From mainstream to fringe, these are artists whose wizardry is worth watching –says Mister Tim
Looping has gone wide. Maybe not completely mainstream, but there are a lot of artists making their way as solo loopers, and a lot of bands and artists using loops as an integral part of their shows.
These are the loopers I think you should know about. Some are popular, some are up-and-coming, some are, well, just amazing.
(If I missed your favorite loopers: please comment at the end – tell me the loopers that you love – and why!)
1. Ed Sheeran – Looping Gone Mainstream!
I knew Top 40 artist Sheeran started out looping but I had assumed he picked up a full band once he got famous. Apparently he still tours solo with his looper. Cool.
2. Grace McLean – Looped Jazz
The closest I’ve seen to looped jazz. She plays to her vocal strengths to create some very clever sounds.
3. Reggie Watts – Performance Magic
Looping as performance art. Besides being one of the gnarliest freeform improvisers out there, I love how much he gets out of minimal-but-solid loops.
4. Zoe Keating – Cello Loops
Extraordinary contemporary art music from a masterful cellist. Automated via Ableton Live, there are layers within layers. Wow.
5. Beardyman – Bending Time & Space
Beardy has been on a quest to bend technology, and the laws of space, time, and/or physics, to the whims of his boundless imagination. Huge tech rig that I cannot even begin to understand. His beatboxing sound effects are unreal, and his vocal abilities are underappreciated.
6. tUnE-yArDs – Band Expansion
Merrill Garbus started as a solo looper and has developed an evolving band sound that relies on looping as band expansion and sonic expression. Alternative, yes, and not everyone’s cup of tea, but I can’t get enough.
7. Bernhoft – Songwriter & Looper
Flawless looping and great songwriting. Songwriter loopers who are not interested in electronic or dance music, this guy is your captain.
8. Keller Williams – Loop Control & Chaos
A prolific musician who weaves his looping into his multi-instrument shows. I love how he surfs the line between control and chaos.
9. Julia Easterlin – Looping Textures
Great singing turned into thoughtful and beautiful textures. Vocal loopers should study the way she uses long phrases, controlled tone, restraint and space to create powerful songs.
10. Dub FX – An Early Looping Star
One of the earliest mega-breakthrough youtube looping stars, famous for his solo work, now looping with a full band.
There are many more great loopers… who are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!
Mister Tim www.mistertimdotcom.com is a published composer, award-winning recording artist, and in-demand performer, teacher & performance coach. In addition to an active performing and touring schedule with his solo vocal live-looping/beatbox shows, Mister Tim sings with Boulder, CO-based Celtic Rock band Delilah’s Revenge, manages the… Read More