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Issue #29 Volume #2 Winter 2012 www.thedelimagazine.com
Snowmine Bosco Delrey The Qualia Jangula Royal Baths Blip Blip Bleep Celestial Shore Firehorse The Notorious MSG We Are The Woods Lisa Jaeggi The Twees Hunters Xray Eyeballs The Dead Exs Jump Into The Gospel Ellis Ashbrook
ava luna Live at The Deliâ€™s Party! The Mercury Lounge 02/24/2012
The Sporting Life
-Being Experimental In NYC-
CD Review s, Guitar Ped als, Mics & Au dio Plug-Ins News
everything theemerging nyc music the magazineabout about the nyc scene bands
Issue #29 Volume #2 Winter 2012
Note from the Editor As you surely know, of all the music scenes out there, NYC is the most open to innovative sounds and ideas. But of course, not all the thousands of edgy and experimental musicians moving to The Big Apple each year end their artistic journey as they would hope (i.e. making music their full time job). In this issue, our main feature tackles some of the challenges all musicians face, from the perspective of those who chose the harder path of all: experimental music. It’s not meant to be an upbeat article, but hopefully one that can give some food for thought to all those who chose music as their life. -Paolo De Gregorio
Lauren Piper, Dean Van Nguyen, Mike SOS, Meijin Bruttomesso, Dave Cromwell, Ben Krieger, Mike Levine In-House Contributing Writers: Charlie Davis, Simon Heggie, Christina Morelli, BrokeMC, allison levin, Ed Guardaro, Amanda F. Dissinger, Chelsea Eriksen, Annamarya Scaccia, Tuesday Phillips, Christine Cauthen, Molly Horan 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!!
THE MERCURY LOUNGE
Ava Luna 10:30pm
Celestial Shore 9:30pm
Cindy Lou Gooden
BEST EMERGING ARTISTS OF 2011 IN 11 US SCENES
ey Big Applers, if you want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new music, you’ve gotta check out The Deli’s Year End Polls for Emerging Artists! From Indie Rock to Folk to Electronic, The Deli’s Polls throughout the years have effectively highlighted truly deserving emerging artists with big chances to make a splash in the years to follow. It happened with Vampire Weekend, Girls, Local Natives, Yeasayer, Twin Shadow, Pains of Being Pure at Heart and many more. The Polls are currently in the final “Readers’ and Fans’ Poll” stage, which means that you can vote for your favorite band from the huge list of nominees.
More info @ national.thedelimagazine.com The next NYC issue of The Deli will be entirely dedicated to the artists that made the list of our NYC Year End Poll. -The Deli’s Staff
www.delicious-audio.com Pedal Reviews + Advice for Musicians
The Deli’s sister site delicious-audio.com deals mostly with fx pedal reviews and advice for musicians. Here’s a shortlist of our best articles:
do you need a manager?
the deli’s icons folk
The Deli’s 29th Issue Party
(217 E. Houston St., L.E.S. / $10 at the door)
Editor In Chief: Paolo De Gregorio Founder: Charles Newman Executive Editor: Quang D. Tran Senior Editor: Ed Gross Art Director: Kaz Yabe (www.kazyabe.com) Senior Designer: Ursula Viglietta (www.ursulaviglietta.com) Cover Photo: Emily Raw (www.emilyraw.com) Graphic Assistant: Kelly McDonough Web Developers: Mark Lewis, Alex Borsody Staff Writers: Bill Dvorak, Nancy Chow, Kenneth Partridge,
The Sporting Life
-Being Experimental in NYC
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24
Sharing The Load - At What Price?
Most bands that succeed beyond the local level eventually do so with the aid of a manager. What does this person do, aside from collect a healthy cut of the money? (delicious-audio.com/articles/manager) ambient
What Can They Do For Your Band? noise
loud rock psych rock dance
While commercial frequencies pump the same boring playlists into every city, college radio provides unique, local voices to the airwaves and internet. (delicious-audio.com/articles/collegeradios)
the indie nyc labels hip hop melody/soft electronic
prime nyc music
The Deli Magazine is a trademark of The Deli Magazine, LLC, Brooklyn & Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2012 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.
the deli_6 Winter 2012
And Local Artists That Call Them Home
Although the music business is still in the throes of a dramatic structural transformation, the record label still tends to be the sun in the artist’s solar system. (delicious-audio.com/articles/labels/NYC_indie_labels_2011.htm)
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Introducing the free QMix™ app for iPhone® and iPod® touch
©2012 PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., all rights reserved. StudioLive, XMAX, Capture and QMix are trademarks of PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc. Studio One is a trademark of PreSonus Software Ltd. Mac, iPad, iPod, and iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All other trademarks, registered trademarks, and ﬁgments of our imagination are the property of their respective companies.
