Friday, 8 December 2017


What does London Ambient mean?

That's what we asked London-based producer Loom of his recently released EP. He tell us over email that it's "an imaginary musical history that's in the air in London." In fact that is almost exactly, to the finest detail, what London Ambient sounds like. Snippets of acid-inflected synths wibble and writhe throughout; rave drums crash plosive and tribal; a conjuration of the city at night, its dimly lit streets, its hidden clubs. "So much great stuff has come out on London," he continues, "so I wanted to touch on that."

It begins with 'Heavy Glow', a beatless prelude in hefty synth and sub that sets the atmosphere for what follows—but you'll have to read our review to see what else we thought (a lot of things). We may have established that it's a love-letter to the UK capital's heritage of dance and electronic sounds, but what we were really bursting to know was if he was named after Loom, the 1990 Lucasfilm graphic adventure game. Could it be? "I've got no idea what that is mate," he wrote back. "It's not really the name that matters, it's the work attached to it." TouchΓ©. But still.


w h o   a r e   y o u ?   w h e r e   a r e   y o u   f r o m ?   w h a t   d o   y o u   d o ?
I am a person who enjoys making music, eating kebabs and DJing. I was born in the 90s and raised in rural (farmland, raves and dogging) Suffolk. Now I live in South London with my girlfriend.

h o w   d i d   y o u   s t a r t   c r e a t i n g   m u s i c ?

I thought So Solid Crew were really cool when I was like 11 and wanted to be DJ Oxide. I got some decks for Christmas started DJing, I was DJing in bars at 14 around Ipswich, playing old house music. I wanted to learn how to produce so I got Reason or Fruity and it went from there. 

h o w   w o u l d   y o u   d e s c r i b e   y o u r   s o u n d ?

It changes, right now I'm really feeling a lot of house, techno & jungle, so I'm trying to work them into my music. It’s very UK sounding, but I love the older US stuff as well. 

i s   t h e r e   a   p e r f e c t   t i m e   a n d   p l a c e   f o r   l i s t e n i n g   t o   y o u r   m u s i c ?

Club, if it's a banger, or on the motorway at night if it's one of my moody, beatless ones.

Even if everyone hated what I was making, I don't care as long as I'm challenging myself
w h a t   i n s p i r e s   y o u   m o s t   w h e n   m a k i n g   a   t r a c k ?
I run purely on instinct – I enter a brain-dead state to write music and try not think at all. Certainly other music influences creep in, plus moods/atmospheres/memories.

w h a t   i s   y o u r   m o s t   m e m o r a b l e   m u s i c a l   e x p e r i e n c e ?

Probably going to a grime/DnB rave at 14. We all knew the owners daughter and she would get us in. The first time there I felt real sub bass, saw live DJs/MCs, saw people fucked, drug dealers, gangs, plus the fear of my mum finding out made it an amazing experience. That real hit of adrenaline, fear and wonder I felt, I always try to capture in my own music and DJ sets.

w h a t   a r e   y o u r   f a v o u r i t e   t h r e e   s o n g s   a t   t h e   m o m e n t ?

Or:la – Wendy Wild

WK7 – Rhythm 1

S.O.N.S – Acid Dreams (Trance Jungle Mix)

w h o   d o   y o u   m o s t   a d m i r e   i n   t h e   m u s i c   w o r l d ?

I don't admire anyone but my mum.

i n   y o u r   o p i n i o n ,   w h a t   i s   t h e   f u t u r e   o f   m u s i c ?

New music will be released, some good, some bad, same as ever innit. I hope underground music keeps evolving. Most producers quickly become comfortable and lazy. Even if everyone hated what I was making, I don't care as long as I'm challenging myself and keeping things interesting.

w h a t ' s   t h e   f u t u r e   o f   y o u r   m u s i c   –   w h a t   d o   y o u   h o p e   t o   d o   n e x t ?

Start a label, DJ around the world, keep releasing tracks I'm happy with.

w h a t   i s   m o s t   i m p o r t a n t   t o   y o u ?



