Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ovalprocess - (2000)

By the time of Ovalprocess, Oval's fifth full album, the clicks-and-cuts style of experimental ambience Markus Popp and company helped develop nearly a decade before was being championed all over the world, from Tokyo (Nobukazu Takemura) to Berlin (Pole) to Sheffield (SND) to San Francisco (Kit Clayton). All of which makes it a bit of a surprise that Process remains a distinctive work. The scratchy bass hum and high-pitched, atonal effects heard on most every track are very nearly Oval trademarks, and despite the focus on experimentation, Ovalprocess retains yet another hallmark of the group's productions: it's a remarkably beautiful album. Granted, this won't quite signify to listeners unfamiliar with the genre, but when the album climaxes (on the ninth untitled track) with a droning organ melody heard faintly above a cacophony of glitch static, electronics fans might just find themselves wiping their eyes from the wonder of it all. Even among considerable competition, Oval remains the very best at making beautiful music out of civilization's sonic detritus. (

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