Oval - Ah! (label approved track from forthcoming full length, O)
Fuck, it's been long enough. Oh is Markus Popp's first new release as Oval in nearly 10 years, although it's not like I personally waited that long. As much as I'd like to say it, I wasn't so cool that I was listening to sweet glitch tunes in middle school. Sorry. But there are some who have waited that long. Let me assure you folks, your patience has been rewarded.
Thankfully, this is not the Oval you remember from 94 Diskont or Systemisch. This is 21st century Oval. The ever-innovating Oval. The Oval everyone loves.
Oh takes all of the laptop magic from previous Oval records and intensifies it, adds a generous helping of traditional instruments, and conjures an organic glitch unlike anything else out there. It's thrilling and brilliant and sounds pretty much exactly what you're hoping new Oval would sound like: eccentrically harmonious and pleasantly piercing. The textures are amazing. Seriously. There's so much going on it's infinitely re-listenable, much like Tortoise or old Oval (obv). This is something that is going to sound fucking killer on vinyl. And dropping just $10 on a limited 12" is a goddamn steal and a half.
However, I have one gripe.
Oh feels like a teaser, which I guess from a certain perspective it is. It's a 25 minute EP preceding a full length, so it's giving you a taste of what's to come. But it doesn't have the cohesion I was hoping for. There are 15 tracks, all but three of which are under the 2 minute mark. I get the feeling Popp was experimenting like a motherfucker, churned out some highly worthwhile tunes that sounded great, but maybe didn't fit the theme for the full length he had in mind. Don't get me wrong, it all sounds like Oval and it all sounds truly fucking great. But while it's an enjoyable listen, I feel like it's almost too much of a tease. I probably could've gone the extra 3 months without hearing anything from Oval just to experience the inevitable masterpiece of O that's to follow in September.