How the BOSS RC series has inspired the looping scene for 17 years.
By Henry Yates, Journalist
Right now, somewhere in the world, a live musician is breaking the rules with a loop pedal. From Ed Sheeran at Glastonbury to the hot-tip local songwriter at the open-mic night, the sheer possibilities of looping have attracted musical mavericks from every genre, each one of them twisting the concept to fit their own vision. In 2018, the buzz around looping has never been louder. But every revolution needs a flashpoint - and after 17 years and one million units sold, there's no doubt it was the BOSS RC Loop Station series that lit the fuse.
It's true: the looping concept existed before the RC series. Rewind to 1963 and US jazz-man Terry Riley was dabbling with basic tape loops on his track Music For The Gift. By the early-'70s, guitarist Robert Fripp and producer Brian Eno had moved the art form onwards with the so-called 'Frippertronics' technique, using two reel-to-reel tape machines to create layered sounds. But the technology moved painfully slowly. As recently as the '90s, most of the looping pedals available to everyday musicians were frustratingly basic, offering just a few seconds of sampling time and operation that often resulted in an onstage car-crash.