Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Oct 25th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

In the Loop

event ANDRE LAFOSSE Y2K13 LOOPFEST HEADLINERThe 13th annual Loopfest features headliners who think about guitar in new, innovative ways

Though electricity is an integral part of the instrument, the electric guitar isn't generally associated with electronic music. In the popular imagination, EDM producers employ an array of drum machines and synthesizers to create sounds—manipulating them with an assortment of processors.

That's not so different from what Andre LaFosse does, only he uses a guitar to produce tones—both percussive and musical—and stompboxes to process the signal. LaFosse is a looper. He uses his guitar and a looping pedal to create entire songs, live, on the spot, and he is one of four solo guitarists headlining Y2K13 Loopfest, a local celebration of the art of live looping.

Among musicians, video artists and others familiar with the term, "looping" is shorthand for taking a snippet of sound or film, and playing it on repeat—adding effects to alter the loop and often overlaying other clips of additional sound or film on top of it, building an entire composition in the process.

Loopfest—founded by local looping enthusiast Rick Walker—has been bringing artists from all over the world to perform in Santa Cruz since 2001. This year, the festival will feature musicians, producers, DJs and videographers, using a variety of tools to create loops in real time, in front of live audiences.

LaFosse, who is now based in Los Angeles, grew up in Iowa to classical musician parents. As a young man, he was initially drawn to electronic music, and when he eventually picked up a guitar he set about using the instrument and a pedal board to recreate the sounds he had heard on hip-hop, glitch core and industrial records.

He refers to himself as a "turntable guitarist." "It's almost like being a DJ," LaFosse explains, "but you are creating the record you're spinning at the moment you're spinning it."

Using just a guitar, a looping pedal and a collection of FX pedals, LaFosse creates a rhythm section, chord changes and melody. The beats on many of his songs are composed of static swishes, electric crackles, the buzz of a guitar cord being plugged in, or the sound of a flat palm slapping the strings.

"For me, looping was a way of trying to expand the vocabulary of the guitar with electronics—of imposing the sound of the looper onto the guitar itself," LaFosse says. Using this method, he explains, "I'm basically getting things out of the looper that you couldn't get out of the guitar."

Walker first discovered looping at a Weather Report concert in the late '80s. He says he was "gobsmacked" when he saw the band's bassist, the late Jaco Pastorius, use a delay pedal to create a rhythmic loop, which he then played over the top of.

A longtime percussionist, Walker immediately saw incredible potential in the technology. "I thought, ‘Oh my God! If I could only do that,'" he recalls. "Being able to clone oneself was a really exciting idea." He quickly picked up the growing art form and has since made a name for himself in the burgeoning looping community.

In the past, Walker has invited bassists and other looping aficionados to headline the festival, but this is the first time Loopfest will be led by guitarists. In addition to LaFosse, headliners include Henry Kaiser, Daniel Thomas and Walker's brother, Bill.

Walker says he’s looking forward to this year’s event, adding that it will be a great opportunity to see some of the looping world's greatest innovators, who also happen to be some of the most forward-thinking artists in the realms of music and visual art. “The people who squiggle away from the mainstream that try to get away from the status quo,” he says. 


The Y2K13 International Live Looping Festival takes place from Oct. 18-20 at various locations in Santa Cruz County. For the full event schedule, visit y2kloopfest.com. Tickets are $15/door. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Santa Cruz Restaurant Week

A huge part of Santa Cruz Restaurant Week has always been about offering a great dining experience for an affordable price. For some locals, the $25 flat-rate cost has provided the opportunity (or the excuse!) to try new spots, and indulge in Santa Cruz fine dining in a way they might have thought too pricey before.

 

Scorpio Sun, New Moon Eclipse, Mercury Direct

The Sun enters Scorpio’s mysteries Thursday under a new moon and partial solar eclipse (something essential has come to an end, its purpose completed). In Scorpio we harbor secrets, are devoted to something deep, dark and hidden. Sometimes it’s ourselves. We can bring great suspect to our assessment of others. Scorpio is the scorpion, the serpent and the eagle—three levels of development. As the serpent we take shelter in our beliefs. Sometimes we bite (or sting). The eagle vanquishes old beliefs through its sharp intellect, soaring high in the air, seeking to understand through perspective. Understanding releases us from the bondage of fear. The eagle is like the mother soothing feelings of mistrust, offering protection. Knowledge does this, too.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Light Humor

College comedy questions a post-racial America in ‘Dear White People’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Back Porch

Austin Kaye on backyard dinners and why it’s his favorite time of year to be a chef

 

What’s the most outrageous situation you ever saw at a restaurant?

Damani Thomas, Santa Cruz, Chef/Owner

 

Wine Lust

The Spanish Godello grape, plus arancinis, tender butter lettuce and pork schnitzel at Soif

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher