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Looper - Profile

  by Erick Mertz

published: 19 / 6 / 2015

Looper - Profile


Erick Mertz examines 'These Things', a career-defining box set from legendary Glaswegian genre benders, Looper

Used to be bands put out records, spun singles from (or in anticipation of) those records, spun collections from those radio worn singles. Not so anymore. I mean, yeah, they certainly do that now and then but it’s not necessarily the road. Scotland’s Looper is a band best not defined by the sum of their parts. Predominantly the husband/wife duo of filmmaker Karn and Stuart David (late of Belle & Sebastian), they have produced a grand total of three albums, none of which has dropped since 2002. Rather than communicate simply via records, Looper has fed their audience a number of unique ways, through various soundtrack contributions and by way of their website, a self-curated reflection of Stuart’s vibrant songwriting imagination. With 'These Things' now dropping from Mute Records one has to wonder how a band squeezes a robust five-disc collection (one being their new record, 'Offline:Offgrid') from a three-album career discography. Is this that new fangled maths they’ve been talking about? Not exactly. This is that new music industry, the one unencumbered by anachronistic definitions of distribution. David divvies his songs up carefully, in measured chunks, organizing his spoken word ('Lexiphonics'), looped riffs ('Kinkocraft') and a smattering of crack shot beats and signature folk-hop ('Voxtrot') into thematic discs. Spinning each one is like looking into the same snow globe scene from different angles, high, low, beneath. If the erudite conception of 'These Things' sounds like an enticing means of accessing the band then the inclusion of a brand new collection of Looper music should prove the undeniable star. The band’s sound is just as sparkling as it was thirteen years ago; more than a decade of relative obscurity hasn’t been for naught, just crank up 'Oh Skinny Legs' and 'Farfisa Song' and it is clear that there is more than just one way up the proverbial mountain. One has to wonder whether the breezy, tender limbed charms of 'Offline:Offgrid' would have been achieved employing a more rigorous recording and release schedule. Placed in the stream with the four companion “greatest hits” discs of 'These Things', it’s easy to understand that some artists work their muse more gently. Truth is, no one knows the road anymore. That’s what makes Stuart David and Looper such a fantastic study, and moreover, a rewarding band to explore. Where they’ve encountered uncertainty, they’ve forged on, but forged differently

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Looper - Profile

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