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Issue #28 Volume #2 Fall 2011 www.thedelimagazine.com
North Highlands Lucius EXITMUSIC Ill Fits mahogany outernational Computer Magic Monogold Snowmine Mr. Dream The mast Lily & the parlour tricks Psychobuildings Mitten Not Blood Paint Ohnomoon Sydney Wayser Zambri
The stepkids ’s
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1 1 ’ J CM ial spec e issu
2011 Stomp Box Exhibit
~In The L.E.S. During CMJ~
at Touro College Join the DIGITAL MEDIA ARTS PROGRAM hands-on training: Touro • at pro toolsCollege • hands-on reason training: pro tools • •ableton live reason • •recording ableton live • •mixing recording • •midi & more • mixing 877-DMX-1210 • midi & more www.dmx.touro.edu 877-DMX-1210 www.dmx.touro.edu
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everything about the nyc music scene
FREE FOOD FOR MUSICIANS!
he Deli and INDMUSIC will offer free Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to all musicians who show up with a guitar or a CMJ musician badge on Friday 10/21 and Saturday 10/22 at The Living Room (154 Ludlow Street) at 1:30pm, until supplies last.
Issue #28 Volume #2 Fall 2011
Note from the Editor Deli readers, As you may have noticed, this issue of The Deli is almost entirely focused on the artists playing at our CMJ showcases (more precisely, the ones based in NYC, since our mag only focuses on local acts). This year’s Music Marathon is particularly exciting for us: we have 4 official shows throughout the week all in the Lower East Side, with our flagship show at Pianos on Thursday the 20th involving some of the best artists we’ve ever booked. Additionally, we’ll present the first edition of our Stompbox Exhibit the afternoons of the 21st/22nd; an official CMJ event for guitarists which we hope will become a permanent feature of the Marathon. The magazine you are holding is pretty much a guide to what The Deli has going on on that CMJ week — there’s lots to be discovered. Enjoy! -Paolo De Gregorio
Editor In Chief: Paolo De Gregorio Founder: Charles Newman Executive Editor: Ed Gross Art Director: Kaz Yabe (www.kazyabe.com) Cover Photo: Kate Edwards (www.kateedwardsphotography.com) Senior Designer: Ursula Viglietta (www.ursulaviglietta.com) Graphic Assistant: Kelly McDonough Web Developers: Mark Lewis, Alex Borsody Staff Writers: Bill Dvorak, Nancy Chow, Kenneth Partridge, Lauren Piper, Dean Van Nguyen, Mike SOS, Meijin Bruttomesso, Dave Cromwell, Quang D. Tran, Ben Krieger, Mike Levine In-House Contributing Writers: Charlie Davis, Simon Heggie, Christina Morelli, BrokeMC, Gina Alioto, Leah Tribbett, allison levin, Ed Guardaro, Amanda F. Dissinger, Abigail Devora, Jason Bertone The Kitchen: Janice Brown, Howard J. Stock, Shane O’Connor, Ben Wigler, Matt Rocker, David Weiss, Justin Colletti, Gus Green Interns: Mijhal Poler, Fanélie Rodoz Publishers: The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC
Read The Deli in PDF at
We hope you will find 10-15 minutes to come to try (with headphones supplied by Shure!) some of the pedal boards on display at The Living Room and Ludlow Guitars (both on Ludlow St in the LES). You’ll find most of these pedals featured in our Kitchen section at the end of the issue.
www.delicious-audio.com The Deli’s sister site delicious-audio.com deals mostly with pedal fx reviews and advice for musicians. Here’s a shortlist of our best articles:
Recording: Home vs. Studio
the deli’s icons folk
YC based musicians and those in town for CMJ will see this stomp box illustration everywhere during the Music Marathon week. It’s promoting an interactive guitar pedals exhibit organized by The Deli and blessed with CMJ’s official stamp. One of the reasons why we decided to do this is because we find that stomp boxes, more than any other piece of musical equipment, seem to reflect the values of the indie scenes we cover: they are a niche market, fueled by creativity and passion, operating within a sonic realm that offers endless possibilities… Also, they are often crucial in defining the sound of most original indie bands, and they are also subject to “look” and “cool” factors that draw an extra parallelism with the music scene in general.
Pedal Reviews + Advice for Musicians
BRING YOUR GUITAR, TRY PEDALS!
The Question Is: Can YOU Do It?
Indie producer/musician Bruce Kaphan (R.E.M., David Byrne, Red House Painters, American Music Club) analyzes pros and cons of recording the DIY way. (delicious-audio.com/noplacelikehome)
Choosing a Recording Studio Pick Carefully & Things to Consider
loud rock psych rock dance
What do you need to look for in a recording studio? In this article you’ll find all the advice you need about equipment, engineers, rooms, rates, and ways of approaching the recording experience. (delicious-audio.com/studio)
Drums in the Studio hip hop melody/soft electronic
good! prime nyc music
The Deli Magazine is a trademark of The Deli Magazine, LLC, Brooklyn & Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2011 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.
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Performance & Recording Tips
Drummers shouldn’t miss this article! 4 Top NYC producers answer our questions on how to perform, hit, and tune the drums in recording situation. And... is your drummer tight and can he/she play to the click? (delicious-audio.com/drums)
Are you in a 16-input band? Want to mix and record? Here’s how to save almost $3,000. *
*How we calculated savings on a 16.0.2. We used retail prices from a Large On-Line Dealer as of mid-August, 2011 and chose mid-priced gear to match as close as possible what the StudioLive 16.0.2, its Fat Channel and digital effects provide: Compressor-Limiter-Gate, 2 PreSonus ACP88s, $1799.90; Graphic EQ, ART-EQ, $189; 8-channel computer interface, 2 PreSonus FireStudio Projects (which ends up with 20 inputs, not 16); Analog Mixer; Mackie® 1604 VLZ3 (which only has 10 mic preamps, so this sort of balances the 20 interface inputs), $899; Effects Processor, Lexicon™ MX-200, $199; Racks to Lug Around the Outboard Gear, 2 Gator™ GR-8Ls, $379.98. That totals up to $4266.78 not including a whole bunch of connection cables. A StudioLive 16.0.2 currently runs $1299 on the same web site. Which yields savings of $2967.78 and ends up getting you a whole lot more. ©2011 PreSonus Audio Electronics. All Rights Reserved. StudioLive, FireStudio, Capture and XMAX are trademarks of PreSonus. Studio One is a trademark of PreSonus Software, Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.
Buy all this stuff and you STILL can’t control it from an iPad like you can with a 16.0.2. Neener neener.
rying to cut costs by getting an “affordable” analog mixer? To sound as good with an old-skool analog mixer as you will with a StudioLive™ 16.0.2 digital mixer — and record your whole show live — you’d need to buy*: ■ A 16-input analog mixer ■ 16 channels of quality outboard compression, limiting, gating and high-pass ﬁlters ■ A 31-band stereo graphic equalizer ■ 2-channel digital effects processor ■ 16 channels of computer interface ■ A rack to haul all that outboard gear around in. And a whole lotta cables. And a DAW program. But after all that, you still wouldn’t have the convenience of recalling unlimited scene and channel presets, remote control from a laptop or iPad®, two-click multi-track recording or control of volume and effects from a MIDI pedal. Hit our site for some bayou-grown videos and more info on the StudioLive 16.0.2. Thern visit your PreSonus Dealer.
Integrated software suite for recording, production & control via laptop or iPad. 2-click multitrack recording with Capture™
Full-on DAW production with Studio One Artist™
Laptop and iPad control with Virtual StudioLive™
Delicious Music & Videos @ The Deli’s CMJ Shows
s you know, The Deli doesn’t miss ONE opportunity to give exposure to more deserving emerging artists. This year we will integrate our CMJ live shows with videos by 35 bands, which will be projected in between sets.
The videos were selected by our friends at INDMUSIC from hundreds submitted for consideration. INDMUSIC is a Youtube Network that aggregates the best independent music content and a Channel that creates videos. Here’s the list of the ones they selected for our shows: Aabaraki’s Karate is a slow jam with a combination of Weird Science and sexy fight scenes from Kill Bill, but entirely awesome. Air Review’s America’s Son is a wonderfully shot return to childhood curiosity. Andrew Belle’s The Ladder—if there’s ever a fox in your dreams, follow him to animated bliss. Bleu’s How Blue have fans dedicated enough to sneak into their hotel room. Carbon Tigers’s Science, a cool day-in-the-life video that ends with a lot of shreddin’. The Click Clack Boom’s Cryptic Condition is about… getting out of Brooklyn!!! Chappo’s Come Home creates a far superior Dr. Who (say the guys who’ve never seen a single episode). Conversations With Enemies’s Night of The Living Dead gives advice on how to survive a zombie apocalypse. The Damn Choir’s Virginia—Virginia is for loving this video. The Dig’s You’re Already Gone, because all of our ex-girlfriends have dreamed of tying us up in string and leaving us in the woods. Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’s Episode 1: Arrival is a shot for shot remake of the opening to The Prisoner with screaming vocals. Don Ryan’s This Town is equal parts sequined dance party and awesome psychobilly rock. Eula’s Maurice Narcisse—Ninjas in animal masks can’t compete with this punk rock princess. Futurist’s Antihero is the most convincing argument for So You Think You Can Dance: Williamsburg we’ve ever seen. K. Flay’s Doctor Don’t Know—tap dancing white girl rap should be a thing now. Kansas Bible Company’s How to Build a Planet—Apparently, you build a planet by playing on every corner with your eleven-piece band. Inu’s Stephen Colbert is a stylized tribute to our favorite conservative late night pundit. Jordan Galland’s To The Top—If we’re going to be murdered, violent-deathby-hot-model-assassin is the only way to go. LA Font’s Fine Lines is a story of a band with a rocket dog and machine gun guitars that can fly! Lakookala’s Bad Timing—don’t piss this woman off or she’ll tie you up & torture you with awesome music. Late Guest At The Party’s You Make Me Nervous—a guy in a chicken mask makes us nervous, and we like it. Lisa Jaeggi’s All The Good—Water balloons do kill people, no matter how awesome your war paint is. The Loneliest Monk’s
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watc all thhe videos @
youtube om /indmu.c sic
The Ghost and The Silhouette is the Alice In Wonderland steampunk ballet epic fantasy that every girl dreams about. Monogold’s Spirit or Something—why weren’t we invited to this party? The Morning Birds’s It’s Then You’ll Know—spooky, sexy sixties-inspired siren complete with a sped-up gothic breakdown, this video has it all. The Nico Blues’s Living Proof is a one-take video of the best band practice ever. Onward, Soldiers!’s Let the Time Roll By—walking around in a circle at band practice while our attractive and talented friends dance behind us. Seasons’s…Of Our Discontent—Ladies, never date a boy who wants to remove the speakers from your arms and back. Silver Swans’s Meet Me Somewhere Nice—hand claps and wave balloons along the coast of San Francisco. Son of the Sun’s My Best Mistake— California living at its best: cute girls, great song. We’re in love! Streight Angular’s Everyone is Syncopated—This video hipsters so much hipster, it’s hipster… and we love it. Whiskey Shivers’ Gimme All YourLovin’—Brad Pitt good looks and a bow tattoo totally forgive the dead bodies under the floorboards. The Wicked Tomorrow’s Just Break—Breaking and entering for band practice is cool as long as you don’t destroy the building… oh. White Life’s Time Is Wasting—we’ve never seen someone so excited to be crashing in his sister’s basement. Wizard Rifle’s The Organ Donor Song—metalheads teach us organ donations are used to make animated world-destroying robots.
