Our 5 Favorite Looping Artists
    • THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012

    • Posted by: Malcolm Donaldson

    In celebration of our recent concert video featuring Yellow Ostrich, we have compiled our five favorite artists who have mastered the art of live looping. Some do it because they're lone wolves in need of an extra sound, some do it to change up the pace on a record, and some just do it because it sounds awesome. Here, in no particular order are our five favorite loopers.

    1. tUnE-yArDs

    When I think of looping, the first person I think of is the extremely talented Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs. Since the inception of her project in 2006, she has always been looping her voice and impressively sparse drum kit to create an enormous sound. "Bizness," a single from last year's w h o k i l l, is a great example of her talent in looping and her infectious live energy.

    2. Reggie Watts

    There's really no comedian that is anything like Reggie Watts. His sense of humor and easy going personality is really one of a kind. When you watch his videos it's easy to get lulled into his charm and forget that what he's doing is actually very difficult. He loops, sings, plays piano and makes jokes all at the same time, completely improvised. Watch here as Reggie does his thing on Conan. Click ahead to the 1:25 mark to begin the song, although the introduction is pretty excellent too.

    3. Yellow Ostrich

    As a group, Yellow Ostrich has many talents, and live looping just happens to be one of them. On many tracks lead singer and songwriter Alex Schaaf will loop his unique voice, creating an unusual foundation upon which the group will build for the rest of the song. Watch Yellow Ostrich play "Whale" at Piano's below, and don't miss our recent exclusive concert with the trio at The Launch Pad in Austin, TX.

    4. Andrew Bird

    The prolific baroque pop superstar Andrew Bird can perform in many forms. Whether it's with a band or by himself, there's always a guarantee that he will make beautiful music. When he plays by himself, Bird loops violin, singing, whistling and guitar with an ease that's hard to believe. His looped songs are proof that you don't need a concert hall to have your own orchestra.

    5. Radiohead

    Radiohead isn't exactly a band that uses a lot of live looping, but they proved a long time ago that they're capable of doing anything that they want. So it's not really a surprise that "Give Up The Ghost" from their most recent The King of Limbs is a beautiful exercise in live looping. Watch Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood perform the track live, looping Yorke's voice several times over. Watch Give Up The Ghost here.

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