Dirty Loops – ‘Loopified’ [Review]
Although YouTube is home to a vast number of musicians of note, few bands have demonstrated YouTube’s marketing power as efficiently as Dirty Loops. A Swedish power trio whose fusion-flavoured take on Lady Gaga’s mega-hit Just Dance catapulted them into the online eye, Dirty Loops’ YouTube channel has attracted over 100,000 subscribers and 15.5m views while being home to just ten videos. Not bad for a group known as much for their collective technical abilities as their song-related skills.
Make no mistake – Dirty Loops are a musician’s band. Every track on Loopified is a compositional and technical masterclass, and no self-respecting muso is likely to run out of inspiration here. But what really sets Dirty Loops apart is their ability to appeal to a wider crowd.
Loopified is no mindless macho showoff showcase; it’s a set of addictively catchy songs that happen to be peppered with mind-boggling musicianship. Opening pair Hit Me and Sexy Girls go full-tilt on the notes-and-beats front before Sayonara Love stops to groove sensually and build into a strident and confident chorus. Avicii cover Wake Me Up is all melancholy wistfulness blended with rich atmospherics and an exotic-island-rave-worthy (and very…well…loopified) groove; Die For You unleashes complex harmonic structures, labyrinthine synths, inventive syncopation, and even a jazz piano solo in the service of a chart-targeting hook, making it a personal highlight; and It Hurts gets going with basement-dwelling bass and takes in soft chordal swells, a Bond-theme-style vocal melody, and a Muse-grade epic outro.
All of this, and we’re only halfway through. Loopified is the musical equivalent of eating a dark, rich cake whole – Dirty Loops are plainly eager to satisfy patient fans and intrigued newcomers alike, and in this respect they definitely succeed. What pushes Loopified beyond the realms of mere sensory pleasures, however, is the way the mind refuses to tire of it. There’s just too much variety, fun, and playfulness on display. Dirty Loops, like legendary filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, simply don’t give you a chance to get bored.
Take Lost In You, for instance. Listen to the vocal alone, and you can hear it in the hands of an average pop producer. It’s a good hook, enough to drive a song – and the temptation here, under standard circumstances, would be to marry it with some basic Apple Loop beat and copy and paste the hell out of it because (it’s assumed that) the fans won’t notice. But Dirty Loops don’t do this. Their respect for their listeners seems to know no bounds – and we’re all better off as a result.
I want to go into depth on the album’s remaining tracks, but frankly, if you’ve read this far you already know you need Loopified in your life. Listen via Spotify below if you’re still unsure, but I recommend heading to iTunes and handing over some cash money. As convenient as it is for fans, Spotify plays alone don’t provide musicians with a sustainable income, and record sales help keep signed bands signed.
That last point is important, because beyond Dirty Loops there are some seriously exciting new sounds bubbling away in the underground. From more established up-and-comers like Project RnL to grassroots acts like Maxi Curnow and Signals, fusion-pop / math-pop / prog-pop (or whatever you want to call it) is a real breath of fresh air in a business better known for retromanic recycling binges. With sufficient support, Loopified will pave the way for a wave of new musicians guaranteed to break pop fans free of the repetitive restraints of old.
And that is a very, very good thing.
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