Oneohtrix Point Never releases demo he recorded for Usher

The experimental electronic music shares an early version of what ultimately became Age Of’s ‘The Station’

Oneohtrix Point Never’s new album Age Of is an unusual and often very pretty thing. It’s also totally abstract, experimental, and challenging – which is why it was so surprising to learn that one of its tracks, “The Station”, was originally written as a demo for Usher.

As Daniel Lopatin, the mastermind behind Oneohtrix Point Never, explained to Dazed recently, he met Usher backstage while touring with ANOHNI. “He asked to speak with me, like, ‘Hey, why don’t you demo some stuff with me?’ So I got into this whole thing of listening to peak Jermaine Dupri-era stuff and thinking about just how incredible Usher’s voice was,” Lopatin said.

“At the same time, when I was demoing for him, I wanted to imagine him augmenting my topline, so I had to embarrassingly create that topline,” he continued. “And then once I did, I kind of loved... how ‘me’ it was. It wasn’t virtuosity, it was something more interesting than that, in a way.”

Lopatin has now shared the demo of the track – which sadly doesn’t feature any Usher vocals, or any vocals at all – which contains the main riff of “The Station”, as well as Lopatin’s ‘embrassingly’ created topline melody that Usher would have sung had it not ultimately been rejected.

If you want to know how history could have panned out differently, listen to “The Station” above, then compare it to the demo – originally titled “dejavu” – by downloading it on Sendspace. Check out a statement Lopatin posted about the track below, too.