more from
We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.


by Oval

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      €7 EUR  or more


Hey 04:09
Hmmm 01:33
Grrr 02:27
Oh! 02:49
Kastell 01:24
Sediment 01:06
Featurette 01:35
Saas Fairy 01:45
Kastell 4 01:00
Kasko 01:05
Homesick 01:02
Tricot 00:48
Locria 01:10
Nonfiction 01:42
Happyend II 01:15


Markus Popp’s first “Oval” release after almost a decade of silence is a spectacular departure from the deconstructivist electronica that made him a laptop legend. Instead, and totally out of nowhere, this 15-track EP establishes Popp as an accomplished musician, who is delivering a glimpse of his very own exciting flavor of "free" music in the best sense of the word.

Mind you, we’re not talking about just another laptop producer who is hiring a bunch of musicians for occasional live shows, but Popp delivering a true tour-de-force of improvised music beyond boundaries which still always ensures to deliver (and expand) that very special, haunting Oval atmosphere.

This meticulously crafted EP is indeed a wild ride - and it is in fact so fundamentally different in almost every imaginable way (Guitars? Are those actual drums?!?) that we will instead conveniently list what remains unchanged: Popp’s latest tracks still have this almost unsettling, organic, soothing atmosphere that has made Oval tracks and remixes such timeless classics.

What makes this new release especially exciting, is that Popp effortlessly merges totally unexpected musicianship with his sensibility for abstract, angular electronics and blends them into a vibrantly colorful music that truly feels alive. The new Oval sound is so arresting, emotional and dynamic that all distinctions like “programmed vs. played”, “laptop vs. improvisation” or “acoustic vs. electronic” are rendered meaningless.

This EP (and forthcoming Double CD) are an attempt at breaking new ground, just as “Systemisch” single-handedly created the glitch movement back in the 90s, which continues to provoke and inspire many music producers all over the world to this day. The 2010 Oval sound is an equally radical departure from what else is out there today - and yet, it’s more accessible than ever. Still one question remains: how did he do it?

The most important paradigm for the new sound was that everything should be done the exact opposite way from how it was done in the past. Popp exclusively used (cheap) commercially available software and plug-ins instead of programming his own. He utilized one (four years old at that) $500 stock PC instead of several high-end Macs. All the virtual instruments are played with his own hands. And last but certainly not least, scales, harmonics, and melody are the foundation of this music instead of theory and meta-discourse.

Popp remarks that "after years of dissection and denial I wanted to try making 'real' music for a change. The design goals for the short side B tracks were to attain the sense of a familiar sound and 'ringtone'. While it took me years to get the tech aspect down, the tracks themselves are pretty much recorded live and from here, I am very much looking forward to evolving this setup like a real band."

In a sense, this new Oval music as a whole is a trompe l'oeil, an acoustic illusion. But it's a very convincing one, to a point, where you don't insist on the specific qualities of the "original" any longer. These days, a flock of birds in the distance in a movie scene is simply "there", whether it was actually part of the shot or just added digitally in post - it just doesn't make a difference any more.


released June 15, 2010

Written and produced by Markus Popp 2008-2010
Published by Random Noize Musick / Budde Music


all rights reserved



Oval Berlin, Germany

Trailblazing glitch masterpieces (1990s), delicate, hyperreal, futuristic post-rock vignettes (after 2010), now even club bangers with a twist (2016) - Oval continues to be a celebration of innovation, skill & sensibility. With an undeniable instinct for the pleasantly irritating, the drastic & the dreamy, M. Popp keeps on pushing the envelope. No one out there plays the computer quite like him. ... more

contact / help

Contact Oval

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Oval, you may also like: