One of the most interesting aspects of Oval’s recent recording, Voa (2013), a collaboration between German electronic musician Markus Popp and a series of singers from South America, is that its instrumental parts don’t necessarily do the things you might expect them to do. In a recent interview Popp explains his interest in acoustic instruments: “I like acoustic instruments, I like this kind of micro dynamics, I like the nuance and details…” On Voa, all of the tracks feature what sounds like sampled electric jazz guitar playing, as well as bits of drumset and bass. But the parts and bits move in unexpectedly delightful ways. Popp says that his musical goal is to “come up with a new style that is kind of reminiscent of something…I wanted to do something else, more like songs. It’s just that these songs were composed from very unlikely parts, the building blocks I was using for this music were very irregular.” It’s the unlikely-ness and irregularity of Popp’s materials and their arrangements that makes the music what it is.
Here is Popp’s piece “Emocor”:
A probing interview with the musician can be found here.