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Not Overtly Orchestral . Loop Orchestra, The


quecksilber 5
2004. cd . dl

The third album by the legendary Australian Loop Orchestra in their more than 20 years of existence. All compositions are rendered with tape loops on reel-to-reel tape machines only.

The genesis of The Loop Orchestra occured in the ashes of a simple two-tape-machine-no-man-band, The Nobodies, which died in a fire in 1980. From those ashes, and with a pastiche taken from the likes of Terse Tapes, home of seminal Australian Industrial outfit Severed Heads, an ashen poultice was formed to take up further and more involved household heretical experimention, this time with reel-to-reel tape machines.

This idea was subsequently expanded upon in the studio of Sydney radio station 2MBS-fm amid a group of experimental radio programmers. Two, John Blades and Richard Fielding, were using the studio equipment as an instrument, experimenting with tape machines through processes involving cutting, dissecting, rearranging and rejoining prerecorded tape, creating tape loops and playing them back.

They felt a need to formalise their studio experimentation and so conceived the idea of creating a full blown machine orchestra. The intention of the Orchestra was for groups of instruments of an orthodox orchestra to be represented by reel-to-reel tape machines playing loops of the instruments' sounds. In 1983 an ensemble comprising 4 reel-to-reel machines playing slowly evolving tape-loop constructions, made its live debut playing a live-to-air performance in the studio of Sydney radio station 2MBS-fm in 1983, as The Loop Orchestra.

In 1990 The Loop Orchestra released its first LP. Given the extraodinary length of time between the formation of the group and the debut release it was appropriately entitled "Suspense". It was followed by a compact disc, "The Analogue Years", in 1999. The current lineup consists of John Blades, Richard Fielding, Emmanuel Gasparinatos, Patrick Gibson and Hamish MacKenzie.