Film At 11: Oval

It’s been almost a decade since electronic pioneer Markus Popp issued new music under the Oval moniker. The German artist released an album with Japanese vocalist Eriko Toyada as So in 2003 and was notably sampled by Björk on Vespertine in 2001, but he otherwise stayed adrift from the public eye in the aughts. As it turns out, Popp spent much of this time redefining his creative process—think less sound manipulation and more musicianship—the results of which are found on just-released, 70-track(!) double-LP O (Thrill Jockey). “Ah,” directed by Amberley Productions (which previously worked with Popp on “Kastell”), is stark, swinging and evocative in both sound and sight, featuring the majesty of theatrical dance and the hint of an underlying sinister expression. The contradiction matches the organic/electronic dynamic of “Ah” succinctly and beautifully, giving us just one more reason to be psyched that Oval is back. (Download an mp3 of “Ah” here.)