Take one part Joe Satriani, one part frantically programmed percussion, and throw in a dash of Mellotron and you've pretty much got yourself Andre LaFosse's latest genre-busting CD, Disruption Theory. This guitar-heavy release is not much more than a showcase for LaFosse's mastery over the electric guitar, with Andrew seemingly squeezing every texture out of the beast as he possibly can (or just randomly going through his pedal board's factory-defined patches - I'm really not sure which). The guitar playing on Disruption Theory is very well done indeed, but the major hurdle which LaFosse must overcome is to keep this 60 minute drum machine/guitar showcase from getting tedious. The final result of this struggle is a mixed one: there are flashes of brilliance in some of LaFosse's rhythmic guitar work, but unfortunately during some of these 10 minute tracks, tedium rears its ugly head from time to time as well.
The percussion tracks laid down by LaFosse to serve as a backdrop to his guitar antics seem to be influenced by house or jungle music - you could almost envision some of these complex and catchy rhythms being blasted out of a D.J.'s sound system at a sweaty downtown dance club. However, the electronica ends there as every other sound on the CD (with the exception of a Mellotron sample on the title cut) emanates from LaFosse electric guitar. LaFosse really does show off a dazzling array of different sounds out of the guitar, ranging from down and dirty distorted grooves to smooth jazzy riffs to more airy and ambient background sounds. Andre switches between standard guitar sounds and more synthesized effects effortlessly, and truly shows a mastery of his instrument. While technically this is a very good guitar album, it does begin to lose its appeal after about 30 minutes of listening. There just isn't enough variety to keep things interesting for very long, and the warp speed electronic percussion grated on my nerves after a short period of time. Also, LaFosse seems to choose guitar sounds at random, and while the wide array of textures is impressive, it's not always appropriate for the songs. The title track "Disruption Theory" is a good example of this, with LaFosse seemingly simply trying every bank available to him on his effects box without much regard for the composition itself.
That's not to say that Disruption Theory is a poor album - there is a lot of interesting guitar work here, and the percussion elements are interesting at least for a few songs. However, Disruption Theory seems to suffer from its lack of distinctiveness - all the songs really begin to meld into one another, and are deficient in their uniqueness. Great guitar work does not automatically equal a great album, and Disruption Theory is a case in point. Hopefully in the future, the very talented LaFosse will team up with some other humans to create some more eclectic and engaging music, but he falls a bit short of the mark with Disruption Theory.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.