entries from a listener's guide to 4AD, eMusic, 2006
The Moon and the Melodies
Blue Bell Knoll
Oneohtrix Point Never, Elizabeth Fraser
“Tales from the Trash Stratum”
(Pitchfork, tracks of the year 2021)
The original “Trash Stratum” on 2020’s Magic Oneohtrix Point Never entwined distortion and euphony in fairly familiar Dan Lopatin fashion. This year’s drastic reinvention lovingly collages ‘80s production motifs: pizzicato string-flutters as fragrant as Enya, blobs of reverb-smudged piano that evoke Harold Budd, high-toned pings of bass that could be The Blue Nile or Seventeen Seconds Cure. It’s like Lopatin is a bowerbird building a glittering nest to attract a mate – and succeeds in reeling in the onetime Cocteau Twin. Fraser’s contributions - ASMR-triggering wisps of sibilant breath, chirruping syllables from a disintegrated lullaby – are closer to a diva’s warm-up exercises than an actual aria, and sometimes you long for her to take full-throated flight into song. But it’s lovely to hear the Goth goddess brought into the glitchy 21st Century.