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Listen to Oneohtrix Point Never Explain How He Paired Aggression with Sugary Pop in His Track "Sticky Drama"

The producer also explained how his music is tied to science fiction.

Michael Scott Barron

Photo courtesy of Warp Records

Oneohtrix Point Never, aka Daniel Loptain, is a producer known for his scalp-crinklingly complex tracks. Today he pulled back the curtain for listeners of the Song Exploder podcast, breaking down how he made one of his latest compositions.

The series invites musicians to highlight the methods of their production work and to give contextual background to their music. On the latest episode, Lopatin talked to host Hrishikesh Hirwayabout how he came to compose "Sticky Drama" a track off of his newest album Garden of Delete. "I wanted to conflate really aggressive music with sugary pop progressions and textures to create this psycho scribble," Lopatin told Hirway. He went on to explain how he customized an EDM preset using the soft synth program Serum and how he made a keyboard by assigning notes to syllables of text using a software program called Chip Speech. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

In the podcast, the term "formant shift" was introduced. A formant, Hirway noted, is the peak of the register of a human voice when rendered as a sound wave. Lopatin explained that he gets the demonic voice that ghosts the track by "shifting these peaks" after a voice has been filtered through Chip Speech and then a vocoder. "You get something very different from the original [voice]," he said, pointing out that the text came from a woman who gives makeup tips on Youtube.

Lopatin ended the podcast by philosophizing about his role in music, referring to himself as a "science fiction musician," a new term for the musical lexicon. "What I do is probably closer to what a science fiction writer does," he told Hirway. "My job as a science fiction musician is to speculate on these modes of music that to me don't exist...yet."

Listen to it below.