As the project of Jean-Paul Garnier, Loopool is both prolific and enigmatic. Garnier seems to delight in the conceptual, and it's easy to appreciate someone who *thinks* about their music in such unique and challenging ways. As with much of his work, this release hinges on the nature of its central concept – in this case, a type of "automatic" music in which the composer/artist has little actual control over the final results. The liner notes explain that the entire release was created using software for musical notation. This in and of itself would not be terribly unusual, except that Garnier does not read notation, and thus the inscriptions were done in random fashion, a step toward removing the human element from the creative process. Garnier does note however that "some human intervention is still necessary", although it's not quite clear how much or often. It's the resulting mystery that lies at the heart of Loopool's magic. What emerges sonically from the randomized notation does not sound at all random, but rather seems very tonally and thematically centered. But these characteristics are vastly different than those found in more traditional music. The pieces on display here are inviting to the listener in their relatively narrow scope. Each of the six pieces (including the epic final track) investigates a particular zone and then mines it deeply for full effect. This leads naturally to head scratching about the liner notes and random the composition process actually is. One gets the sense that this type of head scratching confusion is exactly what Garnier is aiming for.
The tracks on this release touch on ambient and quasi-industrial themes, with some modern classical and compositional touch points as well. Repetition is well used as a key element, and a large part of the disc's success. Rising tones and decaying sounds are utilized so effectively that after a few minutes' worth of listeners, one begins to think of the sounds as an entirely new language. The mood is a relatively calm, yet dark and searching one throughout the disc. Many of the sounds suggest pipe organs and/or distant foghorns. Clarity and pacing are also evident throughout Loopool's work, and this one is no exception. Yes, this is a fascinating, exciting, and hypnotic document of one individual's "experiment" with automatic music. But it's also so much more, and lacks the dryness that its description might imply. Ultimately, it's a lovely example of well conceptualized and enjoyable
music that holds up even with the knowledge of its working methods. 9/10 -- Eric Hardiman (15 October, 2008)