January 22nd, 2012 | Album reviews


Break. Broken. Broke.


Any band with a palindrome as a name is okay by me. Loopool is one man, Los Angeles émigré Jean-Paul Garnier, and we’re lucky to have him: as much a “drone” artist as a noise artist, loopool has spent thirteen years and over 40 albums making sound collages out of field recordings and a sparse set of electronic and analog equipment. As you’d expect from an album entitled Break. Broken. Broke., this time, things are getting violent. The first track begins with the rush of racecars interspersed with sinister bloops—and the album never lets up, providing consistent scares and dread, as you’d expect from something with song titles like “Bluebeard-Audiocamo” and “How Long Would You Wait in Hell.” Though there are never really drums or a beat, as would be almost implied from a name with “loop” in it, this is not pure musique concrete. There are always as many as five or six layers here, and there’s as much “play” here as there is construction. In the background, “real” instruments abound, especially in the live track “Irruptions – Dead Mix” performed with Danse Perdue. My favorite track may be “As You Walk Away,” with what sound like bass piano notes against a backdrop of gentle zombie feedback. But for fans of noise, you can’t go wrong with “Lost in the Murk,” which has squeaky hinge noises straight out of David Tudor’s “Rainforest” backed up against what sounds like someone breathing angrily. This may not be your cup of tea, but the emperor does wear clothes.

-Dan Collins