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For several years, UK based Loop Guru dazzled audiences with their World Music influenced techno stylings. Lately, the band has produced some off-shot bands, including Slipper, led by Sam Dodson.

Slipper's music tends to be more experimental, yet exhibits strong roots in torch songs and quirky pop.

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SLIPPER: Zoon Sandwich (CD on Elsewhen Records)

This release from 2002 features 50 minutes of inventive modern music.

This time, Slipper is: Sam Dodson, Linda Finger, Jym Darling, Jacqueline Clemons, and Rat Scabies (from the Damned).

Relaxing acoustic bass and cyclic twinkling and cafe piano usher in this diverse sampling of esoteric creativity. The tuneage varies, but maintains a softly crafted groove that blends swing with experimental qualities. The results are engaging and quirkily unpredictible.

Smooth percussives provide a sedate gusto. A bevy of electronic effects swirl into a mesmerizing tapestry that defies codification. A plethora of conventional instruments surface and submerge with diligent frequency, bestowing a timeless disposition to this modern music. Orchestral swells give way to eerie catches and serious touches, infusing the tuneage with a demonstrably unexpected nature. One second things are popping with quasi-techno sensibilities, the next a stand-up acoustic bass is thrumming away, plunging the dancehall into a cerebral milieu.

Sensuous female vocals are ulitized like an instrument, with lyrical snatches floating in and out of the mix, extolling the virtues of feeling good. Masculine voices are present too.

Imagine a fusion of modern pop and torch songs with a touch of big band swing dueling with rave inclinations. Bewildering choices, but the result is highly entertaining.

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SLIPPER: When Hot Dogs Fly (CD on Elsewhen Records)

This release from 2004 features 52 minutes of quirky pop.

This time, Slipper is: Andrea Black, Jym Darling, Sam Dodson, Greg Faust, Carlos Da Jackal, Daniel Lazerus, Muudman, Neil Sparkes, and John Woodley.

With this release, the band's pop inclinations are on the upswing, settling into a style that clashes with current fashion with endearing flourish.

Sensual percussion winds sinuous rhythms through a mixed box of instruments. Everything from subliminal bass to fanciful flutes to xylophones to haunting horns to orchestral strings contributes to this esoteric music. Strumming guitars and buzz-beat electronic effects offer eclectic embellishment to the unpredictable flow.

Breathy fem vocals alternate with an operatic background chorus, generating a curious sultry-but-cerebral mood. Generally, the vocals are little-girl mellifluous, punctuated by jovial squealings.

The core charm here lies in the sheer unanticipated nature with which the tunes unfold. Unconventional conjunctions and implausible unions of unlikely genres abound. A nest of intricate bongo tempos coexist with romantically tinged ghostly textures, while sweet croonings celebrate sincere humor derived from the silliest trivialities. Blending experimental design with traditional pop characteristics, Slipper produces music that is delightfully novel and thoroughly enthralling.

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LOOP GURU: Bathtime with Loop Guru (CD on Elsewhen Records)

This release from 2003 features 43 minutes of tranquil world ambience.

For this recording, Loop Guru is: JaMuud, Saam, and Speechless, with Tamarind Free Jones and Lydie Pfeiffer.

Notably more subdued than other Loop Guru recordings, this release explores a dreamier side of the band's exotic elegance.

A host of intertwining rhythmics blend with atmospheric ethnic woodwinds and sneaky horns, generating a lavish but ethereal fog of hypnotic fashion. Environmental samples swim in the mix alongside a bevy of subconscious electronics. Playful keyboards bend and twist to produce congenial melodies augmented by hearftfelt horns.

While Middle Eastern influences are present in this tuneage, a more modern application filters these world roots into a palatable dose of lively ambience. This synergy of old and new produces a thoroughly engaging sound that explores serenity while delivering a mildly energized pep. A refreshing divergence from conventional rave fare.

A few tracks offer Slipperesque traces, tantalizing embellishents on the ethnic compositions that push them into terrain found in eerie tomorrows.

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