Alright, let’s get one thing out of the way: Oval’s Markus Popp is a handsome dude. I mean, look at the photo above and tell me it doesn’t scream “silver fox.” So, anyway, using his dignified looks and the sensual power of albums like 94diskont, Popp recently wooed several female (and a couple male) vocalists from South America into collaborating with him on a new record! Hooray!
Working with vocalists has typically produced excellent results for Popp in the past (see: So and Popp’s contributions to Gastr Del Sol’s Camofleur, for example), and Calidostópia! largely lives up to those high water marks. Additionally, this record may very well be one of Popp’s most accessible recordings under any guise. Unlike his exploration of more abstract glitch songs with So, these tracks are largely held together by melodies and rhythms, even if Popp is constantly working his noisy magic underneath it all. The end result is a gorgeous combination of “world music,” IDM, and trademark Oval soundscapes. And the best part is that keeping with the trend of releasing awesome records for free, Popp has the whole thing available to download for free from his website!
You can preview excerpts of Calidostópia! via SoundCloud below and download the record as a whole here.
• Oval: http://www.markuspopp.me
Music is most often extolled as a form of art, but really “art” is just a convention of terminology, not exclusive fact. Music is inextricable from science too, and as any virtuoso knows, it is eminently quantifiable, from frequency to amplitude, BPM to MIDI file, harmony patterns to counterpoint. While never endorsing too clinical an approach, we should be thankful for those musicians who can chart musical anatomy with precision, lest we be cleaved by the saccharine, amateurish stuff toward which any art will devolve when left to the cross-section plot of “art over substance.”
So, without being reductive, listen to “Mint” by wise Belgian wizards Villa, who demonstrate how pop music can excel by shrewdly reducing the form back to its base components. Observe the few, yet measured tracks. Simple in element — the beat, the bass, the comped chords, the chorus — and pure in procedure, the song bypasses the heady modes of artistic histrionics in favor of the dance room equations that are tried and so true.
“Mint” is out now as a single from Club Mod, Modular’s new dance music imprint.
• Club Mod: http://clubmod.modularpeople.com
“Lost Wooden Planet Script”
Like the young knight Perceval, who sits speechless and confused in the presence of the Procession of the Grail, Urpf Lanze (real name: Wouter Vanhaelemeesch) stands guitar-in-hand, frog-in-throat, before The Procession of Talking Mirrors. The mirrors reflect a gruesome scene of guitars being torn to shreds by tornado-like fingers; a rumbling superstorm of breath growls and screeches out the echoing chambers of the beast’s vast throat and mouth.
The The Procession of Talking Mirrors LP (which has beautifully appropriate cover artwork made by the musician) will be released by Belgian label audioMER on March 10. For now, the label has posted the riotous finale of the record, “The Lost Wooden Planet Script.”
And within the Transmuteo services, courtesy of one jDean, digital meditation is not only available, but utilizes cerebral waves to signal affirmative triggers inside your mind’s eyes to positively provide access to goals set for always. “Dream Swim” provides the affirmation to always live your life swimming. Whether you are trans-dolphin or just into floating, “Dream Swim” helps you access the most reassuring water-felt thoughts and emotions one takes upon pensive hours. Sit and believe in the aura you’ve created. Become as real as a dolphin, swimmer, floater, or [even] water, and fade away into the reality of thought. Once you’ve reached the end of this cycle, you’ll notice yourself around the Aguirre nebular of your brain. Don’t fret, it’s all hosted on the pleasant side of Motivational Holography Suite. Reach out. Feel the intangible. Make good buying decisions. Transmuteo’ll hear your brainwaves in-sync with the others when y’all spin it to the core. Your core. Feel. Relax. Enjoy the skin you’re in, as you leave and return with positive enlightenment on multiple axes.
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“Line the Clouds”
If last year’s Slow Boat (released on Keith Kawaii’s Orange Milk) was a free-float through an impenetrable fog, Ashley Paul’s follow up, Line the Clouds, might turn out to be something of a clearing. At least that’s what sounds like is going on with the title track, sunlight peeking through Paul’s penchant for a spooky atmosphere, shining down to reveal the song’s nudity, a bare and spare mix of delicate instruments and that most fragile of melodies. But even though there’s less clutter to be found here, it’s clear that Paul’s vision is still to challenge basic forms like the “ballad” as we once knew them. Here now, in 2013, on the other side of the end of the world, we find ourselves evolving yet again. Music is mutant. But of course that doesn’t mean it has to be any less beautiful.
Ashley Paul’s Line the Clouds is out March 26 on Eli Keszler’s REL Records.