StudioLive 16.0.2, 12 XMAX™ preamps, 4 monitor mixes with 4 iPhones
r ™ m i xe e v i tudioL iPad® ! S l l u f lu s ith an w l o r t con
StudioLive 16.4.2, 17 XMAX™ preamps, 6 monitor mixes with 6 iPhones
ontrol your own monitor mix from an iPhone® or iPod® touch with PreSonus’ free QMix™ app for StudioLive digital mixers. Up to ten individual on-stage mixes with a StudioLive 24.4.2! Pick which channels you want to include, tweak their levels and then use the ingenious Wheel of Me to boost only your channel with one ﬁnger swipe. Need to control your
whole mixer from the stage? Use StudioLive Remote and an iPad to adjust all major mixer functions including Fat Channel signal processing. Want to record your performance in 24-bit multi-track? Capture™ 1.1 does it in two mouse clicks (and comes free with all three StudioLive models.) Editing, overdubs, extra tracks of sampled instruments and drum loops? Studio One™ 2 Artist DAW also comes free. At the heart of all this wireless control are the world’s best-selling compact digital mixers. Packed with easy-to-use Fat Channel digital signal processing and effects. Equipped with our renown XMAX™ Class A mic preampliﬁers. Don’t settle for a mixer that’s just a lump of hardware with bits of bundled software. Get the complete seamless integration that only StudioLive can deliver. Browse our site or visit your nearest PreSonus dealer today.
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the deli's Pedal Board
Ibanez Tube King
Zoom A2 for Acoustic
• Use it on your amp’s clean channel, it will sound like a high gain tube amp. • 6 controls and a present switch allow for infinite possibilities. • Scooped mid-range and heavy low make it ideal for modern hard rock and metal, but it’s very versatile.
• Ideal to enhance the often brittle pickup sound of an acoustic guitar. • Add natural resonance and body through sound modeling technology. • An effect processor powers this unit with 47 effects and also pick up and amp simulation. • Pick up options include piezo, magnetic, single-coil and humbucker.
Keeley Fuzz Head • A rather unique and versatile pedal that can function as Fuzz, Overdrive or even clean Boost. • Blend of vintage Germainum design and modern gain stages provides the gritty tone of the early ’60s with more options. • Its Fuzz tone is this pedal’s winning feature, very transparent and responsive to picking if set up correctly.
the deli's Plug-in inserts
Guyatone TD-X Flip Tube Echo • Hybrid analog/digital delay with up to 2.6 seconds of delay time. • It features a 12AX7 LPS tube affecting the delayed tone. • A custom filter simulates the tone of tape echo and analog delay units. • If you only ever played with digital delays/echos, give it a try.
if you are interested in reviewing pedals and plug-ins for The Deli and Delicious Audio, ple ase contact delicious.editor@the delimagazine.com.
MOTU MachFive 3 • A sampler plug-in that emulates all sorts of instruments and also playing characteristics and techniques. • Innovative guitar and bass patches, including finger picking, string hammer-ons, note bending, and chord strumming. • The closest thing to having a musician in your studio.
Mellowmuse CS1V Channel Warmer • Warming preamp style plug-in with a dash of harmonic distortion. • Takes the edge off individual tracks in your mix while adding depth and coloration reminiscent of an analog mixer/console. • Two modes, a drive and a tone knob give you just the right amount of coloration options. • Read full review on Sonicscoop.com.
the deli_35 Winter 2012
Camel Audio CamelPhat3 • Colored dynamic + EQ processor designed to add warmth, punch and presence wherever they’re required. • Four different distortion characters can be used separately or blended together to create an endless variety of tones. • Effects include EQ, compressor, three filters, two LFOs, and envelope follower. • Ideal for adding subtle low end to guitars and drums.
Waves Bass Rider • Rides bass levels automatically. • Unlike compressors, it doesn’t change the natural sound of your bass. • Works for all kind of basses, from electric to acoustic to synth ones.
