Music* Loop – Pulse (Peel Session) / Photography* Gottfried Helnwein – Modern Sleep

Music & Visions selected by Anna Lisa DM

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Pulse, from Fade Out studio album, Head, 1988.
Loop was formed in Croydon, London, 1986 by Robert Hampson (vocals/guitars) and partner Beki Stewart (Bex) on drums. After finding Glen Ray on bass, through an advert in Melody Maker, they began to perform live and were quickly signed to HEAD Records run by Jeff Barrett (Heavenly) who released their feedback-drenched debut 12” 16 Dreams.
Following line-up changes – the arrival of new drummer John Wills, new bassist Neil MacKay and James Endeacott on second guitar the band were to take a more primal rhythmic foundation captured on their impressive debut full-length Heavens End (1987).
The band managed to hypnotise all with their discordant trance-like spell which served as an antidote to the prevailing trend in British pop at the time – they resurrected the concept of loud out there-rock for a new era, creating droning soundscapes of bleak beauty and harsh dissonance, loosely influenced by bands such as The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, The MC5, but retaining an avant-garde and experimental edge from Can, Faust, Neu!, Rhys Chatham, Glenn Branca and minimalist systems music, to name but a few.  Live shows were revelatory, Loop, allowing LOUD as an constant descriptive term, they pushed PAs to the very edge of their existence, creating a sonic pummel not really experienced since.
A collection of singles and B-sides, The World in Your Eyes, appeared on HEAD in 1987 and after the departure of Endeacott the band signed to the Chapter 22 label, releasing the Collision 12″ as well their more sparse and discordant second full-length, Fade Out.
With another label change, this time to Situation Two Records, the band replaced Endeacott’s vacant position with Scott Dowson and veered towards more ethereal soundscapes on  A Gilded Eternity (1990) which was to be their final album.
After 4 years of pushing the boundaries, the band disbanded with only a BBC sessions collection Wolf Flow (1991) released after the band’s demise.
The Band’s catalogue was remastered and reissued on CD in 2008-2009.

Gottfried Helnwein
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Gottfried Helnwein (born 8 October 1948) is an Austrian-Irish visual artist. He has worked as a painter, draftsman, photographer, muralist, sculptor, installation and performance artist, using a wide variety of techniques and media.
His work is concerned primarily with psychological and sociological anxiety, historical issues and political topics. His subject matter is the human condition. The metaphor for his art is dominated by the image of the child, particularly the wounded child, scarred physically and emotionally from within. His works often reference taboo and controversial issues from recent history, especially the Nazi rule and the horror of the Holocaust. As a result, his work is often considered provocative and controversial.
Helnwein studied at the University of Visual Art in Vienna (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Wien). He lives and works in Ireland and Los Angeles.

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