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Rifts is a 2009 compilation album by Oneohtrix Point Never, the solo alias of Brooklyn electronic musician Daniel Lopatin. The album collects Lopatin's early synth-based recordings under the moniker dating back to 2003, including the three limited-run LPs Betrayed in the Octagon (2007), Zones Without People (2009) and Russian Mind (2009), as well as several additional cassette and CD-R releases. It was originally released on No Fun Productions in 2009 as a 2 disc set.

Rifts 2009.jpg
Compilation album by
ReleasedOctober 20, 2009
Length2:25:08 (2009 release)
3:08:05 (2012 reissue)
LabelNo Fun, Software
Oneohtrix Point Never chronology
Russian Mind
Reissue cover
2012 Software release cover
2012 Software release cover

The initial issue of Rifts sold beyond expectations and brought Lopatin early critical praise; UK magazine The Wire named it the No. 2 album of 2009.[1] In 2012, the album was reissued as an expanded 3 disc/5 LP set, including previously unreleased tracks, on Lopatin's own Software label.

Recording and compositionEdit

Rifts collects Oneohtrix Point Never's electronic recordings dating back to 2003, primarily drawing from Lopatin's trilogy of limited-run LPs: Betrayed in the Octagon (2007), Zones Without People (2009), and Russian Mind (2009). He began exploring sounds inspired by '70s cosmic music and '80s new age during his time as part of Brooklyn's noise music scene in the early 2000s.[1] Following the recording of Russian Mind in 2009 he noticed a "clear arc" between his three studio albums,[2] which suggested the records were "basically a Stanislaw Lem-style trilogy of stories about vague metaphysical sci-fi."[3]

The Roland Juno-60 analog synthesizer, which Lopatin inherited from his father, served as his primary instrument.[4] He noted that "a ton of [the material on Rifts] is improvised. With the exception of sequencer based stuff, I record straight synth jams and then use that as source material which gets fleshed out and assembled on the computer."[5] The compilation showcases Lopatin's distinctive approach to synthesizers, employing "ornate electronic arpeggios, often run through echo pedals, which spiral off into infinity with breathtaking effect."[6] Tracks like "Format & Journey North" utilize samples taken from YouTube.[4]

Describing the musical template of Rifts, Tiny Mix Tapes stated that "some will hear 80s soundtrack music, cosmic ambiance, or minimalist repetition, while others might pick up on the mishmash of noise and plastic, mystical new age music."[7] Critic Simon Reynolds described these releases as involving "rippling arpeggiations, sweet melodies offset by sour dissonance, grid-like structures struggling with cloudy amorphousness."[1] AllMusic wrote that "many of the song titles here feel like they could be the names of forgotten classics of '70s and '80s sci-fi films and literature."[8] The track "Emil Cioran" is named after Romanian philosopher and pessimist Emil Cioran, who Lopatin described as "one of my top dogs."[5]


The 2009 edition of Rifts sold out its initial 2,000-unit pressing, far beyond expectations, and "propelled Lopatin to underground-star status."[1] In 2012, it was reissued in an expanded 3-CD/5-LP edition on Mexican Summer and Lopatin's own Software label, including additional tracks and alternate sequencing. The 2012 LP version collects the bonus tracks of Rifts into the compilation albums Drawn and Quartered and The Fall into Time, which were themselves released separate from the box set in 2013. The 7 bonus tracks on the original version of Rifts ended up being the contents, in order, of Drawn and Quartered.

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [8]
The Line of Best Fit8/10[9]
Pitchfork Media8/10 (original release)[10]
8.7/10 (reissue)[11]
Prefix Mag9/10[13]
The Quietus(Very favourable)[6]
Rolling Stone     [14]
Tiny Mix Tapes     [7]

Despite its underground release, Rifts received widespread critical praise from a variety of publications. The Quietus located the album in a tradition of "chromed modernity and pulp futurism" rooted in the cultural milieu of the 1980s, describing the music as "acting like a cracked mirror refracting the sounds of the past."[6] The Line of Best Fit described Lopatin's aesthetic as retro-futurist.[9] Tiny Mix Tapes stated that "the sounds on Rifts look to past versions of unrealized futures for inspiration," adding that "hearing the record in one sitting is like being in two times and places at once, like watching someone from another decade daydreaming."[7]

PopMatters located a feeling of "dyschronia" in the music, noting an affinity with the contemporaneous "hypnagogic" music scene. The publication described the music as "strangely familiar and familiarly strange" and suggested that "much of Rifts indeed feels like communication technologies carrying on without the influence of anything but themselves and their own mechanical history, surrogate from human involvement."[12] Rifts placed second in The Wire magazine's annual critics' poll of the records of the year.[16] Following its 2012 reissue, Pitchfork called the album "an important touchstone" and stated that "the way Lopatin discovered fresh ideas inside of a worn-out genre is an inspiring story for the present age."[11]

Track listingEdit

2009 editionEdit

All tracks written by Daniel Lopatin.

