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Thoughts on Y2K3 ('03 Santa Cruz Live Looping Festival) CDs
Greetings loopfolk and lurkers alike,
I just wrote rather lengthy review and my e-mail program
crashed erasing the whole thing before I could send it. Damn!
I doubt if I can even remember half of what I wrote. But I'll
try to recreate the gist of it if I can. Sorry Robin!
For any of you who are even vaguely interested in what's
being done with looping (be your interest in hardware or
software loopers) you owe yourself the twenty-something
dollars it'll take to buy yourself the 2 CDs that Robin Haas
has created from his recordings of the Y2K3 Loopfest last
year in Santa Cruz.
The quality of the recordings is very, VERY good -- maybe not
"superior" but that's besides the point (and more a factor
of what the audio stream presented him than his skills
as a recordist). He's done a masterful job on that account
and presents us with a very even collection of excerpts
from a wildly varying group of artists/performers.
It's so even, in fact, that it's amazing to listen to this music
now (after having been there for every performance)
without any visual distractions and/or enhancements.
It's darn surprising how good all of this stuff now sounds
from artist to artist. All of the performers owe a great
debt of thanks (if nothing else) to Robin for all of his
This CD actually serves as a sort of "field-leveling" effect
between acts that were high-energy and visually well-
choreographed in performance and the ones where a "visual
component" was barely given ANY consideration at all
(or whose visual presentation was more of a distraction
than an enhancement).
It's (at least) harder to tell the gifted "shoegazer" loopers
from the gifted, all-around "entertainer" loopers anyway.
That's my first impression. Perhaps it's my unavoidable
status as one of the former (rather than the later) that
makes this seem "positive" to me. One would have to
ask Amy X Nueberg or John Whooley (I guess) to get
an opinion from the other direction though.
Speaking of Amy X, she opens Volume 1 (and is also
present on Volume 2) and she was as tough an act
to follow as any. The more sedate instrumentalists and
"knob-twiddlers" who follow her (here and there) in later
tracks need not feel too embarrassed by comparisons
here. No one can see her body language, dance moves
or deft manipulation of her EDP by hitting a drum pad
with a stick in time to the music.
And no one can see me sweating and drooling all over my
guitar like some crazed cretin (or my 5 agonizing minutes
of hellish pre-performance "technical difficulties") either
. . . thank God. Heheh. So the "leveling" effect of the CD
format even works for morons like me. But enough about that.
There are great tracks here by almost everybody that
performed. Being a guitarist I lean towards Volume 1
as a favorite. But I am listening to Volume 2 (for the 3rd
time now) at the moment and it gets points for creativity
risk-taking and "edginess" too.
Both disks have a sprinkling of the Walker brothers here
and there . . . and both feature a track by the superb
guitarist Gareth Whittock (Y2K3's headliner) from Wales/UK.
There is really nothing here that is a bummer in any way
and there's a whole boatload of stuff to like
Of course there is nothing like attending one these festivals.
The sense of community and the valuable exchange of
knowledge and experience shared is priceless. No CD
can really convey any of that. But, if you'd like to hear
some of what music was being made (by way of a sort
of "best of" collection) this 2 CD collection is for you.
Run, don't walk to:
Robin! You and Rick rock! You both ought/need to get on
the local Bay Area college radio stations NOW with this stuff
and start promoting Y2K5.
tEd ® kiLLiAn
Ted Killian's "Flux Aeterna" is also available at: Apple iTunes,
BuyMusic, Rhapsody, MusicMatch, MusicNet, DiscLogic, Napster,
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