Oneohtrix Point Never has finally revealed something that he’s been building up to all year, on the eve of the Garden of Delete release. It’s a cyberpunk post-apocalypse in miniature, a two-part short film acting as both video for the song Sticky Drama and introduction to the world behind the album.
It’s super weird and I love it. Click to the second track if you want to just hear the song, but I promise that the buildup is worth it.
So we’ve got CD armor, sentient poo commanded by tamagotchis, those “laser” swords I used to beg for at the circus, and most of all fucking green slime. It’s like every early 90s Nickelodeon show rolled into an adolescent apocalypse. The aesthetics here are deliciously trashy, reveling in the bent cultural signposts of Daniel Lopatin’s (and my own) childhood. This is flush with the effluvia of a thousand British Knight commercials, LARP battles, and sticky episodes of You Can’t Do That On Television.
The video acts as a road map for the album itself, contextualizing the wild array of sounds with unforgettable visuals. Listening to Garden of Delete after watching this, I’m now able to place the chirpy vocoder vocal that’s heard throughout, from the intro to emotional peak Animals. It’s endearing and unnerving to know that it comes from a mutated Tamagotchi nestled in a mound of sentient sludge.
There’s a lot to unpack here, and I’m going to spend some time rewatching the video. I’ve already got ideas about Legends of the Hidden Temple crumbling into some sadistic Battle Royale situation, and I’m still very much stuck on that . If you’re interested in some deeper reading about next week’s album release, check out my review of Garden of Delete.
As for the song itself, I’ll quote my own words from the review:
“Sticky Drama, the first “single-friendly” tune of the set, realizes its structure in the angst and black makeup of the nu-metal era. The song manages to sidestep cliche and extract the wireframe model of what made the best of those songs work, with giant dynamic shifts, telegraphed bass drops, and distortion-croaked vocals rendered exotic and purposeful.”
It’s a really good tune, and one of the coolest aspects of the video is that we hear the aural landmarks of the rest of the album scattered throughout: flashes of the melting plastic vocals, the melancholic melodies, and the digital storms in between.
The album drops next Friday, November 13th, and it’s one of the best pieces of music this year. I’ve written a whole lot about it already, because Oneohtrix Point Never is frankly one of the most interesting artists working today.