Record Label: Warp Records
With R Plus Seven, Daniel Lopatin made his first appearance on Warp, and he could not have made a stronger statement. Having carved out a stream of releases grounded on his cherished Juno-60 synth in the last few years, collected in the Rifts compilation and brought into noisier territory on his debut proper, Returnal on Editions Mego, R Plus Seven continued with the wider sample-based palette explored in 2011’s Replica, released on Lopatin’s own Software imprint.
The album in many ways feels like Lopatin’s most mature. The angelic synth choirs, arpeggiated Juno patterns and noisy fuzz which produced such psychedelic sensations on previous releases are here treated with a cleaner, bolder touch. On the album’s pillars ‘Zebra’ and ‘Problem Areas’ synthetic layers which might previously have been blended into a poignant smush are given space, coagulating into sharp rhythms before wormholing into languid drones. Elsewhere, sustained organs lull the listener into a trance abruptly broken by candy laser synths on ‘Boring Angel’, and ‘Chrome County’ further riffs upon the tropes of classic American minimalism with piano motifs that recall Steve Reich.
The sheer breadth of the record - both musical and emotional - is astounding, with a bewildering array of influences brought together against all odds by the hand of one of electronic music’s most relentlessly inventive voices. Read R Plus Seven’s cover as its make-up: all of Lopatin’s doors and detours are still intact but they’ve been refined into something all the more magical.