Oneohtrix Point Never - Good Time

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2017-08-11

Oneohtrix Point Never's Good Time has already won the Cannes Soundtrack Award so it must be pretty good. The film itself is a dark thriller set in New York and starring Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Daniel Lopatin's soundtrack is predominantly instrumental but does feature Iggy Pop's vocal and lyrics on the closing track - The Pure And The Damned.

Good Time starts with a low rumble followed by lush, ambient sounds. Soon arpeggios begin to arpeggiate, phasers phase and we are welcomed into Lopatin's particular take on 70s and 80s synth soundtracks. There is quite a lot of this around at the moment and Lopatin takes his place amongst the best practitioners (Steve Hauschildt, Steve Moore and Majeure) mainly down to his imagination and restless creativity. Bits of dialogue and a dirtier, less lush sound introduce Bail Bonds, which also features a few seconds of drums but is over a bit too quickly. 6th Floor is another fragment with random percussion and synth sounds floating between the headphones. Hospital Escape/Access-A-Ride is a longer track although not so much a song as a collection of further fragments of analog synth sounds. Ray Wakes Up has more heavily-treated sounds and dialogue from the film, along with eerie sounds and washes of synth. The dominant sound on this album is lead synth and it ushers in Entry To White Castle whilst another synth gently patters away in the background waiting to be joined by its squelchier mate as police sirens wail intermittently. Flashback also starts out squelchy with a few big chords whilst some tentative lead synth lines wander around occasionally reminding me of a friendlier version of Coil's unused music for Hellraiser. Adventurers is another soundscape/fragment. The splendidly-named Romance Apocalypse has duelling lead lines and also the feeling of ideas being picked up, mulled over and then disposed of. This is the feeling of the whole album - like it is an inquisitive child with too many toys. The Acid Hits is total insanity with an impossible to dance to rhythm and a particularly busy arpeggio before a meandering organ takes over before being replaced by big, warm chords. Two arpeggiating synths start Leaving The Park and it almost sounds like Steve Reich in the way the instruments can be focused on in turn or left as a whole sound. Our old chum, the lead synth, soon makes an appearance meandering somewhat drunkenly around. When all the sounds start to work together it is very beautiful indeed. Connie is possibly the most focussed of the instrumental tracks, working itself into something of a frenzy and sounding like a particularly outré version of the old Dr Who theme. The unmistakeable voice of Iggy Pop adds a touch of humanity amongst all the chattering machines. The Pure and the Damned is a piano ballad, quite similar to Nick Cave. 'The pure always act from love, the damned always act from love' sings the deepest voice ever to come out of a little chap and it is a beautiful, human moment at the end of an album of often bewildering electronic imagination.

Everything Oneohtrix Point Never release is great and the Good Time soundtrack is no exception. It is predominantly rooted in the great synth soundtracks of the 70s and 80s but is also unmistakeably the work of Daniel Lopatin in that it is a particularly weird and cut-up version of Retro-Futurism.

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