In celebration of Thrill Jockey's 25th Anniversary Oval’s classic 1998 album Dok gets a first time vinyl re-issue. Pressed on clear vinyl and packaged in a jacket with metallic ink and free download card.
This record is part one of a counter-remix-project embarked upon by Berlin-based sound innovators Oval and Tokyo-based installation artist/sound designer Christophe Charles. The record is primarily an Oval record accessing the soundfile archive of travel and field recordings by Christophe Charles. On previous records 94diskont and their debut Systemisch, Oval explored deconstruction and reconstruction, assault and aesthetics creating a unique semantic on top of the exploration of generic features and bugs of electronic music media. Their music has always been a naturally occurring phenomenon that documents their adaptation process of digital (music) media as a whole.
On this new LP, Dok, the preparation of the recording process itself was a challenge in its own right. The challenge centers around the widely static and very delicate environmental recordings of sound designer Christophe Charles and the difficulty in creating music out of sounds with no sustain, no rhythm, and in no linear stucture or relationship to each other.
Charles, who holds a Phd from Tsukuba University and a Phd from Institut National De Langes et Civilasations Orientales in Paris, has spent considerable time exploring the often forgotten aspect of music, its spatial dimension; in other words the effect and/or location of amplification, position of the origin and dimensions of space in which music is performed/played. These considerations have led him to work often with "Found Sounds" or actual environmental (urban or otherwise) recordings. Charles provided Oval with a selection of field recordings of bells from around the world. The bells' sounds and monolithic travel recordings were static with almost no rhythmic index. Oval transformed the static character of the found sounds and made them fluid.
The resulting record documents a compelling merge of two vast, very distinctive soundfile archives, effortlessly two extreme, sometimes even contradicting approaches to both music and music technology - encouraging the listener to see sound shape and form in entirely new ways by adding an entirely new spatial and lively index to Oval music. Through the additional processing of the bell and other environmental sounds, the addition of bass tones and the use of as well as "as is" environmental recordings, Oval have once again created a complex, yet accessible soundscape. Dok is nonetheless still firmly grounded in what Oval always was all about: intervention into simulation, and theory and above all a musical result that may be enjoyed without any knowledge of the technology or theory behind it.