Peter Hammill

Loops & Reels

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Peter Hammill fans should be warned that Loops & Reels is a bit of an experiment, and not comparable to any of his other releases (Hammill himself calls this album an abnormal work). Originally an inadequate-sounding, tape-only release in 1983, it has since been remastered as a CD, which obviously helped clear up the muddy sound. And although it contains some interesting compositions, a few too many self-indulgent tape experiments keep the album from becoming anything more than an oddity. The first track on the album, "A Ritual Mask," features Hammill's voice accompanied by a foreign stringed instrument called a kora, with primitive drumming being added later in the tune. And "The Moebius Loop" turns out to be a successful experiment, with Hammill singing over a repetitive loop of simple piano and unearthly backing vocals. But it's pointless and overtly long tracks like "An Endless Breath" and "My Pulse" that test one's patience after awhile, since they contain no real music, just sonic scraps and buzzes. Loops & Reels is of interest only to the Peter Hammill completist; casual fans should begin with one of his "proper" albums.

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