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Loop Guru

Catalogue of Desires

Hypnotic

A pleasant sense of shock and well-being. I started listening to this record with the expectation that I would be annoyed. Maybe I even wanted Loop Guru to annoy me. I saw them three years ago on the Orlando stop of their tour with Meat Beat Manifesto. Prejudices aside, Loop Guru played an incredible set, they ripped it up. I hate "World/Techno," and my jaw was hanging wide open. Now maybe it's because I'm inherently a jerk, but halfway through their ("incredible") set, I got the feeling that on record, Loop Guru would be quite annoying, all four-on-the-floor beats, Indian diva samples, and Middle-Eastern flute loops. So I expected the worst with Catalogue of Desires , my first Loop Guru record ever.

   Oh what a fool I was. Catalogue is one of those rare intelligent "after-the-club" records. There are no real rave-ups, and some tracks are so minimal, they're almost inaudible. Opening song "Ritual Cluster" is wonderfully understated, and uses birdsongs without sounding pretentious! I swear to god that "Catalyst" has a buried William Burroughs sample, and then the drums kick in just so. "The Garden of Unearthly Delight" is gentle call-and-response between unknown wind instruments (though the jungle sounds are now beginning to grate "just" a little bit). "Mountain of Waterglass" combines ghostly vocals with field recordings or water trickling over rocks, and is stunning! "Rite Number Three" is disorienting and deranged, and is quickly followed by "Buruk Burang," reminding me of an exotic music box. There are too many tracks to address in full. Songs fade in and out mysteriously, just like the cycles of nature. Timothy Leary would be proud. Jesus, I'm starting to sound like a hippy.

Hypnotic Recordings, 13428 Maxella Avenue, Suite 251, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292; hypnotic@tunanet.com

--Matthew Moyer