Loom Mix For The Astral Plane


In an interview with Passion of the Weiss’ Son Raw last October, Ipswich-based artist Loom responded to a question about the dichotomy of classic grime influences and sonic motifs that could be considered outside of the purview of the first wave: “It’s easy, I know what elements of Grime I want to use in my music. I know what I want to hear and the same goes for all the other influences I draw from.” It’s a simple statement, but its intent is what is important, a driving desire towards experimentation in a genre rife with both incidental and purposeful postulation. And as someone who references Erik Satie, The Knife and Wiley as influences, it’s no surprise that there’s something tangibly different about Loom’s output, a sound tangentially tied to eskibeat, but with an element of sprawling, panoramic synthscapes reminiscent of Tangerine Dream (without the cheese). It’s no surprise that Loom found a home at Mr. Mitch’s Gobstopper Records, a label that, while only restarted last year, has already set the tone as a forebear of what’s to come in the world of grime-not-grime.

Last week, we referenced the inherent griminess of Astral Plane mixer Saga’s production work, a sonic element that informs his work from start to finish. Loom’s productions are also full of digital dirt, dust and grime, whether in the form of roughhewn square waves or pirate radio chatter. Whereas Saga’s work can probably be considered purposefully blunt, the brilliance in Grade, “Mazed” (from Boxed Vol. 2) and the still-to-be-released “Pompelmo Riddim” (a joint production with Tarquin) is the elegant beauty that arises in Loom’s major chords. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Loom doesn’t feel the need to submerge the overt beauty of his work below, within or behind what we consider the “classic” grime components, instead making them one and the same. As grime and our apparatus for identifying what is and what is not in its sphere moves forward, it wouldn’t surprise us in the least if Loom’s catch-all approach becomes more popular.

“Fukushima”, the final track on Grade, is Loom’s excursion into the weightless/beatless territory explored by Mumdance, Logos, Dark0, Deadboy and others recently, matching soundtrack-level dramatics with the pacifying nature of new age. It’s made up almost entirely of square waves, but is further from classic grime than any other song on the EP, and, while it takes some influence from Wiley’s “Devil Mixes”, it wears its exterior influences on its sleeve. Loom’s Astral Plane mix features a wide array of grime-songs-taking-influence-from-elsewhere like Deadboy’s sparkly, choral “Return”, as well as songs-from-outside-the-grime-sphere-that-take-influence-from-grime like Untold’s “Stereo Freeze”. It’s a thoroughly engaging listen from start to finish and includes moments of chin on fist contemplation and hands in the air frenzy. It’s Loom’s ability to cohere disjointed constituent elements into a singular whole that makes this mix and his body of work unique.

Loom – Noctilucent

Arca – Thievery 

Acre – I.S.L.E (Beatless Mix)

Strict Face – Into Stone

Nobel – My Reaction

Loom – Burning Chrome

Spooky & Nu Klear – Liquid Nitrogen 

Livining Stone & Son Raw – Crash

Spurz – Black Locks

Loom & Tarquin – Pompelmo Riddim

Finn – BB

Untold – Stereo Freeze

Dizzee Rascal – Stand Up Tall (Celestial Trax  Secret Bootleg)

Torai – Bandic00t

Loom – Fukushima (OKLO Edit)

Dntel – Enid

E.M.M.A – Bijoux De Diamants

UTAH? & Smodi – Empire

Deadboy – Return 

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