Author Topic: R Plus Seven  (Read 655 times)

The Mollusk

  • A number of deceased arachnids... and beans
R Plus Seven
« on: April 27, 2021, 11:39:33 AM »
This album is a fucking masterpiece. Much like all of 0PN's best work it's highly evocative and seems to conjure up different sets of images in my mind on each listen. Tt draws obvious parallels to some of James Ferraro's work like "Condo Pets" and "Far Side Virtual", albeit less focused on conventional song structure and having less of an idiosyncratic sense of humour.

Quote
Lopatin would later describe it as a "calm" record influenced by his experience of "domestic bliss." He also confessed to being influenced by the ideas of object-oriented ontology and the artist Takeshi Murata, specifically “this idea of musical objects – instead of focusing on music, thinking of sounds as these acute choices that are grouped together, that create a sense of place, a cultural sense of contrast [...] a way of giving inanimate objects a kind of secret life.”

After learning this influence on the record I've been envisioning my own take on it, certain sounds or sections focusing on inanimate objects around the home, how they communicate with one another when we're not at home or perhaps even when we are, on a frequency we're unable to hear or understand. The gentle movement of a curtain in the breeze of an open window, the way ornaments are positioned and how the light hits them, the grandiosity of a large mirror atop a mantle and how that might hold a hierarchy over the room, its immediate subjects being the candles either side of it. Obviously it doesn't take long for this train of thought to lean into Dee Dee freaking out in his kitchen about his kitchen utensils taking the piss out of his t-shirt on the drying rack and the shirt going on a killing spree. Then in turn it makes me consider the decorative hedge animals in "The Shining" and the malevolent intent they appear to carry in their relative stillness. But thankfully this record is a lot more tranquil, and frequently brighter.

Before learning this, though, my main thinking was that it sounded like an alien trying to communicate with a human, using a primitive knowledge of the sound and rhythm available on our planet to convey a feeling, probably frequently getting it wrong, misinterpreting a smile as a display of confusion, something like that. It's as much grounded in our reality as it is in one we can't quite comprehend.

"Garden of Delete" seems to be Lopatin's magnum opus but for me personally, this is his best album.

The Mollusk

  • A number of deceased arachnids... and beans
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2021, 06:37:24 PM »
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2021, 06:58:21 PM »
It's my favourite OPN, in terms of melodies and sounds. The last two tracks are utterly magnificent.
I still can't quite get beyond Replica - R + 7 - Garden of Delete. None of his other stuff has properly grabbed me, the occasional track aside.

The Mollusk

  • A number of deceased arachnids... and beans
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2021, 07:29:48 PM »
You mean either side of those three albums? I fuckin love "Returnal", it works so well as a more fleshed-out project that extends on what he already created with the three albums that would eventually be compiled as "Rifts". Even though "Rifts" can be hit-and-miss and a bit more backgroundy in places I still think there's some magnificent stuff on there. The big long tracks "Ships Without Meaning" and "When I Get Back From New York" are transcendent, I always listen to those tracks when I'm feeling super anxious (often during air travel) as I find they effortlessly transport a large part of my consciousness to somewhere else for a little while.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2021, 07:34:46 PM »
I think my issue with Rifts and, to an extent, Returnal, is the sameyness. I'm not massively into music that uses the same structures and tones throughout, so get a bit bored of them. There are definitely some amazing tracks, though. 'Format & Journey North' is one of my favourites.

Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2021, 09:03:59 PM »
0PN is the very definition of "talks a good game". All the press I'd read - even in The Wire, usually pretty trustworthy - suggested some kind of highly evolved take on Vaporwave, all half-remembered 80s pop hits pulled into a liminal space between experience and memory.  What did I get when I bought R Plus 7? A man with an arpeggiator and some organ samples and a very good PR team. What a load of old shit.

The Mollusk

  • A number of deceased arachnids... and beans
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2021, 09:10:04 PM »
Savage.

