Boss Hosts Loops Station World Championships and Gets Beatboxing and Nicknames
(ShackMan | Posted 2011-02-25)
Boss and Roland continue to hold creativity and talent-based competitions to find out just who can get the most out of their gear live, and their latest endeavor culminated in the World Loop Station Championships held January 13th and 14th. Contestants competed in a semi-final round on the 13th, where only six finalists were picked to go on to the final world championships to be held at the House of Blues in Anaheim the following evening.
The event came about after through the latter half of 2010, Boss searched through twelve different countries and thousands upon thousands of video submissions for whomever had the talent to be the next world champion of the loop station. Each country's entries were narrowed down to just six performers, with only 12 out of all of those coming to the US to compete at the semi-finals. From there, Boss decided on the six who competed at Anaheim. For those of you who are already wishing you had auditioned, there will definitely be a next year, so start polishing your act now!
The House of Blues in Anaheim pulled in a crowd of nearly 1,000 that night, thanks to the event coinciding with the 2011 Winter NAMM convention. Just after the contest had said goodbye to The Duke of Loops (Peter Davidson of Canada), Bebertos (Albert Ilyasov of Russia), Fii (Michael Krappel of Austria), Seu Zeba of Brazil, Dillion Fevry of Belgium, and Simone Vignola of Italy, it welcomed the six finalists. They were: Shlomo (Simon Khan of the UK), Naoryu (Naoko Otsuka of Japan), Greg Bal of Hungary, Clara Lindsjo of Sweden, Philip Stendek of the US (who won the National Finals last year), and Hyperpotamus (Jorge Gustavo Ramirez-Escudero Susaeta of Spain). The six finalists performed original live compositions about five minutes in length using one or more BOSS RC-series Loop Station products, and could use whatever means they wished (voice, musical instruments, etc.) to create sound.
On hand to judge the final championship event were Dave Navarro, guitarist for Jane’s Addiction and The Red Hot Chili Peppers; Steve Stevens, a GRAMMY® winner and longtime guitarist with Billy Idol; April Malmsteen, president of Rising Force records and wife and manager of Yngwie Malmsteen; Paul Youngblood, director of BOSS Corporation; and Dub Fx, a world-renowned beatboxer and winner of the 2009 BOSS Loop Station Championship in the UK. And the winner was...
A tense moment just before the winners were announced...
Simon "Shlomo" Khan of the UK. With just a microphone, his voice, and a single Boss RC-50, Shlomo took home the gold with an "electrifying beat-boxing performance with live vocalizations and loop manipulation." He was clearly a crowd favorite from the start, being an established beatboxer in the UK. He even preferred to keep his RC-50 at chest height, operating it with his hands instead of his feet. He worked at all the buttons and knobs like a frenzied DJ, leading guitarist Dave Navarro to ask if he hands were bleeding after he finished his performance. Shlomo took home $3,000 in Boss gear, along with a full year's bragging rights as champion.
Second place went to Naoryu and her spirited pop harmonies and vocals. Had there been a prize for largest setup, she might have taken home the gold in that with a microphone, acoustic guitar, flute, and a pedalboard that included an RC-50 Loop Station, RC-2 Loop Station, a VE-20 Vocal Performer, DD-7 Delay, PS-6 Harmonist, and a TU-3 Tuner to round out the lineup. Greg Bal's stellar violin chops and densely-layered music brought him the glory of third place and $1,000 in Boss gear. I shouldn't need to mention that these are hardly any less great feats. All six of these contestants have been named the top 6 in the world, and that's nothing to shake a stick at.
James Rushin is a bassist, keyboardist, writer, and composer living and working in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He has performed with Selmer artist Tim Price, Curtis Johnson, guitarists Ken Karsh and Joe Negri. His compositions have been featured at West Virginia University and Valley Forge Christian College. He will be spending the Fall and Winter months working on playwright Frank Gagliano's Voodoo Trilogy and Bodoni County Songbook.
Got questions? Comments? Need Loop Station help? James can be reached as ShackMan in the Music Gear Review forums, or you may e-mail him at James.Rushin@MusicGearReview.com.