Loom - Astroloops Volume Two
album - 7 December 2015
01) Ladies Removing Lingerie
02) Smoke And Wires
03) The Happy Clock
04) Flights Of Fancy
05) Billy's Holiday
06) The Clockwork Rocket
08) Spooks In The Shed
09) Reversing Through Willows
10) The Echo, The Shadow, The Empty Shell
13) A Lovely Dazzle
15) The Light We Cannot See
16) Your Taxi To The Stars
17) The Lonely Spaceman
Loom is an instrumental album issued in a one-off print run of 500 copies on the Astrotone label. The album was a follow up to the extremely limited CDR Astroloops (issued to purchasers of the Eastwood Astroluxe Custom Ltd. guitar).
Nelson announced on the Dreamsville forum that he had commenced work on this album in September 2014 around the time that the Astroloops album had effectively been snapped up by pre-orders for the Astroluxe guitar. At this stage the album had a working title of Lustre and Illusion, although Crystal Springs was another possible title under consideration. The recordings were completed in October 2014, and with the addition of the final and eighteenth track, "Loom", Nelson decided to make Loom the title of the album.
Ironically though, when the album was at the mastering stage, there was a misunderstanding in selecting the tracks from Nelson's DAT masters, and the title track "Loom" was mistakenly replaced by a track from Quiet Bells called "Chiming Shires". In a rare lapse of quality control, Nelson had not played the reference disc in full before authorising the album's release, and the mistake wasn't picked up until after the album went on sale.
As a result of this error, Nelson arranged for a free download of the missing track to be made available on Bandcamp.
Loom (the album) went on sale on 7 December 2015, and after 7 days was taken off sale with the 10 remaining copies sold through email enquiries.
"Loom" (the track) was issued as a free download on 23 December 2015.
Available for purchase as a digital download here in the Dreamsville Store.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
"This will be a follow up to the extremely limited edition Astroloops album which was given exclusively to only those 24 people who bought the equally limited edition Eastwood 'Astroluxe' signature guitar of a while back.
Loom is an instrumental album using looped guitar parts as a basis for improvisational overdubs. It follows on from, and develops ideas first voiced on the 24 copies limited edition Astroloops album. In some ways it's closer to things like Quiet Bells but is somewhat less quiet!"
"Actually, I meant to explain the meaning of the album title: Loom refers to a textile Loom, which in turn references the way that the looped guitar riffs of the album weave in and out with various improvised overdubs, creating a rich and colourful tapestry of sound. Threads of ideas stitched together to form an overall sonic picture.
Also, the title refers to 'looming', ie: something which hovers over a situation, foreshadowing an event, a coming situation, partly with trepidation, or maybe anticipation.
And last of all, 'loom' echoes with the word 'loop', the last letter being the only change."
"Taken an instant - and extreme - liking to this album. Very much my kind of thing. Very direct, accessible - but also somewhat avant/experimental/oblique - fleeting, lovely, luscious guitar-poems. There's no way I could class this as "ambient", and the modest prior descriptions from Bill (as with Quiet Bells) didn't really prepare me for the sheer magnificent class of it. One I'm going to enjoy very much over Christmas and beyond. Thank you, Mr N."
"It's the album I'm listening to most at the moment. Each track is a thing of beauty. I put it in the slightly mysterious 'category' along with Quiet Bells and Dreamland to Starboard - albums which I can never decide whether they are accessible or 'avant' (probably both), and I can never stop listening to them. My type of music - sort of enigmatic and certainly remaining out of reach of my feeble attempts to review/describe them. Certainly they are more than just "guitar instrumentals". The map is not the territory!"
"Genius, Mr. Nelson, genius.
Where do these melodies come from? Is there some ultra secret, high end, super-store where you can go to buy these beautiful ideas......?"
"Just received my copy yesterday. Guitar fondue for the ears and in between. Love it. Congrats Bill, and happy holidays!"
"There is a chime-like quality to the guitar sound on this album of instrumentals. If you like a hint of reverb on your guitar, you'll love this."
"Instrumental track of the day: "SPOOKS IN THE SHED". Beautiful strange and mysterious. Sounds like a damp dark street with dark shadows turning the corner."
"Probably my fave BN release of 2015, (Electric Atlas running it very close). I absolutely love this album from beginning to end.
Beautiful melodies with wonderfully varied guitar tones."
"Although long time fans are used to the many surprises Bill throws our way, I somehow wasn't prepared for this one.
When Bill described the album as "using looped guitar parts as a basis for improvisational overdubs", I never expected the songs to have such a captivating immediacy. Because the backing loops are minimal, and in many songs more quiet, the guitar sings out over the top throughout the album. My favourites are "The Clockwork Rocket", "The Lonely Spaceman" and "The Echo, The Shadow, The Empty Shell", in which Bill literally serenades us with his guitar. Since we're so used to fully fleshed-out songs from Bill, this is a great opportunity to hear him improvise at length on a studio album, as he explores the exquisite tonality of his new Eastwood 'Astroluxe' signature guitar.
A unique album for Bill, and an approach which I hope he will revisit one day in the future."
"Weaving in and out of traffic on the 101.
Basket made of writhing serpents.
Trellis of love.
He wears a finely tailored Italian suit.
The Huichol Shaman's dream resurrected in multi-colored yarn.
Braided beauty in a pale blue dream.
Swaying in the forested kingdom of kelp.
Last night I saw the stars dancing."
"Ladies Removing Lingerie": "This really haunts, pleasantly. A repetitive, delicate, trip-out wonderment."
"There are ideas to explore and new paths to discover. Here's Bill finding out what happens when a simple rule is set – start with a loop, or more than one, then work out how to decorate it. I expected to hear the melodic results of an experiment with technology; what I found was beauty, depth and the joy of exploring. Put simply, Bill knows what he has to be better than (to keep himself happy with the results) and he knows that depth and complexity are not reached by adding extra layers of twiddly guitar grappling. Somehow this is an emotional experience – without movie soundtrack swooping themes and without love and loss lyrics. Rosewood does the same trick with acoustic guitars as the chosen territory, Pedalscope does it with bicycle imagery, and Last of the Neon Cynics does it with a cowboy comic strip. Give the man a new avenue and he'll explore it without words until it feels like home."
"OK, let's face it...any album that begins with a song called "Ladies Removing Lingerie (To Celebrate the Blooms of May)" is, A) sure to be from Bill Nelson, and B) going to get my attention. And it deserves it! Without a drum machine in sight, Bill shows us what it means to be a master of the guitar, with songs that are stunning in their technique and quality. You might not be tapping your foot a lot, or singing along (no vocals here), but put on the headphones, close your eyes, and let a guy who really, really knows how to paint with guitars show you how it is done. Dazzling once again, Mr. N."