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By Christopher Gray, July 21, 2006, Music


"I've always had a predisposition to figuring stuff out," says Erik Wofford, the soft-spoken local producer whose recent credits include Voxtrot, Snowden, the Black Angels, the Octopus Project, and Okkervil River. "I've always been curious how things work. I've always loved music and studied it really carefully, and always knew that I had to learn it on my own terms." A big fan of Sixteen Deluxe while attending Austin's McCallum High School, Wofford, 27, recorded more than 100 bands for KVRX's weekly Local Live program and was present the July 4 when Breaker Morant walked out of the station and decided to change their name to Explosions in the Sky. His first project was friends Experimental Aircraft; others include Western Keys, EITS, early work with My Morning Jacket, and forthcoming albums from Youngmond Grand, Zookeeper, La La Land, AM Syndicate, Til We're Blue or Destroy, and Tia Carrera. "I end up being friends with most of the bands I work with," says Wofford from behind the board of Cacophony Recorders, the spacious, Daniel Lanois-inspired East Austin studio he shares with local musician and producer Darwin Smith. "It's a much better way to work than to just look at these bands as a paycheck." Wofford, who recently joined Steve Lillywhite, Niko Bolas, and the Matrix on L.A. producer-management firm Worlds End's roster, has certainly found an unusual way to apply his UT geology degree. "Geology's a mixture of science and creativity, and that's kind of what I do," he says. "I handle the technical part of making a recording, and that lets people let loose and do whatever they want."

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