130 1440


Thrill Jockey
thrill 130 - 2006

So began in 2002 with the pair of Eri and Markus Popp (Oval, Microstoria) working together as a true symmetrical duo with both members equally contributing to the songwriting and electronic processing. An absolute departure from Oval, So's debut CD is a melodic, at times soothing technological demonstration. The album began as a reworking of a song cycle from Eri's archives. These archives are comprised of a vast collection of diverse materials she recorded in her parents' house in Mito-City, Japan. The sounds represent a significant departure from the dense, abrasion of Oval's ground-breaking Commers series, and instead moves towards more airy and organic tones. The inclusion of vocals and live instrumentation allow for So's music to expand far beyond the constraints of the purely digital.

So derives its momentum from an almost constant confrontation with Markus and Eri's conceptualizations and implementations of music. The actual collaborative process is more a resemblance of an 18th century naval battle than a convenient exercise in file sharing. It is fundamentally different to Oval recordings which are linear and strategic on the planning board, while So lost the compass from the beginning and is more a free project.

Album artwork was created by Katsumi Yokota, the prolific Japanese illustrator who made contributions to the most experimental stages of the United Game Artist's video game classic, Rez (released for Dreamcast and PS2 in 2002). There are no song titles as it is too much of a compromise to put English song titles to Japanese lyrics. So will be touring with Oval in the fall of 2003. For these shows, Markus and Eri have built a completely customized, So Fi-PA-system. It will consist of two Triode amplifiers based on ancient schematics, rated at 6-8 Watts each. As well a set of homemade broadband speakers consisting of 1950s broadband speakers (from movie theaters), using an empty bottle as a quasi-backloaded Tractrix (Spherical) horn and mounted in plain cardboard boxes. This custom traveling PA will allow them to perform concerts in cafes and galleries as well as clubs. Perhaps a reaction to the reaction that has become the standard.




  • 1 a
  • 2 b
  • 3 c
  • 4 d
  • 5 e
  • 6 f
  • 7 g
  • 8 h
  • 9 i
  • 10 j

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