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Loop — Array 1

Loop — Array 1 (22/06/2015)

                        Loop — Array 1 (22/06/2015)Loop — Array 1 (22/06/2015)≡   Droning U.K. space rockers, led by Robert Hampson, active during the late '80s and early '90s and once again during the early 2010s.
Formed: 1986 in London, England
Location: London, England
Album release: 22/06/2015
Record Label: ATP Recordings
Duration:     34:25
1 Precession     4:56
2 Aphelion     5:14
3 Coma     7:13
4 Radial     17:02
Group members:
≡   Bex
≡   Glen Ray
≡   John Wills
≡   Neil MacKay
≡   Robert Hampson
≡   Scott Dawson
By DOM GOURLAY, June 15th, 2015;  Score: 8
≡   When speaking to Drowned In Sound at the tail end of 2013, Robert Hampson declared 'Loop is not a permanent reunion'. And he was right. As far as that particular line–up of the band was concerned anyway. Having committed the band to a number of live appearances over the next few months, Hampson announced that the other three members — guitarist Scott Dowson, bass player Neil Mackay and drummer John Wills — had left and Loop would be disbanding.
≡   However, when asked during the same interview whether there would be any new material in the pipeline, his response of 'Never say never' suggested the door was still open. Fast forward 18 months and here we are with a new line–up and Loop's first batch of new compositions in a quarter of a century.
≡   With Hampson still forming the nucleus of Loop's sound, it's no surprise that the four tracks on Array 1 retain many of the sensibilities and structural elements of old. ≡   Indeed, opener 'Precession' wouldn't sound out of place among A Gilded Eternity's heavily orchestrated mantras. Constructed around a savagely executed riff that repeats itself incessantly throughout, Hampson's vocal hauntingly teases in the background amidst swathes of effects–laden noise that veer from pastoral to brutal in an instant.
≡   'Aphelion' continues in a similar vein, its hypnotic groove albeit perhaps more accustomed to the sonic palette exercised on the band's second long player Fade Out than its more aggressive successor. Although new to the fold, Hampson's three co–conspirators on these recordings — Dan Boyd (guitar), Hugo Morgan (bass) and Wayne Maskell (drums) — have seemingly settled in with ease. Indeed, one of Loop's main facets back in the day was their surging rhythmic excursions, something Morgan and Maskell have locked down to a tee.
≡   Nevertheless, it would be unfair to suggest they've adopted a copycat 'best fit' approach to that of their predecessors, and on the closing 17 minutes long opus 'Radial' each component of Loop Mk.IV comes into its own. While the linear drone of 'Coma' perhaps confuses expectations somewhat, there's little doubt Hampson and co surpass them on the EP's closer. Again, initially formed around a singular drone, 'Radial' takes on a whole new lease of life seconds before the six minutes mark. With nods to both the past (Hawkwind) and present (Sonic Jesus) in its make–up, there's an unmistakeable quality about 'Radial' that has Loop's name firmly stamped across its grooves.
≡   While not quite on a par with the dizzying heights of 'Burning World' or 'Collision' from Loop's illustrious past, Array 1 contains enough moments of unparalleled brilliance to make autumn's projected follow-up EP a mouthwatering prospect. ≡   http://drownedinsound.com/    © Incubate Festival, Tilburg, Netherlands 2010, Robert Hampson, Credit: Vainsocial
≡   Joshua Robert Hampson (born 10 June 1965 in Bromley, Kent) is an English musician and composer, known primarily as a guitarist in the band Loop, which he co–founded in London in 1985 with his then–girlfriend Becky "Bex" Stewart. Loop recorded three albums, the last of which, A Gilded Eternity, made the UK album charts.
Music career:
≡   After Loop disbanded, Hampson formed the more experimental Main with fellow Loop member Scott Dowson, releasing several albums and EPs on Beggars Banquet Records. Although a strong signature in the early material of Main, the guitar was slowly eroded from the stable sounds Hampson and Dowson produced, together with field recordings and other electro–acoustic sounds. When Dowson left the line–up in 1996, Main became a solo project for Hampson, who then abandoned the guitar altogether, feeling he had taken the instrument to such extremes that there was no longer any scope to create with it.
≡   He deactivated Main as a project in 2006 in an attempt to free himself of the restraints of critical and fan–based reviews that still mentioned the guitar as the focal point of the material, even though he had not used it in many years. He was quoted in interviews as saying the guitar was a chain around his neck and he was unhappy to be so strongly associated with it still.
≡   Preferring to now explore other avenues of sound and its diffusion, especially multichannel systems for live performances, Hampson was invited by the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris to compose and perform on many occasions. He has also been associated with like–minded organisations and institutes around the world, exploring intricacies in sound composition.
≡   In 2010, Hampson announced that he would be reactivating Main, which along with his solo acousmatic work, he will start performing and recording as a more collaborative process with fellow sound artists. A planned Loop reunion (of the Gilded Eternity line–up) later followed, in a statement by Hampson in April 2013. ≡   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hampson

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