Exposé Online banner

Loop Guru — The Fountains of Paradise
(Hypnotic CLP 0589-2, 1999, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2000-05-01

The Fountains of Paradise Cover art

Loop Guru got started in England in 1992 as a collaboration between Salman Gita (Sam Dodson) and Jamuud (Dave Muddyman) to experiment with tape loops, samples, and world beat rhythms. Over the years, they’ve released music in both ambient and more conventional poppish styles. They also sold items called The Catalog of Desires at their shows, which were even more experimental. The three volumes of that series have been reworked into The Fountains of Paradise, now available for general consumption. In many ways, listening to this CD is like tuning in on some cosmic bandwidth on which all the sounds of the planet Earth are broadcast continually. Loop Guru merely twiddle the frequency dial, presenting Indonesian percussion, Middle Eastern singing, muted hip-hop beats, echoing violins, burbling water, spoken words, whale calls, many unidentifiable noises, and very few conventional musical instruments. This genre – arranging sounds into aural collages – probably stretches the boundaries of what can be called music for many people, and borders on plagiarism to some, but it is a truly significant modern development, one of the real contributions made in the last few decades to the history of music. The definition of performance has been expanded from the idea of a people playing instruments, be it with hands, breath, or whatever, to people arranging sounds, regardless of how the sounds were originally produced. On a certain level, a note from a piano, the rattle of a jackhammer, and the twitter of a tropical bird are all equal, all worthy of inclusion in music, and it is this esthetic to which Loop Guru aspire. It is a different sort of complexity than conventional composition, but the density of Loop Guru’s creations can easily sustain repeated listenings – there’s always something more to be heard.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Loop Guru

Latest news

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Paolo Angeli - Tibi – Part concert, part love letter to an instrument, this is a fascinating piece of work. Recorded in Bologna, Italy in 2009, this is a one-man concert by Paolo Angeli on a highly modified Sardinian...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues