Album Review: Oneohtrix Point Never – Dog in the Fog – Replica Collaborations & Remixes EP
Lost in an unfamiliar city, where there’s something new to fear around every corner, you run for shelter. Broken power lines, professionals scurrying home, frantic screams of children, and a record skipping on a Wurlitzer all help guide you toward the ultimate place of solace. Is this fear real, or are subconscious insecurities simply bubbling to the top as you haphazardly explore this realm? Sometimes, we’re all abandoned dogs wandering in the fog.
Oneohtrix Point Never (a.k.a. Brooklyn’s Daniel Lopatin) is not one to use lyrics to tell a story, so he creates sonic Rorschach tests for listeners to develop their own, often destructive, internalized tales. For Dog in the Fog, Lopatin invited colleagues to reform tracks from 2011′s highly regarded Replica. While the four-track EP may not share the same unstable core as the original, it offers an unfiltered glimpse into the psyche of the remixers.
The EP’s first two tracks are divergent edits of the original’s title track, each with a distinct vocal inclusion. The second version features King Midas Sound’s Roger Robinson’s whispers for a past relationship over Lopatin’s simple ivory strokes: “I need a replica of you/ When more respectable and true/ A heart that’s here to stay/ So my love don’t fall from grace.” As the song progresses with a newly added sitar break, the vocals morph into atmospheric echoes, just as former lovers become vague memories on our current of experiences.
Matmos’ remix of the track stays closer to Oneohtrix Point Never’s ethos of texture and instrumentation over lyricism. The original’s piano intro is dosed with lithium carbonate to aid in its cheery disposition, but the track remains bipolar. Bird chirps, wind chimes, and Limpe Fuchs’ broken viola and vocal segments are euphoric, then quickly transition into a manic state of buzzing circuitry and depressed percussion.
Surgeon’s remix of “Remember” and Richard Young’s remix of “Nassau” each contour around a series of guttural chants. The techno edit may be the most severe on the disc, moving the track from gong meditation studio to underground rave.
Dog in the Fog is like a monogrammed L.L. Bean backpack: It has a customized approach but does little to amplify the original’s concept.
Essential Tracks: “Replica (Matmos Remix)”