Time Out – The Geometrid
03rd May 2000
Record Review

Having now left the mothership that was Belle & Sebastian, Stuart David has created, with wife Karn and the rest of Looper, his own Kubrickian ‘cyberspacestation’, the Geometrid – an album and a concept, all thematically centred on visions of the future, and technology’s effect on our lives. With its cheap, simplistic Casio riff and glib Bontempi beats, the lo-fi new single ‘Mondo 77’ is a suitable but rather passionless opening number for this audio experiment. But then we drift into warmer territory with the gorgeous, jangly ‘On The Flipside’, the witty narrative, ‘Modem Song’, that samples the bip-bip-dee-dong-dee-dong sound of a computer hooking up to the Internet, and the wistful, guitar and flute-led ‘These Things’.
By now you realise ‘The Geometrid’ is an eminently listenable, electronic pop record, with much to cheer both gentle Jeepsterphiles and dance music aficionados alike – lyrics about the moon and drinking lemonade, Stuart’s wry prose and his unmistakable Glaswegian burr, teamed with more toe-twitching grooves than any indie band has the right to lay their hands on.   Karn takes on more vocal duties than she has done before – and in the process proves that a female dance music vocalist needn’t necessarily be a wailing old slapper with her dress falling off. God bless Stuart and Karn – the Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Camberwick Green.

Anna Britten

record reviews

If the thought of child-song and trees houses curls your fingers into a fist, then Looper’s spaceboy dream is not for you. Chief Looper Stuart David is, after all, the Other Stuart in Belle & Sebastian(he actually wrote ‘Spaceboy Dream’ on the last record)and he brings with him the wide-eyed worldview of that Brit-lauded outfit.
The odd tale of how Looper- Stuart David, his artist wife Karn, and his photographer brother Ronnie – came to be is told on ‘Impossible Things #2’: a girl called Karen starts writing to a boy she doesn’t even know. He dubs her Wee Karn and seven years on they are man, wife and multimedia outfit. It’s a charming yarn, if you vanquish all cynicism – and Looper are all about doing just that. What’s remarkable, though, is that this modern-day fairy tale is buoyed along by crackling breakbeats, a flute loop, a quacking harmonica and a sticky-fingered sense of fun that infects the entire record.
For Loooper’s musical charms are actually far greater than those of the little scenarios that David narrates like a U-rated Aidan Moffat of Arab Strap. For all the appeal of the stories – the one about the moon landings being faked (‘Dave The Moonman’), for instance, or the one about meeting Columbo (‘Columbo’s Car’) – it’s the deft beats, synth burbles and sampled loops underpinning them that inspire. This is a record in love with childhood, but its cheeky groove is often closer to the mash-up of big beat than it is to the fey gambol of Looper’s precious ancestors, with the ‘Ballad Of Ray Suzuki’, for example, sounding like Bentley Rhythm Ace in short trousers.
‘Up A Tree’ is a spaceboy’s dream made real: the future, all shiny with buttons and things, brought down to earth, child-sized.   It’s hard to resist.
8/10

Kitty Empire

NME – Up A Tree 06/03/1999
March 1999