Jan 22, 2012

Oval - Ovalcommers (2001)



I won't pretend to know much about Oval. I've only heard this and the much more widely acclaimed 94 Diskont (noted for "deconstructing music and digital audio by using exacto knives, paint, and tape to damage the surfaces of the compact discs, only to stitch it back together in loops of melody punctuated by the disc's physical skips"). As far as I can tell, 94 Diskont is a masterpiece of glitchy microsound electronica (that's right, I get my tags from wikipedia), which, despite apparently deconstructing the music, seems to have much more of a direction than Ovalcommers. It sounds like a fucked up glitchy, repetitive idm inspired album, perhaps similar to something by Autechre.

Ovalcommers, on the other hand, is a directionless sea of distortion, glitches and sonic textures, which has lead some to claim that it is too harsh, or even gimmicky. I find the complete onslaught of synthesized noises almost invigorating, and that the attention paid to layers and textures makes the album a unique experience every time I listen to it. It's exciting that Oval moved into complete free-form territory for this release, I'll definitely have to look into more of his (Markus Popp's) releases, in particular the album's twin Ovalprocess.



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