Possibly one of the most ambitious and innovative albums to be released in 2012 is the highly anticipated new CD by experimental prog/art-rock ensemble Oxygene8 titled loop1. The loop1 project began quite simply with the vision that the entire CD would be one long loop, sans divisions,an upward spiral–one huge dynamic movement of sound. Band leader and stickist/bassist Linda Cushma’s vision for the work seemed a ridiculously enormous undertaking, considering scheduling, budget and time constraints.
“Every element of the music on the project started with a loop,” explains producer Steve Parrish, “usually initiated by Linda’s stick parts or Tim Alexander’s drums. We would build around those fundamental loops with other loops, be it instruments, sounds or small clips of music. We would twist, bend, pitch shift, distort and re-invent in order to make it compliment the underlying loops. Once we had structures, we then asked the other players to jump in and add to these movements. They were aware that their work would likely be moved around and unabashedly morphed. Almost everything on the project happens at least twice, if not more…it just comes back around in a slightly different form.”
Bassist and vocalist Linda Cushma, is best known for her work with experimental prog ensemble Oxygene8 and her projects involving artist and drummer Tim Alexander, former drummer for Primus. Cushma says, “The vision for loop1, including its simple artwork happened so naturally. I heard it as one long composition, no divisions, no “songy” songs – I just wasn’t in the mood for it… I just wanted to let loose and play my guts out on this album and that’s what everyone did on the project – it’s like one long, eloquent and compelling musical conversation.”
Along with Linda Cushma and Tim Alexander, the new Oxygene8 album features bassist John Humphrey, who has recorded and toured with Scott Henderson, Carole King, Jean Luc Ponty and Savoy Brown; Steve Parrish, producer and composer who has recorded and worked with many international artists at Desert Coast studio in the mountains of Phoenix, Arizona; Joe Myers, guitarist and composer, has long worked in tandem with renowned composer Brent Michael Davids (Kronos Quartet, Joffrey Ballet), creating original scores for The Maida Withers Dance Ensemble and performing live at the World Premier of “Silent Enemy” at the 1996 Santa Fe Film Fest and has shared the stage with Adrian Belew, Daniel Lanois, Todd Rundgren, Tori Amos and Warren Zevon among others; Fatimah Halim, who launched her career as a back-up singer for Laura Nyro and recorded with Jimi Hendrix as a member of the Ghettofighters; Claudio Cordero, Chilean guitar virtuoso best known for his work with Matraz, Cast, Oxygene8 and Claudio Cordero Band.
“Oxygene8´s loop1 is definitely first in a series,” says Steve Parrish. “We had so much material when compiling the first disc that we already have several pieces of loop2 waiting to build upon.”