Koray Kantarcıoğlu is a Turkish visual and sound artist based in Istanbul. Loopworks compiles his extended loop based work crafted from samples of Turkish records released in 60’s and 70’s. It was originally released by Wounded Wolf Press with only 100 cassettes made back in 2016. It is now out of print. This is its first appearance on vinyl.
Heavy on the reverb and delay, Kantarcıoğlu creates these drifting otherworldly swells of sounds. It’s ambient music but there’s a density here, a keen appreciation of texture, where the imperfections of the vinyl is equally as distended and blissed out as the swelling strings or occasional vocal.
The label talks about “the haunted ballroom effect” and with everything submerged in deep layers of delay and reverb, creating a dreamy languid feel, it’s an incredibly apt description. The loops, the repetition, the swell creates new meaning in this gorgeous murky world. It’s ambient hypnotism, audio haunting that fits somewhere between Phillip Jeck and Eluvium. Kantarcıoğlu has stripped his source material of structure and meaning and repurposed it to his own ends. Somehow he’s managed to imbue everything with a spirit of experimentation without losing the power of the original recordings. There’s almost a nostalgia here, which is ironic because there’s no way I could’ve heard his source material.
Loopworks is a beguiling recording, experimental, minimal and endlessly fascinating. It effortlessly merges modern studio techniques with a yearning difficult to place nostalgia and a dense textural form of ambience that continues to reward with each listen.