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Kev Hopper (born 1961) is a bass guitarist.
Life and career
Since the mid 1980s, Hopper's (mainly instrumental) output has been diverse and best described as a hybrid style of experimental and melodic pop.
Hopper began his musical career as the bass guitarist with the Anglo/Irish Captain Beefheart-inspired London band, Stump, in the mid '80s and after the group’s demise in 1988 his interest moved from bass playing to sequencing unusual samples resulting in the 1989 recording Stolen Jewels. A concept album, The Stinking Rose followed in 1992 further exploring sampling.
Around 1994, Hopper began playing on the London Free Improvisation circuit with a variety of musicians. The resulting recording from that period, Spoombung marked a return to bass playing with extensive new playing (hammering) techniques and ‘preparations’ – clips and other devices attached to the strings to produce overtones. This approach was combined with the tuned percussion of Dominic Murcott and the musical saw for a more melodic effect and greater tonal scope on the Whispering Foils album (2000). Around 1998, he co-formed the electronic ensemble Ticklish with Phil Durrant, Richard Sanderson and Rob Flint. Originally from the London free-improvised scene, they developed an abstract electronic sound and became one of the first groups to perform with laptops and visual projections producing two albums; 'Here are your New Instructions' (2005) and 'Ticklish'. In 2003, an interest in the musical saw lead to an EP, Saurus featuring six original tunes and an electronic album I Saw Spoombung's Daughter consumed by Kirby Dots in 2005 under his 'Spoombung' alias. After a long period of silence, a 2012 album of songs, 'The Germjoin' quietly emerged on the Japanese Afterhours label.
In 2012, Hopper returned to bass playing and formed a new instrumental live band, 'Prescott', with Scritti Politti keyboardist Rhodri Marsden and drummer Frank Byng, playing endlessly cycled, minimal riffs on their first album "One Did" in 2014. A solo album of bass guitar-orientated material, "Kevlington" followed in 2015. Prescott added Pere Ubu guitarist, Keith Moliné in 2016 and began recording a second album, "Thing or Two".
- Stolen Jewels (1990), Ghetto Records
- The Stinking Rose (1992), Bandcamp digital release
- Spoombung (1998), Thoofa
- Whispering Foils (2000) Drag City/Duophonic
- Saurus (2002), Drag City/ Afterhours [Japan]
- I Saw Spoombung's Daughter Consumed by Kirby Dots (2006), Afterhours (Japan)
- The Germjoin (2012), Afterhours (japan)
- Tonka Beano (2013), Linear Obsessional Records
- Kevlington (2015), Bandcamp digital release
- Mud on a Colon EP (1986), Ron Johnson (UK Indie #39)
- Quirk Out (1986), Stuff (UK Indie #2)
- The Peel Sessions EP (1987), Strange Fruit (UK Indie #13)
- A Fierce Pancake (1988), Ensign
- Chaos (1988), Ensign
- Charlton Heston, (1988) Ensign (UK #72)
- Buffalo (1988), Ensign
- The Complete Anthology box set (2008), Sanctuary
- Does the Fish have Chips? (2014) Cherry Red Records
- Ticklish (2000), GROB
- Rubato (joint E.P. with Fizzarum, 2005) Textile Records
- Here Are Your New Instructions (2005) Textile Records