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oneohtrix point never / rene hell - Music For Reliquary House / In 1980 I Was A Blue Square
It seems like fate that these two titans of the new electronic music revolution should join hands on a split release, and leave it to NNA Tapes to make that happen. Often mentioned in the same sentence, Dan Lopatin and Jeff Witscher have long had a thread linking their sounds, and while they may have both wandered from the synth music template a while ago, their styles complement each other better than ever here. Lopatin’s side finds the artist in a defiant mode, pulling acerbic chattering voices from public service announcements and commercials and pitting them against sharp blows of white noise and digital interference. This collision of elements occasionally allows itself to morph into rhythms, but avoids all but rare interruptions of the ‘prettiness’ often associated with Lopatin, often by his detractors. For an artist so often associated with the noise scene, it’s a treat to hear him flexing his noise muscles and really having fun with his subject matter. Witscher also manages to offer up an uncharacteristically noise-drenched side, but utilizes the grit as a counterpoint to some of the most beautiful piano pieces he’s ever set to wax. A continuation of the near-classical shakes exhibited on 2011’s ‘The Terminal Symphony’, delicate strings and shimmering synthesizers are allowed to hustle and flow in-between the sort of stutter we’d expect to hear from classic Mego releases (think Farmers Manual and you’ll be on the right track). This is challenging and uniquely rewarding work from both artists and a rare split release that actually serves to work from beginning to end with continuity and structure.