Boomkat Product Review:
Markus Popp continues to advance his Oval project with 'Romantiq', an initially audio-visual project that looks to expand the definition of romantic music beyond its 19th Century roots, transforming well-worn nostalgia into cinematic electro acoustic abstraction.
Not content with kickstarting the glitch with his early Oval and Microstoria experimentations, Markus Popp has spent the last few years exploring new ground just as rigorously. 'Romantiq' attempts to re-imagine the European romantic canon, starting life as an A/V collaboration with Robert Seidel for the grand opening of the German Romantic Museum in Frankfurt. Popp was eager to drive the genre into new-er places, processing period instruments in an attempt to capture the luxuriant spaces where the music was first imagined, Popp creates traditionalist vignettes that are anything but; on 'Rytmy' the piano elements are as perfect as a bank advert, but Popp plays with expectations, filling out the empty space with plastic strings and grumbly distortion.
'Amethyst' is less placeable, stuttering through passages that could have been captured from a radio broadcast or a chamber music recital, while 'Wildwasser' sounds like the remains of an opera performance heard through a broken pair of earphones. Like the high concept deconstructions of Akira Rabelais, Biosphere or even Stephan Matheiu, these confident manipulations offer a fresh spin on well-worn cultural detritus, and feel relevant despite their source material's ubiquity. Popp's examination of the romantic era isn't completely scientific, like everything he's stamped his signature on, it's also sublimely eccentric.