Markus Popp, best known as Oval, a touchstone of experimental ’90s music for the project’s reliance on the failure of digital equipment, will return this year with a new single and LP for Thrill Jockey.
Oval started as a three-piece, with Markus flanked by Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger, but has been a solo project since 1995. Their music embraced the failure of digital equipment, deliberately allowing their sounds to fragment and warp due to time and mutilation, and releases came on labels such as Thrill Jockey, Mille Plateaux and Sub Rosa.
The last Oval album was in 2001 . This new material apparently showcases Popp’s new-found “free” approach: “a true tour-de-force of improvised music beyond boundaries which still ensures to deliver (and expand) that very special, haunting Oval atmosphere.” It also promises to blur the lines between “programmed vs. played”, “laptop vs. improvisation” and “acoustic vs. electronic.”
Popp himself states that “after years of dissection and denial I wanted to try making ‘real’ music for a change. The design goals for the short side B tracks were to attain the sense of a familiar sound and ‘ringtone’. While it took me years to get the tech aspect down, the tracks themselves are pretty much recorded live and from here, I am very much looking forward to evolving this setup like a real band.”
The ‘Oh’ single will be released on 12″ on June 14, with the full double-album pencilled in for later in the year. The below cut is from ’94.