The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’11
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Spanish Prisoners By Dave Cromwell
ou have to admire the panache of a band who describes their sound as “tremolo-haze headphone symphonies.” Such is the case with Brooklyn’s Spanish Prisoners. Their album Gold Fools is set for an October release, and contains a number of outstanding tracks. “Los Angeles Guitar Dream” weaves deep toned single note guitar melodies with lively cymbal rushes. Notes struck with authority and pitch bending tremolo are emphasized. Lyrics tell a story of plans gone awry: “She put a cigarette in the tip jar. But she — she never phones home. Acid blue smoke rises. His temper gone broke. Los Angeles Guitar Dream — was a hoax.” Clear glockenspiel-like note accents (so popular these days) contribute further to the melody. There’s a spoken word segment in the middle, giving the whole thing a cinematic quality. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/spanishprisoners
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By Ed Guardaro
ently, Ohnomoon’s, “Sleeping Limbs” creeps slowly into a guitar fueled, distortion ridden onslaught of sound and tension. Their debut release centers around a chillingly poignant lyric, “Protect me
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an e cey
Mahogany RIYL: Cocteau Twins , Asobi Seksu, Ste reolab
RIYL: Warpaint, Belly, Sonic Youth
from what I want,” and hints at a theme of issues with trust and companionship. Vocalist Katt Lee has a beautiful, sultry tone to her voice, that is dubbed and echoed to match the sonic force of the louder than life guitars and shuffling drum beats. Ohnomoon has only released one track to date and gigs frequently in NYC. Web: www.ohnomoon.bandcamp.com
People Wall” continues the hyper-funk bass guitar with cymbal-emphasized percussion pattern, but features female vocals out front. While “Supervitesse” marshalls the formidable power of Cocteau Twins legend Robin Guthrie for an as expected shimmering mix. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/mahogany
Exitmusic See feature on p15!
laThe nc e
Dream P Top 20op
By Dave Cromwell
laying a style of music they describe as Nüdisco ,Vltrarock and Echo Deco, the New York and Philadelphia based band Mahogany presents a decade of recorded work as evidence. On “One Plus One Equals Three Or More” an angular bass line drives forward momentum as high-hat and snare heavy percussion rattle along side of it. Distant atmospherics soon work their way into the mix, as do handclaps and quickly strummed high-pitched guitars. The sum effect is one of a hyper funkiness. Vocals are delivered in a mostly male only or blended male-female tandem. “The View From The
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The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts
1. Real Estate 2. The Antlers 3. TV on the Radio 4. Panda Bear 5. The Raveonettes 6. Crystal Stilts 7. Ducktails 8. Asobi Seksu 9. Woods 10. Bear In Heaven
11. School of Seven Bells 12. The Depreciation Guild 13. Frankie Rose and the Outs 14. Psychic TV 15. Suckers 16. White Magic 17. Blank Dogs 18. Mahogany 19. The Secret Machines 20. Apollo Sunshine
Check out our self-ge nerating online charts here: www.thedelima gazine.com/charts
The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’11
tuesday 10/18/11 The
ExitMusic RIYL: Cocteau Twins, Sigur Ros, PJ Harvey
An Agitated Dream
By David Cromwell
leksa Palladino and Devon Church make dreamy rock music under the heading EXITMUSIC. The band’s impressive live shows have been garnering much-deserved attention for the Brooklynbased married couple; on stage, Aleksa commands attention as the band’s lead vocalist. She also alternates between playing guitar and keyboards. Devon stands tall as the primary guitarist, and shifts effortlessly between providing power chords, quick riffs or melody lines and even employs at violin bow on the strings at one point. This fall, the finely crafted recorded works EXITMUSIC have been meticulously constructing will be released as their debut album From Silence.
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Devon came to New York by way of Winnipeg, Canada, while Aleksa grew up in the city. In addition to the music she has always made, Aleksa has an extensive acting career, and is currently featured in the HBO drama Boardwalk Empire. “I don’t think you can decide where your creativity comes from,” Aleksa says. “I feel that there is a place that I write from, a place that needs to be revealed. And this is the mood and the tone of that place,” she continues. “People often say our music is ‘dark’, and there’s truth to that, but I don’t feel like we’re ‘dark’ people or even that our music is all that dark,” adds Devon. “We’re just trying to express our experience of life as honestly and as compellingly as we can. Sometimes I get creeped out by how ‘happy and upbeat’ most music is. We are in the middle of 3 or 4 wars and a mass extinction, after all. After a point, this obsession with pop (especially in the indie world) begins to seem kind of insane.” Much of an EXITMUSIC show has a solemn quality. The vocals are frequently presented like someone almost going into a trance; of someone losing themselves in the moment. “The feeling of being on stage is a really hard to remember clearly afterwards,” explains Aleksa. “It’s almost like you have to find the spot where you can lose yourself in the moment while still being totally aware of where you are in time. I’m not in a trance, I’m just singing the words as weighted as I feel them,” she concludes. The band’s live show also presents some interesting guitar interplay. While Devon tends to play the longer, extended melodic notes (sometimes with slide) Aleksa will execute bursts of quick, forceful strumming that create a fuller sonic wash. “For me, I try to combine rhythmic and melodic elements in my guitar parts, so I’ll play chords that incorporate a traveling counter-melody that supports what Aleksa’s playing or singing,” says Devon. “I think of myself more as a rhythm guitarist than a lead guitarist, though I do play some ‘leads.’ But I almost never strum the guitar — just a few times during the set. Mostly I play arpeggios or deconstructed chords.” “It’s a language that I keep developing… it’s like a cast of characters or a palate of colors, each with something to say,” adds Aleksa. “I often play melodies by picking one string really fast, like a mandolin. I think this tremolo style — those explosions are just as emotional as the human voice. And I use those parts to sing with my guitar, and to disrupt the certainty of measured time.” On one of the songs in their live show, Devon used a violin bow across his guitar strings, creating a unique sonic tone and effect. “I used to play a lot with an e-bow, but I wanted something more expressive, and more guttural sounding,” he offers by way of explanation. “I like the deep moaning sound that you can produce by dragging the bow over the low strings of the guitar. You risk a lot of dissonance and feedback playing with a bow and a lot of reverb and distortion, so the intent is ultimately to wrest something beautiful out of what could potentially be kind of ugly. The influence for me is more Sigur Rós than Jimmy Page, but I also think of the violin bits in early Velvet Underground,” he concludes. The duo self-directed their video for “The Sea” using footage from Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1975 film The Mirror. “We’d seen a lot of Tarkovsky’s films, and when [Secretly Canadian label chief] Chris Swanson suggested we try cutting an existing film into a music video, we thought of him. But we hadn’t yet seen ‘The Mirror,’” says Devon. “When we did a google image search for ‘Tarkovsky,’ this stark, beautiful image of a sort-of deranged looking woman standing over a basin of water came up. Then there was another image of a woman levitating and a man standing reverently beside her. They were both from The Mirror. We Toutubed some montages of the film, and it was just incredibly rich with imagery. Especially the wind stuff is amazing. In a way, Tarkovsky’s wind is serving the function that the sea, the water, does in our song. His images, together with the stock footage of war and revolution that he used in his film, create this incredibly menacing, dream-like, apocalyptic feeling that seemed to fit perfectly with the music.” In a similarly cinematic vein, the band’s name is a reference to the music one hears as the credits roll at the end of a film. “Everyone always mentions Radiohead, but that’s not where we got the name from,” states Aleksa. “Exit music is the name for the last piece of music to be played in a film…the song that ushers people out of the theatre… the last piece of that ‘world’ they take with them. That’s what we heard when we played our songs back,” she continues. “Music that suggests a transition from world to another. My grandpa, Tony Palladino, is a graphic designer and has always had a unique way of making letters and words speak for themselves (he designed the lettering for PSYCHO). Anyway, he took out the space between exit and music… it fortified the whole concept. EXITMUSIC.”
making the world a better sounding place.
the deli_16 Fall 2011
10 jay street suite 405 brooklyn, ny 11201 (718) 797-0177 www.joelambertmastering.com
The Casualty Process By Dean Van Nguyen
ranian electronic band The Casualty Process’ journey from Tehran’s underground music scene to Brooklyn gained them some notoriety when they emerged on US soil back in 2009. Cutting their teeth in a city where their performances were illegal because their line-up included a female lead singer, this incredible story risked overshadowing their music. But the group’s bulky sound has won them many fans. With massive, grimy synth sections, screeching guitars and heavily thumped drums, The Casualty Process are comparable to famed UK stadium rockers Muse. But they shy away from soft hooks, and their output has flirted between minimum vocals to full on metal screams. The band recently released the EP [Un]even, a speaker-rattling five track collection, as well as a clutch of singles including their own version of The Pixies’ ‘Where is My Mind’, showcasing the band’s softer side. Web: www.soundcloud.com/the-casualty-process
Illuminator By Paolo De Gregorio
lluminator and their debut album Answer Voice The Child confirm our suspicions that NYC bands with a mellow sound currently have an edge in terms of originality over rocking/shredding ones. This guitarless up and coming Brooklyn group often sounds like a
Mitten RIYL: The Posta l Service, Au Re voir Simone
Affair, RIYL: MGMT, Hercules and Love Parts & Labor
crazier yet laid back version of french duo Air, with some added psych/experimental influences reminiscent of artists ranging from Pink Floyd to Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projector. Their soulful melodies also bring to mind early TV on the Radio. The ancient Greeks thought that at night you could hear the music of the universe while staring at the stars. Nobody ever heard that music, but if it existed it would sound very much like this record. Cosmic. Web: www.illumntr.com
Tiny Victories By Dean Van Nguyen
ince dropping their dance floor-filling debut single “Mr. Bones” last April, Tiny Victories have taken to the road, performing numerous shows as they polish their sound. Thus far the band (consisting of Brooklyn based duo Greg Walters and Carson Kelly) seem in no rush to release a sturdy body of music, but “Mr Bones” is a clean, dance-pop hybrid with bouncy synths, lush orchestration and multiple hooks, comparable to MGMT or Hercules and Love Affair. So fresh you can still smell the wet paint, there’s enough about them so far to suggest that Tiny Victories will be no small triumph. Web: www.tinyvictories.bandcamp.com
By Dean Van Nguyen
refreshing change of pace from some of CMJ’s more brawny, electro collectives, Mitten’s more elegant style has been compared to Au Revoir Simone and The Postal Service, whom the band itself cite as a major influence. Their arrangements are neat and chic, with programmed beats, pretty melodies, sweet vocals, twisted guitar licks and various other toys and treats rounding out their sound. Singer Maia Macdonald and producer Joanna Katcher formed under the Mitten moniker in 2009, beginning a process of songwriting via email that led to their debut EP See You Bye earlier this year. With all six tracks on that release so fully realized, it’s hard to believe Mitten are a band still very much making their way in the indie world. But chatting with both members, it’s clear they can’t hide their wideeyed excitement about their fledgling career. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/mitten
Computer Magic By Dean Van Nguyen
ixie Brooklynite Danielle Johnson — better known as Danz — began cutting music little over a year ago under the moniker Computer Magic, but has already garnered some encouraging write ups, an enthusi-
y tues8d/a11 1 10/
Aligning Kicks and Snares
By Paolo De Gregorio It’s a common practice for electronic indie artists to layer drum loops one on top of the other to create more complex and powerful rhythm patter ns. This often creates frequency cancellation and unpleasant “flanger-like” effects because of phase interaction problems between the two samples. This can be particularly evide nt on kicks, but also tom toms and snares. The concept is simple: any sound gets completely muted if two instances of it are played simultaneously with reversed polarity (or phase). Therefore
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delanc two similar sounds (like two kicks) can interfere with each other an awful lot if they happen to have waves “fighting” with each other. You can fix that by zooming in using your DAW interface and aligning the two
samples so that their “bigger” waves tend follow the same direction – try more than one option, every couple of milliseconds will change your sound quite radically.
ONIC R T C ELE TAGE S
ELECTROENIC STAG The
Pretty Good Computer Magic Dance Moves RIYL: Au Revoir Simone, Stereolab, Air
tron delancey Top 20 ic The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts
RIYL: early Of Montreal, MGMT , The Postal Servi ce
1. Neon Indian 2. Memory Tapes 3. Battles 4. LCD Soundsystem 5. Sleigh Bells 6. Julian Lynch 7. Ratatat 8. Twin Shadow 9. Scissor Sisters 10. Penguin Prison
11. Body Language 12. Le Tigre 13. Au Revoir Simone 14. Small Black 15. Anamanaguchi 16. Hooray for Earth 17. The American Dollar 18. Matthew Dear 19. Jamie Lidell 20. El-P
Check out our self-ge nerating online charts here: www.thedelima gazine.com/charts
within the Pretty Good Dance Moves discography. Their long-awaited full-lenght debut album is due out in February of next year. Web: www.myspace.com/prettygooddancemoves
astic fan base and a sturdy collection of tracks, all of which she’s made freely available online. Despite not charging for her music, the 21 year old’s vintage synth pop style already sounds fully formed. The arrangements bounce along efficiently, with Danz’s gentle voice cooing out the sweet melodies with candid optimism. In fact, there’s not yet a dud among her growing portfolio, which could easily fill a double album. A DJ, graphic designer and blogger to boot, you get the sense that this super-gifted Hunter College kid can do whatever she puts her mind to. Web: www.soundcloud.com/computer-magic
Psychobuildings By Dean Van Nguyen
tanding out from the crowd of ’80s dance music revivalists, Brooklyn trio Psychobuildings pull from the darker side of the new wave cannon. Their music is a psychedelic blend of heavy bass lines, synthetic beats, funky guitar licks and leader Peter LaBier’s vigorous vocals. Sometimes sinister, but always danceable, the band have been showcasing their six track self-titled EP
with an energetic live show that highlights not only their music, but LaBier’s impressive dance moves. It’s something he’s not afraid to speak about on the record. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/psychobuildings
Pretty Good Dance Moves By Dean Van Nguyen
nitially compared to the much-missed Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello collaborative effort The Postal Service, Chicago-bred band Pretty Good Dance Moves have since morphed through various forms of indie, electronic, new wave and pop as they’ve never shied away from stretching their creative muscles. Having formed in 2007, the duo— consisting of Jimmy Giannopoulos and Aaron Alletta—have since uprooted to Brooklyn, dropping well received EPs every now and then. Frequently collaborating with famous friends, including Company of Theives’ Genevieve Schatz and comedienne Kristen Schaal, almost every track has a unique place
Caged Animals By Bill Dvorak
aged Animals, a relatively new project by Soft Black frontman Vincent Cacchione, creates music that is poppy and infectious, yet slightly unsettling under the surface. The songs weave atmospheric flourishes with electronic quirks, pitch-shifted and distorted vocals, and catchy hooks. Although Caged Animals could easily be described as “chillwave” for its bedroom-recording aesthetic and penchant for synth lines and electronic drums, there’s more to the music than that. Cacchione isn’t afraid to venture into the odd psychedelic landscape here and there, and some of the songs sound almost alien, haunting the listener with otherworldly vocals and odd, discordant bits of noise. Check out “The Way It Feels to Be Hunted” to get an idea. Caged Animals create some forward-thinking pop music, and will hopefully be released into the wild to find a wider audience in the near future.
