Voa cover



Voa felt like quite a significant, and surprising, leap for Oval at the time of its release – alongside its sister album, Calidostopia!, it marked the first time Oval had featured vocalists since 1993’s Wohnton, and while Oval’s Markus Popp had worked with a vocalist on his So project, Voa felt different. Both Voa and Calidostopia! emerged from a ten-day session in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, though Voa is leavened with instrumental material Popp subsequently recorded. What’s surprising, here, is how well the vocalists from Brazil merge with Popp’s newly minted musical vocabulary of glinting faux-strings, crinkling textures, and nervy stutter-beats. Agustin Albrieu’s rich croon serves songs like “Drift” well, though it’s the performances from Dandara that really stand out – her Gal Costa-esque playfulness merges beautifully with the hyperactive energy of Popp’s production on “Stop Motion I,” and the mesmeric, chiming “Heroic.”

Jon Dale