Disc One
No.TitleOriginal albumLength
1."Behind the Bank"Betrayed in the Octagon2:22
2."Eyeballs"Betrayed in the Octagon3:00
3."Betrayed in the Octagon"Betrayed in the Octagon3:33
4."Woe Is the Transgression I"Betrayed in the Octagon8:45
5."Parallel Minds"Betrayed in the Octagon3:22
6."Laser to Laser"Betrayed in the Octagon3:20
7."Woe Is the Transgression II"Betrayed in the Octagon10:56
8."Computer Vision"Zones Without People2:24
9."Format & Journey North"Zones Without People9:46
10."Zones Without People"Zones Without People4:02
11."Learning to Control Myself"Zones Without People5:36
12."Disconnecting Entirely"Zones Without People1:33
13."Emil Cioran"Zones Without People3:35
14."Hyperdawn"Zones Without People4:33
Disc Two
No.TitleOriginal albumLength
1."Months"Russian Mind3:08
2."Physical Memory"Russian Mind10:53
3."Grief and Repetition"Russian Mind2:40
4."Russian Mind"Russian Mind5:03
5."Actual Air"Ruined Lives EP3:11
6."Immanence"Russian Mind7:18
7."Lovegirls Precinct"split cassette with Outer Space1:37
8."Ships Without Meaning"Ruined Lives EP9:39
9."Terminator Lake"Transmat Memories EP5:42
10."Transmat Memories"Transmat Memories EP5:35
11."A Pact Between Strangers"A Pact Between Strangers4:18
12."When I Get Back from New York"A Pact Between Strangers16:47
13."I Know It's Taking Pictures from Another Plane (Inside Your Sun)"Young Beidnahga2:30
Total length:2:25:08

2012 CD reissueEdit

All tracks written by Daniel Lopatin.

Disc One: Betrayed in the Octagon
No.TitleOriginal albumLength
1."Woe Is the Transgression I"Betrayed in the Octagon8:45
2."Behind the Bank"Betrayed in the Octagon2:22
3."Eyeballs"Betrayed in the Octagon2:59
4."Betrayed in the Octagon"Betrayed in the Octagon3:32
5."Woe Is the Transgression II"Betrayed in the Octagon10:54
6."Parallel Minds"Betrayed in the Octagon3:21
7."Laser to Laser"Betrayed in the Octagon3:20
8."Ships Without Meaning"Ruined Lives EP9:37
9."Terminator Lake"Transmat Memories EP5:41
10."Transmat Memories"Transmat Memories EP5:33
11."A Pact Between Strangers"A Pact Between Strangers4:18
12."When I Get Back from New York"A Pact Between Strangers16:46
Disc Two: Zones Without People
No.TitleOriginal albumLength
1."Computer Vision"Zones Without People2:23
2."Format & Journey North"Zones Without People9:46
3."Zones Without People"Zones Without People4:00
4."Learning to Control Myself"Zones Without People5:36
5."Disconnecting Entirely"Zones Without People1:33
6."Emil Cioran"Zones Without People3:34
7."Hyperdawn"Zones Without People4:33
8."Lovergirls Precinct"split cassette with Outer Space1:36
9."I Know It's Taking Pictures from Another Plane (Inside Your Sun)"Young Beidnahga2:31
10."Blue Drive"KGB Nights / Blue Drive split cassette9:56
11."The Trouble with Being Born"Scenes with Curved Objects EP4:31
12."Sand Partina"split cassette with Caboladies7:02
Disc Three: Russian Mind
No.TitleOriginal albumLength
1."Months"Russian Mind3:05
2."Physical Memory"Russian Mind10:53
3."Grief and Repetition"Russian Mind2:39
4."Russian Mind"Russian Mind5:03
5."Time Decanted"Russian Mind3:10
6."Immanence"Russian Mind7:18
7."Melancholy Descriptions of Simple 3D Environments"Scenes with Curved Objects EP10:53
8."Memory Vague"split cassette with Caboladies4:47
9."KGB Nights" (originally released under the artist name of KGB MAN)KGB Nights / Blue Drive split cassette6:08
Total length:3:08:05

2012 vinyl reissueEdit

All tracks written by Daniel Lopatin.


  1. ^ a b c d "Brooklyn's Noise Scene Catches Up to Oneohtrix Point Never". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  2. ^ Kawaii, Keith (November 24, 2009). "Oneohtrix Point Never". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  3. ^ Beta, Andy. "Oneohtrix Point Never Has Some Cool Theories About Soundtracking Movies". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b Powell, Mike. "Machine Love: Oneohtrix Point Never". Resident Advisor. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Krinsley, Jeremy. "Bothering DANIEL LOPATIN of ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER". Impose Magazine. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "The Quietus - Reviews - Oneohtrix Point Never". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Music Review: Oneohtrix Point Never - Rifts". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Rifts - Oneohtrix Point Never - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Oneohtrix Point Never – Rifts". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  10. ^ Colly, Joe (February 2, 2010). "Oneothrix Point Never: Rifts". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Oneohtrix Point Never: Rifts Album Review - Pitchfork". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Oneohtrix Point Never: Rifts". 8 February 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  13. ^ Burke, Max. "Oneohtrix Point Never - Rifts Album Review -". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  14. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob (20 February 2013). "Rifts". Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  15. ^ hyperion (July 19, 2015). "Review: Oneohtrix Point Never – Rifts". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  16. ^ "2009 Rewind: Records of the Year Top Ten". The Wire. No. 311. London. January 2010. p. 39 – via Exact Editions. (subscription required)