The Loop Orchestra - ∞8 LockdowN 8∞

The hyper-mundane as a trope was developed to a fine art by the artist known as ‘Orchid Spangiafora’ sometime in the mid to late ‘70s. Here were the jibber jabberings of the commercial media (and other extraneous utterances) pushed to their (il)logical limits. The results were truly bizarre (familiar yet exotically recondite), repetition & fast cutting creating a landscape of almost Beckettian verbiage with Firesign Theatre undertones. These were the recordings that inspired the creation of a philosophy of the hyper-mundane, activated first via the Nobodies and Severed Heads and soon The Loop Orchestra itself.

With a little repetition, the mundane (sublimely bland and blandly sublime) is transformed into a deranged, compulsive, queasily lucid depiction of the recording industry’s chillingly middle-of-the-road aesthetic world view. This then is the meat of the hyper-mundane; the aesthetic debasement of solid middle-class conformity... unhinged, shredding it’s entrails & slowly cascading into a grotesque yet enthralling miasma known as The Loop Orchestra; a voyeur project first developed by John Blades, Richard Fielding & Anthony Maher in 1982. It’s early fascination a certain kind of orchestral repertoire much beloved of symphony & studio orchestras the world over; overindulged pablum aimed squarely at the middle-brow listenership of Western society. Later (with the inclusion of Peter Doyle), a more nuanced & broad ranging excursion into the history of recorded sound began to come to fruition until the mid 1990s when Anthony Maher & Peter Doyle departed for greener pastures; threatening it’s continued viability. However John Blades through unflinching dedication & genuine affection reconstituted the remnants.

Engaging the services of Patrick Gibson (Ex-Systematics), Hamish Mackenzie and Manny Gasparinatos a new creative era began. Patrick Gibson was to be replaced by Juke Wyat in 2006 and the project blossomed until the untimely death of John Blades in November 2011.

–Richard Fielding

The picture disc: ‘∞8 LockdowN 8∞’ by Sydney unit The Loop Orchestra features artwork by Juke Wyat as well as the tracks ‘Sound Science’ and ‘Wheel-to-Wheel’. Side B features 88 locked grooves divided into 8 discrete categories of 11 loops.

Vale John Blades in loving memory of a life well lived.