Loop creates noise with his upcoming album 'Sonancy'
24 November 2021
The album will be released on March 11th, 2022
“Style wise, it’s incredibly different, going back to thinking about guitars and guitar sounds. Obviously you have to take into consideration things like percussive elements such as drums, which I haven’t been using in my other projects; but this is the mindset that makes up Loop.”
So says Robert Hampson, the indefatigable visionary behind inspirational sonic architects Loop, who's eagerly anticipated fourth LP ‘Sonancy’ (Latin for “to create noise”) is the perfect document for these strange times. Dynamic, dystopian, righteously angry and unashamedly Loop-ian, it’s an album that marks a vital re-emergence for Hampson and co.
“My motto has always been ‘Forward’ and I always try to do something new with each record. I always try to push different influences in there. Specifically for this record, I wanted to counter the idea of the Array EP, on which all the tracks were longer and drawn out. They still had the motorik element of bands like Neu! and CAN, but Loop’s always had that. With Sonancy I also wanted to take a post-punk sound, spin it on its head and mix it with a psych influence. A total gumbo. Which has always been Loop, this mash up of spicy rhythms.”
Indeed, with its rich mixture of styles and cadences, 'Sonancy' is the sound of Loop in the 21st century, Hampson’s intense guitar work anchored by propulsive backing in service of songs with clinically dissociative titles such as ‘Eolian’, ‘Supra’, ‘Penumbra’ and ‘Fermion’.
“People who know my music well know that from the last Loop album onwards, my interest in chemistry, science and astronomy have come to the fore,” Hampson elaborates. “I use those titles but I use them in an abstract context. With the cutback, minimalist sound I wanted for this record, I wanted to do that with the lyrics and the titles as well. It’s very immediate. The songs are shorter in length, the lyrics more minimal than ever.
“I’m often asked to print the lyrics but I want people to approach our records with a sense of mystery, so you don’t necessarily know what’s going on. You may call it challenging. I’m influenced by J.G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick to a certain degree. Lyrically, if you listen to it intently, there’s this dystopian outlook. There’s a lot of anger in there. I don’t like seeing the wanton abuse of power, which is what we’re seeing right now and I’m disgusted by it. I wouldn’t say 'Sonancy' is bleak though because I’m one of those people who believes there’s a chance for change. That may be naïve, but I always hope that people will come out of this coma they all seem to be in. I’ve imbued the lyrics with a little bit of hope.”
Hope is a powerful force, one perhaps needed more than ever today. Pandemic lockdowns stretched the making of 'Sonancy', recorded at long-term Loop soundman Joe Garcia’s Bristol-based studio Joe’s Garage, from an expected couple of weeks to almost a year. Still, if recording was elongated, the experience was made easier by the interplay between the members of what is the most enduring line-up of Loop to date.
Today, Loop stand as innovators in a musical world that has embraced and followed their defiantly individual sound – there are hundreds of contemporary neo-psych artists out there who arguably would not exist without Loop’s pioneering music, music that continues to evolve and grow in the most startling of ways on 'Sonancy'.
“It crosses my mind that there are a myriad of those kinds of bands out there, and if I’ve influenced anybody, wonderful. Ultimately, however, Loop is Loop. I wouldn’t call us space rock, I wouldn’t call us psych, I wouldn’t call us Krautrock. We’re Loop. Whatever comes out under the name Loop is Loop.”
Welcome to 'Sonancy', a sound that is most definitely Loop.