Mr Loop : Music From the Tanhauser Gate

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A couple of years on from release Mr Loop’s MFtTG still stands out as one of the best free and best UK Hip Hop albums about. Not just for overall quality but because the stand out tracks, no matter how many listens, still – well – stand out really.

Mr Loop’s production is a fine thing – mixing in head nodding beats with perfectly placed and selected hooks, samples and embellishments that are occasionally on a par with the likes of Dan The Automator and which are certainly in the same tradition of intelligent Hip Hop. It’s a thoughtfulness in production which, without dropping any of the basic beat based goodness, structures in the stylistic flourishes as an equal to the lyricism so that there’s something coherent across a track, not a disconnect between the intent of the words and the music. It’s good, it’s smart, it’s rare and it brings about an almost gleeful reaction when it’s done right.

This is one of those albums that is pretty much constantly on rotation with me somehow, even buried in the corner of my collection it’ll still grab a listen when I find my thoughts idly drifting back to personal favourite tracks like ‘Grown Man Music’, ‘Battleslang the Second’ and ‘Suburban Hustler’. I wouldn’t quite call it classic status but it’s gone way beyond passing appreciation.

Even on the second time writing about the album, having heaped equal fanboyish adoration on it back on Beat Lizard, I really can’t praise Music From the Tanhauser Gate enough. Also, when you’re done here, ‘The Crow’ EP – a joint effort between Mr Loop and the Kojak Brothers is also worth a listen. It’s not an effort that I’d put on par with MFtTG (and oh how excited Kojak Brothers followers got last time I said that) but it’s still got the Mr Loop mark of quality and ‘Hunger Pain’ from that release remains a funny, well written testament to those small wee hours of the morning where no fucker will go to the shop.

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