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Thursday April 24, 2014
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Bernhoft

 

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beginning of each song and then loops. Part of the appeal of his music is the complexity of the rhythm tracks he spins on the spot; although they are electronic loops, they have multiple layers that he adds one at a time. He may strike the guitar strings to create a rhythm, turn the guitar over and rap on its back, beat-box with his mouth, or play a programmed loop. As a song proceeds, he may manipulate the rhythm further, stopping and starting tracks with his feet.

It's a razzle-dazzle act, and it's pretty good neo-soul, but Bernhoft is more than either of these. Ever since the emergence, after World War II, of the modern producer who substantially alters the sound of live musicians through electronic manipulation, musicians have been faced with the problem of reintegrating the live performance with the recorded artifact. The problem has grown only more acute with the introduction of digital music devices such as the sampler, which, you might say, have no analog analogues. Something seems to have been lost if music can't be reproduced live--it's almost not music anymore if people can't make it in person.

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