High Street Ghosts, asynchronous guitar loop music

I’m generally negligent on the self-promotion, but there are a few technical ideas in this that I thought were interesting enough to share.

I’ve been working a lot on figuring out a way to perform with a guitar that suits my temperament. I’m generally interested in constructing something resembling a kind of electronic music, the guitar as sound source just simplified things for me. These tracks have post-production on them, but I could easily play them live as is, now I just need to get around to pushing myself to go play live somewhere.

For this, I’m using the 1010 Blackbox as the primary looper, mostly because it has a lot of available layers and they can all play out of sync to each other. There are down sides to the Blackbox, which I think manifest in the way these tracks play out. There’s no overdub function so that there aren’t seamless loops, each one has to come to a quiet end. No overdubbing means that there aren’t really any layered loops, so filtering and post-effects are per sound. And the Blackbox has limited means of transforming audio once recorded.

The upside to using it is really the asynchronous looping, which was my main focus in all of this anyways, along with using effects as supplementary voices, especially leaning in to the artificiality of pitch effects. The goal was static structures with variation created loosely by the timing of loops, and creating something multi-voiced out of solo guitar playing.

In post-processing, I really got into the time curves in Cableguys’ Shaperbox, it’s really effective at pitch shifting with subtle time jumps.

It’s been fun to make guitar music without identifying as a guitar player at all. I’ve learned to function with the instrument well enough, but I’ve never learned to play any songs, which probably speaks to the harmonic simplicity I lean towards. There’s a lot of material for this release recorded over the past year that didn’t make the cut, there was a sort of post-pandemic blues utility for me throughout.

There’s probably a lot of Bill Frisell/Ry Cooder, slow dusty Americana influence hanging over it, although not in any way that shows off similar chops, since those guys can really play.


wonderful work! i’ve also been exploring similar spaces—there is something there about guitars decaying/not decaying in time/out of time.

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Thanks! Guitar definitely is compelling to play. I think it’s been good for my brain the past few years to switch to a physical sound source. A lot of what I’ve made over the years I’d consider sampler music, so this guitar music is more of that with one part of the equation already spoken for.

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This is awesome and in my cart for the next bandcamp Friday (this friday I think?!)!

Do you have a Norns/Norns Shield? Curious if you’ve tried out OOOOOO for this kind of thing? I’ve done some guitar looping with it and I love it. You might like it too.


Fantastic atmospheres there.very much feel the Frisell vibe. Well done.

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I don’t. I admire Norns a lot, but I’m on a strict try-not-to-buy-anything regimen, so my operating goals are now entirely based on seeing what I can do with the stuff I already own (which turns out to be more than enough to get me through quite a long time). I’ll try to hunt down some videos of OOOOOO though, love to see this kind of thing in practice.

Thanks. I’ve listened to Frisell so much that it’s ingrained into how I even think about guitar. This past year, especially the Music IS solo album.

I was lucky enough to see him and thomas morgan in NYC before the pandemonic. Keep it up!

I know youre not buying stuff, but 4ms DLD with some clocking and pedal control would suit what you’re doing. I use that setup with my guitar a lot.


I don’t have the DLD, but interestingly, I almost never mix the guitar with modular. No idea why, probably just out of an effort to not switch one more thing on, or to not have to look up or something.

This is wonderful, I’m really enjoying it. :+1:

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Thanks, that’s really gratifying.

I’m only a few mins in, but finding this to be wonderfully mellow and calming.

Thanks for sharing.

If you do get to playing these live, I’m curious how you’ll go about it- playing with the loops primarily? Or with the guitar? Both?

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Awesome! I admire your tremendous restraint.


Wow… Love it! Great work!

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Interesting process and music, thanks for making and sharing it

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Thanks everyone for the positive responses, truly means a lot.

The starting conditions I’ve set for myself are using a limited amount of equipment that I can pack/unpack in seconds and carry alone on a bus, starting from an empty looper template. In terms of carrying, guitar in a gig bag, electronics in a single case, a guitar stand strapped to the side and maybe a few conveniences on top of that.

The intent is all improvised looping based on the first thing that comes to mind. It really is amazing how complex a simple system can be. I can even work pretty quickly without hearing myself, so monitoring and everything else can be all ad hoc. Now I just need to get my head around doing it out in the world (truthfully always the barrier).

In practice, I’d make a quick sound or phrase, I might try it silently first and then record, but it’s all whatever possesses me, and then just building as I go trying not to be too samey each time out. A few layers in, I might put the guitar in its stand and construct some variations in the sampler, since it can do a lot of things like slice, pitch adjustments, granular playback. There are probably a few things I’d like to add just for my own clarity of thought, like I haven’t really decided on my preferred output stage and post effects routing, but I’m not sure how rigid I want to be.

My goal is in creating a moving variety of sound and seeing how quickly I can make compositional decisions within that, so it’s all kind of immediate, intuitional practice. It’s proven fairly fruitful so far, in that I can sit down at any time, turn stuff on and quickly make something I think is reasonably cool even if I don’t plan to commit to it in the long term. In the making of these seven tracks, I’m sure I recorded hundreds because it started based on goals for practice rather than concepts and preconditions.

As a basic proof of concept (haven’t really tried this explicitly before) I just turned on the set up as described and did like FACT’s 10-minute challenge of just hitting record with nothing planned and go:


In terms of final product, I can think of a thousand changes I would make, but in terms of sit down and compose a performance, I think it functions okay.


I really like the way the asynchrony and your minimalism work together.

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very pleasant surprise

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