LP pressed on 180gram black vinyl with large 60cm x 60cm fold-out color poster by conceptual artist Antonia Hirsch. CD in digifile packaging.
OK, so what's next for Oval after multi-award-winning Ambient-, Electronica-, Post-Rock / Guitar- and Brazilian- styles? A...club album!?
Popp originally started as a concept album. Not in the way one might think, though. It was neither meant as a POP record nor as "The Markus Popp signature album”.
At first, Popp was started to reverse-engineer the classic, 1990s Oval glitch sound using the hi-tech tools of today. Two afternoons later, that had been accomplished.
And now what? How about trying something Oval had never tackled, like...an Oval take on straight-up sequencing, old school club music tropes and… beat making!?
And it worked. The Popp project quickly turned into a deep dive. The result is a captivating, euphoric love letter to a long-lost musical utopia: Kaleidoscopic and soulful, optimistic and grandiose. Like fantasy club tracks from an alternate universe. Alt rave utopia, if you will.
Listening to Popp is a joyous information overload from beginning to end. No matter if you choose to trace the countless exhilarating, meandering melodies ("RE”, "ID“), or if you prefer to allow yourself to get swept along by the glitch-infused house tsunamis of "AI” and "LO”.
More highlights: The newly introduced, intricate "fantasy vocals” are another new through line in Oval’s music: Weaving a blissful, sensual, "post-R&B”-narrative beyond words (“KU”, “LO“, “VE”). Ghosts of vintage Oval glitch stylings ("FU”, "MY”, "MO”) are met with swooning strings, dreamy bells, rave stabs, angular bass lines and polyrhythmic beats.
The album's atmosphere can even border on the solemn ("SA”), cinematic ("CA”) or even hymnic ("VE”) before dissolving into unstoppable, multi-dimensional loop-scapes.
In total, Popp is a relentless, exuberant re-imagination of "club" and "rave” sound aesthetics (from classic to imaginary) - confidently cruising down its own, alternate timeline at 120 BPM. A club critique, if you will: So 90s, so now.