Fascinating experimental music that presents a range of moods and sounds.
The lead track was intended for Usher, and it's not difficult to see why the star would reject a demo so obviously riffing on his past successes. In classic Oneohtrix style, those elegant acoustic guitar lines aren't arranged into a full pop song but displayed in cross section, like the parts of a car engine laid out fastidiously on the garage floor. The track ends with one of Age Of's periodic glimpses of the earliest Oneohtrix sound: the poignant, keening Juno-60 synthesiser. The track following it, "Trance 1," remains in the past, though its smeared, widescreen expanses are more 2010's Returnal than Rifts. It's a nice rerun of the sound, gradually cooling off after a volcanic opening.
The rest of the EP features complex, sectional compositions that teem with cultural references. Benath their tightly regimented structures, chaos spits and fizzes. The title of "Monody" refers to a form of 17th-century vocal music, the track colliding baroque delicacy with lacerating prog excess. "Blow By Blow" is easier to like. In its most forthright moments its sweet modal piano is a bit Ryuichi Sakamoto. But there's a wild shredding guitar solo and a scratchy noise passage that spits us out into a swooning ambient coda. Oneohtrix packs a lot in these days.