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Essential Loop (and Loop Related) Recordings:

1970 - 1979
(or, Return to Main Loopography Index)

If you are interested in obtaining any of these recordings, please click to the link at the right or next to the listing to make your purchase through Amazon.com. By purchasing through Amazon.com via this page, you help to pay for some of the cost of maintaining this web site. Some titles are rare so as much publishing information as possible are included with each recommendation.

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In this section:

1970 - 1979


1970 - 1979

Alvin Lucier: I am Sitting in a Room (1972)

Alvin Lucier's "I am Sitting in a Room" has got to be one of the looping classics. It consists of Lucier sitting in a room with 2 distant mics, 2 tape decks, and speakers. The recording begins with Lucier verbally describing the process of the piece, which is that he is recording his voice, and after recording, he will play that back through the speakers, and record that through the mics onto the 2nd tape deck. This continues for about 25 generations. At first, you just hear reverberation of the rooms acoustics as he replays the tape into the room. Gradually, certain frequencies begin to stand out, and by the middle of the 2nd side of the lp, you start hearing melodies and textures, while the words are no longer distinguishable. It's a fascinating piece, both for the process and the musical results.

Dave Trenkel

Fripp & Eno: (No Pussyfooting) (1972)

I was bout 12 years old the first time I heard Fripp & Eno's "No Pussyfooting". It quickly became the only thing playing on the family hi-fi. I remember coming home >from school, lying down directly under the stereo system with the speakers arranged in headphone fashion, playing this record over and over until each and every detail was etched in my brain.

"The Heavenly Music Corporation", features what I believe to be some of Robert Fripp's best chordal and lead work. This now legendary piece is a perfect example of Eno's then maverick attitude towards recording. The synthesizer (EMS VCS-3) is mainly used as a treatment device, enhancing the colour of Fripp's guitar voicing.

"Swastika Girls" uses Robert Fripp's guitar more as a source, than as a lead instrument, showing us the other end of the spectrum. Eno's swirling ring-modulated treatments are strangely aggressive at first, but later on in the track, a surprisingly gentle guitar sound comes through, contrasting the harsh synthesizer tones, which further enhances the heavy differences between the two instruments.

This and the follow-up LP "Evening Star" with the brilliant "An Index Of Metals", is some of Brian Eno's best work ever, and what was to be the beginning of a new direction for Robert Fripp, the thrill of experimentation hanging in the air like a warping Revox tape loop about to snap.

David Kristian

Manuel Göttsching: Inventions for Electric Guitar (1974)

Recently found this dusty vinyl in a friend's collection of early seventies German independent and psychedelic music (Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, etc.). Guitarist Manuel Göttsching's solo and group projects were known as Ash Ra Tempel. This record contains three 4-track solo pieces for Strat and echo delays, reminiscent of early Tangerine Dream's long, hypnotic, steadily pulsating, minor scale pieces and of Steve Hillage's phase shifted echo guitar solos. Listening after all these years, I didn't find the record particularly impressive, but I guess it was important for the time.

Michael Peters

Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (1977)

Kraftwerk got started in the late 60's, as a bunch of German art school students creating music entirely through machines. They came out of the same scene in Germany as Can and Tangerine Dream, but were much more oriented towards dance music. Their basic idea was to take the mechanized nature of early synthesizers, arpeggiators, and drum machines and use that as the basis for their music. Quite the opposite of so many who tried to get the machines to sound more human, they emphasized the imhumaness as the key to their music. They used the arpeggiators and sequencers to make repetitive loops and dance grooves, while dark melodies and their sparse, emotionless vocal delivery floated over the the top. It was a different approach to loops than the tape-loop idea, and opened up new ideas in dance music that spread like fire.

Trans-Europe Express came out in 1977 and was an underground dance hit. It is hard to overestimate how influential this album was. Some claim it to be the most influential album of the latter part of the 20th century. That's a big claim, but the branches of music spawned from here are huge, so it's hard to dispute. Juan Atkins, considered the founder of Techno, cites it as a major influence in his seminal music of the late 70's and early 80's. Pioneers of hip-hop cite it as a major influence on them while they were creating those styles in the Bronx of the late-70's. Afrika Bambaataa even used a sample of Trans-Europe Express as the basis for Planet Rock, one of the first hip-hop hit songs. In the eighties, the influence of Kraftwerk was stamped all over new wave, industrial, synth pop, you name it. If you ever wonder why so much popular music today is based on loops, here's good place to look.

Kim Flint

Last modified: January 15, 2006
Loopography originally maintained by Michael Peters

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