Published Apr 02, 2015On looks alone, Loop is impressive. Packaged in the size of a 10-inch record that can be assembled into a three-dimensional sculpture, complete with a unique code that enables the listener to download a one of a kind assortment of multimedia, the 40-plus collaborators of the global Enso Collective (formed by artist and musician Parches) have delivered the very definition of a personal listening experience. Strip away all of the bells and whistles, though, and you're left with eight tracks over 30 solid minutes that fuse classical and avant-garde electronica with traces of world and alt-rock into a compelling tapestry.
"Piran-a (o)" opens the set with baroque, cinematic strings anchored by tabla-sounding electronic beats, and it's that marriage, of analogue and digital, that drives the album's best cuts. "On Slowing Down" features tense spoken word backed by delicate female background vocals over a skittering beat and jittery electric guitar work for an evocative portrait of the urban rat race, while the moody guitar and muted electronic bleeps on "(to) Blood & Otherwise" offers an unvarnished yet contemplative pulse. The rudderless, psychedelic and dirge-like "Mountain To Flame" is the only clunker on this impressively idiosyncratic venture. (Independent)