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Loop Collective in the 2017 Frome Festival

In collaboration with Frome’s iconic venue, The Silk Mill, the Loop Collective makes its debut appearance at the Frome Festival with two nights of cutting-edge contemporary music curated by Robert Plant’s drummer Dave Smith. Featuring a vast array of musical influences and line ups these two nights will see electronic-improv, hip-hop and west African drumming next to jazz, drones, soundscapes and film.

THURSDAY 13th July

Vyamanikal - Kit Downes & Tom Challenger

From October 2014-October 2015 Kit and Tom were part of Aldeburgh Music's 'Open Space' residency programme - a project that saw them travel to different local churches in Suffolk, investigating the differing acoustics and different organs (often in various states of disrepair) that they found. This residency was documented in an album recording - their second album as a duo - Vyamanikal. Since the culmination of that project, they have gone onto develop their partnership further by embarking on a UK tour, playing in various spaces with a two-harmonium set up alongside film and imagery captured during their time in Suffolk.

"Enticingly strange and wonderful sounds, so odd you can hardly believe it’s an organ making them" - Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 2014

"Downes and Challenger are onto something here and it goes beyond niche or novelty. Wedding Music deserves a spot near the top of this year's best" - Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz, 2013

Kit Downes - harmonium/cello
Tom Challenger - sax


Splice's raison d'être is to mesh together influences of contemporary jazz, free improv, loud and soft noise, punk grit, ambient music, and more... with seamless blends or blunt juxtapositions, blending their acoustic sounds with electronics and vintage analogue synthesisers.

After an acclaimed debut album LAB in 2011, Splice's live performances became clearly influenced by doom metal, electronic drones and free improv. The resulting double album Silent Spoke, released in 2013, is a musical voyage of haunting ambience and intensity, with an occasional glitchy solo emerging or resolving into a sometimes delicate, sometimes abrasive and darkly powerful sound world.

Alex Bonney - trumpet & electronics
Robin Fincker - sax & clarinet
Dave Smith - drums, electronics & percussion
Pierre Alexandre Tremblay - bass guitar & electronics

Jim Hart

After over a decade of composing music for his various projects and a bandleader Jim Hart presents an exploration of percussive textures for solo vibraphone combining free improvisation with extracts from his own and selected other compositions. Complex rhythms meld with fragile, ambient sounds coaxed from the instrument using a range of different mallets, bows and his own methods of preparing the vibes.

Jim Hart - vibraphone

FRIDAY 14th July

Fofoulah Vs Ruhabi

The raw acoustic sound of afro-jazzers Outhouse Ruhabi alongside electronic, dub and afro-rock group, Fofoulah. Both bands build their music on the infectious sounds and rhythms of the Sabar drum whilst having very different & distinct musical personalities. Expect explosive performances where talking drum rhythms meet dub basslines and sci-fi synths; liquid melodies and Wolof rap entangle with trance-like dance grooves; and raw guitars, horns and samples blend with west African song forms.

"African drumming, trance grooves, dubby bass lines and rock guitar with plenty of spatial improvisation." - Uncut

"Fofoulah's foundations are dub and jazz, but these are beefed up with electronics, pan-African rock and, most persuasively, the sabar and tama drums of West Africa ... The vibe switches from Ethiopia to Algeria to Senegal to Bristol in a heartbeat." Mojo

Batch Gueye - vocals, sabar & dance
Tom Challenger - keys, samples & tenor sax
Robin Fincker - tenor sax
Dan Nicholls - keys, synths & electronics
Johnny Brierley - bass
Kaw Secka - sabar, vocals & tama
Dave Smith - drums & electronics

Primitive London Feat. Juice Aleem

Primitive London pays a tribute to the marvels of British "library music" and its forgotten treasures from the 20th century. This Anglo-French quartet winks at these psychedelic pieces, shady atmospheric ambiances and peplum‐worthy melodies that were used as radio interludes, TV program trailers and other sonic backdrops. Primitive London takes its turn in inventing a “soundtrack without a film” and composed a repertoire of original music, digging new tunnels between pop, jazz, electronic, free and art music. Mixing miniature pieces flavoured with a certain sixties oddness and long tracks with cinematic beats the quartet unreels the scenes of its own picture, thus sharing its love for this parallel, free and futuristic industry and its musical minds.

Antonine Berjeaut - trumpet & bugle
Robin Fincker - sax & clarinet
Kit Downes - hammond organ & keyboards
Jim Hart - drums

+ Juice Aleem - rap/vocals

Rills and Courses

For years, Tom Challenger and P.A. Tremblay have been crossing paths within the Loop Collective, always with the promise of a potential musical meeting, and a session where they could spar. That encounter happened on a typical winters day in offices and a studio in Huddersfield. Recording their first meeting, they set up facing each other. Mesmerising musical dialogues, a first meeting where both improvisers negotiate common grounds and opposite views seamlessly for the adventurous listener’s delight!

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay - bass guitar & electronics
Tom Challenger - sax

Dan Nicholls (remix set)

Producer and keyboardist Dan Nicholls (Squarepusher, Matthew Herbert) transforms recordings of artists playing at the festival into completely new, remixed electronic music. The music channels spacious, trance-inducing techno from unexpected sounds, as well as an improvised approach to creating grooves and hypnotic patterns in the spur of the moment.

Dan Nicholls - samples, synths, electronics