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94diskont. is the fourth album by German electronic music group Oval. It was released in 1995 via Mille Plateaux in Europe and in 1996 by Thrill Jockey in the United States. It was the final Oval release to feature Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger. It has received critical acclaim.
Oval received both praise and controversy for its styling methods, such as literally deconstructing music and digital audio by using exacto knives, paint, and tape to damage the surfaces of compact discs, only to stitch the sound back together in loops of melody punctuated by the disc's physical skips. On its initial release, Select noted in their review that Oval "sound unlike any other combo" on Diskont '94. The review went on to note that group have been described in desperation as techno and critiqued this reference stating "try dancing to the sort of erratic pulsing and hiccuping that comes over like the read-out from a dying alien's electrocardiograph".
94diskont. was released as a companion piece to Oval's previous album, Systemisch. The album's centerpiece is "Do While," a 24-minute track originally composed for the group's 8-channel, 128-speaker modular sound installation named Wohnton (translates into home tone) in a stereo mixdown. The installation was shown throughout Europe between 1994 and 1996 on various occasions, ranging from art exhibitions to techno raves. A radio edit of the song, "Do While ⌘X", is also included on the album. The US pressing by Thrill Jockey adds two additional songs and, on vinyl, moves "Do While ⌘X" up in the running order to appear directly after "Do While", instead of closing the album.
Both US and international vinyl versions of the album came with a remix LP that contains remixes by Mouse on Mars, Scanner, Cristian Vogel, and Jim O'Rourke.
Select gave the album a four out of five rating, first mentioning the groups unorthodox method of obtaining the sounds on the album, then noting that "this out-on-a-limb approach wouldn't mean a thing if the results weren't so brilliant." The Wire placed the album at No. 5 on its 1995 of top albums of the year.
Allmusic awarded the album five stars and stated, "94 Diskont is undoubtedly a standout in the field of electronically advanced, glitch-heavy music."
In a 2003 feature, the webzine Pitchfork Media placed 94 Diskont at No. 47 on its top-100 albums of the 1990s list. Mark Richardson of Pitchfork declared,
Richardson would later state in a 2016 piece that "94diskont was the first sound of a new future".
In 2016, Pitchfork Media named 94diskont the seventh best ambient album of all time.
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