Slam Donahue By Dean Van Nguyen
Psychobuildings Japan, RIYL: Early Simple Minds, early early Duran Duran
Slam Donahue RIYL: Chappo, Prince, Beck
ay sd /11 e tu0/18 N 1 ROGE T EC A EL ST The la de
aving formed in Connecticut, Slam Donahue’s David Otto (vocals/guitar) and Thomas Sommerville (bass) attracted a local following with their formula of creating likable three minute pop tracks on cheap guitars, synths and half drum kits. With a number of independently released mixtapes under their belt, the band made the leap to New York City, hooked up with drummer Keenan Mitchell, and have now put out the double A side single Where Were We On The Weekend / It’s Scary. While still staying faithful to their lo-fi roots, the band maintains their pop ethos, loading both tracks with memorable hooks, catchy choruses and tons of good vibrations. Slam Donahue have yet to announce a follow up release, but with the group citing influences as diverse as The Beatles, Prince and A Tribe Called Quest, fans can expect just about anything.
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Lily & The Parlour Tricks By Meijin Bruttomesso
ew York-based Lily & The Parlour Tricks reinvigorates classic styles with a modern, sexy edge. Combining captivating retro, doo-wop, and three-part harmonies of Lily Claire, Morgane Moulherat, and Jade Fusco, playful rhythms, and synchronized dance-clap routines, L&TPT have the tricks of the music trade down to a tee, making them a notable group around town. With tracks such as swinging “Gigalo,” slinky “Apples and a Gun,” and tuneful “The Murder Song,” L&TPT envelop listeners in the sextet’s colorful and mysterious aura. The band and their fans anticipate the release of their selftitled EP, due out on October 18 at The Deli Magazine’s CMJ showcase at The Delancey. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/lilyandtheparlourtricks
Raccoon Fighter By Meijin Bruttomesso
ome musicians set themselves apart by creating a fusion, embracing a subgenre, or looking for the next trendy sound. Raccoon Fighter is not such a band. The South Jersey rooted, Brooklyn based group are a hard driving, no ambiguity rock and roll band. Powerful drums, epic guitar sounds, and emotive vocals are nothing new and never really went anywhere, but when was the last time you heard it sound so authentic and alive? When a group comes
Alt Ro c Top 20 k
The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts
1. Brand New 2. We Are Scientists 3. Semi Precious Weapons 4. The Bouncing Souls 5. Straylight Run 6. The Hold Steady 7. Stereo Skyline 8. Steel Train 9. Wakey!Wakey! 10. Alberta Cross
11. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 12. Morningwood 13. Locksley 14. Jesse Malin 15. Atomic Tom 16. Taking Back Sunday 17. The Willowz 18. Lissy Trullie 19. Robbers on High Street 20. The Ropes
Check out our self-ge nerating online charts here: www.thedelima gazine.com/charts
the deli_17 Fall 2011
Lily & The Parlour Tricks
Outernational RIYL: The Clash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Manu Chao
son RIYL: Dr. Dog, T. Rex, Wanda Jack
along that can do it without sounding like your uncle’s bar band, its time to turn it up and rock out. No irony or gimmicks needed.
Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/raccoonfighter
RIYL: Iggie Pop, The Rolling Stones, The Clash
By Meijin Bruttomesso
ock at heart, NYC’s Outernational reaches out to reggae, ska, punk, dub, polka, mariachi, hip-hop, and world music, much like their forward-thinking predecessors and audacious musical idols of the 60s to the present. Outspoken and outstanding, this revolutionary ensemble comprised of Miles Solay (vocals), Leo Mintek (guitar/back vocals), Jesse Williams (bass/back vocals), and “Dr.” Jesse Blum (trumpet/keyboard/electric organ/harmonium/accordion/clavinet), have been hard at work on their first full length record, Welcome To The Revolution and Todos Somos Ilegales EP. The group’s passion for their mission is even more apparent when they perform with an impassioned and fiery force. Outernational stands by their hopes and dreams for a “radical vision for the future of a world without borders,” a stance that has continued to blossom since their first EP, “Eyes on Fire” and only becomes stronger as the band’s grabbing music and message recruit fans and followers.
Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/outernational t
Nico Blues By Meijin Bruttomesso
ALT 10/18s/d1a1 y STAROC GE K de la Th
he Nico Blues is a NJ/NYC based rock band that sound a little bit as if Oasis (and at times Blur) exploded in Seattle in the mid ’90s instead of the UK — which is a way to say that they write good pop songs with great harmonies and then drench them in grungy distorted guitars. The quintet’s latest record, Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basement, features hard hitting percussion, crunching guitars, and vocals that trade-off
between melodious and roaring — isn’t that what you want to hear at an “Alt Rock” Show? Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/nicoblues
The Suicide Dolls (Boston)
io By Paolo De Gregor
Rock Vocals — Dubbing & Slapback Delay
rock vocals must It is pretty obvious to say that ive quality. Of course, have a pushy and aggress the most important the lead singer’s delivery is ls, but a lot can be voca g rdin reco n whe or fact artment to help them done in the production dep same part more than the ng ordi Rec t. sound grea Beatles, and always The as old as once is a trick to the lead part mism dyna and ure adds extra text versions two the sure e mak (you may want to other). But also try aren’t too different from each called “slapback a tight, short single delay (also This effect is so delay”) instead of a reverb. find a usable preset commonly used that you can reverb audio plug in. or y dela any ally virtu in it of The TC Helicon Voicelive Touch allows you to control the effect of your vocals live, and features a slapback delay preset.
toneprint Our awesome new line of stombox beauties don’t only look and sound the part, they also sport a super cool new technology called TonePrint. TonePrint allows you to download custom tunings made by your favourite guitarists, easy, fast and free using a simple USB connection. A veritable who’s who in guitar are on board and ready to give you their custom TonePrints. Forget emulation, let’s talk collaboration!
C o me s e e u s a t T he D e li’s StompBox Exhibit at C MJ!
Shaker Flashback Vortex Dark Matter Corona Hall of Fame MojoMojo Vibrato Delay Flanger Distortion Chorus Reverb Overdrive *Currently, five pedals support TonePrints: Flashback Delay, Hall of Fame Reverb, Corona Chorus, Vortex Flanger and Shaker Vibrato.
The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’11
Photo: Rob Chapman
Union Street Preservation Society 7:00pm
Union Street Preservation Society By Christina Morelli
t’s not often you see the words “Brooklyn” and “Americana string band” used in the same sentence, but Union Street Preservation Society brings the two together seamlessly. Comprised of five members from all parts of the country, the jazz-infused string quintet introduces upbeat rhythms, perfect instrument pairings, and musicality that sings without words. Their EP Spring to Rust, brings back the American roots tradition, full of life and bluegrass bounce that can lift you up and mellow you out all in one album. Fronted by guitarist David Leiberman and rounded out with Alex Borsody, Sara Bouchard, Jason Bertone, and Harrison Hollingsworth, Union Street Preservation Society is the ultimate hybrid of solid musicians, genuine roots feel, and that old country sound that brings you back to the lazy days of summer in the heart of America. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/unionstreetpreservationsociety
Dylan Trees (L.A.)
RIYL: Infamous Stringdusters, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Crooked Still
Shenandoah & The Night RIYL: Portishe ad, Grace Slick , Cat Power
crafted music, generating a buzz for Sweet Soubrette the extends way beyond the borders of New York City. Web: www.sweetsoubrette.com
We Are The Woods By Christina Morelli
here’s something endearing and catchy about the non-traditional ways that We Are The Woods approach everything from their marketing to their lyrics. Strong voices, beautiful harmonies, and simple melodies speak volumes over the standard folk scene in Brooklyn and New York. Consisting of Jessie Murphy, Marcia Webb and Tyler Beckwith, the trio offers an interesting blend of quirky song titles that match perfectly with their music, songs that both entertain and make thought-provoking statements simultaneously. Recent nominees for The Deli’s “Artist of the Month,” We Are the Woods is working on a steady stream of singles to release following up their debut album Eight Belles. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/wearethewoods
Shenandoah & The Night
By Mike Levine henandoah Ableman has the rare ability to turn any genre into sexy time. Comfortable singing in front of styles ranging from German cabaret to doo wop (check out her WTF cover of ‘Dink’s Song‘), her quintet Shenandoah & the Night are bringing sexy back... one sultry style at a time. As I learned from Shenandoah, all of this comes easy for her after a long experience touring with one of the craziest live shows around. Her band’s new self-titled debut EP showcases this sensuality with deep confidence, but the best way to really feel the heat is to see the band live.
Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/shenandoahandthenight
Photo: Don Razniewski
Sweet Soubrette By Christina Morelli
dgy, honest and sultry in deliverance, Sweet Soubrette has quickly risen as one of New York’s most intriguing songwriting forces to come out of Brooklyn. Featuring the vocal and musical talents of Ellia Bisker, whose first album Siren Song was released on the indie label MH Records in 2008, Sweet Soubrette hit the ground running with their sophomore album, Days and Nights, three years later. Both albums encompass Bisker’s fantastic incorporation of poetry and life in her sweet-yet-sassy lyrics, and Days and Nights features the addition of band mates Heather Cole, Mike Dobson and Bob Smith. An enigmatic performer, Bisker has charmed audiences with her rock star command and intelligently
the deli_19 Fall 2011
We Are The Woods Sweet Soubrette RIYL: Regina Spektor, Norah Jone s, Jaymay
RIYL: Fleet Foxes, Feist, Joan as Police Woman
Rootsy Top 20
The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts
Lucius Sydney Wayser RIYL: Feist, Rufus Wainwright, St. Vincent
RIYL: Feist, Joni Mitchell, Iron & Wine
1. Regina Spektor 2. Titus Andronicus 3. Ingrid Michaelson 4. Cat Power 5. Devendra Banhart 6. CocoRosie 7. A.A. Bondy 8. Antony and the Johnsons 9. Deer Tick 10. Kevin Devine 11. Daniel Merriweather 12. The Felice Brothers 13. Nickel Eye 14. Langhorne Slim 15. Phosphorescent 16. Jenny Owen Youngs 17. Josh Rouse 18. Adam Green 19. Kat 20. Jaymay Check out our self-generating online charts here: www.thedelimagazin e.com/charts
By Christina Morelli
By Christina Morelli
ndie songwriting extraordinaire Lucius is a powerful duo consisting of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig with band members Dan Molad and Peter Lalish. Their first album, Songs from the Bromley House, was penned and recorded in an old recording and music studio, a unique setting that led to a debut record met with rave reviews. Since that success Lucius has gone on to garner numerous accolades for songwriting and performances, including placing in the top 5 at the New York Songcircle Songwriting Competition in 2010. Compared to the likes of Feist by the New York Times, Lucius is on their way to national recognition for their unique sound, sweet harmonies, and exquisite lyrical skills. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/lucius
himsical and playful, with a touch of angst and a heavy dose of emotion, Sydney Wayser’s music sings like lullabies throughout the contemporary folk scene of New York City. The young singersongwriter’s sweet, engaging voice can be likened to that of Feist or Regina Spektor, filling up songs that seem reminiscent of a sunny day in Paris. Her second full-length album, The Colorful, is a lush mix of melodies and chords that intricately tell stories of her youth and experience. Sydney will be performing at several CMJ showcases at NYC venues this year, including Fat Baby, The Knitting Factory, Otto’s and Bar Matchless.
Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/sydneywayser
My Cousin The Emperor
By Christina Morelli ou just have to a love a downright blatant country sound bursting out of the typically angry, intense music scene that can occasionally describe Brooklyn. Enter My Cousin, The Emperor, a good oldfashioned rock n’ roll country band who gained worldwide recognition for their catchy and upbeat songwriting skills and “Best Alternative Country Song of the Year” at the Independent Music Awards. Their song repertoire consists of a healthy blend of smooth, percussive beats, foot-stomping country, and heartfelt jams that you feel inside out. They capture the spirit of New York City in the most non-traditional and unexpected way possiblewith a rootsy heart, a country soul and just enough city-inspired cynicism to make you feel at home (wherever that may be) as you down your whiskey and rock out with them.
Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/mycousintheemperor
By Paolo De Gregorio
Recording Group Vocals & Ha nd Claps: “Omni” Is The Answer
The Shure KSM44A feature a switchable mic pattern.
Since the turn of the century the indie scene has rediscove red the sonic and percussive possibilities of the human voice and body — choral and a Capella parts are back in fash ion, together with hand claps, finger snaps, foot stomping etc etc. When recording a group of peop le you may want to use a cond enser microphone with a switchabl e “omni” pattern, rather than your regular mic — which in all likelihood will have a fixed hypercardioid pattern. This is because the latter, besi des being directional, also suffe rs from “proximity effect”, a phenome non that increasingly cuts low frequencies the farther from the mic the soun d source is. Since you can’t physically fit a choir (or several pairs of hand s clapping) all close to a micr ophone, you need a mic that can give you balanced low frequencies even when the sound source is far. Well, this is exactly what the “omni” patte rn does, but not only: mics using that configuration are omni-direction al (hence the name!), so you can place mus icians all around them, not just on one side.
the deli_20 Fall 2011
My Cousin The Emperor RIYL: Blue Mountain, Wilco, Old 97s
The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’11
Ursa Minor 12:00am
Ursa Minor By Christina Morelli
ometimes there’s nothing better than Phair, The Pretenders a band that can fill you with energetic, RIYL: Patti Smitdh, Liz upbeat music that you can’t help but move to, and that’s exactly what Ursa Minor provides. Fronted by power vocalist Michelle Casillas and rounded out with a rock star band consisting of Tony Scherr, Rob Jost and Robert 12:40am DiPietro, the music of Ursa Minor is full of catchy riffs, bold pop rock vocals, and goodfashioned attitude to fill your inner rock n’roll spirit. Their most recent album, Showface hit By Jason Bertone the market running, feeding their fans with new reative and innovative while mainmusic that was a long-awaited follow up to their taining the classic sound that old2003 debut. With a healthy mix of sultry, sharp fashioned folk-lovers crave, Reverend melodies and consistently strong rhythms, Ursa John Delore is an avid pursuer of all the arts. Minor is quickly climbing the ranks as a mainFrom writing (he’s self-published two books stay band in the indie pop rock scene. of poetry) to music, Delore incorporates strong elements of literature and prose in all Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/ursaminor of his artistic outlets. His most recent project
Reverend John Delore
the deli_21 Summer 2011
Reverend John Delore RIYL: Ryan Adams, The Jayhawks, Arthur Rimbaud
involved a spontaneous writing and recording of a song inspired by Hurricane Irene, a collaboration of music and vocals from artists all over New York stranded inside watching the storm. His most recent album, Little John The Conqueror has received rave reviews and he’ll be releasing his next this coming fall entitled, Songs From Church Ave. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/reverendjohndelore
The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’11
IE y MIXED IND thur2s0d/a11 STAGE
INDIE D E X I M TAGE S
pianos RIYL: Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, XTC
Photo: Ani Katz
RIYL: A+ Setup, Whirlwind Heat, The Pixies
Little Red (AUS) 7:40pm
Mr. Dream By allison levin
r. Dream is not to ever be confused with the schmaltzy tune Mr. Sandman, about the creature who lulls you to sleep. Nor are they to ever be mixed up with Dream from Sandman the comic book. Because, quite honest, Mr. Dream doesn’t really have much to do with dreams. Instead, the band smacks the listener in the face with a brash reality. Aggressive
the deli_23 Summer 2011
and dischordantly catchy riffs from Adam Moerder and Matt Morello punctuate the tireless percussion provided by Nick Sylvester. But it’s the vocals that really get you. Traded off between Moerder and Morello, they paint a picture of anger at the futility of conformity and, at the other end of the spectrum, anger at, well, the victim who is most likely going to receive a “Knuckle Sandwich.” It’s certainly no lullaby, but that’s not what they’re going for. Mr. Dream is compelling and clever. They’ve harnessed an energy with their sound and overall presentation that makes for some damn good loud music. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/mrdream
By Simon Heggie / allison levin
eep from the frost of the long winter a new band has emerged with a broad primeval sound, plotting for you to step on and blow your little urban mind. Snowmine may have been covered up in the studio for over a year, but it was well worth it: their debut Laminate Pet Animal brings to mind a pastoral sweeping range of tones which go from longing drifting acoustics to electric drum patterns soaring with expansive horn sounds. Amidst projected videos, the band delivers a palatable
RIYL: Dr. Dog, Tallest Man On Earth, Thurston Moore
mix of tribal rhythms, gentle tenor melodies, and even the occasional harp glissando or tinkling bell. Led by Grayson Sanders with Austin Mendenhall, Alex Beckmann, Jay Goodman, Calvin Pia and a myriad of other “sometimes members” (with the “video sorcerer” Mark “Dr. Mojo” Johnson), Snowmine channels alternatively Fleet Foxes, the Arcade Fire and XTC from their “floral” period. Web: www.snowmine.bandcamp.com
Forest Fire By Ed Guardaro
th 10/urs MI 2 d XE 0/11a
orest Fire have self-produced two albums, Survival and the forthcoming, Starting At The X, “sometimes recording the whole band with only one mic,” says singer/songwriter Mark Thresher. Survival (2008) drew a considerable amount of international buzz, enabling them to tour Europe and appear on La Blogotheque. Forest Fire use simple and familiar sounds to compliment Thresher’s singalong style howls. Their songs portray a sense of longing and desperation, using bluesy, drawn out harmonies, and loose percussion perpetuate the band’s “no-rush” attitude. The music Forest Fire creates is serene and soothing, in an unconventional way. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/forestfire
ay sd/11 r u th 0/20 1
The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’11
ay thurs0d/11 2 10/
DIE MIXED GIN E
Photo: Kate Edwards
IE ND I ED GE MIX STA nothsursda
MIXED IN STAGE
Upstairs Lounge at Pianos
Caveman RIYL: Belle & Sebastian, The Shins, Best Coast
6:00pm Phone Ho me 6:45pm Illuminat or 7:30pm Ski Lodg e 8:15pm The Youn g Evils 9:00pm Bosco De lrey 9:45pm Dinosaur Bones 10:30pm North Hi gh
RIYL: David Bowie, B-52s, Talking Heads
RIYL: Solex, Björk
By Ed Guardaro
ccentric Brooklyn group Zambri chooses to keep its members mostly anonymous, though there is evidence of two sinister sisters, Jessica and Cristi Jo, and tales of a five piece band… Nonetheless, their art work is visually deceptive and their music is dark, sometimes breaching into full cacophony, but fear not! Somewhere, deep, down below the layers of skips, repeats, and echoes is a deep, sensual groove, older than time itself. If you had to check yourself the first time you heard Goldfrapp’s “Strict Machine”, then Zambri is for you. Mixing their electro-rock with psychedelically infused acoustic and electric elements, Zambri is a fresh amalgamation of contemporary sounds, so strange, yet so beautiful. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/zambri
By Ed Guardaro
ll Fits is made up of members from Amazing Baby, MGMT, Historics, and Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, who began
to play with one another as a ’90s alternative cover band, Kerosine Hat. They hope to, “do it for real,” this year and, “head to the U.K. for a little,” after they complete their forthcoming album. Ill Fits have an upbeat and catchy new wave sound, with righteous breakdowns and bridges, thanks to the harmonic masterminds, MGMT bassist Will Berman, Don Devore (Guitar), and Simon O’Connor (Guitar, Vocals). Vocalist Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson has a theatrical sensibility to his singing, reminiscent of the David Bowie or the B-52s. Ill Fits hopes to continue to gig as much as possible and continue progress on their album as they continue their now 4-month run as a, “serious,” band.
See feature on p2nds 9!
See feature on p31!
MIXED IN DIE STAGE
By allison levin
lthough indie pop wizards Caveman were featured on the cover of the Summer 2011 issue of The Deli, their debut album was released just a few weeks ago. Their unique style is a mellow indie pop reminiscent of an electric, dronier version of Belle and Sebastian. Their songwriting is nothing short than stellar. Expect this band to be around for a while and to conquer many hearts.
he best way to describe New Moods’ single, 7” is “dance music for ambient shoegazers.” Fans of Neon Indian and Washed Out, get your Moleskines ready and write this myspace down: www.myspace.com /newmoods (it has two more extra songs not from 7”). As with dance music, the “bomping beat,” as it were, is there. It’s just hidden under loops and layers of whispers and choirs and feathery vocals. Upon first listen this is the kind of music that can be a little easy to let wash into the background. However the diligent listener can hear the complex sonic peaks and valleys each song portrays. Every sound is building toward something great, even if it doesn’t quite know what it is. New Moods isn’t about reaching a destination, per se, it’s about the journey, a journey of dynamics and swelling emotion.
Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/caveman
Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/illfits
Caveman By Leah Tribbet
ay rs0d/11 u h t 0/2 1
IE IND D E MIX TAGE S
By Paolo De Gregorio
Mixing at Home? Get Your Low Frequencies Under Control!
One of the most common mistakes inexperienced DIY recording musicians make when mixing is mishandling the low and low-mid frequencies. First of all, ultra low frequencies under 40Hz are in most cases just unnecessary boomy noise — the only instrument that MIGHT have some useful tones down there is the kick drum, so you can safely place a High Pass filter on all the other tracks in the mix, including the bass (unless
you play Dub music), at around 40-50Hz. A similar 20-30Hz filter on the kick is also ok. Another important section of the frequency spectrum is the so called “low-mids” range (160-300hz). The body of almost all musical instruments occupies these frequencies, and if you don’t carve some of them out
with EQ you are bound to end up with a muddy mix. A gentle low shelf EQ at around 250Hz on instruments like guitars and even vocals might help cut the mud and get the snare and the bass notes to come through better, while other less crucial sounds can often be cut more aggressively in that same region. Getting rid of some low-mids will make your mix to sound more spacious — but if you go too far you’ll lose the oh-so-important “warmth” factor… Finding a balance in the low and mid low frequency is the toughest challenge when mixing — an art that can take years to perfect.
Our NEW Gull Wah pedal gives you three effects in one pedal. You get two distinct wah sounds - a light wah that works great for clean guitars and rhythm parts, and a heavy, smoking wah for distorted leads – plus the unique, incredibly rich dual-filter yoy-yoy effect. A SLOPE knob lets you shape the character of your wah/yoy sweep, and a BOOST function lets you set a higher volume for your output signal when you kick your Gull into action. You also get the unique HOTSPOT, which allows you to slow the onset of the effect and use the whole pedal to wah or yoy with. Also, the Gull’s new magnetic field technology takes away the fuss and bust and makes this pedal virtually indestructible. The T-Rex Gull is the wah pedal the world’s been waiting for. Try it out along with other legendary T-Rex tone pedals at the Deli’s Stompbox Exhibit! T-Rex Engineering will be at Googie’s Lounge, 154 Ludlow Street, NYC, from October 21-22, 2011
1 Ludlow Guitars 2 The Living Room
The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’11
ay thurs0d/11 10/2
NDIE I D E X I M GE STA
orth Highlands frontwoman Brenda Malvini is in the middle of discussing the Mariah Carey-inspired vocals for “Best Part” off of the band’s debut album, Wild One, when she abruptly stops. She catches her bandmate, guitarist Mike Barron, eyeing the remnant of her favorite Momofuku cookie. “You can have the last bite of the confetti cookie, Michael,” she offers. She squeezes his arm, looks into his eyes and deadpans, “You’re my best friend.” She giggles and goes on to explain that on their last sushi excursion Barron had also asked to share her food.
On a fairly quiet Wednesday night in late September, the disco ball is spinning and the disc jockey is blasting out tunes like it’s the bustling weekend at Greenpoint’s Veronica People’s Club, where drummer Jasper Berg is busy serving drinks behind the bar. Earlier, foodies Barron and Malvini conferred about the hierarchy of cookies in the city; City Bakery wins the top slot for now, but Momofuku still holds weight.
