As Oneothrix Point Never, Daniel Lopatin brings experimental music to Atlas Performing Arts Center

January 16
As Oneothrix Point Never, Daniel Lopatin makes harmony out of disparate sounds and elaborate techniques. (Oneohtrix Point Never)
As Oneothrix Point Never, Daniel Lopatin makes harmony out of disparate sounds and elaborate techniques. (Oneohtrix Point Never)

Daniel Lopatin greets confusion with a smile. As Oneohtrix Point Never, the 31-year-old Brooklyn-based musician makes records that mirror his perception of our loud, perplexing world.

A former data archivist, Lopatin combs through sounds like data sets. “R Plus Seven,” his latest album of brainy electronic music, is filled with distinct noises in constant conversation — or argument — with one another. In his head, monosyllabic vocals, tractor beams, animal grunts and synthesized choir melodies all make sense together.

“I’m basically trying to create something the way I perceive the world to be, like how it sounds and how it moves,” Lopatin says. “It’s most exciting to me when [the sounds] start to overlap or create different relationships between each other.”

For the listener, the results can be hypnotic and disorienting. Many songs on “R Plus Seven” can resemble dance music, before they take arrhythmic detours through non-musical noises — or even periods of silence — mid-song.

“I want it to be an interesting marriage of the hypnotic aspect of electronic music and the totally asocial, almost sculptural aspect of electronic music,” Lopatin says. “There’s no reason not to create asymmetry all the time.”

Lopatin, who helped score Sofia Coppola’s 2013 film “The Bling Ring” with composer Brian Reitzell, uses a writing and recording process that will make your head spin.

For “R Plus Seven,” he created initial melodies on synthesizers, then reinterpreted and randomized them using his own mix of digital and manual processing techniques. Lopatin derived many of the vocal snippets on “R Plus Seven” by having text-to-speech software read scripts from text-adventure computer games, which he then converted to playable musical scales.

Given the nature of his music, Lopatin says Oneohtrix Point Never’s live show is more conducive to a formal concert space (like the Atlas Performing Arts Center, where he’ll hit the stage Sunday), because the audience is often more attentive than they might be at a rock club.

“With this set of music and the way that we incorporate video, [the show is] definitely more of a thing to focus on and consider,” Lopatin says. “It’s a combination of DJing and crazy, improvised electronic stuff.”

For the tour, Lopatin is working alongside video collaborator, sculptor and 3-D animator Nate Boyce to create an immersive audio-visual experience. Boyce will react to the music in real time by morphing his computer-generated sculptures based on what Lopatin plays.

“A lot of it is about marrying our common ideas about sculpture and music,” Lopatin says. “It’s super hypnotic and really beautiful. Each [of Boyce’s objects] is so specifically crafted that you can just stare at it forever.”

Inside Track

Oneohtrix Point Never’s “Americans,” off last year’s “R Plus Seven,” exemplifies Daniel Lopatin’s erratic sonic tendencies. The song’s tight passages snake around each other and diverge seemingly at will. Lopatin says the stark contrast between segments reminds you that you are listening to something, which mimics the very act of listening. “When you listen to a record, you’re also listening to yourself listen to a record,” Lopatin says. “There’s this other layer of perceptive stuff that influences what you hear and the way you think about things.”

Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE; Sun., 8 p.m., $18; 202-399-7993.

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