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  • SO CD (US Edition)
    Compact Disc (CD)

    Original US CD release, sans the JP-exclusive bonus tracks. The download version (included) does feature these bonus tracks, though.

    Includes unlimited streaming of SO via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

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about

SO is Eriko Toyoda and Markus Popp (Oval, Microstoria). The group is a true symmetrical duo as both members equally contribute to the songwriting and processing. An absolute departure from Oval, SO’s debut CD is a melodic, at times soothing, technological demonstration. The album was initially begun as a reworking of a song cycle from Eriko’s archives. These archives are comprised of a vast collection of diverse materials she recorded in her parents’ house in Mito-City, Japan. Their sound represents a significant departure from the dense, abrasion of Oval's groundbreaking Ovalprocess / Ovalcommers series, and instead moves towards more airy and organic tones. The inclusion of vocals - processed and natural - and live instrumentation allow for SO's music to expand far beyond the constraints of the purely digital.

Perhaps following formats will allow the listener to fully convey the peculiar and conflicting underlying personal and musical dynamics at work here. Despite the at times colorful, detailed and balanced musical presentation internally, SO derives most of its momentum from constant confrontation with Markus and Eriko’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.

Fundamentally different in countless respects, Oval recordings are linear and strategic on the planning board as well as in practice. SO, however, lost the compass from the beginning and is a free project. Recording of the final version of SO began in 2002 and is actually not yet finished. Being more of a "tech demo" it was worked on until ten minutes before the FedEx person came to pick up the CD-R. Vocal recordings and guitar were re-recorded directly into the PowerBook’s internal mic.

Even though this CD is his most painstaking and complex work to date, Markus would like to see his contribution described as "art direction." 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 the SEGA Dreamcast and Playstation 2 in 2002). There are no song titles as SO finds it doesn’t make sense and is too much of a compromise to put English song titles to Japanese lyrics.

credits

released June 15, 2003

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about

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

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