An Akron, Ohio, native with a brooding NYC vibe, Arthur is an abstract artist (check out the album covers he designed for himself) and singer/songwriter who was discovered by none other than Peter Gabriel. Arthur doesn’t stick to any formula or stylistic discipline, and his free-form musical explorations are expansive and exciting.
Now discontinued—so rev up your eBay searches—the Lexicon JamMan offered eight seconds of delay (expandable to 32 seconds with optional ICs) when it debuted in 1994 at a retail price of $459. The MIDI-friendly device became a much-desired tool for loop freaks and home-studio cats, and its demise was frowned upon by some of the very people who probably could have kept the JamMan alive by buying one in the first place. Lexicon currently focuses on home-theater products.
Lowden acoustic, Countryman direct boxes, Fishman pickup system, Moogerfooger MF-102 Ring Modulator, D’Addario strings.
On a solo tour supporting his latest release, Our Shadows Will Remain [Vector]. He’ll also be supporting REM on selected gigs this year.
“This is the first looper I started with,” explains Arthur, “and I never felt like I had to check out other models. It’s really simple to use, and I can keep recording loops into it indefinitely until the sound just deteriorates to nothing. I use two JamMans synched together via MIDI, and I control the sound of each one with volume pedals. This way, I can fade loops in and out, and do dub tricks. I use the first JamMan to record percussion loops, and the second one for melodic, single-note lines or vocals—which I sometimes scream into the Fishman pickup installed in the bridge of my Lowden acoustic. For percussion, I just thump on the guitar, hitting it with sticks, my hands, or my head.”
“Well, it is what it is. It’s certainly not a hi-fi device, and it has a limited function, but I like it. I mean, it won’t save the world, you know? Still, it sounds good enough for me, and it inspires me to create all kinds of strange music.”
Check out Joe Gore’s evaluation on page 105 of the March 1994 issue. —michael molenda