After nearly a decade of silence, experimental electronica act Oval has returned in 2010 with a vengeance; and, with a spate of new releases. Although it was once a collective, now Markus Popp retains sole responsiblity for the proceedings. Earlier in the year, he released an EP entitled Oh! Today, its longer cousin, the 2xLP O, sees its much anticipated release. Add to that a second EP, Ringtone II, that’s being offered by the label for free download here.
O retains some of Popp’s previous proclivities – glitchy technobeats, strummed string sounds, drones, textural juxtapositions, and repeated-note ostinati. What’s brought to bear here most overtly is an interest in pithy forms. Indeed, the second half is called “Ringtones,” and consists of 50 miniature compositions. One can imagine more than a few experimental electronica buffs installing one of them on their smartphone stat! What’s more, there’s a relaxation of one the more extreme aspects of glitch: the avoidance of pulse seems a bit less pronounced. Rather Popp seems content to flirt with metric obfuscation, but in an overall rhythmic scheme that also embraces at least occasional phrasal regulation.
Thus, on O, Popp has created music that still has an experimental edge, but seems willing to seek rapprochement with a wider range of techno/electronica styles.
Oval US mini-tour dates:
Thu Sep 9 New York, NY – Issue Project Room (2 Shows)
Fri Sep 10 Chicago, IL – Chicago Cultural Center – Sonar Festival