Royal Baths By Dean Van Nguyen
ld school rockers Jeremy Cox and Jigmae Baer not only acknowledge their retro influences, they wear them with pride. Royal Baths’ music is reminiscent of the dozen or so artists they cite as influences, as the band draws from the darkest corners of sixties garage rock, as well as old-fashioned bluesmen and acidic psychedelica.
You guys sound quite retro so I assume you hear comparisons to old bands quite regularly. Would you say you’re heavily influenced by acts from bygone generations and, if so, what bands? Ah, caught us red handed! Yes, constant comparisons. We’ll never escape the ’60s and neither will you. Bygone generations? Absolutely. Do I mention the obvious ones, or try to circumvent the question by namedropping obscure bands whose sounds I lack the talent to imitate? Ray Charles, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, John Fahey, The Zombies, Roy Orbison... How did you guys get together? Was the intention always to make this kind of music or did your sound evolve? Jigmae and I started writing music together when I moved to San Francisco in 2007. We were in a band called Tea Elles. After that, we took a break, but when we met up again, we both felt the need to create music that was different than the music that surrounded us in San Francisco. Our sound changes over time as our live shows gain intensity. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/royalbaths
Xray Eyeballs Photo: Veronica Ibarra Photo: Fatos Marishta
Stooges, RIYL: The Velvet Underground, The The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Psych /Noise Top 20 Rock
Xray Eyeballs By Dave Cromwell
n their debut album “Not Nothing,” Brooklyn gutter-glam punks Xray Eyeballs emphasize a sound that is rough and brittle. With newest members Sarah Baldwin (drums) and Liz Lohse (guitar/synths) joining founding members O.J. San Felipe (guitar/vocals) and Carly Rabalais (bass) one would expect this evolution to be significant.
Your live show appears to lean towards sound from the previous decade, coming close to what Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers delivered in the heyday of Max’s Kansas City. I think that attitude is being carried by a bunch of bands like Black Lips and Thee Oh Sees people just freaking the hell out at shows. You recently played a show at Brooklyn Bowl with the Dum Dum Girls and DIVE. That was fun. Dive was cool. I always heard about them but I’ve never seen them before, and they sounded great. My friend Devon is in that band and I didn’t even know. That night we were bummed because had to miss the Dum Dum Girls. We had to bounce over to Cakeshop to play a later show. Dum Dum Girls are awesome people and the new album rules. We love those gals. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/xrayeyeballs
RIYL: Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, XTC
Snowmine By Dave Cromwell
T the deli_7 Winter 2012
RIYL: Velvet Underground, Malaria, Suicide
he Brooklyn quintet calling themselves Snowmine came together out of a long-time friendship
The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Real Estate 11. Thurston Moore Woods 12. Psychic TV The Antlers 13. Caveman TV on the Radio 14. Crystal Stilts Sonic Youth 15. Ducktails Panda Bear 16. Asobi Seksu School of Seven Bells 17. A Place to Bury Strangers The Raveonettes 18. Bear In Heaven Widowspeak 19. Mink Spanish Prisoners s 20. The Stepkids
Check out our self-ge nerating online charts here: www.thedelima gazine.com/charts
between bassist Jay Goodman, drummer Alex Beckmann, and lead singer/ composer Grayson Sanders. Adding guitarists Austin Mendenhall and Calvin Pia helped solidify their fascination with classic afrobeat, electro-acoustic soundscapes and 20th Century Classical orchestrations. Tell us a little bit about your band. Prior to January 2011, we’d just been a group of friends who couldn’t decide what style of music to play. We’d all come up in the jazz and classical scenes and were sure of two things at the very least: We didn’t want to be a laptop band (albeit ‘a la mode’), and we loved a good pop song. I think our first attempts were pretty garbage. 10-minute prog rock epics with break-beat bridges. But we finally assembled some songs which ended up becoming our first album. Who do you see as a complimentary fit for your particular sound? Right now we’re into Twin Sister. We did a remix trade with them and can really appreciate their approach to harmony. Both bands commit a lot of attention to textural details, but where we tend to go ambient, they tend to reel it in. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/snowmine
noise rock few pull off quite as memorably. The band’s sound is unrefined and visceral. You can almost hear the grit and dirt on their instruments as they bash out their grungy, feedback-drenched riffs and almightily-whacked drum loops, while the desperate yelps of lead vocalists Derek Watson and Isabel Almeida add extra frenetic energy.
