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Re: The "DT and RF" approach to looping

Kim Flint wrote:

> It doesn't surprise me at all that david would consider what he's doing
> with loops to be very different from Mr. Fripp is up to. To me they seem
> completely different, and like they approach looping in very different
> ways. 
> It also doesn't suprise me that he got a bit miffed about it. It's a 
> bit disrespectful, don't you think, to take two innovative (and quite
> different) artists and lump them together like that. He's not the only 
> either. I've heard a few other well known looping innovators express (in
> private, of course) some amount of annoyance that they keep finding their
> name in the same sentence with Fripp's. 

I think we have a loop of approximately three months' length going with
this thread here...

I wholeheartedly agree that if you take a good look at the music David
Torn and Robert Fripp, you'll see that there are profound differences in
the way they use looping, and the contexts in which they use it.

*However*, I also think you've got to realize that in the grand scheme
of the whole spectrum of music in general (or even looping in
particular), you can't be too terribly surprised if these sorts of
associations get made, particularly by those who don't have the sort of
knowledge or interest in this sort of thing that most of us do.

For instance, Kim, in your post from earlier today about jungle, you
mention both Photek and Boymerang as examples of "darkstep" drum and
bass.  Now, I personally can't think of any two jungle artists more
dissimilar than those two!  Photek's stuff is extremely minimalistic,
detached, chilly, intellectual, abstract stuff (about his own production
aesthetic, he once remarked, "The absence of feeling sort of becomes the
feeling.")  On the other hand, Boymerang's stuff is very lush, sweeping,
grandoise stuff, full of thick synth pads, echoey ambient sounds, and
the like.  To my ears, Photek's stuff sounds like a black and white
experimental art film shot on a soundstage, and Boymerang sounds like a
technicolor widescreen epic filmed on location.  And I wouldn't put
either of them into "darkstep" as quickly as I would others (though I'm
certainly no expert on the genre).

But at the same time, they apparently get lumped together, erroneously
or otherwise, under a similar genre.  (And I'm not saying you're wrong
in this, either; jungle has so many different genre names and alleged
deliniations that not even its own practitioners can agree on exactly
what means what).  And I think the same sort of thing can expain lumping
people like DT and RF together -- they're both guitarists, they both
play somewhere in the progressive rock/fusion/ambient quadrant (for lack
of a better term), they both do solo guitar loop concerts, they've both
served as sidemen to David Sylvian... hell, they even share the same
rhythm section some of the time!  

So while I completely agree that there are very profound distinctions to
be made between those two, I also think that there are legitimate
reasons they're associated with one another.  Overly simplistic reasons,
to be sure, but not inexcusable ones.

As for why Fripp always gets held up as an icon of looping, I've delved
into that in much detail in the past.  But to make the point in a
different way (and maybe to get a different sort of thread going), might
I suggest that we try and list as many different real-time loopists as
we can?  And when I say real-time, I'm referring to the sort of
instantaneous, sample or delay-based looping of a source sound that
tends to be the common link between most of us on the list.  And part of
the idea of this is to single out people who have a particularly strong
image in the public or general consciousness for doing this sort of

Here's my beginning (in roughly chronological order):

-- Terry Riley
-- Brian Eno
-- Robert Fripp
-- David Torn
-- Paul Dresher
-- Bill Frissel
-- Michael Brook

Any others?

Now, of the above artists, how many have made a consistent and frequent
habit of doing their thing in front of audiences?  How many of them have
taken their looping and put it out in front of people in a way that
really keys them in to what's going on?  

My point here is that if you want to eliminate misconceptions about
looping (or anything else, for that matter), you've got to get a sense
of why these misconceptions exist in the first place.  Fripp isn't the
be-all and end-all of looping, nor does he ever profess to be, so far as
I'm aware.  (And just for the record, he's not my favorite of the lot
above, either.)  But if you wonder why he gets pegged with the lion's
share of the attention, look at who else has done as much intrinsically
loop-based live performance as he has, for as long as he has.  You might
find it to beŠa short list indeed.


Or worse, that fripp's is the only
> name mentioned in a reference to looping. I don't think it's a disrespect
> of fripp at all, more like annoyance that people don't seem to be really
> listening to what they've done with looping, or that credit isn't being
> given to the people who were doing this long before Fripp or who were 
> more innovative in their use of loops than Fripp has been. Fripp 
> popularized this approach for some people, but maybe it's time to give 
> credit out where it's due?
> kim "stirring shit up again" flint
> ______________________________________________________________________
> Kim Flint                   | Looper's Delight
> kflint@annihilist.com       | http://www.annihilist.com/loop/loop.html
> http://www.annihilist.com/  | Loopers-Delight-request@annihilist.com