North Highlands RIYL: Stereolab, Tortoise, Spreepark
Bright Young Things
By Nancy Chow / Photo by Adam Wissing
EP and Video Release Party at Union Hall
11-11-11 friday november 11
photo by JJ Ignotz
the deli_29 Fall 2011
New EP: Maybe It’s Just Sleeping Union Hall: 702 Union St, Bklyn www.unionhallny.com
This affable pair initially met while attending New York University, where they discussed the possibility of playing together for a few years. Along with Berg, bassist Andy Kasperbauer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Stewart, they finally formed North Highlands in the middle of 2009. They hit the ground running hard and fast. They wrote, recorded and released the folk-tinged Sugar Lips EP within the first few months of being a band, leaving little time to rework the six tracks. The songs on the EP began as a strain delivered by Malvini in the form of a basic piano part and flushed out vocals, and the rest of the band wrote around that. For most of the tracks on Wild One, they worked in the reverse direction; Barron would bring a part of a song to develop with Malvini, then they gradually would bring in the other members and complete the song with the vocals and lyrics. “The way the songs were shaping up instrumentally was something that intimidated me at first,” says Malvini. “I really wanted to do them justice with words and my vocal parts.” Faced with a pressing deadline to finalize the songs, she confided in Kyle Johnson, Wild One’s producer. He suggested engaging in pedestrian activities and focusing on her surroundings like just going to a drug store and listening to the music playing there or jogging without the distraction of music. Malvini found herself crafting songs in strange positions. “You have to get yourself balled up like a pretzel to finish a song,” she says with a laugh. For the band’s latest single “Benefits,” she laid down on the floor of the band’s cold practice space and curled up in a ball, staring at her computer, when the lyrics suddenly came flowing out. She finished “Roundhouse” by singing and sitting on the steps of Fancy Time, Johnson’s studio located in Philadelphia’s industrial Fishtown neighborhood, gazing at a presumed drug den. The new songwriting approach yielded noticeably more mature and expansive songs on the album, while taking on a riskier, experimental approach. Building upon their psychedelic pop mélange, they have ushered in diverse influences that translate into delicate details that demand a close listen. Even songs they had been performing at their live shows over the past year had taken on different forms by the time they laid down the tracks. For example, “Best Part” started off as a spirited rock anthem on their set list but evolved into a supple R&Btinted jam after playing the tune quietly on a fortuitous whim. The palette that North Highlands paints on Wild One mostly resides on a muted spectrum with flights of bright colors. The record feels like the soundtrack to the slight transition period between summer and fall as the last embers of the warm season burn and give way to brisk, chilled days, but the songs have sprung from another type of shift — the growing pains of post-college life. Malvini ruminates over the possibility of writing the same songs in another city under different circumstances; a time when the country isn’t plagued by a recession. “You get into a good college and go to a good college,” she says. “You work hard, then you graduate. Now what? There’s nothing for you. I know these well-educated artists
the deli_30 Fall 2011
doing really crazy fucking jobs to survive here.” There is a prevalent sense of yearning in Malvini’s honeyed, wisebeyond-her-years voice. The songs exude a youthful vivacity but also inherit an uncontained restlessness. Even under the masquerade of celebratory pop tunes with dance beats, spry piano, vivid bass and chiming guitars, there’s still an underlying melancholic presence, a longing for something more. The more subdued, reflective songs contemplate and build with cyclical instrumentation, then release a whirlwind of emotions. “A lot of album is a kind of voyeurism, “ says Malvini. “Everything else I ever wanted is in the songs. It’s not actually something I participated in or ever had. It’s just this crazy feeling of desperation like, ‘When am I ever going to have this — this one thing? All of these things?’” The band unpretentiously plays on universal themes, which results in a comforting familiarity. For the album art, Stewart dug through his family photo archives and chose a black and white photo of his grandmother with other picture-perfect ladies, lined up by height, in a bowling league. His mother penned the album title and the band’s name in her graceful cursive. Barron relates the seemingly dichotomous connection between the album name and cover art to his mother who kept a prim and proper image at Catholic school; but when the school bell rang for the day, she would hike up her skirt, apply red lipstick, smoke cigarettes and head to the bowling alley. “It’s like you’re perceived as this one thing, but in reality you’re a fucking drunk; you’re a partier,” Barron explains the duality behind the phrase “wild one.” Although North Highlands has only digitally released Wild One, they hope to press the album on vinyl in the future with “magic dollars” they plan to earn themselves. They have considered using the fundraising site Kickstarter, popular with many indie bands to subsidize various projects such as touring and releasing records, but they feel their family, friends and fans have already supported and spent enough by attending their live shows. “I just can’t wait for people to hear the record,” says Malvini. “I hope everybody gets the chance to hear it. I hope it appeals to a lot of people. I want our experimental friends to dig on it. I want my grandpa to dig on it.”
Artist Equipment Check!!!
Echo Toy Microphone
The piece of equipment we found the most sonically inspiring was actually a spring-loaded plastic toy microphone which our producer, Kyle “Slick” Johnson, used to get certain drum sounds. The drum sounds really shaped the record, and using the toy microphone provided some interesting contrast. Kyle did an incredible job with that.
The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’11
MIXED INDIE STAGE
The Stepkids RIYL: Parliament, Sly Stone, The Fifth Dimension
By Dean Van Nguyen / Photo by Kate Edwards
he Stepkids capture all the glitter and gold of classic seventies funk, R&B and soul music with such expertise that their recently released self-titled debut album could pass for a rediscovered lost recording from that era. With their own personalities stamped all over their work, the band channels the spirit of Earth Wind & Fire, Sly Stone, Todd Rundgren and dozens of others. The Connecticutbased three piece could very well be considered a 21st century successor to those great artists. The Stepkids is comprised of guitarist Jeff Gitelman, bass player Dan Edinberg and drummer Tim Walsh. Jeff and Dan go way back, having connected some fifteen years ago over a mutual love of jazz music. “The first song [Dan and I] played together was ‘Oleo’ by Sonny Rollins,” explains Jeff enthusiastically. Talking from Texas via telephone as the band are currently touring, Jeff and Dan explained how these shared passions evolved into the formation of The Stepkids. “We were really into soul and R&B stuff,” says Jeff. “We always had this parallel interest in soul and jazz so it was only natural that it developed into something like this.” Before forming this group, Jeff had cut his teeth in a number of funk and R&B outfits, also performing in backing bands for the likes of Lauryn Hill, Jaheim, 50 Cent and Alicia Keys. Dan, meanwhile, was a member of underground reggae outfit Zox. The duo reconnected creatively in early 2009 and, after Jeff introduced Dan to drummer Tim, the lineup that would become The Stepkids was complete. This funky triumvirate quickly put together a set of songs with each member having equal say in the creative process. “Every step of the way was completely collaborative,” explains Dan. “We
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worked completely together. We wrote all the music together, we wrote vocal melodies together. We even wrote the lyrics together. We can’t think of any other group with three lyricists who write in the same room on the same band.” Working in this way, the band wrote the set that forms their debut album as quickly. As Jeff notes, “For us, we were on a real high musically when we were working on it. Once we recorded ‘Brain Ninja’ we thought that we had a totally new sound and that made us write a new album right away because we were so ridiculously inspired. We were sharing a lot of personal songs. We would all help each other write, and when we all got in the same room to write it actually felt like the next natural step. It wasn’t a big hurdle to get over.” With each member contributing their own prose, individual tracks often have multiple authors. So it’s not surprising that the record contains no real cohesive lyrical themes. Instead, the band pulled inspiration from all over the map. “We do specifically decide to make every song unique like maybe a Beatles album or something where every song has its own place,” says Jeff. “We write lyrics with the purpose of them being able to be interpreted by both sides,” adds Dan. “Hopefully they’ll have multiple meanings to different people.”
As well as sharing song-writing duties, the band also share vocal responsibilities with each member taking the lead at different times or all three contributing equally to the pretty harmonies. “We were very inspired by singers like David Bowie who have many different characters that they do,” says Dan. “For every single vocal part we weren’t thinking like ‘yes, we kind of want it to sound like this or a little more like this.’ We wanted to be able to sound like different types of singers.” These harmonies are key to the album’s unique sound. The sweet vocals and contagious melodies play against the raw, home-recorded production methods, which involved the band recording directly onto old-fashioned tape. ‘Santos & Ken’, for example, sports some vocal cord-straining singing reminiscent of Saturday Night Fever-era Bee Gees, but seemingly delivered at a distance of about halfway up the street from the recording booth. Elsewhere, ‘La La’ is a psychedelic spaceship ride, boasting one of the record’s most memorable and complex hooks. The simple lyrics on the chorus — made up of just a cluster of la-la-las — ironically contrasting the intricate tune. “The melody is all over the place,” laughs Jeff when speaking about ‘La La’. “It kicks our butt all the time.” The Stepkids has been released by independent Los Angelesbased label Stones Throw Records. Specialising in funk, soul and hip-hop, their roster boasts releases by Madlib, J Dilla, Georgia Anne Muldrow, MF Doom and Mayer Hawthorne, among others. Hooking up with Stones Throw has been a major boost to the band, introducing them to a ready-made fan base. Jess explains how the band hooked up with the label: “There was this DJ, Scotty Coates in Los Angeles, who heard our music and fell in love with it. Unconditionally [he] just helped us out. He gave it to [Stones Throw’s label head] Peanut Butter Wolf who heard it and
loved it and wanted to sign us right away. It’s been great. Our aesthetics are very similar. It’s really inspiring because there are not too many record labels out there that are like rock stars in terms that they have fans, not of each artist, but specifically the record label. That says a lot that the label itself has fans, even more than the artists.” Garnering much attention and acclaim since their first songs appeared online, and now with a full-length under their belt, the band are not ready to slow down. After their current scheduled of US shows, which includes a performance at The Deli’s CMJ showcase, the band is off to tour internationally. “We’re going to Japan in the first week of November then we’re going to do Europe the latter half of November,” beams Jeff. “Then January we’re going to go to Australia. We’re really going to push on and in addition to all that we’re pretty well into a second album at this point, so we hope to have that done very soon. When we’re not touring we’re just going to be going full on recording.” With a distinctive sound, bags of talent and work ethic to boot, The Stepkids’ journey has surely just begun.
Artist Equipment Check!!!
4-Track Cassette Recorder
“The piece of gear we found that really took our imagination to an entire other level was a cheap 4-track cassette recorder. Ironically, it was at the end of an expensive signal chain — Telefunken M12 through an API pre. The drum sound it captured changed our entire attitude towards recording our 1st album.”
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The Denzels By allison levin
have one serious problem with The Denzels. Their release, Slow Death, is only two songs long. How can it be a Slow Death if it doesn’t even last 8 minutes? But the excellent and perhaps also horrifying thing is that both of these songs are good. You want more, but unfortunately you’re stuck with two. Their overall attitude, songs about drinking and breaking hearts set to catchy instrumentals with the occasional just-alittle crunchy guitar has the ethos of We Are Scientists, although their occasional shrieks and slightly more vintage throwback calls to mind a mix of The Waxwings and tapping into early (think Youth and Young Manhood-era) Kings of Leon for the sporadic unintelligible wail. The Denzels are joyfully morose as they sing about drinking every night of the week because they are “hopeless,” but it doesn’t matter because “everybody is slowly dying.” And considering the jaded nature of out generation, that’s an outlook I think many of us can get behind. Web: www.thedenzels.bandcamp.com
Starlight Girls By Nancy Chow
n early April, a cover of the Starlight Girls’ “Gossip” by psych-folk songstress Joanna Newsom, complete with impish vocals and bright, vivacious harp plucks, mysteriously surfaced. But there was something slightly off in the recording; Newsom’s voice was a little too sweet and controlled. It was later revealed that the cover was an April Fools’ prank, but not before a few blogs were deceived. This scandal certainly garnered a flood of attention to one of New York’s best-kept musical secrets, which denied any involvement in the odd hoax. It is important to note that — scandal or no scandal — Starlight Girls create devilishly charming ’60s-influenced pop music that is definitely cover-worthy. From the swaggering, perky organ-like synths to the candy-coated hooks, “Gossip” is a testament of pop perfection that doesn’t need to rely on the rumor mill to grab people’s attention. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/starlightgirls
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The Veda Rays
RIYL: Psychedelic Fur s, The Church, Nirvana
Photo: John Kester
RIYL: Stereolab, The Mamas & the Papas, Austin Powers movies soundtrack
Photo: Shervin Lainez
The Veda Rays By allison levin
oing a quick google search for “veda” revealed, as the first results, the Vestibular Disorder Association. Vestibular disorders are ones that affect the inner ear and brain and control balance and eye movement. I’m fairly certain this was not what the Veda Rays had in mind when they picked their name, as their musical style is actually pretty balanced. However, the swimmy reverb they sometimes utilize did remind me, just a little bit, of when I had an ear infection and it felt like the world was covered in gauze. They incorporate a mixture of standard garage rock riffs with Radiohead-smooth vocals and ambiance. Lyrics and their presentation are emotional and a little bit raw, though not open wound fresh. It’s like they got stitches and are still hovering in a vicodin haze, trying to figure out why they decided punching that wall was a smart idea. Because they are smarter than that. Solid musicianship and engaging rhythm round out their approachable sound, and, just so you know, their album Gamma Rays, Galaxy Rays, Veda Rays is out now on itunes.
