LOOP have announced their first album in 32 years and shared the video for new track “Halo.” Sonancy will be released via Cooking Vinyl on March 11, 2022.
Formed in South London in the mid-1980s, LOOP blazed a trail with their potent mix of motorik beats and heavy guitar riffs, recording a trio of brilliant albums that set the indie charts alight before imploding in 1990 after the release of album number three, ‘A Gilded Eternity’. As critics enthused at the time, LOOP were the sound of Suicide jamming with the Stooges aboard a spaceship built by Hawkwind and piloted by CAN. They were post-psychedelic, pre-shoegaze figureheads in a world of anodyne pop jangle and baggy rhythms, and even their closest contemporaries like Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine didn’t plough such a distinctive furrow as theirs.
After LOOP’s demise, Hampson pivoted away from guitars with electronic project Main, before moving to France and hooking up with fabled experimental collective Groupe de Recherches Musical (GRM). LOOP were a distant memory, one that Hampson seemed unwilling to revisit, so it was a delightful surprise when they remerged in 2013 to play and curate the All Tomorrow’s Parties (ATP) festival, followed by a performance personally requested by Robert Smith of The Cure at Meltdown Festival in 2018.
Along with the live shows, there also came new music in the shape of a 2015 EP called Array 1, the first in a planned trio of EPs of protracted tracks which Hampson eventually abandoned in favour of the more direct pleasures of their new full length ‘Sonancy’.
“I dropped the idea of the EP series and went in an entirely different direction. I started writing songs that were much more immediate, tighter, dare I say more aggressive – although not aggressive in the old LOOP way, but with a spikiness. It needed to sound more modern. When Main petered out, I started working with people like the GRM in France, so I went in the direction of electroacoustic musique concrète. LOOP is completely removed from that, but there are parts of the ‘Array’ EP and ‘Sonancy’ that go towards the more experimental sounds. It’s not just guitar thrash.”
“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.”