October 25, 2006

Nodding Out With Oval's "Do While" [MP3]

Oval -- 94DiskontSometimes labels lead you places you haven't been and didn't know you wanted to go. In the summer of 1997 we borrowed scores of discs from our college radio station (it was largely off the air for the summer) and went on a serious listening and cassette-recording bender. We basically grabbed stuff we'd never heard on labels that had released other stuff we knew we liked, and this led us to several superb releases on Thrill Jockey. Among them was Thrill Jockey 036, a/k/a Oval's 94Diskont, an ambient glitch tour de force that mesmerized us over the course of many hot, dull and unemployed weeks and still mesmerizes us today. Our favorite track of the trio's set is opener "Do While," a mostly weightless and completely placid composition that sounds like cascade of softened pocket change smoothly piloting a squeaky tricycle. Or maybe a gelatinous spectre walking a puppy with lots of metal tags on its collar. Thrill Jockey describes the song and its context within the record:
"The CD centers around "Do While," a 24-minute track originally composed for their 8 channel, 128 speaker modular sound installation "Wohnton" (translates to "home tone") in a stereo mixdown. "Wohnton" was shown all throughout Europe between 1994 and 1996 on various occasions ranging from art exhibitions to techno raves."
94Diskont is apparently composed of samples of skipping CDs, but if you asked us to guess the source material we'd suggest it sounds like the few times we've heard someone manually shuttle through a DAT tape. The set pre-saged by many years similar-sounding but more widely lauded records by Fennesz and Tim Hecker, records which, frankly, we don't listen to much these days. Oval's set, however, will likely never leave our IPod. We've posted below an edit of "Do While" -- we're not sure whether it is a detail or one of the remixes that came with the vinyl issue of the set, because we scored the MP3 a year or so ago from some guy's music thesis posted online (it was easier than ripping our cassette). But it doesn't matter, because everyone should own 94Diskont, and we trust hearing this tune will convince you of that if you are not already a believer.

Oval -- "Do While (unknown edit)" -- 94Diskont
[Stream 94Diskont for free via Rhapsody here]

[Buy 94Diskont from Insound here]

Oval | InterWeb

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