TWiS Listening Post (0001)
A review, a haze, and a video
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This issue is just for paid subscribers. It’s an experiment, intended to supplement the usual Tuesday and Friday issues.
This past week I asked what readers, in a highly unscientific poll, what might encourage them to pay to support This Week in Sound, and the results strongly weighed in favor of ambient music recommendations and an extra email. This format accomplishes both those ideas. We’ll see how it goes. I’m enjoying it.
Welcome (back) to my newsletter about the role sound plays in culture, technology, politics, science, ecology, storytelling, warfare, art, society, and anywhere else it might crack.
Today, we’ve got: (1) a review, (2) a haze, and (3) a video.
Oh, and one additional quick note about last week’s issue: Those voices in the Karen Vogt remix by Jolanda Moletta were in fact Moletta’s own singing, not simply samples of Vogt’s original track — so, “echoes,” yes, but not literal echoes.
And thanks for your ongoing support. A reply to this newsletter is a good way to get in touch. My name is Marc Weidenbaum and I live in San Francisco and at Disquiet.com.
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1. A REVIEW
SCRATCH THAT GLITCH: It was a pleasure to review Romantiq, the new album from Oval (born Markus Popp), for Pitchfork. Here are the first two paragraphs, and you can read the full piece, which was published on Monday, over at pitchfork.com. The album came out last Friday.
If you’re worried about the fate of your favorite musicians in the face of AI, consider the case study that is Markus Popp. In the early 1990s, recording under the name Oval, Popp became synonymous with the concept of glitch: electronic music featuring prominent elements stuttering and repeating like a worn compact disc that had been dropped too many times.
Oval started off as a group and condensed until it was just Popp, all on his texturally fractured lonesome. As time passed, that delirious ambient glitch style—Oval’s signature, even if employed by other musicians—was beset by a plight more dire than mere ubiquity. Glitch became easily available to the least self-motivated producers through a growing assortment of push-button software plug-ins, as well as through hardware emulation. And it’s only gotten easier to achieve; today’s tools promise “glitches and stutters similar to a scratched CD” and “steady rhythmic glitching reminiscent of a skipping CD player.” Sometimes the revolution isn’t televised; it’s productized.
Here’s the album on Bandcamp for streaming, and album.link will helpfully take you to most of the places it’s available.
Some additional thoughts that my Pitchfork review didn’t have room for:
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