Tape Loop Orchestra’s ambient concrète aesthetic embraces clammy choral swells and bombed-out, buried percussion in the first of a new two-part project following 2019’s ‘Interiors’ series.
Washed out and as barren but evocative as his native Lancashire moors, ‘Returning One’ explores classic TLO terrain for contemplative mind hikes. In the words of Andrew Hargreaves aka Tape Loop Orchestra himself, the ‘Returning’ project “explores the links between mind and body, consciousness, and how this affects the way we interact with the world at large”.
It’s all quite impressionistically and philosophically lofty stuff, leaving acres of billowing space for mediation, but it does so without coming across as challenging. Rather, he carefully seduces us to this mindset, using only the slightest human presence of glossolalic voices and distant percussion fed thru his tape loop system to conjure a vast sense of scale that evokes his ideas in elemental terms. These kind of ideas used to be connected with religion, but that’s not what TLO is about. His ideas suggest a similar sense of existential wonder and angst to say, William Basinski, as much as the supernatural explorations of fellow Pennine artist, Sam McLoughlin aka Tongues of Light.