I remember the first time that I heard Loops Haunt – I was in a dark room in Dublin with surround sound around 2 years ago. It was such a fierce and unique sound, I couldn’t get over it. Myself and everyone else there were blown away. I instantly returned home and downloaded his mini mix and I’ve had it on repeat and been following what he’s been doing ever since. It’s still one of my favourite mixes ever and having seen him live twice, I loved every second of it. He completely has his own sound and with his new release Ark, out last week on Black Acre Records, his sound has developed even further. I’m absolutely delighted that he agreed to do an interview for the site as he talks about the new release, his sound and fucked eggs!
First off I suppose. What got you started making electronic music?
There were a few factors but I suppose fundamentally it was born out of playing with plasticine as a kid. I would do that for hours, it was perfect for translating my imagination and I would just build loads of things. Unfortunately my plasticine dried up a couple of years back now so I buried it in the garden and bought a studio.
Where did the name come from?
It’s nothing interesting- I thought about it walking home quite drunk from a gig and remembered it the next day. There’s a strong possibility that’s not what I thought at all but that’s what I remembered. I have a lot of unreleased stuff under different aliases, I don’t have plans to release more Loops Haunt music.
The first thing I heard you do was the Ballers Mini Mix and you sort of exploded from there and signed to Little Big booking agents who have some huge names on their roster and were supporting Aphex etc. Was it as quick as I imagine or was it a long process to get there?
The actual motion of going from doing gigs that friends and I organised and the odd slot at other events to actively gigging, happened really quickly. But yeah, I had spent 5 yrs or so DJing and running nights in Dundee with different groups of friends and bedroom producing for about 5 years before that. I’ve been noodling with the piano all my life really.
Download: BALLERS MINI MIX
You’ve got such a fierce unique sound. Did it take you a while to settle on this? How does the tune writing process work for you?
Thanks, It’s slightly awkward to describe as the process is one that I hadn’t consciously developed. I tend to have a lot of projects simmering away at the same time and work on them when I think of the next parts. I don’t have any templates or working processes and I have used different approaches for different tracks. The first two releases were all hardware based and mentally were really just me scratching an itch that I had from playing with sound and listening to hip hop. The Ark EP was different in the sense that comes for a mix of inspirations, predominantly – space and surrealism. Artists like Roger Dean – “Tales Of Tropigraphical Oceans” was the first record I ever owned and the art blew me away. Dali, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, Zdislaw Beksinski and Giger all have an incredible sense of sculpture and imagination which is something I admire on a production level in any medium.
I have a gallon of drone stuff I make using different samplers and records, and that can be all about processing, then sometimes I can record for hours on this out of tune piano I have that I love. I think my favourite production method is just tying to translate something I’ve been imagining and have drawn or written down. E.g. Chalks Knots was this idea about these tight Atom like shapes twisting and crushing together then expanding into a huge vast space. So I suppose on a good day just about translation really.
You’ve just released Ark on Black Acre Records on the 28th. How long were you were working on it?
Some parts are older than my first releases so I cant be sure how long they took to make, but once a few things were in place then the rest happened really fast. The melodies on the three tracks are old but the production under them was worked on over a month or so. The Midi sequences that run the main melodies and drums in Ark took the longest. I started that after a mix I did for Electronic Explorations when I used a Roger Dean solo from “Yessongs” and was playing over the top of that, which resulted in the idea for Ark. This fitted in with a few other tracks I had so I finished them and that was it.
How does your live setup work?
I have changed it nearly every gig this year but it usually evolves around a mixture of improvised sounds over beats/ track ideas and then djing. I cant really do a complete live setup but its something I’m working on for my album. Some of the different set ups have been Ableton running clips parallel to a Korg Electribe and kaoss pad for sampling and remixing sometimes with a midi keyboard for playing some improv melodies. I’ve brought along an old Kawai monosynth a couple times just for jamming again and recently I’ve been using a king of hosting/networking application in MAX to process sounds and incorporating them into sets. I’ll work for about a week before a gig trying to come up with new things then I play one or two shows depending on how close they are, then I don’t use the set again. It’s not the easiest way to do things but I like trying to change it up so its somewhat unique even if it’s a bit chaotic and wrong somethines. My stuff sometimes gets broken too so that plays a part.
What is the Scottish scene like? Any acts we should know about?
The Scottish music scene is great but I don’t really go out much or keep an eye on new things. However my friend Samoyed who is the main man @Flask which is a our (label/music family) released his Spit EP. He is a genius, but an evil bastard. He actually works for Cliff Richard and wrote him a MAX Patch that keeps him alive for another 400 years…… That aside the records brilliant.
You’re now based in Berlin. I heard other people that moved there describe it as a ‘hub of creativity’. Do you find this is the case?
Never actually moved over, I was going to but then a lot of things happened and I’ve moved out to the countryside in the middle of Scotland instead for the time being. I actually spookily enough stay next door to the place where one of my favourite composers Alan Lamb grew up. The Pylons that used to run down the side of my road inspired his Wire music.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
This week I’m enjoying the new Kuedo album but mainly I’ve been listening to
Daniel Menche – Alan lamb – Klaus Sschulze – Phurpa – Earth – Iannis Xenakis – Mark Clifford
Any tips for producers?
A good tip I heard once from one of my favourite producers was – “Don’t over egg the pudding”
What does the future hold?
Probably just a bowl of fucked eggs.
Big up to the legend that is Loops Haunt for the interview.