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Ambassadors RIYL: Peter Gabriel, Arcade Fire, Edward Sharpe
and heartbreak lurk around every corner, and, it seems to Ghost Ghost, the best thing to do is keep a shaking smile on their lips as they tread out into the unknown darkness. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/ghostghost
Ambassadors By Ed Guardaro
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mbassadors, a Brooklyn based quartet, play a contemporary blend of Rock brought together by a strong popy T e e S Th nc sensibility and dramatic flair. They have been la active since 2008, quickly proving themselves de By allison levin with single, “Tropisms”, which was featured on’t let Ghost Ghost fool you. While yes, on MTV-U. Their music is full and energetic, they are friendly spirits, they have seen but Ambassadors aren’t scared to slow things things. Dark things. Perhaps that is still down and get sensitive with tracks like, why they walk the earth, playing shows in New “Bodybag”. Their sound emanates from drumYork City until they attain whatever it is they mer Adam Levin’s thunderous, open grooves, are looking for and are at peace. Or maybe which allow brothers Sam and Casey Harris they’re just some musicians, a painter, and a to fill out the band’s sound. Guitarist Noah video artist. (Their live show incorporates both Feldshuh’s powerful and catchy riffs on songs video projections and live painting.) But perlike, “Falls” provide a thoroughly refreshing sonally I think it’s the first one. Ghost Ghost’s surge of energy and power. Ambassadors most recent release, No Clothes on Ragged music, despite their serious, professional presIsland, is a concept album about the life of ence and production value, is still fun. poet Edna St. Vincent MIllay, recorded in one day, the soothing guitar work and earnestly Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/ambassadors sweet vocals belie the ominous lyrics. Tragedy
O P R AGE
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ild, zany, never before heard groves, laden with synth lines and chanting reverberated vocals summarize the sonic make-up of Monogold, a Brooklyn based trio who just released their LP, The Softest Glow in January. Drummer, Jared Apuzzo keeps it real with tribal drum beats while Keith Kelly toots his falsetto over the bands pulsating vibrations. Kelly has fabulous vocal melodies, that sound so familiar and common, but in actuality are completely original and his own. Monogold’s dynamics are a feat of sheer
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Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/notbloodpaint
Emil & Friends By Ed Guardaro
mil and Friends, Emil Hewitt’s musical lovechild, is an eccentric blend of “danceable wierdpop.” His songs range
The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts
1. Yeasayer 2. Grizzly Bear 3. Animal Collective 4. Yo La Tengo 5. Gang Gang Dance 6. Dirty Projectors 7. Kaki King 8. Department of Eagles 9. Avey Tare 10. Rasputina
11. NewVillager 12. Marnie Stern 13. The Fiery Furnaces 14. Son Lux 15. Mice Parade 16. Faun 17. aloha 18. Kayo Dot 19. Alex Winston 20. Aarktica
Check out our self-ge nerating online charts here: www.thedelima gazine.com/charts
from demure and shimmery guitar clad tunes, to upbeat pop anthems that feel peachy and squeaky clean. Emil has been making music since he was a child, starting out making attic pop in solitude. As of late he has emerged to much critical acclaim with the release of his EP, Downed Economy and LP, Lo and Behold. He has been featured on Rollingstone.com and is gaining a large following for his remixing and DJ work whilst gigging throughout NYC. Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/emilandfriends
Danger Maker (SF)
Avant In Top 20die
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alk around in Not Blood Paint’s 5 bedroom apartment/recording studio for a couple minutes, and you might find yourself forgetting how odd an experience this actually is. instead of freaking out at the gas masks framed around a stray couch, or pondering the origins of the strange poetry etched onto a closet mirror, somehow the oddity of this scene escapes your brain until hours later. It all just works somehow when you’re there to see the tableau for yourself. See Not Blood Paint play live, and you might find yourself falling for their quirky way of seeing the world pretty quickly. NBP dont just re-arrange the stage for their engrossing performances, they inhabit the entire room; filling the space up with anything from giant heads and mandatory facepaint, to choreographed guitar solos and random wardrobe malfunctions. After such an immersive experience, you’re left with a lot of questions; and the only thing you can be sure of is that you want more. They’re pulling together a full-length to be released soon, and capturing the madness of their live shows on mp3 shellac promises to be an impressive feat.
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RIYL: Animal Collective, Interpol, Mock Orange
By Mike Levine
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Not Blood Paint
Sea of Bees (SF)
Interview here: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/monogold
wonder, on tracks like, “Traps/Offerings” the band switches from airy, shimmery sing song sound, to deafeningly frenetic in an instant, and brings it all right back to the base of their groove. They have rock and roll trance inspired elements by the likes of Interpol, with a falsetto clad tone reminiscent of outfits like Mock Orange. Monogold may very well be a modern day reincarnation of the ’60s power trio.
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e Age, RIYL: Queen, Queens of the Ston Queensryche
he tandem of single name only vocalist/ guitarist Haale and percussionist Matt Kilmer make up Brooklyn based duo The Mast. Their combined talents produce a music that cannot be simply classified into an easily recognizable genre or style. Hyperkinetic percussion sets the groove for well-placed minimal guitar accents. Vocals delivered in a dual voiced tandem and precise diction phrasing do share similar qualities with School of Seven Bells, but that’s where that comparison ends. Their latest album Wild Poppies makes use of percussion recorded with distinct crystal clarity. The stereo separation, placement and prominence dominate the instrumentation without overpowering it. Guitars are there, but secondary. The voices do share equal billing, however. The only overdubs on the album were done to enhance vocals. All the instrumentation was played live in the studio, with whatever effects needed added at that time. The result is a stunningly full sounding collection of songs that are both lyrically mysterious and sonically brilliant.
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By Dave Cromwell
Not Blood Paint
RIYL: The Flaming Lips, Black Moth Super Rainbow, David Bowie
By Ed Guardaro
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The Deli’s CMJ Shows ’11
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AVANT I N DIE STA G E The
Yellow Ostrich Voice in The Clouds, Head in The Sand
RIYL: Bon Iver, Bishop Allen, Sufjan Stevens
By Mike Levine (@goldnuggets)
ellow Ostrich is a rare kind of bird. The mastermind behind the moniker, Alex Schaaf, seems to act both strictly controlled and completely random at the same time. He composes complicated harmonies but engages in tribal looseness with his new band. He finds lyrical inspiration about pretty much anything (from whales to Morgan Freeman), but carefully writes (and re-writes) his songs as infinitum.
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This is a trait shared by a lot of great artists, including Wisconsin’s other well-known export, Justin Vernon, who wrote his stellar breakout (For Emma, Forever Ago) secluded from every other influence possible, then went on to randomly croon it up on various hip-hop records. It can be hard to pin down exactly how these two voices are living with one another inside Alex’s head. However it works; this tossup between anarchy and control has brought him quite a bit of success in an astonishingly short time. In less than two years after leaving his rural Wisconsin town for New York, Alex has already altered much of his musical diet to include an under-appreciated dance record, an ode to Morgan Freeman, and now, a full band. But by far the most ambitious thing he has on his plate right now is his amazing debut The Mistress. This LP places Alex’s enormous transition on full display, as he moves from bedroom recordings to the studio, from being unsigned to label representation, and from his single voice to a full band. Alex himself told me his move to Manhattan was entirely serendipitous. After graduating from school, he quickly grew tired of the limited opportunities found in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So, like a lot of us, he packed his bags and set off for New York. On his recordings, you can hear the echoes of his background in Jazz and choral studies, and there are also echoes of his college band, The Chairs. An excellent group in their own right, you can hear Alex’s heart and energy in songs like ‘Elephant Sea’ and ‘Hot Air Balloon’, but a lot of his ideas ended up getting lost in the clamor and tradeoffs of The Chairs’ sound. The band’s last LP was released all of two years ago, but listening to it, things sound miles away from where Alex’s headspace is these days. At that point, he hadn’t done too many solo performances outside of his bedroom. “I used to book a lot of shows during school. One evening, my college, (the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music), invited Bishop Allen to play, and they needed an opener. The Chairs weren’t available, so I decided to try out some of my own material.” Using a moniker he was calling ‘Yellow Ostrich,’ Alex gave the gig a whirl. He had a great reception, and that’s when things started really happening. A year later, he found himself moving to New York’s Upper West Side. Alex immediately set to work writing random one-off tunes that included many of the songs eventually making the cut on The Mistress. His Bandcamp got a lot of love, and Alex began finding his new voice as Yellow Ostrich. This included a couple weakly recorded, but excellent and under-rated LPs, including The Morgan Freeman EP, (a collection of songs about the actor’s life taken from his Wikipedia page) and a great dance record called The Serious Kids EP. But it wasn’t until moving out to Greenpoint a couple months later that The Mistress started really coming together. He hooked up with drummer Jon Natchez of Beirut and Michael Tapper from We Are Scientists and Bishop Allen, who’d kept in touch with Alex since Bishop Allen opened for them a year before at his school. Listen to ‘Mary’ before and after Alex’s band stepped in, and you’ll hear the world of difference these players brought with them. This rapid transition and career ascent illustrates exactly what makes Alex’s debut so engrossing and powerful. He originally constructed The
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Mistress from a patchwork of ideas recorded from his bedroom. Many of these songs, including ‘Fog’ and ‘Bread,’ can still be found up on his Bandcamp in an earlier and more intimate form. These tunes share a lot of dimension, but for the most part, are recorded with just his voice and little else supporting it. For the most part, The Mistress keeps to this aesthetic. The album’s core is built from thin, sometimes timid harmonies that ultimately add up to a colorful tapestry made all the more vivid on account of the instruments Alex purposely left out of the mix. Like his song ‘Whale’ off The Mistress, in which Alex attempts to tame the giant wild beast with his large heart, (or, as Ralph running from The Lord of the Flies evildoers in the song’s video) he allows his music to get larger and larger, while keeping his voice simple and yearning in the middle of all this noise. The boyish pleas for youthful ideals underline a power made all the more intense by Alex’s tell-all honesty. The Mistress is the kind of record that shares his disappointments openly, even as it promises to lift you above these personal tragedies at the same time. Mellow-core never sounded this big before… Alex began playing his new record’s songs around Brooklyn’s local haunts, and by the end of last year, got signed to Barsuk to release a first printing for The Mistress. A quick look at this statistic might make it sound like Alex had this whole thing figured out from the start. But after speaking with him, Alex’s path reads a lot more accidentally than I otherwise would have thought. “I never thought that The Mistress would be re-released, my thinking was always that the record would be out there, and hopefully it would garner enough interest to possibly get with a label for the next album. But then a while ago Barsuk said they would want to put out The Mistress again, which surprised me, but I guess it makes sense from their point of view.” Barsuk has definitely been keeping Alex busy too. Right now his head is on the ambitious tour he’s just begun. He’s backing The Antlers on several dates touring across much of the continent, and just finished up a shorter run with Ra Ra Riot. The label already has several dates set up going well into next year. From here, Alex could move confidently in a lot of different directions. It’s unfortunate, but symptomatic of the pressures of getting signed these days, that he doesn’t have the time anymore to pursue some of the ideas you can still hear on his Bandcamp. Though it’s impossible to think all these changes won’t affect Alex’s muse, the future remains as much Artist Equipment Check!!! a mystery to him as it is to the rest of us. “Another “I recorded all the record is in the works, but vocals at home, layering we haven’t put anything to them one at a time. tape yet. Especially since I used a cheap MXL condenser, and also a The Mistress is being reSM-57 for some vocals, released, we’re still focusjust running through ing on that for a little bit a preamp into my longer.” And now, it seems computer, which was running Logic.” the rest of us are focusing MXL 990 on Yellow Ostrich.
