Song Exploder: Oneohtrix Point Never’s ‘Sticky Drama’ Sounds Like a Chorus of Robots
On the Song Exploder podcast, host Hrishikesh Hirway talks to musicians who take apart their songs and, piece by piece, tell the stories of how they were made. Listen below.
Daniel Lopatin has been making experimental electronic music as Oneohtrix Point Never since 2007. In this episode, he takes apart the song “Sticky Drama” from his 2015 album Garden of Delete. He breaks down how he created artificial voices using software for the vocals, and how he sees his songs as pieces of science fiction. Lopatin used a software synthesizer called ChipSpeech to create artificial vocals, inputting direction and lyrics to tell the synthesizer how to sing lyrics chromatically. What emerges sounds like a malfunctioning chorus of robots with perfect pitch attempting to perform in a giant, echoing chamber. Working against that halfway through the song is another track of the vocal synthesizer overlaid with a vocoder, making it sound demonic. He also took a voice from a YouTube channel for makeup tips and spliced it into an added layer of glitchy tones. “Sticky Drama” then has three competing vocals meant to represent light, dark, and sounds in between.
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