Hunters RIYL: Black Dice, Sonic Youth, erly Liars
By Dean Van Nguyen
he raw, punk authenticity of Brooklyn noise-rockers Hunters is something many aim for, but
the deli_8 Winter 2012
How did the band come to be? Where and when did you all hook and decide to make music together? Derek: I was a dishwasher at Rene’s and Isabel was a waitress there. The boss Nigel was always yelling and screaming at everyone. He hated the fact that we would always laugh when he was raging. Isabel: We were always talking about trying to play some songs together. We met one day before work, and never showed up at Rene’s again. Listening to “Hands On Fire”, productionwise it’s similar to your earlier demos. Was this on purpose? Do you enjoy the raw, lo-fi sound? Derek: I think it was more of a product of budget than anything else. We love the way the songs sound though! Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/hunters
Get Your t Vintage Fuzz Righ can get away
rock you When you play psychedelic ls, but you better make with sloppy drums and voca distorted guitar tone your as far as rk your homewo are some of the als ped fuzz ’60s is concerned. r guitar effects. Due afte ht soug and most collected gs, they continue rdin reco inal sem on to their use inspire numerous and es pric nt bita to sell for exor . likes d-asoun reissues and than its U.S and British Sharper and harsher pedal e Shin-Ei Companion counterparts, the Japanes collectible status until Fuzz pedal didn’t rise to its s and Mary Chain and the 1980s, when The Jesu ds re-appropriated the other neo-psychedelic ban ics’ Land of the Rising sound. Fridgebuzzz Electron rdable version of the Fuzzz is a compact and affo a sizzling shoegaze obscure effect, perfect for . sound or piercing lead tone logman is a recreation The Astro Tone Fuzz by Ana Fuzzz Boxx. Clever Ash Sam ct extin of the long ern construction mod and ring inee reverse eng gn delivers a desi 0’s 196 inal orig based on the pedal that can add grit, punch and fuzz without getting lost in a live mix: in a world jam packed with murky, buzzy fuzz pedals, the Astro Tone Fuzz by Man Fridgebuzzz Analog logman is a Ana e Ton Astro Land of The standout. true Rising Fuzzz e pedals @ Read full reviews of thes . www.delicious-audio.com
Celestial Shore By Dean Van Nguyen
ooking for a change of scenery to work on a new project, multiinstrumentalist Sam Owens left Brooklyn for the west coast, and what he describes as his “beachy sanctuary.” Setting up in Los Angeles, the result of months of work was California Eden, a dazzling four track set of pretty harmonies, shimmering guitar licks and touches of experimentation that owes much to the sun-kissed city it was recorded in. With friends filling out the sound, Owen’s EP was released under the moniker of Celestial Shore, and as a fully-functioning band, the group is gathering pace, playing several shows and preparing to release their first album.
RIYL: Rooney, Foster the People, Two Door Cinema Club
RIYL: Beach Boys, Olivia Tremor Control, Dirty Projectors *Playing The Deli’s party @ The Mercury Lounge 2/24/12
How did you end up recording out in West Hollywood and did it influence the sound of the music? After spending a good deal of time in the northeast, we figured that California would offer us a sort of beachy sanctuary to get a project together, so we made arrangements to meet out there one way or another. I was able to get an internship with Blue microphones and spent about 5 months working in their studio. After a couple months, I started bringing mics home more frequently, and would record either sitting in my living room or in our practice space in South LA. It was just Max [Almero], our friend Alec [Pombriant], myself and the taco trucks. LA became an incredibly frustrating place to exist, but I suppose it was hard to keep California out of the sound. It sure is a beautiful country.
get involved, but at the moment, we’re working on our first full-length by ourselves, and are tickled in doing so. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/celestialshore
Your vocals are reminiscent of The Beach Boys. Is that something you picked up out there or would you say they’ve always been an influence? My parents gave me Pet Sounds with my first walkman in kindergarten so I grew up with that sound in my ears, but Alec and I listened to a ton of Brian Wilson when we were driving. We spent a lot of time in vehicles.
he four Brooklyn musicians that make up The Twees are proud of their foreign fan base, and welcome your dancing skills onto their stage. Their EP These Girls is high-energy from start to finish, the overall feeling you get from listening to it is that you’ve packed into the garage where the coolest band on your block performs waiting for their big break. From the racing throbbing guitar riffs to the catchy choruses that range from melodic to howls, every track will get into your head and under your skin – making it hard, extremely hard not to at least tap to the beat.
