Author Topic: Oval- Dok  (Read 3778 times)

Joe R

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Oval- Dok
« on: September 28, 2008, 11:46:33 AM »
I just received an amazing CD from a German experimental group from the 90's, called Oval.  Don't really know much about them, but I sound-sampled a few of their CDs and decided to take a chance on one called Dok- that one seemed to have a laid-back "foggy" sound that appealed to me. What a pleasant surprise! It's kind of a meandering, ambient, glitchy thing that seems to emanate from some distance away, as though you were hearing it underwater. Wonderfully dreamlike and spacious, I can't really compare it to any glitch album I've ever heard.

There's a few other Oval discs that sound interesting, but  they're also more "solid" and less atmospheric than Dok, and other discs that are definitely more noise-oriented. Does anyone know anything about these guys?

The best thing is, I bought it through Amazon for less than 7 bucks.

Undershadow

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2008, 02:24:44 PM »
Hey, Joe. You’ve happened across a release by a project regarded by many as the ultimate pioneers of glitch, at least within the ambient-electronica world. See refs below:

“Glitch music originated from Germany. Markus Popp's Oval (1) had the idea of applying the avantgarde technique of musique concrete to the static, droning, ethereal fluxes of ambient music. Systemisch (1994) "composed" tracks by using the "glitches" of defective compact discs as an instrument (an adaptation to the digital age of the ideas of Czech artist Milan Knizak). The "mechanical" effect of compositions such as Do While (1996) was akin to the aesthetics of Futurism. Oval's Popp and Mouse On Mars' Jan Werner pursued a similar strategy of accident-prone electronic music under the moniker Microstoria on works such as Init Ding (1995).” (http://www.scaruffi.com/history/cpt524.html)

"It is generally accepted that Oval's Wohnton, produced in 1993, was the first proper Glitch album. Though Markus Popp's (Oval) music may be the first in which the techniques of Musique Concrete were applied to the subtleties of Ambient, [...] Glitch originated in Northern Europe with Oval's work, but quickly spread around the world as artists such as Autechre, Aphex Twin, and Yasunao Tone — who used damaged CDs in his Techno Eden performance in 1985 — followed suit." (http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Glitch-music)

These are the two releases usually invoked when discussing Oval’s work. I’m not familiar with the one you mention:

OvalSystemisch

Oval - 94 Diskont


Joe R

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2008, 02:56:17 PM »
Thanks for the info, Alan.

I did a little exploring into this myself. 94 Discont sounds interesting, though perhaps more difficult and less ethereal than Dok, and seems to be considered the high point for Oval.  And Systemisch seems to be right up my alley, from the samples I've heard.

uhurit

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2008, 03:34:15 PM »
Oval was my first glitch love along with the famous Clicks'n'Cuts compilation....but I'll be damn if I can listen to anything glitchy anymore. I think it's the style of music like gabber or trance that you outgrow sooner than later. Dok is great though!

Joe R

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2008, 05:22:05 PM »

I'll be damn if I can listen to anything glitchy anymore. I think it's the style of music like gabber or trance that you outgrow sooner than later.

You might be right, Uhurit. I've entered my "glitch" phase relatively late in life, but who knows how long it'll last? Up until a few months ago, glitch did nothing for me, but now I really love the stuff. Well, some of it anyway.

deepspace

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2008, 01:58:01 AM »
I remember falling head over heels in love with an album by Ryuchi Sakamoto and Alva Noto called "Vrioon"  It combined very sparse piano music with some glitch elements.  I loved the balance- the glitch wasn't overbearing and the piano added a warm, impressionistic feel to the entire mix.  I recall the horrified look on a friend's face as he listened to it.  "What the hell is wrong with that music?"  :)  That was kind of funny to watch. 

I love it when some of the more abrasive genres mix with some of their supposed opposites, like that album.  I haven't really found anything like it since.  I wouldn't normally listen to much pure glitch, like Noto's solo stuff.  But it does mix well with other sounds.  Phil Wilkerson uses it well on his more recent recordings too, and it's been assimilated very naturally into a lot of the Japanese pop ambient genres, by artists like Cokiyu and Sawako.
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Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2008, 07:34:10 AM »
I liked Oval very much and have followed their stuff since Systemisch (which I recently heard used in a perfume commercial!).  The later stuff is very noisy and somewhat unpleasant when compared to the eerie landscapes of the early records.  I feel everything is worth listening to (though the first CD has vocals) up until Ovalprocess, which had moments but wasn't nearly as fun as the others.  I think my favorite is probably Szenariodisk.  Fun fact about Systemisch: apparently Aphex Twin was pissed because they used one of the SAWII discs for raw material.  At least one of the songs is clearly derived from one Aphex track in particular, "Parallel Stripes" (track 2, disc 2).

I saw Oval live back in '98—it was the first concert I'd ever been to where the performer hunched behind a laptop.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 07:41:56 AM by Brian Bieniowski »

spunknik

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2008, 03:24:12 PM »
I have ''Ovalcommers'' from 2001.I'll have to dig it out and listen to it.Been a long time.

Exuviae

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2008, 04:12:40 PM »
Systemich is by far, one of my personal favorite electronic records of all time. Ambient, glitch, dub and experimental all rolled into one! I enjoy repetitive music A LOT, if it's done well and this album shines brightly in that respect. Oddly, I'd only ever heard 94Discont (sp) besides, and wasn't as taken with it...maybe I should give it another go around as well as some of their other stuff...

Cool to see them mentioned here!

.b

9dragons

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2008, 05:46:05 PM »
I've got to be the naysayer on this one, but I've got good reason. I was deep into the glitch a few years back, and got infatuated with Oval, buying all the albums I could get my hands on. I even got into the interesting side project of Popp called Microstoria. I think my love for Oval was based on a couple listens to the 94 Diskont album. Microstoria, if I remember right, felt even cooler than Oval. But at some point my obsessive compulsive urge for glitch snapped, and I found Oval to be for the most part kind of shallow and rote. But it is fascinating for a while. And of course as a forerunner it deserves respect. So enjoy the ride while you can, Joe, but be wary...
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 05:54:55 PM by 9dragons »

Joe R

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Re: Oval- Dok
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2008, 07:21:43 PM »

 But at some point my obsessive compulsive urge for glitch snapped, and I found Oval to be for the most part kind of shallow and rote. So enjoy the ride while you can, Joe, but be wary...

Heh... yeah, I know what you mean. Obsessiveness & compulsiveness can be a fickle mistress. I'm guessing that this glitch thing of mine will be a passing fad, and I am indeed enjoying the ride, presently.

I sound-sampled other Oval discs and found them to be merely okay. 94 Discont is too hard and repetitive compared to Dok's more subtle fogginess. Systemisch sounds nice, but a bit abrasive and disorganized on some tracks. Other discs just seem like noise.

There are great glitch discs, but for me NOTHING can compare to Beta Two Agonist's masterpiece, Autumn Perdue. In a word, breathtaking. This CD is glitch, and much much more. It's "beyond glitch".