the snacks the deli’s CD reviews Lana Del Rey Video Games We’ve been following NYC ex-blonde Lana Del Rey (aka Lizzy Grant) and her beautiful voice for a few years now, witnessing her evolution from rootsy singer songwriter to pop diva — or rather “Hollywood Pop” diva, since that’s the genre indicated on her Facebook profile. This slightly snobbish west coast-inspired approach is infuriating NYC hipsters and charming pretty much everybody else, so much so that her management had to reschedule her fall US tour in bigger venues. What counts though is that Lana can write some beautifully intense dark ballads, supported by vocals and looks that will steal many hearts. (Paolo De Gregorio) www.myspace.com/lanadelrey
Jump Into The Gospel Self-Titled EP New York’s Jump Into The Gospel’s main aural attraction is Louis Epstein’s staccato new wave/Britpop vocal cadence which hops along with heavy guitar and bright, synthdriven riffs. The band raises the bar of synth-rock with energetic and contagious rhythms, sleek synthesizers, and straight up good songs with a quirky electronic twist. The band recently opened for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at Bowery Ballroom. This is indie pop with lots of potential. (Meijin Bruttomesso) www.myspace.com/jumpintothegospel
Dive Sometime (Single) Not be outdone by his drummer Tommy Gardner’s own awesome EP as Crush, Beach Fossils guitarist Cole Smith’s new band DIVE is an even more washy and atmospheric group than anything the Fossils have given us yet. Dive’s new single ‘Sometime’ is as catchy as it is haunting. Complete with moody guitars that only hit one string at a time, it’s Beach Fossils on a rainy afternoon. The song will be released as a single October 7 on Captured Tracks. Look out for Dive’s EP to follow this December. (Mike Levine) www.myspace.com/dive
White House Band The Method EP Guitarist/MC David E. Beats is the Commander in Chief of the White House Band. Claiming rock, rap, and blues as genre convergence, fans shouldn’t be surprised to see a guitar smashed during one of his sets — in fact they are coming to expect it. Political though not didactic, fresh but not pompous, the arsenal of tunes generated by WHB are devastatingly addictive and certain to please a bipartisan audience. (BrokeMC) www.thewhitehouseband.net
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NYC Bands, do you know that you can promote your live show directly on The Deli’s homepage? Go here: nyc.thedelimagazine.com (far right column)
Great Elk Self-Titled EP Slowly, Great Elk’s songs creep from a position of distance and unfamiliarity to a timeless groove, like something your parents would play on the first cold day of fall. Starting out sparse and confused, Vocalist Paul Basile carries the band as they gently layer their sound, adding minimalist drum and bass, with an ever-weeping pedal steel guitar. Bryan Trenis’s dramatic keyboards and, “approximate vegetarianism,” help to portray the lonesome yet confident quality of Great Elk’s sound. They have self-released two EP’s, handing out limited editions to lucky show-goers this past February. (Ed Guardaro) www.myspace.com/greatelk
I AM THE THIRD Self-Titled EP The city can get you down sometimes, but fortunately, it also offers an abundance of music that can serve as an antidote to its poison. Alec Stephens III, who goes by I Am The Third, composes what he calls “dream rock,” music to listen to while you’re chasing your aspirations in the concrete jungle. On the selftitled EP, Stephens’ inspirational music draws from soul, gospel, roots rock and hip hop that mingle to lift spirits during those inevitable rough patches. At times, he evokes contemporaries like Jason Mraz and Dispatch but brings it back old school with references to Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. His exuberance is contagious, and before you know it, you’ll be singing your cares away with him. (Nancy Chow) www.myspace.com/misterthe3rd
Drunken Sufis No We Can’t Artists referencing early Devo or Pere Ubu will always find a home in The Deli. Brooklyn based Drunken Sufis not only do that, but they also add some math-punk influences to the mix, for some insanely fun, high energy aural experience, also enhanced by satirical political lyrics. Musically there’s a lot of interesting, unexpected stuff going on in these tunes: from stop and go breaks, odd tempos, dissonance, tense riffs, to electronic effects, sudden melodic sections and other weird stuff popping in when you would least expect it. Refreshingly, the songs are very well performed and recorded — nice and gritty without sounding lo-fi. The only question we are asking ourselves about these guys is: can they pull this off live? If they can, you don’t want to miss them. (Paolo De Gregorio) www.myspace.com/drunkensufis
We Run Hard As I Break Although a young band, We Run’s first show at Glasslands in early September attracted enough attention to land them an official CMJ rethinkpopmusic.com showcase at Spike Hill on October 19th. Their sound, influenced by 1970s punk (Buzzcocks), indie-dance rock (early Arctic Monkeys), and 1990s grunge (Nirvana), is frantic and distorted in each one of its component — a far cry from the electro-pop sound that Brooklyn is currently known for. We Run has just released two tracks online, available for download at their website. They are about to enter the studio to record their debut EP. (Paolo De Gregorio) www.werunmusic.com
New Releases from Mother West Kris Gruen Part Of It All
“Artfully conceived and expertly executed.” -Dan Bolles, Seven Days “Tranquil Vermont singer-songwriter with engulfing folkie sound.” -CMJ
The Davenports Why The Great Gallop?
“Steeped in pop/rock — Weezer meets Ben Folds meets The Hold Steady — leading you to sing along to songs that you’re hearing for the first time while stories unfold of relationships gone awry” -The Deli Magazine
Ceramic The Past Ain’t Far
The Past Ain’t Far is the first full length from these Brooklyn dreampoppers. Moody guitars weave with violins, percussion and grand beats, while vocals hover and careen about.
Tom Shaner Get Real or Get Gone
“Get Real or Get Gone has got substance like you can’t imagine” -Skope Magazine “There are few singer-songwriters that are able to create something that successfully marries the rich tradition brought to the genre by luminaries like Dylan and Cohen” -Neuftur Magazine
Bela Art Deco Smiles
Foreboding and somber like a Bela Lugosi movie, but with a musical aesthetic more in line with Béla Bartok, critics have long spun superlatives that point to this band’s chosen namesakes. The newest release Art Deco Smiles infuses surf gtr, retro drum machines and whimiscal melodies with cinematic soundscapes and stories.
M-16 La Raiz De Todo Poder
Scathing, pulsing, and louder than hell, M-16’s music is at times bombastic and scalding, yet poetic in style and nature. Unapologetic lyrics sung entirely in Spanish scream and whisper tales of mortal disillusion, political terror, and the chaos of modern times.
www.MotherWest.com the deli_40 Fall 2011
The bands featured on this page rehearse at The Music Building in Manhattan. If you rehearse there, submit your info to be covered in the next issue of the deli at:
thedelimagazine.com/ musicbuilding By allison levin
Cojoba is a flowering plant in the pea family...they’re also a Puerto Rican/NYC punk band. Which one of those Cojobas could this possibly be about? (Hint: While the plant offered some really compelling quotes, the band ultimately won out.) Cojoba, unlike any flower I’ve ever seen, attacks you with a wall of sound and the stage show to match. “Every show has a little bit of crazy,” lead singer Taina explains. “Crazy,” at least from what can be read between the lines, generally refers to the police. And a show the cops have to break up? That’s usually a damn good rock show. Lyrics are in Spanish, but the frenetic pace and insistent energy projected by the band knows no language. Taina screams and howls with the best of them, and the instruments all seemed to be turned up to 11. But lack of dynamics aside, (and really, that’s just punk) they’re experienced professionals. Tell me about your experiences in the Puerto Rican hard rock scene, and in the New York City hard rock scene. Taina: Well, you could say that in the Puerto Rico scene everyone sort of knows everyone else. It only takes about 3 hours to cross the island from east to west. That gives the scene a greater feeling of closeness. In NYC the scene, even if you break it down to the hardcore punk scene alone, is very fragmented because it is so large.
Cojoba RIYL: Davila 666, Be Your Own Pet, Los Zodiac s
Javier: There are basically two rock scenes in Puerto Rico: the pop/ hard rock scene and the hardcore punk scene. In NYC there are many more subdivisions. I imagine your shows get pretty wild. What is the craziest thing that has happened during a performance? Taina: People have kicked in the doors to the venue, they have pushed us into our gear, they have gotten naked, cops have crashed our shows... every show has a little bit of crazy.
combinations work well for SATURDAY ASTROLOGY, too. Relentless world influenced percussion back a guitar tone that alternates between synth-y and ska. Then add an actual synth, slash bass player, and topped with pop-styled vocals. Daryl, the lead singer, is truly captivating, a strange cross between Serj Tankian and Brendon Urie. It works, though. Dance-friendly and fast-paced, SATURDAY ASTROLOGY blend their disparate inspirations into a palatable sweetly pop smoothie, boosted with the protein-fueled power of rock and some vitamin beat. Delicious.
Saturday Astrology RIYL: Panic! At the Disco, System of a Down, My American Heart
By allison levin
ournalism classes taught me to lead with something that will capture the reader’s attention. SATURDAY ASTROLOGY writes their name in all caps to stand out in copy. With that in mind, combining the two was only the natural way to begin. Seem unlikely? Unlikely
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When my name is published, I try my damndest to get it in all lowercase. I have my reasons. It seems like you guys embraced the opposite casing. Why ALL CAPS? THAT’S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION, allison. I think it was just my subconscious when designing our web copy. With a multi-syllabic name like SATURDAY ASTROLOGY (seven, in all), I wanted to make sure that it stood out over all of the other jibber-jab that was written. If anything, we want people to know the name of our band... but hey, you can’t have EVERYTHING in life. Sometimes, if a bar/venue polls the door, we’ll get some gems, like: TUESDAY METEOROLOGY and SUNDAY APOLOGETIC. Whatever, it’s close enough. At least they tried. We’ll respond to anything in that ballpark. On your website you say “You should listen to SATURDAY ASTROLOGY.” Convince me. If you are surfing the internet, you probably don’t have anything else pressing at the moment. You’ve made it this far, so why not just take an extra few minutes to check out the goods, either sound or video. It’s the best part, as far as I’m concerned... and it’s all FREE to download. What’s better than free sex?... I mean, music. Yeah, free music. Phew.
kitchen a local business
Innovative Music Studios E By Paolo De Gregorio
ven though Brooklyn has become the “official” house of the NYC based independent musician, Manhattan is still the borough where the “big music biz” is based, and also the one that offers more assorted work opportunities for recording studios. Midtown has emerged in the last few decades as the musical beating heart of the “Recording Manhattan”, and Joe Hernandez’s Innovative Music Studios are an integral part of this scene. Joe and his staff not only offer traditional recording packages, but also “artist development” deals, recording lessons, Hip Hop production classes and rehearsal rooms. How long have you been running your studio in Manhattan? I founded Innovative Music Studios back in 2004, so I’m happy to say we are starting our 8th year in the music business. What are the challenges and the rewards of running a studio in Midtown? The main challenges of running a recording studio are two: keeping the flow of clients coming in on a regular basis and meeting the artists’ vision of the song that they record with you. The biggest reward is hearing fresh original music almost every day. Also seeing the satisfaction and gratitude on an musician’s face is always very satisfying. Are your clients mostly from Manhattan? Innovative Music’s Clients are very diverse, the majority of them comes from Brooklyn and the Bronx. I would say that Manhattan is a close third. How has the scene and therefore your clientele changed since you opened? It has changed a lot. Technology has totally changed the music scene. In 2004, the instruments offered by hardware and software didn’t sound very natural, and now they are incredibly similar to the real thing.
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Because of this there are a lot more programmers in the music business now than there were 5 years ago when you actually had to hire a musician to get that electric guitar sound. Your studio has built a reputation not just for recording but also for “training” emerging artists both through artist development and recording classes. How important is this side of your business? I started adding classes to Innovative Music Services because when I was studying music and technology I desperately needed someone I could call when I got stuck or had a question. This was one of those ideas that came out because when we started in 2004, there was a real need for this service in learning how to use studio equipment and software. What’s the single advice about recording you think any emerging musician might find useful? Before you enter the studio, plan as much as you can and give yourself as much buffering time as you can in case something goes wrong because there’s always something that takes longer than you expect. Do you ever think about moving to Brooklyn? Definitely. Brooklyn has a fantastic music scene, and being around all that musical energy could only benefit your recording studio.
October 20-23, 2011 EXHIBITS
October 21-23, 2011 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York, NY
AES CONVENTION www.aes.org
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kitchen recording equipment news
Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0
Employing multi-hit and multitrack capabilities, Superior Drummer is by far the most detailed and comprehensive platform I’ve come across for creating, replacing or augmenting acoustic drums and percussion. Superior Drummer 2.0 is available in RTAS, VST and Audio Units formats at 32-bit and 64-bit for both PC and MAC. Superior Drummer 2.0 comes bundled with the NYC Vol.1 Avatar recording studio pack and is available for $349. A great deal of available hard drive space is recommended as full installers can run upwards of 25GB.
Superior Drummer 2.0 (or SD2) is a full production multitrack drum-sampling platform. SD2 utilizes thousands of drum and cymbal hits corresponding to different MIDI velocities to create a detailed yet user-friendly system for engineers and producers to create and supplement acoustic drums. Each session sold as an SDX pack for SD2 was recorded in a world-class studio with top tier engineers and drummers.
oday, there are a great deal of high quality drum sampling software platforms and audio packs available to engineers and producers. At the head of the class is Toontrack who SD2’s interface is a veritable Starship Enterprise has revolutionized drum sampling with of controls and displays. In standard view, the the Superior Drummer software engine. construct window features a graphical display
Review by Zach McNees
of a drum kit and cymbals corresponding to the available instruments. Sections for Instrument, Envelope, Pitch, Volume, EZ mixer and Memory & Status as well as drop downs for tool settings and library access provide a wealth of controls for working with the different sounds that SD2 has to offer. Other panels within SD2 provide controls for the full DAW style Mixer, Grooves, Mapping, Bouncing and internal settings. What sets Toontrack and SD2 apart from other drum sampling platforms is the sheer detail. Toontrack has captured every possible nuance of a real drummer playing a drum kit just as it would exist if recorded in your favorite DAW at the studio. How does SD2 make this possible? Rather than focusing solely on the close mics on individual drums, SD2 allows every individual microphone on the entire drum kit and in the room to be open and useable for any drum strike. In addition, each drum and cymbal strike has been recorded at least 60 times at differing volumes to correspond to the velocities available in the MIDI world (0-127). SD2 offers an enormous range of features and capabilities that Zach details step by step in a comprehensive review, with sound samples, at www.sonicscoop.com.
For more on these stories, visit
NYC Studio Tour: Queens Recording Studios
SPIN MUSIC STUDIOS
KAUFMAN ASTORIA MUSIC AND SOUND
A BLOODY GOOD RECORD
The studio scene in Queens is often overlooked, but perhaps not for much longer. Long Island City is home to a burgeoning musical community, while Astoria has been the home of one of NYC’s busiest production facilities since 1921.
www.kasmusic.com In addition to hosting TV shows including Nurse Jackie and Law & Order, and filmmakers like Woody Allen and Martin Scorcese, the studios at Kaufman Astoria have attracted recording projects from Alison Krauss, R.E.M. and Tony Bennett.
