Glitch Team-Up

Oval‘s Markus Popp has constructed entire albums from the clipping beats of damaged CDs. The tracks on Dok (Thrill Jockey) are tender, haunting daymares — jittery fragments, painfully familiar, yet just out of reach, like a conversation heard through water-logged ears. Reportedly, much of the source material for Dok, credited as “a soundfile exchange between Oval and Christophe Charles,” comes from the recordings of bells. No matter the provenance of his samples, Popp’s music eeks a stylish, downbeat urban impressionism out of the sparest materials. It’s worth noting the lovely Dok package: the disc is decorated with programming gibberish, the antiseptic song titles (“polygon medpack,” “vitra desk”) pop up like decoded messages, and the album cover suggests the blueprint for some peculiar experiment. Exactly what Oval is.

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