Do you find self-producing an essential part of the process, or would you ever consider working under the guidance of another producer? We’ve spoken in favor of having someone
What made you decide to release an EP rather than a full-length album? Dan: It made more sense to release a few songs here and there to keep the buzz going. Dave: It seems counterproductive with our
That Charming “Old Telephone” Effect The “vintage telephone effect” on vocals has been in vogue, in particular in lo-fi and electronic music, since Beck’s debut album came out in 1994. Although the market is saturated with “lo-fi” plug ins, all you need to recreate this trick is some EQ, compression and distortion.
Compress the vocal track heavily – you can even try with a limiter if you wish – then use a high pass filter on the bass frequencies sweeping from the bottom end to the mids, until you get the sound you are looking for. Then cut also a little bit of the high Peavy Practice Amp
the deli_9 Winter 2012
The Walkmen 11. Snowmine Yeah Yeah Yeahs 12. Yeasayer The Strokes 13. Gang Gang Dance The National 14. NewVillager Interpol 15. Yo La Tengo The Rapture 16. The Morning Benders Grizzly Bear 17. Blonde Redhead Department of Eagles 18. Cymbals Eat Guitars Animal Collective 19. Dirty Projectors Eleanor Friedberger 20. We Are Augustines
By Molly Horan
By Paolo De Gregorio
The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Check out our self-ge nerating online charts here: www.thedelima
Indie R o Top 20ck
sound and style to release a full-length of material and spend the money on those kinds of recording costs when only half the tracks are probably going to slip under the radar. If we ever get to a point where a concept is dictating our writing process and we have the creative momentum to release a cohesive unit that’s a full-length, then it makes more sense to record and release that, but right now we are very much a song by song band. What’s been your best experience with fans? Dan: We played Warped Tour this summer as a part of the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands. After our set, a group of girls came up to me and asked to take a picture, and then some other girls asked us to autograph their Tweeshirts. It made me feel like a real rock star. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/twees
frequencies with a low pass filter, and make the voice even more nasal with an mid eq boost in the 2-4kHz range. Add a little bit of distortion and… voila’. Another way to get a similar sound is to do what Julian Casablancas did when recording the vocals for “Is This It”, i.e. feed the line output of you mic preamp to your cheap guitar amp (he used a Peavey practice amp). Tweaking will be necessary to get the right tone of course, and if it sounds weird you may want to try using a re-amp box between the preamp and the amp.
Photo: Don Razniewski
Firehorse By Nancy Chow
eah Siegel wears many faces of what she calls “characters.” An active performer in Citizens Band and Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout, Siegel also has written a number of albums under her own name before she founded Firehorse. With Firehorse, she boasts a range of roles on the debut album “And So They Ran Faster...” in its diverse compositions that explore pop, rock, jazz, funk and soul with electronic touches. The genre-leaping tracks showcase Siegel’s acrobatic vocals that lead her band into challenging sonic landscapes. What sparked the creation of Firehorse? I felt limited performing as Leah Siegel and was definitely limited as a writer. A lot of my writing comes from character ideas and “Leah” seemed defined. But what I really felt was confined. So I killed the whole thing and almost started from scratch. This is a very long story actually and begins in the darkest place I’ve ever found myself. It’s hard to condense it all into sound bytes, but the moment I trashed Leah Siegel, I was on my way out of the abyss. Tell me about Prince lavishing you with compliments. He came to see a Citizens Band show and then came to the after-party. A few of the cast members kept coming up to me saying that Prince particularly liked my performance, until finally Prince walked up to me and told me his thoughts. “Lavishing” seems like a strong word, but he was really sincere and he used the word “brilliant.” It was a Cinderella moment if I’ve ever had one. My mom told me much later that this was when she and my dad stopped worrying about me so much. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/firehorse
We Are The Woods
Firehorse htest Diamond, RIYL: Joni Mitchell, My Brig Holly Miranda
