thrill 103 - 2001
The 6th full length release from Markus Popp (aka Oval) finds this world renowned digital mastermind extending the concept & musical platform of last year's acclaimed Ovalprocess in every way. Exploring a spectrum of sounds between the abrasive sandblast of neo desktop rock (tracks 1-3) and the alienating, timeless splendor of DSP chamber music. In between there are unique excursions in folk electronica (track 4) and pop inflected wall-of-sound tunes that could only come from the mind of Oval. Popp describes Ovalcommers as a 3D musical obstacle course, a friendly and accessible invitation to complexity. Ovalcommers surprises with poetic and playful elements (organs and layers of guitar feedback), making room for understatement, sophistication and a new, almost absentmindedly casual atmosphere. Haunting emulations of processed brass, string and woodwind sections are carefully added to the otherwise still angular desktop rock. Listeners will leave Ovalcommers with a new perspective on Oval in general, as Popp's strategy becomes clearly visible: A friendly, yet relentless fanaticism to experiment and innovate musically.