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Re: looping=ambient?????

At 1:18 AM -0400 7/3/97, JFOG10@aol.com wrote:
>Hi......new list member here....enjoying the discussion. Recently 
>someone( I
>deleted the post before I got the name) brought up the excellent point 
>many of us seem to assume that looping=ambient/space/new
>age/instrumental/...what the heck let's throw jazz in there , too!!!!  LOL

that was me, glad to see someone joining me in my crusade against the local
ambient tyranny....:-)

>    Well...here's my 2 cents on this issue.
>       While I'm a big fan of many "ambient" guys ( Torn, Fripp,Michael
>Brook), this isn't really where MY muse lies. I come out of a blues, 
>folk and rock background,

I have a different background, but I agree in the lack of ambient muse
category. The only Eno I've ever gotten around to listening to is his
production work on Bowie's Outside album. (a friend of mine calls Eno
"music for yawning")  As for Fripp, I've spent almost as much time talking
to him as I have listening to his music, oddly....

A lot of loopists come from a folk background. Acoustic guitar soloists
seem to make up a strong minority. One person can get a fuller sound and
create more complex parts. Phil Keaggy is one example, I think, but there
are many others.

And don't forget Chet Atkins! And our own Pat Kirtley. Bluegrass players
take to looping quite quickly, it seems. I spent a couple of hours at a
namm show demoing the echoplex for a couple of bluegrass players, who were
sons of a really famous old country star. Can't remember which one,
unfortunately...they were great players, and within minutes were looping
all sorts of bluegrass phrases and overdubbing stuff on top. Worked
great..... I even spent a good half hour with a couple of nice ladies who
sang in a country group, explaining how they could loop their vocals for
harmonies and such.....

Jazz, Blues, sure! especially if you are playing a rhythm instrument. You
go to play a solo, and your piece of the rhythm disappears. Why not loop
it? Simple application, but works great. If you're in the Bay Area, try to
see Fred Marshall's jazz group play sometime. The bass keeps groovin, and
Fred's off with the bow....  I see people do that sort of thing quite a
bit. Great way to practice too. Also in the jazz vein, there's Tim
Weisberg, who's been looping his flute for a couple decades now.....

Can rockers be loopers? Well, there's Neal Schon, who used loops all over
the last Journey album. I believe its gone platinum...(you laugh, but if
you saw his gear collection and studio, you wouldn't! He gets to do
anything he likes these days, including a current foray into techno. I'd

And then we get more into my neck of the woods.....

I spent a LOT of time in my life listening to heavy metal. Metallica, ozzy,
maiden, slayer, exodus, death angel, pantera... the heavier the better!
Know what? I still like it! I have no shame, music that's aggressive and
powerful makes me happy. Music to be injured by! I broke my foot moshing
with primus, and I was darned proud! So what does that have to do with
looping? Listen to speed metal sometime if you can. Fast, tight rhythms,
long, structured songs, lots and lots of repetition. The amazing thing was
that it took so long for someone to make the connection. But someone did,
and that was:

Al Jourgensen. Ministry's "The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste" is the
definitive industrial album for me. The loops on it are great. In one
instant, Al caused metal guitarists and alienated synth geeks all over the
world to look at each other and say "maybe you're not the neanderthal/wimp
that I thought you were, would you like to jam?" Guitarists bought
samplers, synthesists bought guitars and fuzz boxes. Thousands of
industrial bands spread across the lands....kmfdm, skinny puppy, nine inch
nails... that was my intro to looping....

But what was that stuff the guys down the hall in my college dorm were
playing? Don't believe the Hype? I hate rap, why can't I get that tune out
of my head? For good reason....

Hip-hop is almost completely based on looping. Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC,
Public Enemy, the beastie boys, Dr. Dre, dj shadow.....loops everywhere.
Styles and techniques for creating looped music were pioneered by dj's in
the 70's and have spread to all manner of genres all around the globe. The
single largest goosebump experience I have ever experienced was PE's Fear
of a Black Planet....the rhythmic textures are stunning. If you've never
listened to it, you owe it to yourself to try...

Those early hip-hop artists were a big influence on the current candidate
for Next Big Thing: Electronica.

I admit it. I'm on the bandwagon and I don't care. I like this loop happy
electronic stuff a lot. Techno, house, ambient-techno, drum n' bass,
trance, trip-hop; there's a new one every week. The Orb blew my mind, both
on cd and live. Meat Beat Manifesto, dj spooky, fsol, aphex twin, I'm

What else? Why are most of my loops created with funk rhythms? How about
Dub? What's Matthias teaching to the Brazilians? What's happening in
Africa? It's turning up all over the place......

looping=ambient? Not for me!


Kim Flint                   | Looper's Delight
kflint@annihilist.com       | http://www.annihilist.com/loop/loop.html
http://www.annihilist.com/  | Loopers-Delight-request@annihilist.com