Loom Internet Presence ☟
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Thursday, 7 December 2017


This track, with its indelible europop atmosphere, is wave of euphoria, but dimly lit and soaked with rain. Icy chords wobbly softly, snowy and glacial, sadly fall like an electronic hail, strings spin tension, descending icicles of sound sparkle, a cradle of sharp throwback arpeggios whirling over a pulsing beat and the propellant bass both bumping the track into overdrive below the stuttering serenity of the track. There is this serenity to it, somewhere in there, the light at the end of the tunnel of urgency that it does summon, and it sounds like this for good reason.

Salt Lake City duo Rare Facture tell us that 'Verse Girl' was inspired by women "who have ended up in abusive or controlling relationships but can't escape." Continuing, they explained further over email: "It's about the reality of there being a happier world out there with someone who loves you for you. I guess in the end, like much of the songs we write, 'Verse Girl' is about love."

This simultaneous heartbreaking and heartwarming quality, brightness and darkness, energetic and unfathomably kinetic trance sound yet downcast and slow-motion, the dual nature of love spun with throwback synth-pop that feels as timeless and as timeworn as the inspiration for the track itself. The duo went on to talk about the video for the track itself, which in its monochrome and snow-filled way reflects the song's lyrical and sonic elements—and, in yet more echoes of the track's inspiration, in a case of "art imitating reality," the duo tells us, "the girl in the video is literally the girl the song is about."

Euphoric and dysphoric, the hard, sad realities of life and the specks of hope that come with it are reflected with this digital fantasy of sound.

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Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Gianni Paci tells us that he wrote 'In The Middle Of The Night' "at a time when many of the pillars of stability in my life were crashing and burning like it was the end of the Roman Empire." And with that in mind the savagery of the song doesn't just blast satisfyingly out: it makes sense.

"Rather than turning inward," he continued. "I took all of that anger and incredulity and channeled it out into this kind of nasty send off."

There's the guitar, turning in on itself, the exploding distortion. And not to mention the drums, which similarly pound their way supercharged and fuzzed-out between the roaring open chords and the regular crunch of that deathly palm-muting. The raw energy, particularly of the drums which sound as though they're being played in the room next door but still loud and popping enough to be featured, is delicious.

But alongside the incendiary drums and the gravely sweeps of abrasive guitar, the vocals play out in a different way. Not only does that guitar summon something dark in its quality, there is something in what it plays also, something sultry, close to flamenco in key and rhythm, which combined with the distortion gives it a harsh, metal edge. Further mix this with the crooning vocals and you have this subversion of doo-wop flavoured garage rock which has the vocals falling in line with that tone when Paci sings the titular mantra "In the middle of the night, it's a scary place / In the middle of the night, won't you keep me safe."

'In The Middle Of The Night' is jarring – not beautiful, soaring, heavenly – but clashing, verging on strange. But it is a fruit punch: Paci's voice spins catchy pop-leaning lovelorn lyrics, parts of the song are familiar – the pre-chorus "So what am I to do?" – and this is the sweet fruit; simmering throughout however is the punch, pungent and pugilistic, intoxicating, woven with overdrive and broken wavelengths. Together it makes for this wonderful inversion of norms which has arisen from what Paci himself calls "feelings of great loss and abandonment."

  • πŸ”” The video for this track, echoing the decayed aesthetic of the music, was directed, shot, produced and edited by Gianni Paci.
  • πŸ”” 'In The Middle Of The Night' is taken from Gianni Paci's I Tried To Right My Wrongs, But I Made A Left EP, which is out now. You may purchase it from Bandcamp.

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Monday, 4 December 2017


The groove piledrives through this track, the glossy dancefloor sparkles its glitter and the lights cut through the dark and dust. But mainly let's address that groove: bass guitar seems to somersault and cartwheel, it's an acrobatic full-bodied bass, tinged at the edges with metallic pugilism, something thudding about the way it curls like a snake covered in scaly armour around the bumping beat, the kick and abrasive handclap. Groove lies at the heart of this one, powers it, propels it forward.

