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Oneohtrix Point Never's Demo for Usher Is a Portal to a Weirder Timeline

Daniel Lopatin shared the instrumental, which would eventually become the 'Age Of' track "The Station," via SendSpace.
L: Atiba Jefferson
R: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame

The great thing about music not making sense anymore is that we have underground figures collaborating with mainstream giants on the regular. Grimes wrote for Rihanna, while Tame Impala's Kevin Parker has now become an in-demand hip-hop collaborator. You can add Oneohtrix Point Never's Daniel Lopatin to that list, as he was floating ideas to Usher back in 2016. The song never got made, but now the demo that Lopatin worked has now surfaced, courtesy of the artist himself.


Via Twitter, Lopatin has provided a link to a SendSpace download of the demo file. It turns out that it's an early version of "The Station," the electro-grunge highlight off the latest OPN album Age Of. The key difference is that instead of Lopatin's vocals, there's a synth lead laying out what Usher would have been singing. Knowing that this was proposed for one of R&B's all-time greats actually makes the final song even weirder, as it's wild to imagine Usher's famous voice gliding over this sparse, dystopian soundscape. You can download the demo below and find Lopatin's tweet providing background info.

Phil is on Twitter.