A nice set of loops and musical ideas: who’s Looppolo?
Looppolo (a crazy wordplay given by the fusion of “loop” and the Italian word for “bunch“) is a nice young guy who lives in Milan, Italy. Besides having an infectious laugh and gentle manners, the kid has an insane passion for beautiful music, which he produces with his trusty samplers and dusty records.
Humble and dedicated to his production craft, he has recently released his first full-length album, aptly titled Looppoloteca. With a collection of instrumentals of just impressive soul and funk chops, without drums, the boy lives up to his nickname, releasing a nice succulent set of loops and musical ideas. For the occasion, he is also accompanied by a plethora of emcees from the Italian underground (the likes of Esa, Southology, Creep Giuliano, and FFiume, just to name a few…), to give completeness to his work. The album, other than digitally streamable, is available as an ultra-limited cassette tape…find it here.
The genesis of a funky lo-fi technician: the science behind the loop.
Like almost any new-school beatmaker born in the Nineties, Loopps’ production style is a genuine and intricate mass of different influences, spanning several musical genres. Before falling in love with the sound of Madlib and Jay Dee, his musical activity began as a metalcore guitarist.
Unsurprisingly, playing in a live band gave young Loooppoleenee a real taste for the stage, as he toured on a national and European level, catalyzing his focus and approach. Once the band broke up, in 2015, the man’s thirst for independence in crafting soundscapes met a simple yet powerful means: the sampler.
He then began releasing beat tapes, which brought him to our attention, as well as to that of many exponents of the Italian underground hip-hop scene, with whom he collaborated on several releases. His beats are characterized by a careful search for samples and an in-depth study of drums, in the same vein of the lo-fi style, but with a very personal twist.
Using to the max his trusted Roland SP-404 sampler, Looppolo is renowned for bringing his beat research to live gigs and happenings. Always a performer in the heart, and a lover of live music, he has recently begun to carry his live show around Italian clubs, to play his beats live, or create them on the spot, as a true jam machine.
He can be seen often accompanied by trusted companions like fellow producer JayBee Vibes (with whom he created the producer duo Chop Corp) or producer/manager Pazi The Paziest, or again by some of the many emcees he often collaborates with, but, if he’s in good mood, he can also rap his own, too.
As a producer and authentic hip-hop head sound scholar, it’s only right the humble kid with the golden touch on the pads deserves our attention. Hence, blessed by Stromberg himself, we recently have had the pleasure of dissecting beat science and production specs with the man himself. Enjoy the reading, and listen to the sounds.
Welcome Looppoleenee, we’re happy to have you here with us. Let’s start our conversation with a classic one: what’s your first commercial beat sold or placed?
The first placement was the production I did for the song “Feeling in Disguise” by Arya. One day she contacted me directly, asking if I was interested in manipulating her vocal tracks to produce a remix of the song. In the end, she chose to keep mine as the original, and with a few tricks from Bongi (Arya’s sound engineer) and a sax solo at the end of the piece, the song took on its final shape.
How long did it take you to produce something that you were proud of?
It took me a couple of years before I was proud of some of my beats. Not only because I had actually improved, but also because I had stopped expecting too much from what I do. I was initially extremely hard on myself and at the same time too shy to ask other people’s opinions, so at that time I always believed I was the worst.
What is your favourite production setup to this day?
My favourite set-up has always been a turntable, Roland samplers (both SP-404sx & SP-404) and a computer. That’s how I did most of my production to this very day, as well as my album, Looppoloteca. The 404sx was fast, the 404 had a fat sound, a sweet combination! I’ve had an Akai Mpc One since last December and I’ve only been using that ever since. Currently, my favourite setting is a turntable, a Microkorg, the Akai Mpc One and a computer for recording the beats.
Do you still dig in the crates for records? Best digging advice from someone ever?
Yes, always! The best advice received in this regard is certainly to give more importance to the label than to the cover. Since then, digging in the crates has taken on the aspect of a search rather than a lucky catch.
Is there any producer, in the last 3 months, that made you say: “Oh, shit, I have to go back to the lab!”?
Definitely Brainorchestra. My friend Alsogood collaborated with him and even took him to play in Italy, but I knew him as a rapper, I didn’t even know he did beats too…And he does ’em very well!!
Your worst production mistake ever made?
I don’t think there are real mistakes when it comes to music production unless it is a commissioned work and you do not fulfil the requests. But I realized something that I didn’t like, and that I did a lot in the past, was to put a strong compression on the master. Another big “mistake” may have been working on samplers and not having the multitrack of most of my productions, but I don’t regret it.
One essential mixing tip?
Essential tip? Be essential! Keep it clean and nobody gets hurt. If the inspiration does not come, it is useless to continue adding tracks, take a walk and then go back to producing…Thank you StrettoBlaster for having me.