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Peter Hammill

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Peter Hammill Loops & Reels album cover
3.18 | 89 ratings | 4 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Ritual Mask (3:55)
2. Critical Mass (8:18)
3. The Moebius Loop (3:05)
4. An Endless Breath (5:34)
5. In Slow Time (3:29)
6. My Pulse (15:43)
7. The Bells! The Bells! (4:09)

Total Time 44:13

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Hammill / vocals, guitar, piano, organ, synths, kora, bodhrán, Chinese drum, shaker, tambourine, rhythm box, tape loops, producer

Releases information

Sub-titled "Analogue Experiments 1980-1983", tracks primarily created for film and dance works

Artwork: Paul Ridout (CD release)

Cass Sofa Sound ‎- SS4 (1983, UK) Initial release

CD FIE! Records - FIE 9105 (UK, 1993) New cover art

FLAC (2010) Remastered version exclusively for lossless digital files download

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PETER HAMMILL Loops & Reels ratings distribution

(89 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

PETER HAMMILL Loops & Reels reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars Peter decided to go on his own and performed a true "solo" work. He wanted to experiment with sounds for over forty minutes.

And it doesn't work AT ALL for me.

These electronic experimentations all the way through are just unbearable. You might call it dark, depressive etc. I just can't find anything which is worth a mention during the length of this album.

It is an extremely hermetic work with several "instrumental" tracks of which "Critical Mass" and "The Bells!" are absolutely dreadful. What happened, Peter? One could already got an idea of what was coming during the first side of "Black Box" but a whole album like this?

"The Moebius Loop" is the first audible piece of music during which one can furtively guess some of his vocal capabilities surrounded by ambient music. Peter did already several incursions into the electronic experimentations in the late seventies/early eighties, but never did he produce such minimalist project. Thank god! The long My Pulse also has some short fine parts, but these cdan't save anything.

I can hardly say that this is for fan only (I am a fan and I have an enormous respect for most of his work) nor for newbies (gosh! what would they think!). I have no clue to whom this sort of album is destined. But not to me. His next album will see the return of some old mates. Thank you guys.

Review by TGM: Orb
5 stars Loops And Reels, Peter Hammill, 1985

A particularly (even for Hammill's generally unremittant work in the 80s) dark and disturbing album, with not a hint of levity either in the recording or the retrospective on it. Loops and Reels is an entirely experimental offering with little patience for breathing spaces, though it includes, in fragmentary and complete forms, some of the melodic quality Hammill's more sane work profits from. Conceptually, each piece has a design behind it, and together it is (in spite of the diverse providence of the various inclusions) a masterpiece in black; one of the greatest collections of dark, 'ambient' music I've ever heard.

Those familiar with comfortable integrations of 'world' music a la King Crimson and Talking Heads are going to be somewhat shocked by the intensely terrifying and xenophobic conflict ('the song of a culture/Not yet immune to/ The virus of progress') in this piece. Hammill's experiments in world music appear violently aware of his status as a sort of intruder, and this tension makes Rhythm Of The Heat sound like The Police.

Critical Mass is the first song employing the titular Loops and sound manipulation. Fragments music forms together a haunting tension, before driving their catharsis through a series of the transition through speeded and slowed loops.

Song and not-song, the hypnotic Moebius Loop drags you around in a circle of confusion over a bell-like chime, surrounded everywhere by looped vocal parts and ambiguous words. The exquisitely direct and entangling detail of the lead (listen to the incredible vibrato on 'recognise') pulls you onto the conveyor belt of melted, droning harmony vocals.

An Endless Breath. The sonic background seems to cluster into a voice-like buzzing, as heavily distorted guitar and organ snarl in voiceless protest against it. Two points stand out in the haze: the carefully integrated use of a momentary guitar 'riff' and the resplendent organ-over-pulse at the end.

Hammill's take on a 'dance piece' is every bit as virulent as his flirtation with world music. Layers of gibbering guitar and some thick smog courtesy of impenetrable exercises in analogue sound manipulation convey a sense of alone-ness in the crowd. The version here is rather sparser and more horrifyingly lonely than the disquieted narcissism off A Black Box.

My Pulse has the immediate sense of a hospital bed, with its direct rhythm and decisively clean piano and guitar melody running contrary to the winding delirium of sound effects that underpin it, before eroding into the sonic grit of the rest of the recording. A piece of modified piano with a drone impact, entirely electronic parts running underneath forcefully repeated chords and behind the pulse. There's a deep psychological weight behind every part. When the pulse runs out, the breath stops, and when it resurfaces as part of the piano, the breath starts again. The outbursts of humanity in massed choir vocals or the rare untreated acoustic piano are as warm and intimate as the surrounding loops and distorted sounds are strange and chilling.

And then - The Bells! The Bells! A slice of death, run out with the motif of the pulse.

Not for the faint of heart.

Rating: 15/15, Five Stars. Favourite Track: It doesn't work like that.

Latest members reviews

5 stars First of Peter Hammill's miscellaneous records - "Loops & Reels" is a record mainly based on tape manipulations and experiments with artist's characteristic voice. Dark colours of compositions makes from this one great album for the individual listening at the evening/night time, or perfect ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#58643) | Posted by Artur Pokojski | Wednesday, November 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is quite a dark and strange experience, even for a Peter Hammill album. It isn't so much a progressive album as it is an experimental piece of art. It may not appeal to the more strict prog fan, however for those interested in the more bizarre and dark ambient, Loops & Reels is wo ... (read more)

Report this review (#17945) | Posted by | Wednesday, April 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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