases dare to go. The result is a mesmerizing and constantly rewarding masterpiece that may be the magnum opus of one of our generation's most creative and forward-thinking musicians.


I continued walking until I met E. He was waiting for me at the foot of a giant chrome structure. It extended upwards as far as I could see. He told me that everything was going to be okay and together we could move forward by looking backward. He looked different to what I had imagined from our emailed conversations. I didn't really know if I should follow E's orders, but I desperately wanted to leave this decaying place. I was scared but I chose to trust him. We moved into the structure. After that I remember nothing.

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