by Lars Gotrich
I want to live inside of a locked groove. It’s the area between the last track on a side of vinyl and the label, and, when used correctly, it’s the best possible place to get lost in a continuous loop of sound. Not many records feature a locked groove (some feature thousands), but these were the releases that hypnotized my turntable.
Aaron Dilloway, side D of Modern Jester: The first time I put on this record, it took me 10 minutes to realize that the furry buzz wriggling its way into my psyche was a locked groove. I let it continue for 10 more.
Jon Mueller and James Plotkin, side A of Terminal Velocity: Who puts a dank, formless and spiraling drone on the first side of a double LP? IT CONTAINS MY SOUL.
Demdike Stare, Violetta LP from Elemental: On an otherwise dark slab of next-level whatever-it-is-that-Demdike-
Dante Augustus Scarlatti, Eternal Currents: Just one side of Auris Apothecary’s fantastic Locked Groove Lathe Plate Series, which is literally just 7″s containing mostly caustic seconds-long soundbites. The needle enjoyed skating off these noisy loops pressed to super-thin vinyl, but Eternal Currents, more than the others, understands the dreadful flexi medium and responds with woozy loops that decay as the lathe spins.
FM3, Buddha Machine 4: Okay, fine, not even the right format, but the Chinese electronic duo’s loop boxes are practically locked grooves running on two AA batteries. The last Buddha Machine was a rather somber affair featuring a zither, but No. 4’s loops are far brighter, even sporting neon colors.