LA duo Wild & Free, aside from these disco-summoning rhythmic patterns, also inject some faraway sense of darkness, of faded neo-noir, into 'Ferns and Stuff'. Stuttering synth arpeggios blip and boop twinkling in the air, and gradually there are these high pitched string sounds fluttering around this one particular note and effusing a sort of ambient tension with that soft persistence it has; and with wide sweeping chords that wobble with wonky progressions there is the guitar, half-surf half-late night jazz, distorted and starkly angled against its foundations. Vocals seem to speak from all sides, from beyond the vanishing point, a thin ghostly croon adding human intrigue to the dance steps painted boldly all over this one.

  • πŸ”” 'Ferns and Stuff' arrives courtesy of Lisbon-based label Discotexas, and is taken from Wild & Free's album Shapes on Shapes, which is out now also on Discotexas. You may purchase it via this hyperlink.

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Friday, 1 December 2017


JAAAAAA. The first big chords of producer Loom's London Ambient EP bristle with drama. The complexity of them and the progression as the opening track 'Heavy Glow' soars onward. The space between the chords and the robust sub that drops depth charges in these ambient moments. The orchestral clarity of the sampled violin hits versus the twangs of metallic synth that play syncopated melodies ending each phrase in a series of satisfyingly jarring triplets. The darkness and distortion of it. And the thing is that it feels like late-night London, the looming exterior of a club on an empty orange-lit street, and the slow-motion crowd of its interior; the camera turns slowly on its axis. It is the prelude to the three juddering tracks that follow.

First up: 'Aacccid', a track true to its name, featuring the overdriven booming kicks and handclaps that conjure warehouse dancefloors, distant smoke machine times, the vomit of strobes, the uptempo rave counterpart of house music that was born and nurtured in the UK. But over the top, in place of the squeegee elastic synths typical of this '90s style, there are clarion clusters of synth boops that cut the air glacially, less soft fizzy Refresher bar and more hardboiled tang of a melody pop; rave cymbals crash.

A slosh of crushing handclaps is the abrasive punctuation of aptly 'Dog In The Fight', combined with plasma kicks and a constant gloop anti-groove of sub-bass that gives it this urban swamp sort of feel. Beginning like an unaccompanied grime instrumental the track morphs into a UK funky sort of rhythm, complete with wobbling wah-wah synths, something closer to the acid that gives the previous track its title, a retro sound; one of the things that characterises London Ambient as a whole, these sounds of yore, a motif extracted not from nostalgia but from objective heritage and contemporaneous revivalism in electronic dance music.

Raving breakbeats thud and thump at the heart of 'Saturday Job At Laser Quest', part throwback dancefloor destiny and part heart-thumping excitement and fear of a laser quest party. The middle section is tense, poised, all the smell of the smoke machines and the strobing lights and the heavy laser gun in hand. Slimy synths drip-drop all over this one, a biohazard sort of sludge that gives this track a wonderfully dark edge to its retro-facing beats.

But ending as it began, beatless and textured, London Ambient bows out with 'Forever', a postscript to everything that's gone before. It's a touching swansong of crunched rumbling synth that fizzes with crackling decay and chugs along with a flanger effect, decorated with zipping little plasma synths resonating like echoes of the synths from the previous track in a cosmic void, chirruping like alien animals calling out to each other, and bitcrushed little trinkets. A simple melody plays on glossy blooping synth, melancholy and heartbroken but innocent in its melody, something human and emotive above the harsh electronics, the contrast of glassy clarity and the drone of the bass below, humans doing what they can in the murk of reality. A robotic voice wheezes the word "Forever…" The lights come on, the music stops, everybody has to go home.

London Ambient is both fantasy and reality, cinematic and observational, pushing forward but with a reverence to the sounds of the past. Crucially, atmospheric drops abound—even from looking at the waveforms as the tracks play on SoundCloud you can tell this. It's another relic of the past – another motif for Loom in this instance – taken carefully from the UK's earliest love affair with dance and a trope of the collection of genres that make up "rave"; the beat falls away and there is this ambient void in which sweat-jewelled dancers sway and eyes-half-open leaning on each other, an almost motionless vacuum; a chance to breathe, let the music sink in, feel. And that is London Ambient.

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