The loop genre is one that always manages to surprise me. I think when people often hear the label, they go straight to an electronic and futuristic perspective. The truth is loop methodology can be used in a variety of moods and settings. Luckily, I now have Mike Bodulow, a solo loop artist, to hold up as a perfect example of just how far reaching loop is these days. His debut album is Sequencing (how utterly perfect right?) and made quite an impression. With just a loop station and grand imagination, Bodulow has created deeply atmospheric and wide ranged musical movements.
This is an instrumental album with a focus on lo-fi post-rock experiences that paints with a wide variety of brushes. The entire album is very warm and breezy; it breathes. This is the sort of music that you can utilize in a score-like setting whether it be movies, television, film even video games. Lots of piano in here which is used so thoughtfully. It’s all very fluid, very little percussive influence if any. You will get a tiny traditional drum taste in “Used to Have A Band To Play With” and it’s very cool.
The first two tracks, “Inspire Me” and “It’s Setting In” are truly breathtaking. For me I saw sprawling landscapes that went on for miles, although I saw them in brilliant color stories with acidic filters. Especially with “It’s Setting In” I could really enjoy the natural circular nature of the music. Loop is fascinating in that the artist can choose to relish in the physical form of the looping or hide it. Bodulow has a good mixture of both. I will say I was more drawn in when he embraced that circular motion. The couple of songs that followed fell a little flat in comparison and I think that’s because they were so much more intimate, which is not a bad thing. I do think some additional, out of the box samples might have given those very lo-fi intimate experiences a little something extra. Back to “Used To Have A Band To Play With;” the effects there are truly fantastic. Such a beautiful movement that evokes nostalgia and sentimentality.
Being a bassist, Bodulow used extra care when it came to recording his bass work applying compression and EQ very effectively. His weapon of choice was Ableton Live Lite. All the choices he made in regards to the album’s production allow him to perform these pieces live which is very exciting to me. This music has a call to the wild that I think would do very well in an open-air setting.
I really appreciate Bodulow’s point of view and his spin on the loop genre. I think he is doing something noteworthy especially with his priorities being set with live performances in mind. I have seen my share of score albums, but nothing of this particular make. It’s very bare bones and drives its point home with subtle movements rather than grandiose crescendos. Taking that approach can be a risk. In this case it paid off.
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