Studio A at KAS Music and Sound is a remarkable 2,400-square foot music space capable of housing a 70-piece orchestra. Two conjoined isolation booths that tie into the room are larger than many pro studios in their own right. Equipment includes a Neve console, multiple tape machines, Pro Tools HD rig, outboard compressors and vintage microphones.
THE BUDDY PROJECT
www.thebuddyproject.com Although its entire floor plan could make a restroom at Kaufman Astoria look like a gymnasium, The Buddy Project (also in Astoria) is a surprisingly great-sounding, absurdly budget-friendly space that comes well-appointed, featuring a Pro Tools HD system and several flavors of custom-made 500-series modules from Eisen Audio. The live room, blessed with high-ceilings and ample natural light, is where Sufjan Stevens recorded much of his sonically-elegant Illinois — using only an Audio Technica 4033 and his own Roland VS 880 digital multi-track.
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www.spinmusicstudios.com Owned by Pete Benjamin, LIC’s Spin Studios is a multi-room, 4,000 square-foot recording facility located at the foot of the Queensboro bridge. Studio A features 68 channel SSL 4064 G / G+ console, while Studio B houses a 52-input Amek console and is designed with a “wide-open, loft-like feel.”
www.abloodygoodrecord.com A Bloody Good record is an affordable Pro Tools HD studio in Long Island City operated by Mark Law. It features Pro Tools HD, a Dangerous summing system, two sound-treated recording booths and a surprisingly expansive control-room and lounge.
www.soundworksrecording.com Soundworks is an Astoria studio run by Sandra & Kamilo Kratc. It features “four individually floated spaces” and a Yamaha G7 Grand piano.
THE WILD ARCTIC
www.thewildarctic.com The Wild Arctic is an affordable Pro Tools HD studio in LIC specializing in both indie pop and punk rock. The studio encompasses an ample live room, control room and two iso-booths. Clients include The Hold Steady, Agnostic Front, Bouncing Souls, and Kill Your Idols. Justin Colletti is a Brooklyn-based producer/engineer who works with uncommon artists, and a journalist who writes about music and how we make it. Visit him at www.justincolletti.com.
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kitchen effects pedal news
Digitech iPB-10 Programmable Pedalboard www.digitech.com
Review by Gus Green there’s a pair of 1/4” I/O for sending the signal to other effects pedals. I found this to be useful because no matter how much the software has to offer there may be that one boutique pedal you just can’t live without. The 1/4” guitar input is very high quality. I found that it sounded great and was very hard to clip no matter how hard I strummed or picked. I experimented with a variety of amp modelers and even played them live, and I was extremely happy with the overall sound quality, responsiveness and accuracy of the DSP modeling at hand. This rivals computer and iOS offerings by many of the heavy weight companies out there. I was a bit skeptical about whether or not I would feel comfortable about stuffing my precious iPad into this stomp box. Although, when I saw how well this thing was constructed, almost entirely of metal, I started to feel a little bit better. The bay that holds the iPad has some great rubber lining that is also very reassuring.
he Digitech iPB-10 is a virtual pedal board with a hardware interface. It reminds me of one of the offerings from the Line 6 HD series of digital pedal boards but the main difference is that it uses the Apple iPad as the brain.
The pedal board itself has a plethora of stomp buttons and an expression pedal as well as a ton of I/O. Besides the obvious ones,
The free app downloaded and installed perfectly. It was very responsive and the tones would change with very little latency. The different blends of distortions sounded great — something I have been very unimpressed with in similar products. With 87 stomp boxes spanning pretty much every category you can think of, 56 guitar amp heads and 26 cabinets, this device has a life time of tones. I also love the fact that you can research what a particular guitarist used on a particular recording and mimic it with this box. All in all the Digitech iPB-10 sounds and feels great and it would take a lot to beat this first-in-its-class machine. Read the full review on Delicious-Audio.com.
TC Electronic MojoMojo Overdrive www.tcelectronic.com
Review by Ben Wigler
few months ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing TC’s TonePrint line (see DeliciousAudio.com). Since then I kept thinking to myself... I really wish there were an easy go-to distortion that featured the same quality and no-brainerness. The TC tone gods have answered my prayers!
Usually anything that claims to have “mojo” doesn’t have any ‘mojo’ whatsoever. Fortunately, this little brown pedal packs the juju in and then some. I’ve been using two amps to demo it: a Goodsell 1x12 17W speaker that uses EL84 tubes and a very simple Class A circuit, as well as a Carr Rambler 1x12 which is 50W Class AB circuit. The Goodsell can be driven with a strong guitar attack, but the Carr is a clean machine. With the MojoMojo engaged, I really feel like I gain another channel on both amplifiers. The pedal allows the character of the amp to shine through, while taking my tone into an authoritative “distorted” realm where harmonics come easily and transitions from a big clean verse to a singing, thick lead tone are a cinch. I can’t say that the MojoMojo has any ‘mojo’ of its own, in that I don’t think that you could pick it out of a blind lineup... really where this pedal excels is in allowing your OWN mojo to shine — the pedal feels very alive and it’s only when you bend over to tweak a setting that you remember you’re getting this sound from a pedal! It comes equipped with independent bass and treble knobs which really help tune the pedal to the amplifier, a feature that edges out a lot of the competition for grab-and-go usability. A voicing switch also gives some fixed control over mid-range. Finally, the dynamic response is quite impressive — I feel like the response to my volume knob tweaking is far beyond what I’ve experienced in this price range.
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li’s Check out the de blog! audio equipment
Moog MoogerFooger “Cluster Flux” Modulation www.moogmusic.com
Review by Matt Rocker
n scientific terms, flux is the rate of movement of some energy or matter. When something is in a state of flux, it is changing from one state to another. In audio terms, the Cluster Flux is modulating your audio signal in one or more ways at any given moment.
In the broadest sense, the Cluster Flux is a chorus/flanger pedal. These two modes are selectable via a rocker switch labeled “range”. It is in fact setting a shorter or longer delay line, .6 to 10 ms for flange, 5 to 50 ms for chorus, based on the setting for the “time” control. Things start to get interesting when we move over to the modulation controls on the right. First we find 6 selectable LFO waveforms, which control how your delayed audio signal is modulated. Sine waves will create the most familiar chorus and flange effects, while the square and triangle waves create something a little more jagged/percussive, and with the random LFO things can just get weird! The pedal has a standard “rate” knob for the speed of your oscillation, but that’s just the beginning. There’s also a tap tempo switch, which is very handy for syncing your modulation to the beat of a song. This already sets this effect module apart from the pack. But take a look at the front of this unit and see that’s just the beginning. You can also control the rate with an external controller, like an expression pedal — AND nearly every parameter on the unit as well. Keyboard players’ and producers’ ears should start perking up, this is a serious effects unit! While you’re looking at the ins and outs, you might just notice a MIDI jack. Yes, every parameter on the pedal (and several more “hidden” ones) are controllable via MIDI. So if you’re tap tempo skills aren’t
that good (especially while using your sustain pedal) you can sync the Cluster Flux’s modulation down to the tick via MIDI Clock. Regardless of how you sync or control it, there really are clusters of tones coming out of this little wonder. This thing feels as cool and as tough as it looks.. and it sounds even better. Am I gonna get one myself? Flux Yeah! Read the full review on Delicious-Audio.com.
T-Rex Tap Tone Delay www.t-rex-effects.com
Review by Howard J. Stock
outique purists must have winced when Danish pedal maker T-Rex partnered with Guitar Center on four new pedals, but judging by the Tap Tone Delay (TTD), they don’t need to worry. At $169, the TTD is at least a Benjamin short of T-Rex’s regular pricing, but its makers don’t seem to have cut many corners.
I’ve felt sturdier pedals before, but the TTD’s metal case will withstand the rigors of regular use. Controls are well considered: “Delay,” “Feedback” and “Time” govern the usual delay parameters. The curveball control here is “Bite,” which T-Rex says adds vintage color. It actually is better thought of as a tone control for the delay’s repeats, and it makes a big difference when Delay and Feedback are at higher settings, putting a crisp edge on a nice warm feedback loop. The TTD also comes with a Tap footswitch. To match tempo with a drummer, just keep time with your toe and you’re all set. The speed stays that way until you alter the Time setting. In any mode, a red light flashes in time with the delay so you know what you’re getting before you engage it. The TTD is easy to set up, whether you want surf-tinged slap back or you’re looking for a spacier vibe. I had fun playing with the long delay settings, cutting back the wet mix to create a complex sonic
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squall behind simple guitar licks. The controls interact so intuitively that whether you’re looking to tastefully color your sound or accomplish something more adventurous, you’re never far away. Ultimately, the Guitar Center linkup has done nothing to tarnish T-Rex’s brand — on the contrary, it has brought a versatile and intuitive delay pedal to market at a price point the masses can more easily afford.
the deli's Pedal Board
Digitech Whammy DT Digitech revisited this pitch shifting classic adding a drop tuning effect to it — which occupies the new “platform” on the right of the pedal. With the Whammy DT you can modify your tuning without having to change guitars or pause to make adjustments for the next song. Key changes are at the tips of your toes and take just moments. Using pitch shifting technology, you can now step down or step up 7 half steps or an entire octave. The “Momentary” footswitch can be used for instant “hammer-on” and “pull-off” effects.
Rocktron Sweet Spot Fixed Wah A fixed Wah pedal with 3 switchable modes: “Normal” for a modern Wah sound, “Classic” for an old school vibe, and Bass for 7-strings, Baritones, Basses etc. The “Mix” knob controls the balance between wet and dry signal and the “Sweet Spot” one selects the center frequency.
Maxon RTO700 Overdrive This pedal has an actual tiny tube preamp in it. Fantastic clarity of tone, retains each string’s voice in the chord while enhancing it with true grit. Great for any distorted tones, from rock to metal, it dramatically improves your amp’s sound.
Gig-Fx Mega Wah Four position selector switch: “Cry” for classic wah, “Mega” for Peter Frampton’s signature settings, “Trig” for envelope wah and “Auto” for auto-wah. Up to 15dB of peak amplification is available for the resonance, whose frequency can be set through a separate knob. “Envelope” and “Sensitivity controls” allow to fine tune the “Trig” and “Auto” modes. The unique pedal shape allows more controls in a smaller footprint.
Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar
This pedal offers a polyphonic lead voice and tunable sympathetic string drones that dynamically react to your playing. You can create your own custom scales for the sympathetic strings, and blend them in with the original tone.
Vintage-sounding optical tremolo combined with some futuristic features. The envelope control settings adjusts the tremolo in various ways depending on the dynamics of what you’re playing. Three-way Depth and Speed switches allow you to independently select how each variable is altered by your instrument.
Tryallthese pedalsat The Deli’s Stomp Box Exhibitat CMJ!
T-Rex Gristle King Overdrive Very flexible overdrive with separate knobs AND switches for gain (“Gristle”) and boost (“More”), whose order in the chain can be changed through a “Pre/Post” switch. The “Flavor” switch selects between a throaty, open overdrive and a more compressed one, while the “Phat” one increases the low end.
Fridgebuzzz Land of The Rising Fuzzz Based on the rare Shin-ei companion fuzz from the 1960s, this pedal offers a thick fuzz, adding a tone control and mode switch that offers a much wider variety of sound.
Zvex Lo-Fi Loop Junkie TC Electronic Shaker Vibrato A true pitch-modulating vibrato, it delivers a spectrum of sounds that ranges from the very subtle to the outrageously alien. Features TC’s new USB connectivity for settings storage and preset download.
This tiny, full analog box records (and stores) up to 20 seconds of performance, and plays them back in lo-fi (read: hiss + limited frequency response), also allowing you to add modulation effects for a vibrato/chorus/Leslie-like shimmer. Brooklyn it’s her home.
Death By Audio Apocalypse Distortion & Fuzz Utilizes 5 unique, switchable fuzz circuits combined with a sweepable frequency equalizer. Infinite options for your distortion from just 3 knobs.
HardWire RV-7 Reverb Crammed with seven different reverb modes, this pedal uses wonderful digital algorithms by Lexicon, including reverse and gated reverb, bringing realistic results and a ton of options.
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Dwarfcraft Eau Claire Thunder Fuzz A classically styled distortion and sustain pedal, with a mid frequency scoop. The “TIMEWARP” toggle flips between the traditional hi-fi type of tone and a more blunted, stoner-rock type of sound. “TONEBLAST” bypasses the tone control, giving you more mids and volume. The “feedback” switch triggers a feedback loop. Try it on bass.
Eventide Space Features 12 of Eventide’s signature reverb combination effects taken from the company’s high end rack processors, for a dazzling collection of reverb algorithms combine d with delays, pitch shifting, trem olo, modulation, and spatial effects. It includes presets by a slew of top indie rock producers including Flood, Alan Moulder and John Agnello.