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Baker's Dozen

Soundhead: Robert Hampson Of Loop’s Favourite Albums
John Doran , November 13th, 2013 07:37

Ahead of the first Loop gigs in 22 years, Robert Hampson tells John Doran about the LPs that he feels were neglected at the time but are now finding their audience


The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat
White Light/White Heat screams “John Cale”. He brought in that chaotic drone and it just splits everything into atoms. I think one of the most exciting episodes in music ever is the “my mind split open” segment of ‘I Heard Her Call My Name’ where it just goes into this howling, ear splitting feedback which is just so deranged and for me that is one of the greatest moments in rock & roll ever and it’s captured on tape. I just can’t believe that the album was recorded in two days. And I just can’t believe that Tom Wilson, who is credited as the producer, had anything to do with it. According to rumour he just walked out a lot of the times because he just couldn’t take it. Experimentation is to the fore. It really pushes so many boundaries all at once. I suppose it could be described as a concept record but it’s not a concept record in the traditional sense but they are seeing how far they can go. And in extremity alone it’s the greatest gun in their artillery. The rest of their albums are very “whole” and yet White Light/White Heat is directionless and goes everywhere… and by the time of ‘Sister Ray’ I guess you could say that it’s just a jam, but it’s a jam that no one else could ever think of doing in that respect at that time. It’s not a muso jam which was very much the thing during ‘68. It just forgets where it’s at and becomes something in itself. I still listen to this album to this very day and I still have the very same feeling about it as I did when I first ever heard it, when I was 15. It’s one of those go-to records for me, where, if I’m in a certain frame of mind, I just need to play that record and the world is a much better place.