bill van loo – heavyweight trouble

1.leaving MSP 
2.heavyweight trouble memory fades 
4.closing in 


The word “trouble” can have a negative connotation – being in trouble, causing trouble, being troubled. I have certainly been troubled living through the past four years of American politics. Being troubled has a relationship to being conscious of your surroundings and environment and sensing what’s wrong.

The word “trouble” also has a relationship to stirring up or uncovering, however. The traditional Black spiritual “Wade in the Water” talks of how God is going to “trouble the waters” – to stir them up, and make them ready. The late Senator John Lewis talked about getting into “good trouble, necessary trouble” – taking a stand for your convictions and what’s right.

As one way to let good trouble guide me, all proceeds from this album will go to fund the efforts of several organizations whose mission is to empower and bring about a shift in equitable access to electronic music.

AFRORACK™: A Chicago-based audio arts organization with a goal of helping the community develop and thrive through technology resources.

design tools.

Underground Music Academy: a Detroit based hub, which aims to build the future leaders of independent electronic music.

North Coast Modular Collective: a Southeast Michigan-based non-profit, working to increase the skill, knowledge, and accessibility of electronic music artistry through the development of music, instruments, and community.

Music is one of the ways in which I personally frame and order the world. I hope supporting these organizations, through funds raised by this release, can make a difference in bringing that experience to others as well. 


releases April 2, 2021

All tracks composed by Bill Van Loo.

Mixing & mastering by Mogi Grumbles

bill van loo – life in an age of madness

This set of music was primarily written between January and April of 2017, after the tremendous crash and burn of American national politics caused by the 2016 election. Most nights I would retreat to the studio, whether for catharsis, or escape, or some equal mixture of both. I found solace in making music.

For a variety of largely uninteresting reasons, this material remained unreleased until now. I had hoped that some of the issues that arose during its genesis might have been resolved in some way by now, but it seems we are still living life in an age of madness at the time of this writing.

My sincere hope is that you may also find catharsis, escape, and solace through this music, and that in experiencing it, find strength to persist through these maddening times.

All profit from this release will be donated to the following non-profit organizations working to help others. Many thanks for your purchase, which allows them to continue doing the vital work they do. – The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides free and low-cost legal services to under-served immigrant children, families and refugees. – A movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities – Funding teacher-created projects for schools in low-income areas.

Bill Van Loo
June 18, 2018 


Bill Van Loo live performance, DJ set, collaboration – Ann Arbor POP-IN, June 8, 2017

On Thursday, June 8, 2017, Bill Van Loo will be joining fellow electronic musicians Jason Engling and Joe Bauer to present new music at POP-IN, a free event hosted by the Ann Arbor Art Center.  Bill will be presenting some new dub-techno works in live performance, as well as DJing and performing electronic improvisations as part of a trio with Jason Engling and Joe Bauer.

POP-IN is curated by and in partnership with the Intermitten Technology & Creativity conference.



6:00 PM TO 9:00 PM


Injecting the Art Center with a spirit of pop-up culture and by collaborating with diverse artists, we aim to attract intrepid young adults looking to explore and be excited by a city. Community members who attend POP•IN will be immersed in unusual, accessible experiences, whether they planned to attend the event or wandered in off the street.

Bill Van Loo live performance & DJ set – on May 10, 2017

On Wednesday, May 10, Bill Van Loo will be giving a sneak peek of his new electronic music productions during a live performance! Tune in to,  Detroit’s online electronic music station, to hear the new music, as well as Bill’s DJ set of deep cuts and new favorites.

Bill will be performing & DJing from 8:30-10:00PM. If you’re local to Detroit, stop by Urban Bean Co to see and hear it all live!

Urban Bean Co.

200 Grand River Ave

Detroit, MI

Bill Van Loo – live performances at AADL

At the start of the new year, Bill Van Loo was invited to perform for a new series hosted by Ann Arbor District Library called “Tools Crew Live”. Essentially, the idea is that artists are invited to borrow some of the library’s amazing music tools (such as Moog synthesizers, guitar pedals, Roland musical instruments, and much more!) and craft a performance around them.

Check out the full interview plus see both complete videos from the performances. Many thanks to AADL and Chris Porter for the invitation to perform and participate!

Pedalboard update!

Since I’ve been stalled on working on my new album’s worth of material for a while (over a year, actually!), I thought it would be fun to get inspiration by pulling some gear together in a new way and adding a few new pieces together. Hence, a new pedalboard for guitar!

Here’s a video overview, and below that are some detail photos of the new setup.


Pedalboard Photo Gallery

Click photos for larger view.


Bill Van Loo solo album update: May 2012

May was a good month for working on the new record. Lots of fragments started getting more fully developed, and two studio spaces got more completely set up and ready to work in.

Here’s the monthly album update video, along with some photos from the chromedecay instagram feed.

studio work on instagram

Bill Van Loo solo album update: April 2012

This is the best summary I can show of how the work is going so far on the new solo record:

Bill Van Loo solo album: Working files

That’s 12 sketches worth of music, all of which have Ableton Live sessions started for them, tempos defined, and rough mixes rendered. That’s not to say that these are completed by any stretch – far from it! This is really just the beginning. Now begins the interesting work of fleshing out, writing, recording, and turning these sketches into compositions and songs.

Here’s the video update for this month and a few more behind-the-scenes photos.


Bill Van loo solo album: PodXT Live

Bill Van loo solo album: guitar tab

Bill Van Loo solo album: March 2012 update

More work this month on the new Bill Van Loo solo record. Like February, this was also a busy month outside of music. Much of this month was spent using the Zoom H4n recorder as an audio sketchpad, capturing song and sound texture ideas in the small spaces and in-between moments of the month.

Zoom H4N

Here’s a short behind-the-scenes video from recording one of these sketches, and a few photos from the process.

I also wanted to write a few words about both the process and the concept for this record. Most of my previous work as a solo artist has been doing strictly instrumental electronic music. The biggest departures from that were the two ambient guitar records I produced (“6 strings for a winter’s day“, and “the ghost of an idea“), and even those use lots of electronic production.

As you may be able to gather from my talk of “songs”, and from all the guitar you see me playing in these videos, this new record will be a departure, or perhaps an evolution, from my electronic music. There will still be electronic production and sounds, and a big focus on the textures that are a defining part of my previous work. However, I’m really excited to work on some songs for this record.

One of the most helpful things I’ve ever read as a creative person was Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit“. In her book, Tharp talks about knowing how you see the world and how that translates in your art. I realized that I tend toward the wide-angle view, taking in textures, ambience, setting, season, and location. The titles of my previous work is a testament to that (“Autumn DSP”, “6 strings for a winter’s day”, “raindays”, etc).

This new work, in the other hand, seeks to build up that backdrop of location and ambience, and put something personal and intimate in front of that. Not everything in the record will likely have lyrics and singing, but some of it will. This is shaping up to be the most personal record I’ve ever made, and I am excited about the possibilities of it.

Bill Van Loo - tracking guitar rough ideas

PodXT Live (detail)