this department, transforming good songs into beautiful, arresting gems. When did you officially become We Are The Woods? We’d all been playing together in another project for a couple of years, and then last spring we regrouped and formed We Are The Woods (you know the deal – naked baptism in a waterfall, double rainbow overhead, nightingales singing at the break of day). How do you differ from the other bands coming out of the NYC scene? Basically, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, but if you don’t, we get real pissed. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/wearethewoods
Lisa Jaeggi By Amanda Dissinger
We Are The Woods By Paolo De Gregorio & Tuesday Phillips
ike many other indie kids, after a wild and rocking youth full of disdain for all forms of tradition, we have slowly grown to enjoy folk music, in particular, when it’s somehow “bastardized” – the redeeming quality! This is a concept that – although clashing with the immaculacy of their music – is pertinent to We Are The Woods. This NYC-based group led by a female duo employs acoustic guitars and a variety of other instruments to craft beautiful, sophisticated and intense songs that are thoroughly enjoyable. The folk matrix is still audible, but here orchestral, pop and even psych elements take over the reins. As it often happens in softer music, the vocals are a crucial element, and the ladies deliver big time in
the deli_11 Winter 2012
RIYL: Fleet Foxes, Feist, Joan as Police Woman
e are so impressed with Lisa Jaeggi, a musician with wildly varied influences. In the few years we’ve been following her, she has grown into a mature and confident artist with the potential to warm many hearts. Daughter of a children book writer and a teacher in love with political mindedness, Jaeggi writes melodic folk songs that blend creativity with powerful lyrical content about everything from religion to civic responsibility. Her latest album “Echo Echo” shows an artist moving through a period of hope and growth.
How did you start making music and what is your musical background? I wouldn’t consider my parents particularly musical, but I think they always appreciated and understood the importance of trying to learn an instrument. I remember my mother randomly taking up the bamboo flute when
Lisa Jaeggi RIYL: Florence and The Machine, Lykke Li
Roo Top tsy 20
The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Cat Power Sharon Van Etten Theophilus London Norah Jones Regina Spektor Ingrid Michaelson Titus Andronicus Discovery Antony and the Johnsons
10. Devendra Banhart 11. CocoRosie 12. A.A. Bondy 13. Deer Tick 14. Yellow Ostrich 15. Citizen Cope 16. Ron Pope 17. Daniel Merriweather 18. The Felice Brothers 19. Kevin Devine 20. Adam Green
Check out our self-generat ing online charts here: www.thedelimagazine .com/charts
I was growing up. She didn’t take lessons, but just kind of made it up as she went along. Looking back – she was pretty awesome and probably influenced my own relatively free-form approach to making music. What is your songwriting process like? Songs are birthed like epiphanies, and though you have to work on them somewhat, I usually find that laboring over them kills their spirit. If I don’t finish a song within a week (and more often than not it’s within a couple days), it hardly ever sees the light of day. I probably have hundreds of dead songs buried in GarageBand files on my computer. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/lisajaeggi
The Notorious MSG By Tuesday Phillips
t might seem like your mind is playing tricks on you when first being introduced to New York-based Notorious MSG, but it won’t be a result of symptoms caused by the consumption of the sodium additive, monosodium glutamate (MSG). It will be the unlikely mix of hardcore rap, punk and power-pop, topped with diverting, satirical “Engrish” rhymes and undercurrents of discontent that this East Asian trio brings to the table in their newest release, “Heavy Ghetto”.
I hear you guys met in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. Was it immediately apparent that you all shared a rare love for Chinese food and gangster rap? Initially, it was our not-so-rare love of poontang that was more evident. This band started out as a joke, and over the years, we’ve evolved - into a better joke. You guys are pretty funny. Have you done or considered stand-up? We consider ourselves musicians first so we usually limit our attempts at humor to our stage banter in between songs. Plus, if you market yourself as a stand-up comic, people EXPECT you to be funny. We like to keep people’s expectations low and surprise them. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/notoriousmsg
Blip Blip Bleep By Nancy Chow
ith a new lineup, Blip Blip Beep is invigorated with renewed energy to record and write new material. Kayce McGehee on vocals/ keyboard and Jojo Schwarz on drums now join frontman Sean Han. The trio’s latest single, “Dance Floor Make Out,” is in line with what catchy synthpop fans have grown to love over the years – the sing-a-long choruses, vibrant male and female vocals, the deliciously layered synths and infectious beats.
