Artist layers loops to create sonic ‘illusion’
MUSIC - HE performs under the name Sonic Delusion but what Andre Manella actually creates is a “sonic illusion”.

In his efforts to create a concoction of funky Latin, folk and fresh contemporary flavours, Manella uses a loop pedal to record snapshots of sound as he plays live, artfully layering them into the weave of the song.

“It’s original music that I describe as funky loop folk pop,” he says.

“I lay down the guitar or different vocal lines, backing vocals, my own percussion and bass . . . it can be laid-back acoustic or danceable.”

Often, the now New Zealand resident Swiss ex-pat delivers that sound via his Taranaki-based band, also called Sonic Delusion.

For his current tour, however, 35-year-old Manella is performing solo to promote his new album, Positive Or Negative (+ or -).

Though “solo” is a subjective term.

Once he incorporates all of his loops in his live shows, he sounds like he’s got an entire band behind him.

And while he is travelling he has company of a more tangible variety. For the duration of his massive tour — during which he will play around 20 shows this month alone — he is joined in his big green bus by his wife Renee and their two young children, five-year-old Amelie and three-year-old Finn.

But exactly where Manella is going to play at every location changes on a semi-regular basis. At some centres he auctions gigs on-line, so has ended up playing venues from hotels and bars to people’s back decks.

One played in Napier last week, for example, saw an impromptu audience crammed in their mate’s lounge where Manella performed and, by all accounts, it was good times all round.

It’s a concept he says grew from the initial idea of using private shows as a way to get his music heard: “I thought to myself ‘where are the best parties?’ and, to be honest, the best parties are in people’s kitchens or lounges.”

Sonic Delusion plays at Gisborne Wine Centre tomorrow (7pm).


Last year Gisborne District Council considered redeveloping the city centre but decided instead to improve its maintenance and plantings. Do you think it should revisit this decision and develop the city centre?

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