Oval - 94 Diskont 2xLP
Label: Thrill Jockey
At the time of the release of 94 Diskont in 1995, Oval was a trio of electronic musicians including Marcus Popp, Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger. Eschewing synthesizers in the construct of their electronic music, the trio deliberately scratched and scribbled on CDs. Upon playback, these damaged discs would generate skittering glitches and microdot ruptures, which became the source material to their luxuriously textured ambient tapestries. The glitched errata of those damaged CDs is an ugly sound. Yet in the hands of Oval, these became liquid nirvana in the form a data-streaming electronica. Those glitches became so granulated and multiplied as to evolve into a sentient hologram singing luminous chorales from within the dreaming mind of a computer. This album predicted / inspired much of the digitally clipped 'clicks 'n' cuts' electronica that announced the turn of the millennium with all of its Y2K paranoia and giddy emptiness, though none of that work came remotely close to the emotional depths found on 94 Diskont. Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works, Volume Two would be the nearest contemporary parallel to 94 Diskont in terms of the scope and richness of the work, though this album also very easily fits into the pantheon of great electronic works by Eno, Cluster and Carl Stone. As with the original release, 94 Diskont is fleshed out with a second LP of remixes by Jim O'Rourke, Scanner, Mouse On Mars and Christian Vogel.