Loopool – As Dionysis (3″ CD-R, Records Ad Nauseam)

Drone, harsh noise, Music, Noise, Review

as dionysis

Dionysus is the god of wine, merriment, and love-making; all are probably not within the spectrum of what most people think of when they hear noise. But Loopool offers three tracks on this 3″ CD-R that effectively encapsulates how an drunken orgy might sound with Dionysus as the composer.

The first track, “First Born,” is the most fleshed-out of the three and the longest. Loopool starts things with a fast-moving synth loop, adding another, different version of a similar sound at a different time later on. The best part of “First Born” is the eerie, punctuated flute or piccolo that lends the track an ethereal, floating tone. It blends well with the loops and the god-like nature of Dionysus, flowing but with just a hint of darkness about it.

“Bacchanalia” and “Dionysian Hangover” feel more like an addendum to “First Born,” with the former a loop of many voices seemingly shouting in ecstasy and the latter featuring more of the majestic-yet-sinister flute/piccolo alone.  These feel like a comedown from the orgiastic opener, and yet they continue the tone of the release.

As Dionysis is a short release but one that’s quite pleasing to listen to throughout. Loopool hits with all of the facets of the tracks – the reedy tone of the woodwind, the off-kilter looping, and the adherence to the theme of the release make the CD-R  great investment.

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Loopool – Navigator’s Spice Trance (3″ CD-R, Records Ad Nauseam)

Drone, Glitch, harsh noise, Noise, Review

navigators spice trnce

Loopool’s mini-CD-R Navigator’s Spice Trance works in longer form, something that the project has been experimenting with of late. The release Steaming was a massive eight-hour long track that I really need to find time to listen to in full – that’s been sitting on my shelf for a while, just because I haven’t had any opportunity to give that a qualified review. The single track on this release, “Navigator’s Spice Trance,” isn’t nearly as long as Steaming, and yet it has many similar qualities.

It clocks in around 20 minutes, and throughout the track Loopool maintains a steady feeling of digital buffering. The drone clips and echoes, sometimes speeding up or slowing down. The changes in its nature seem randomly altered, leading to a trance-like effect that serves as a way to surprise the listener when the noise changes. For the most part, “Navigator’s Spice Trance” sounds fairly uniform, but a careful listener will pick up significant variations within the sound, especially towards the end of the track.

It’s certainly as looping as the project’s name suggests, but the warbled tone does tend to wear over time. The twenty minute mark feels a little excessive for this tone, but again, some listeners might find that the random pockets of new sound give the track a variation that warrants the longer running time. Loopool has crafted an interesting release, but it might overstay its welcome.

Loopool – Infinity & Infinity II (Infinite loops, Welcome to the 21st)

Drone, harsh noise, Noise, Review

loopool infinity

Loopool has been doing some great things with this project; these Infinity tapes are set to loop for as long or as little as you want them to, with a twenty second sample continuing to repeat as the tape loops back on itself. There are two single-sided cassettes in this series, and both of them have very different loops to listen to, repeat, and infinitely recycle.

The first loop, Infinity, features a warped and warbled bit of noise as though a recording were taken of dogs and animals growling that was then muffled,  fiddled with, and ultimately scrambled until only the effect of the recording remained. It’s a more interesting loop than Infinity II, which features a looping effect of oscillating tones and pitches reminiscent of a simple carnival ditty, only more muffled and bass-heavy.

But the second loop works better, simply because when the tape resets, the pattern remains relatively unchanged. When Infinity resets, there’s a lengthy bit of silence and some quick editing cuts that sort of detract from the original loop; over time, the silence begins to work itself into the loop, but at first it’s quite jarring and doesn’t really reach the same level as Infinity II.

But it’s easy to leave either of these two tapes on for quite some time as white noise or as something repetitive to focus on. While doing other things, I left both on for about a half-hour to 45 minutes. That means that even something as simple as a twenty-second can hypnotize while still making sure you get your money’s worth.

Loopool – Break. Broken. Broke. (CD-R, Ilse)

Drone, Noise, Review

Loopool’s noise is based on loops. If you didn’t catch that from the title, you certainly will on Break. Broken. Broke., a nine-song opus to minimal noise, drone, and loops that work well because of their layering and attention to detail. The album in question doesn’t stick to the same techniques like most drone, either; instead, Loopool disperses the loops with new layerings of sound that carry the tracks past the background noise it could become.

What’s most impressive about Break. Broken. Broke.  is the flexibility Loopool brings with his noise. There’s never a track on here that sounds exactly the same as a previous one, nor do two sounds seem alike. Instead, the album runs through a gamut of different genres, with the most prevalent being a somewhat dark ambient vibe with patterns atop oscillating and rotating loops.

In the more loop-oriented tracks, there’s a noticeable pattern that works well for the artist: take a loop, repeat it again and again, and then craft over top of it with different loops and sounds. Tracks like “Preemptive Strike” and “Labyrinthitis” use this method as a way to allow for an interesting mix of sounds, and it also lets Loopool drop out loops for added effect.

There’s also a few tasteful differences in “Distasteful”, a decidedly dubstep-like beat that fuses electronic tinges of sound together for a nicely rhythmic noise track. “Bluebeard-Audiocamo” features a whirring textural sound that oscillates, crafting a sound that strangely sounds like thousands of people murmuring at once.

However, this difference in sound can also be a detractor, like on “Irruptions – Dead Mix”, a live collaboration with Danse Perdue. On its own, the track is great, with an extremely dark mood. But it seems a bit out of place on Break. Broken. Broke., a more brooding track than its counterparts with not a whole lot of loops. The same goes for the ending track, “How Long Would You Wait In Hell,” a collaboration with Mikko Freeman on guitar. The track certainly drones well with a distorted, down-and-off-tune guitar, but again it seems an odd choice for an album full of looping, rhythmic noise.

Despite those qualms, though, Break. Broken.  Broke. is a really solid release. With excellent packaging and an artist name that is so aesthetically pleasing to look at when written, the album provides a great mixture of loops, ones that certainly make the listener feel as though they’re diving into a pool of them without surface in sight.