Yesterday (October 9th), Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never partook in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit, answering questions about his life, his work and his new album 'R Plus Seven' to users who wanted to know. The discussion covered interesting topics, from Lopatin's favourite philosophers, to the future of his eccojams, to his thoughts on vaporwave and his reaction to obsessive fans. Read the whole thread here.
Lopatin ended the discussion with a lovely sign-off: "Alright that's all i can muster. Thank you so much for the interesting qs, i hope it was worthwhile for you as it was for me. PLUR".
Being the useful sort we are, we've collected 10 of the more interesting (and funny) responses from him here.
Skipscene: Could you expand on the meaning of the title "R Plus Seven"?
0neohtrix: nah. fair question though
h_h_h: A lot of music bloggers bring up your eccojams vol. 1 when speaking about the rise in "vaporwave" artists here and there in recent years. Do you feel like that's a fair comparison and what are your feelings towards internet-driven startup genres like vaporwave, cloud rap, etc.?
0neohtrix: i dont know much about it. i've emailed a few times with ramona v. [aka MACINTOSH PLUS, 情報デスクVIRTUAL esc 不在, Fuji Grid TV, Laserdisc Visions, New Dreams Ltd., Sacred Tapestry, PrismCorp Virtual Enterprises, etc.] who is very intelligent. im glad people like the eccojams stuff, i always hoped it would be something people would just do — its kinda folky by nature
HobNobz420: Though the type of music you specialize in may make it hard for you to see yourself as a super famous guy, or a “legend,” or an idol, you're definitely heading in that direction for a lot of people, people like me who have watched/read everything you've had to say over the past few years, who think of you and Ferraro and Laurel Halo and the like as the gatekeepers of a cutting edge artistic and philosophical paradigm, one that, I can say without exaggeration, has fundamentally changed my life and continues to inform my day-to-day thoughts and behaviors. So I guess my questions is: What's that like? I know that, at the end of the day, you're just a guy doing what he wants to do with his life, and that this kind of idolization might be off-putting and embarrassing (I won't ask you to comment explicitly on vaporwave, for instance, if you're even aware that that shit is going on), so how do you deal with knowing that you've got a growing fan base of obsessive nerds? Is it fun? Does it motivate you? Does it have the opposite effect? Do you get a thrill out of the fact that I'm nervous to post this and that, if you respond, I might pass out? Or is that mostly just creepy?
0neohtrix: thank you. its not creepy yet. its fun, but comes with certain affective disorders i didnt anticipate. im mostly self motivating. other art motivates me. i have a hard time dealing w/ the me vs audience dynamic. internet is weird, but at shows when i speak to people its palpable. i mostly just do my thing and lucky that it culturally latches. if it didnt id still do it though. i love the work
Skipscene: What's your favorite electronic release this year?
0neohtrix: listening to pusha t right now and loving it. its been a good year for music. selfishly i loved the music we put out on Software most, co la, anv, huerco to name a few
superhunter: Chuck Person's Eccojams vol. 2 ?
0neohtrix: i have multiple volumes of eccojams in the cryotank set to defrost in the distant future
jagfin: there is an awful rolling stone review of R+7 which describes you as "On the rise from an experimental underground that prizes…spaced-out vintage synths." but, your music doesn't really place such a high premium on these vintage, analog synths as it used to; in fact, you've kind've gone the opposite way, using progressively less 'cool' sounds, to the point where you're often using just generic midi presets. could you talk more about this move, and how you kind've untethered yourself from your old Juno and began to work in the more abstract way you do now?
0neohtrix: 'generic' is an idea about presets that is mostly cultural. its a problematic differentiator because it presupposes that there is a 'real'. when i remove the difference between real and generic i can approach music production in a materials-oriented way, manipulating the affects themselves, instead of being used by them, to reinforce their stereotypes, histories, etc. this doesn't disqualify 'real' sounds, in fact it gives them a chance to morph which is crucial for me. its about flattening all those differences. midi is just a way to deal w/ digital events in time, so its kind of interesting that its thought of as a 'texture'. i actually love that. in reviews also i notice a lot of references to plastic-sounding things, but little conversation about plasticity, which is what its all about for me
joyride_neon: To me, at least, your music maintains an affinity with certain threads in contemporary philosophy, particularly postmodern theory. Do you have any favorite philosophers?
0neohtrix: currently delanda, latour via harman (haven't tackled latour head on yet but im feeling it), galloway. older shit – kant, heidegger, leibniz, deleuze
silver_medalist: I thought your new record was a load of conceptual bollocks when I heard it first but it has grown on me, so well done. Tim Hecker at Unsound was moaning that if he had to be schleping about playing gigs by the time he was forty he'd rather stay home and teach yoga or something. Are you equally jaundiced about a future of having to constantly travel to make a decent living from your music?
0neohtrix: haha thanks. sometimes i feel like what tim said but for example on this last tour, all the waiting around and travelling was totally worth it for the hour of shredding — it feels good again. maybe better than ever. that said i miss my gf and friends and family and it can be kinda isolating so… the solution is easy.. i dont stay on the road for like 2 months at a time, i keep it selective and intense and worthwhile and its not much of a problem
Analord33: What advice can you give to anyone trying to make something out of music? (whatever "make something" means nowadays)
0neohtrix: nike said it best just do it
Jessvaughn: Whats the Work-load distribution between you and Joel on your label? Favourite Herzog film? Favourite pair of Sneakers?
0neohtrix: joel does everything i do nothing. jack reacher. my black jordunks
Warp released 'R Plus Seven' on 30th September 2013.