Squirrel Flower "I Was Born Swimming (Polyvinyl)"
Destroyer "Have We Met? (Merge)"
Remember back 20 years ago when Y2K was gonna destroy all technology? (Looking back over the last few years, would that have been the worst thing?). Well, while the rest of us were hanging out by ATMs at the time in hopes that money would just come flying out of them when the clocks turned over, Dan Bejar was writing what has eventually become Have We Met? (Merge). Originally started then, and aping the then-appropriate sounds of Air, Björk, and Massive Attack, the idea was eventually scrapped. Well, here it is 20 years later and the album has finally been finished. The whole thing is mysterious (as all the best Destroyer albums are) with the sound landing somewhere between his normal output, and the sounds described mere moments ago by yours truly mixed with something of a lounge-y approach. Check out the ethereal “Crimson Tide.”
OOIOO "nijimusi (Bandcamp)"
From Thrill Jockey:
Sounds created for no reason. Sounds that come and go, and disappear into the air like a scent, as soon as they materialize. Atonal phrases that hold the meaning of words that existed before the advent of language. The wonders of a vortex pulsing with life. Just as a new discovery is actually a new way of looking to see what has always been there, OOIOO, seemingly from the core of their being, created a world of sound made up of parts well known that is strikingly precise and intensely original. After a six year hiatus, OOIOO has created a new album that goes back to the roots of being a four-piece band. The music shows the full spectrum of the unique sound they have crafted throughout the years, which can only be described as “OOIOO”.
Oval "Scis (Thrill Jockey)"
From Thrill Jockey:
Oval began in the early 90’s and rapidly gained acclaim for its innovations in electronic music. Composer Markus Popp championed software intuition over his own role in music making for many years, anticipating the AI trend in composition by nearly 30 years. Early albums found a critique of the entire system of recorded music built into every gesture. Popp toured with a desktop computer and projected his screen, constructing remarkably evocative and emotional performances from file manipulation. Each new Oval release saw Popp radically redefine his practice, introducing new elements and embracing new creative challenges, integrating cutting-edge technology and processes into his practice to ensure that each record sounded as contemporary and exhilarating as the last.
New album Scis and its companion EP Eksploio see the producer focus on composition, working with a fresh palette of sounds to create his most emotive work to date. Popp injects a newfound playfulness into his complex loop architectures, with both album and EP exploring and subverting elements of club music. The intricate, organic drum sounds Popp introduced on the Oh! EP and O album have here been replaced with driving electronic rhythms, albeit still approached by Popp as an instrumentalist rather than a beat-maker.
Check out the quirky build of “Impecco.”