Chedney Honks

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Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2021, 09:31:57 PM »
0PN is the very definition of "talks a good game". All the press I'd read - even in The Wire, usually pretty trustworthy - suggested some kind of highly evolved take on Vaporwave, all half-remembered 80s pop hits pulled into a liminal space between experience and memory.  What did I get when I bought R Plus 7? A man with an arpeggiator and some organ samples and a very good PR team. What a load of old shit.

Call 111

Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2021, 10:44:46 AM »
It's good but Replica is my favourite (I also got a mix Cd when I bought it which is great too). I think it's an amazing album, but it's been diminishing returns ever since. I dunno, might be because it's the first one I ever heard.

As I said before, one of the most disappointing gigs I've ever seen in terms of expectations versus reality was OPN at The Roundhouse a couple of years ago, made possibly even worse by the fact that the last five minutes or so were incredible. What could have been.

The Mollusk

  • A number of deceased arachnids... and beans
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2021, 06:19:26 PM »
I think “Replica” is great but it’s not the big fave for me. It’s almost like a pop album? Although I’m not opposed to that at all and it’s a damn sight better than his two actual recent pop albums. It’s just not quite as transportive for me as his other stuff, though it is often very transcendent and beautiful.

jobbo are you referring to the tour he did for “Age of”? I saw the Barbican show and I’ll concede it was in the same sort of indulgent vein as the album itself, conceptually a bit of an unfocused mess and disappointing. Shame really because I saw him play twice touring “Garden of Delete” and it was fucking incredible, the “hyper-grunge” fake genre thing brilliantly realised, blistering and intense, and then the encore was a 20 mins long ambient piece which was so stunning it reduced me and my mate to tears.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2021, 09:55:12 PM »
I think one of the things about his recent stuff is that the concept has got in the way of the music. What I'll say for the first three albums is they have the spontaneity that came with a lot of that new age synth stuff that grew from the noise scene, it feels very much like he was just jamming with his synths and coming up with cool sounds. R+7 is the last time that really felt true, and although I love GoD, since then it's all felt very staged and conceptual, but without the concept even leading to anything. I get why some Floyd fans found the Wall tour laborious, but at least it was telling a musical and visual story: recent OPN stuff is difficult to understand, but feels lacking without that understanding. I get why people would find it quite pretentious.

Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2021, 11:20:11 PM »
great post Mr Mollusk, this album holds a special place in my heart - Americans, Along and Chrome Country are particular highlights

buttgammon

  • Ape received.
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2021, 11:38:56 PM »
I think one of the things about his recent stuff is that the concept has got in the way of the music. What I'll say for the first three albums is they have the spontaneity that came with a lot of that new age synth stuff that grew from the noise scene, it feels very much like he was just jamming with his synths and coming up with cool sounds. R+7 is the last time that really felt true, and although I love GoD, since then it's all felt very staged and conceptual, but without the concept even leading to anything. I get why some Floyd fans found the Wall tour laborious, but at least it was telling a musical and visual story: recent OPN stuff is difficult to understand, but feels lacking without that understanding. I get why people would find it quite pretentious.

Yes, this post explains how I feel about his last few albums and why I haven't got on with them as well as Returnal/Replica/R Plus Seven.

Garden of Delete is a good album but even that left me cold compared to the previous few, perhaps because I didn't particularly buy into the concept. Replica remains my favourite album of his but R Plus Seven is a very high point in his career, and I still play it regularly.

The Mollusk

  • A number of deceased arachnids... and beans
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2021, 06:56:32 AM »
purlieu you should write about music professionally, or at least as a regular hobby and collect it all somewhere, if you haven’t already. Your analysis is one of the most consistently great things about this subforum. Always a pleasure to read.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: R Plus Seven
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2021, 11:48:38 AM »
Please allow a moment for my imposter syndrome to tell you to sod off you crazy man.

Thanks, though. I like to overthink music so I'm glad it has some purpose! I have a blog where I'm writing about every FSOL track in order, not sure that's what you're after though.

See that? Two sentences ending in though in a row. I'm a terrible writer.

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