World Fusion Radio
What the future sounds like
|Styles:||Chillout, ambient, world groove, Indian vibes, retro|
2006 - Elderberry Shiftglass
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It is my well-considered opinion that there is no single world fusion act more important and influential than Loop Guru. The prolific and versatile duo of Sam Gita (Sam Dodson) and Jamuud (Dave Muddyman) were early trailblazers in the world music scene. Though ethnically British, the duo embraced Indonesian gamelan, Indian music, and ethereal primal chants of many cultures and blended them with post-psychedelic British electronic music. Above all, they embraced a sensibility that all music, regardless of its origin or genre, can be ingredients for musical creations. Loop Guru developed a highly distinctive sound that essentially created the world-influenced sub-genres of chillout and world groove and inspired a legion of imitations.
Dodson and Muddyman met in the late 1980's both veterans of rock music bands but looking to expand their musical horizons. They experimented with loops and world beats laying multiple tracks to create the soundscape that became their trademark sound. They released their first single in 1992, their act appropriately called "Loop Guru." Their first full-length release was 1995’s Duniya, one of the first true world fusion albums. From the opening chords of “Bangdad” - a gamelan accompanied by a trip-hop rhythm, flute flourishes, and ambient vocals - this was something no one had heard before. The basic Loop Guru formula was established in this album: a multi-track soundscape, gamelan, flute, syncopated percussion, mysterious vocals and even more mysterious samples, blended into a smooth groove that was dreamy but still spirited.
What followed was a flurry of activity with five albums in three years. The Third Chamber, Catalogue of Desires Vol 3, and Moksha were ambient/downtempo albums, while Amrita...All These & the Japanese Soup Warriors and Loop Bites Dog were more uptempo. There was a two-year wait for The Fountains of Paradise a very mellow meditative album with fewer vocals than earlier. Then, no new studio releases for four more years, though the wonderful grab-bag of Loopus Interruptus (Forgotten Treasures & Lost Artifacts) was put out in 2001. Loop Guru returned in 2003 with two releases, The Intrinsic Passion of Mysterious Joy and Bathtime with Loop Guru which marked a slight change in their sound (though still unmistakably Loop Guru) - the songs were funkier and more playful with psychedelic samples including Terrance McKenna. This trend continued with 2006’s Elderberry Shiftglass, a blend of exotic Eastern vibes and humorous retro kitsch samples.
As expansive as Loop Guru has been it still was not enough to fulfill Dodson and Muddyman’s creative energies. Both have multiple side projects including Loungeclash. No word yet on a future Loop Guru release, but there is nothing to rule it out. Meanwhile, Sam Dodson is busy doing remixes and holding court with his many fans on Facebook.