I already gave Oval a hearty recommendation - provided you're interested in hearing modem noise and thinking the CD is skipping constantly. That's as hearty as recommendations get when it comes to Oval, and it's more or less the same case for So's self-titled CD. So is a collaboration between Markus Popp, of Oval, and Eriko Toyoda, a japanese singer and producer. As far as I can tell, the extent of the collaboration is that Popp mercilessly deconstructed Toyoda's songs to a point where they are no longer recognizable as the guitar and voice ballads which I assume they once were.
Using actual songs as palette and canvas, Popp's usual schizophrenic transistor battle is softened somewhat, and the tone is warmer. This makes the music more accessible, though we are already at the outer reaches of what constitutes music in the first place. The best songs include both Toyoda's melodies and Popp's noisescapes as well as intermediate stages. Track 4 starts out with Toyoda's voice layered on itself beautifully, but after a short time it is replaced by fully electronic noodling and skittering static. Assuming you have the capability to enjoy this kind of music, which is assuming quite a lot on my part, there are many beautiful moments and whole songs to enjoy on this CD. The wailing stop-and-go implosion of Track 9 would terrify my mother and most of my friends, but none of those people will read this anyway, so it's up to you to decide if you have the eardrums for this. I'm providing what I think is easily the most accessible track on the album, so if you find yourself being repulsed by it, I'd steer clear of the rest of this album. Freaks only, please!
Here's Track 2 from So. I forgot to rename it, so take care that you don't lose it among other anonymous-looking files.