You recently had a band switch-up with Kayce McGehee coming in as a replacement. Has this changed the dynamic of the band? The dynamic has definitely changed; somehow, the current lineup of BBB has really clicked in a new and exciting way. Each member of the group has a very different musical background and distinct preferences that all mysteriously overlap when it comes to trying to mix dance beats, a pop sensibility and staying just a little bit weirder than normal — or something! It seems tough to perform live as an
The Notorious MSG
Blip Blip Bleep RIYL: New Order, Depeche Mode, The Cure
RIYL: Beastie Boys, AC/DC, Tony Danza
electronic group. How do you make your shows compelling? It is very different than a traditional rock band. On one hand, the group is slim with three people so it’s relatively easy to coordinate. On the other, it’s very gear heavy so it’s also easy for things to go wrong. At our first Bowery Ballroom gig, my laptop had a total meltdown barely halfway through the set! The arrangements definitely transform a bit. A lot of liberties we take with the recorded material have to translate into being executed by live drums, two pairs of hands and two sets of lungs. We do rely on the computer to play the bass and provide some supporting tracks/ samples, but we do as much live as we can. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/blipblipbleep
The Qualia By Nancy Chow
hat started as a personal music project for Lars Casteen morphed into an electro pop rock band with subtle, unexpected tones in The Qualia. This deviation from standard textbook New Wave is developed from the band members’ contrasting yet complementary strengths. Keyboardist Chvad SB from the aggressive industrial band Things Outside the Skin brings a harder edge to the pop melodies presented in the song, while drummer Rossen Nedelchev constructively loosens the feel of the songs with his jazz background and bassist Zakai Robbins offers funk-inspired bass lines.
When and how did you all meet? Basically, we all connected over the internet in one way or another. People that do the kind of music we do are spread out enough that it’s usually easiest to find and connect with people online. People in this city who love
The Qualia RIYL: Kraftwerk, Pet Shop Boys, New Order
sounds and synths and whatever are sort of rare. We’ve been really lucky to find each other. What would you say makes a successful show? What is the best show you’ve played? I think our shows are constantly getting better so I usually think our best one is the most recent one we’ve played. That said, we did a show at Pianos with Bellevue’s Finest, a great New York band that has sadly since broken up, and another really awesome band called Kodacrome, a couple of months ago. We had great energy with the other bands, and I think that the audience really responded to that. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/qualia
Electro n Top 20 ic
The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts
1. Scissor Sisters 11. Com Truise 2. Teen Daze 12. The Golden Filter 3. CANT 13. Twin Shadow 4. Sleigh Bells 14. Amon Tobin 5. Neon Indian 15. Sepalcure 6. Ratatat 16. Ivy 7. LCD Soundsystem 17. Memory Tapes 8. Oneohtrix Point Never 18. Mindless Self Indulgence 9. Battles 19. Julianna Barwick 10. Porcelain Raft 20. Small Black
Check out our self-ge nerating online charts here: www.thedelima gazine.com/charts
the deli_13 Winter 2012
By Amanda Dissinger
angula is a Brooklyn-based foursome that have been around in some form for years and have become one of the most well-known bands in the Brooklyn concert circuit. Making punk-influenced DIY indie pop music, the quartet is inspired by everything from the clean pop music of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys to the sounds of Joy Division, and has played venues from the Knitting Factory to Mercury Lounge to warehouse parties as well as opening for bands like The Postelles and YACHT. They released an EP in 2010 and are currently working on their full length album including the track “Light Left Hand.”
