Oneohtrix Point Never presents MYRIAD in New York

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  • Oneohtrix Point Never's new multidisciplinary show, MYRIAD, premiered this week at Park Avenue Armory as part of Red Bull Music Festival New York 2018. While RBMA's programing in New York has long illuminated the city's musical past, present and future, Daniel Lopatin's spectacle channelled all three at once. Last Tuesday, he led a quartet that mixed the classical sounds of civilizations past with synth music of the future, all powerfully delivered in the now. In recent interviews, Lopatin has described his vision for MYRIAD and its music as science fiction—in the future, as he tells it, AI is omniscient, but it wants to be dumb like humans, so it requests a download of our entire history on this planet. This unfolds across Lopatin's new album, Age Of, as an artful blend of seemingly disparate musical genres and sounds (Medieval folk, IDM, R&B). On two giant screens behind Lopatin and his band, computer-generated visuals introduced the audience to characters mentioned in MYRIAD's accompanying booklet but never explicitly referenced in the music. Just as Age Of doesn't try too hard to be a concept album, neither MYRIAD's staging nor focus on story felt over the top. Dancers wearing prosthetic masks, cowboy hats and leotards pranced around to "Black Snow," Lopatin's new single with longtime collaborator ANOHNI, and at one point a giant inflatable blob made an appearance, but otherwise the quartet was the main focus. MYRIAD stretched Age Of's 43-minute runtime into a 75-minute production, forgoing the album's tracklist in favor of four "epochs." Other highlights included new slow jams like "The Station," which Lopatin originally wrote for Usher, and the gorgeously elegiac "Babylon." The mechanized harmonies of his Auto-Tuned voice were the perfect metaphor for how machines can replicate the sounds of humans. It also spoke to some of MYRIAD's larger themes: the ubiquity of technological consumption, art as content and the inevitability that such patterns will soon take power over us. The quartet—Lopatin (electronics and vocals), Kelly Moran (keys), Aaron David Ross (keys, vocal synth and foley triggers) and Eli Keszler (drums and percussion)—deserves tremendous credit for knowing when to flex their virtuosity and when to pull back and let the arrangements shine. Their encore of "Child Of Rage," from 2015's Garden Of Delete, pulsated and swelled with lush analogue arpeggios, while "Chrome Country," the final track on 2013 LP R Plus Seven, reverberated through the vast void of the Armory, sending the audience crashing back to the reality of their evenings. Photo credit / Todd Owyoung / Red Bull Content Pool