Oval reimagines the piano in the dizzying video for “Improg”:
New album Scis and companion EP Eksploio out now
“a great example of Popp’s talent for making ambitious experiments sound both playful and coy” – Pitchfork
Following the recent release of his hypermelodic new Oval album Scis, pioneering producer Markus Popp has shared the new video for single “Improg”. Much like the track, Russian visual artist Sveta Rybkina’s video for “Improg” takes the humble piano as its starting point, manipulating its form and sculpting it into a dizzying, ecstatic barrage of digital patterns.
The piano motif stemmed from Rybkina’s early batch of sketches for the Scis album cover, resurfacing once again when the artist was working with Popp on the live visuals for the album premiere at Kantine am Berghain in Berlin last month. He elaborates: “Initially, there were many attempts at making live action footage of a piano work (famous piano scenes in movies, piano-themed documentaries, videos of music/art performances featuring pianos etc), but ultimately, a CAD-rendered piano was chosen as the way to go, as it offered the most creative control”. Rybkina eschewed off-the-shelf animation tools and instead scripted the video manually, frame-by-frame, mirroring the meticulous level of detail Popp worked into the track’s intricate instrument loops.
Oval began in the early 90’s and rapidly gained acclaim for its innovations in electronic music. Each new 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. Where early compositions saw Popp tinkering with software and systems to reduce his own visible hand in the music, Scis and its accompanying EP Eksploio instead foreground the human element in his creation, shifting focus from process to composition. Both records see Popp exploring and subverting elements of club music and experimenting with a new palette of sounds to create some of his most immediate and emotive work to date.
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