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Oval (musical project)

Oval is an electronic music group founded in Germany in 1991 by Markus Popp, Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger. The group is regarded as pioneering glitch music, writing on CDs to damage them and produce music with the resulting fragments.[1]

Years active1991–present
Associated acts
MembersMarkus Popp
Past members
  • Sebastian Oschatz
  • Frank Metzger


The band's original members were Markus Popp, Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger, although Oschatz and Metzger left the group in 1995. Disdaining the use of synthesizers, Oval instead deliberately mutilated CDs by writing on them with felt pens, then processed samples of fragmented sounds to create a very rhythmic electronic style.[1]

Markus Popp continues to release albums under the name Oval. Frank Metzger has released some singles with Mego and the Internet label Falsch, and has started a collaboration with Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli from "TU M'" in 2003 that is called Steno, while Sebastian Oschatz is an interaction designer with Meso, a German media design collective.

In 2001 Björk sampled the track "Aero Deck" (from the 1994 album Systemisch) on her Vespertine album. Markus Popp was an integral part of the creation of Gastr Del Sol's 1998 album Camoufleur.

In 2003, Popp released a record on Thrill Jockey together with the Japanese singer Eriko Toyada. As a duo they were called So, and its record was self-titled.

After an extended silence, Oval released the EP entitled "Oh" on Thrill Jockey in June 2010. The pre-sale for this album was limited to 1,000 pressings and sold out before it was available to the public.[2] His first album in almost a decade, titled O, was released September 7, 2010, on Thrill Jockey.

Markus Popp also composed the soundtrack for a short film Retina.[citation needed]

On March 8, 2013, Popp released a sixteen-track album titled Calidostópia! for free on his Web site. The project was funded by the Goethe Institute and the Cultural Foundation of the State of Bahia.[3] Later that same year he released VOA (2013), an album that also emerged from the collaboration with singers and musicians from South America.

In 2016, Popp initiated his own label, UOVOOO. Its first release was French artist Mei's twelve-track album Partura (May, 2016). The label's second release was Oval's eleven-track album Popp (October 14, 2016).


  • 2015 QWARTZ Award "Lifetime Achievement Award"[4]
  • 2013 QWARTZ Award "Best Experimental Music"[5]
  • 2011 Prix Ars Electronica Honorable Mention[6]
  • 2001 Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction[6]



  • Wohnton (Ata Tak/1993)
  • Systemisch (Mille Plateaux/1994)
  • 94 Diskont (Mille Plateaux/1995)
  • Dok (Thrill Jockey/1998)
  • Szenariodisk (Thrill Jockey/1999)
  • Ovalprocess (Form and Function/2000)
  • Pre/Commers (Thrill Jockey/2001)
  • Ovalcommers (Form and Function/2001)
  • Oh (Thrill Jockey/2010)
  • O (Thrill Jockey/2010)
  • OvalDNA (Shitkatapult/2011)
  • Calidostópia! (Goethe Institute/2013)
  • Voa (2013)
  • Popp (UOVOOO/2016)

Compilation AlbumsEdit

  • I Said No Doctors! (2017, Dymaxion Groove)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Cooper, Sean. "Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2010-04-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Pelly, Jenn (8 March 2013). "Download a New Album From Oval for Free". PitchforkMedia. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Qwartz Music Awards". Qwartz. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Qwartz Music Awards". Qwartz. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Prix Ars Electronica". Ars Electronica. Retrieved 18 November 2016.

External linksEdit