Which is not entirely correct of course. Loop will always be Loop, but the advances in recording techniques, mixing and mastering make ‘Array 1’ sound like the Loop we know and love, but better, warmer, cleaner, crisper, fuller, denser, more layered... Loop has always been somewhat of a strange band. Even though to the untrained ear they might make endless monotonous songs based on a single riff (or ‘loop’) there is so much going on beneath the surface. And never was it more apparant than on ‘Array 1’.
Opener ‘Precession’ is classic Loop; dense, layered, a brilliant repetitive hooky riff, the krautrock-like propulsion of the bass and drums and the monotonous (processed) vocals. But underneath there are layers of drone and feedback that really lift the song to another level. If this is Loop v2.0 then I’m extremely happy that Robert Hampson decided to breathe new life in his band. ‘Aphelion’ continues in the same vein and really, if you were ever even remotely into Loop (or psychrock or krautrock) you need this EP. And I will join you in hoping that it won’t be the last we hear of them.
Track number 3, ‘Coma’ is one of the reasons I really hope Hampson will continue in the direction he’s going in now. A gorgeous warm ambient drone piece (no doubt a result of Hampson’s other project Main) that fits the overall sound of Loop like a glove. It is seriously brilliant. Final track ‘Radial’ starts off with, again, 6 minutes of droning ambient after which it explodes in a fabulous krautrock piece, again echoing the Loop of days past, but ramped up to fit in this modern age. The last 4 minutes of the track we are treated to that droning ambient again, albeit a bit more unsettling and brooding. A fitting end to a brilliant EP.
At barely 35 minutes, of which half is ‘just’ ambient drone, it really feels much too short to fully make this a listening experience comparable to 1990s ‘A Gilded Eternity’. But let’s enjoy it as it is, a resurfacing of a brilliant psychrock band. Here’s hoping we haven’t heard the last of Loop and until then I will just put this on repeat...