You often play at warehouse and rooftop parties. What makes these places so awesome to play? Where are your favorite places to play in NYC/Brooklyn? The rooftop parties are loose, uninhibited affairs. Bacchanal occurs and Dionysian festivals take place. Usually people are imbibing, we can play a gutter rock set. For a bigger venue, I’d say we prefer Webster Hall. For a more intimate setting, we prefer playing in a teepee. What’s your favorite NYC deli sandwich? Johnny: Lobster Parmigiano Italian Boy with dressing. Barak: Honey turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, salt, pepper, mayo and mustard on a roll. Daniel: Knuckle sandwich. Cody: Turkey Club with turkey bacon. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/jangula
Bosco Delrey By Amanda Dissinger
roducer and musician Bosco Delrey crafts experimental versions of classic rock n’ roll that sound like Memphis blues music mixed with a variety of other influences including church hymns, dancehall, lo-fi and southern rap. After signing with the well-known Mad Decent label, he went to work on 2010’s Everybody Wah, an album full of catchy pop music that leaves you speechless with its rockabilly old-timey production. Like a “garbage can Elvis” from New Jersey, Bosco brings back the nostalgia of the rock music we love – with a modern edge. Here’s hoping 2012 is full of more great reinventions from Bosco. How did you start playing music? What is your musical background? I started DJing with a Fisher Price record
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Bosco Delrey RIYL: Elvis Presley, MC5
Jangula RIYL: The Beach Boys, Joy Division, Yellow Dogs
player when I was 2 or 3. Soon it was on to the Fisher Price drum kit. I’m self-taught and the only one in my family who wrote a song. I probably started with that on a toy guitar in my grandparents basement. Since then I’ve had a lot of bands that played basements.
Jump Into The Gospel
What’s your writing/recording process like? It’s a lot of nonsense till a song accidentally slips out. I’m actually trying to figure that one out myself, but it usually involves loops, freestyles and tape.
RIYL: Cut Copy (If they crashed David Byrnes’ car into Happy Monday’s house)
Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/boscodelrey
Who are your favorite fellow NY artists, and who do you see yourselves collaborating with in the future? Conan O’Brien is super high on our top five list or Robert E. Lee-Smith and The Saturday Night Live Band. But best-worse scenario, we’re thinking the creative director that orchestrated Aerosmith’s ’90s comeback.
Jump Into The Gospel By Meijin Bruttomesso
ew York’s Jump Into The Gospel is a “hallelujah” moment for local music – raising the bar of the scene with energetic and contagious rhythms, sleek synths, and straight-up good pop songs with a quirky twist. JITG’s new self-titled EP’s main aural attraction is Louis Epstein’s staccato New Wave/Brit-Pop vocal cadence which hops along with heavy guitar and bright, synth-driven riffs. The EP opens with the smashing snares and ethereal keys of “Humvee Mansion,” followed by bouncy vocals that play off the syncopated instrumental backdrop of “Photovoltaic,” and buzzing and bubbly “Powerlines.” A heavy, house remix, “Humvee ‘Scary’ Mansion,” by GRVRRBRS, is a track suitable for the finest dance parties, and completes the EP on a catching high. Also available is the new single, “2012,” which showcases a sultrier side of the band. Jump Into The Gospel’s new material preaches an undeniably addictive quality that offers salvation to those seeking a reincarnation of electro-rock.
What has been the most rewarding event in the past year? Well, the way Lakis talks about this meal he had at this diner in Tuscan – you’d think it would be that, but we know he was drunk, so we’re gonna go with that time in rehearsal we covered Sum 41’s “Still Waiting.” Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com /artists/jumpintothegospel
Indie P o Top 20 p
The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Lana Del Rey Friends MGMT Cults Rufus Wainwright Vampire Weekend Beirut The Drums St. Vincent Sufjan Stevens
11. fun. 12. Lia Ices 13. Broken Bells 14. Oh Land 15. Lips 16. Julian Casablancas 17. Babies 18. Santigold 19. Twin Sister 20. Vivian Girls
Check out our self-ge nerating online charts here: www.thedelima gazine.com/charts
The Dead Exs
Photo: Kristin Viens
By Meijin Bruttomesso
he sultry slide guitar, haunting distortion and throbbing beats of The Dead Exs breathe life back into blues rock for a whole new generation to enjoy. The NYC-based duo’s full-length record, The Resurrection, released on vocalist/guitarist David Patillo’s revival rock label, Bang Bang Boogaloo, slinks, saunters and swings with Wylie Wirth’s drum licks through highlight tracks like the ominous “Whole Lotta Nothin,” seductive “All Over You,” sexy “Shut Up and Love Me,” and grooving instrumental jam “Nolita Strut.” The band oozes with raucous, raw rock spirit, which radiates during live shows and possesses an entire room with energy and the need to move uncontrollably.
The Dead Exs
RIYL: Soundgarden, Prince, Pink Floyd
Biram, RIYL: Left Lane Cruiser, Scott H. The Black Keys
Would you really prefer your ex’s dead, or is there another story behind your name? What happened to the “e” in exes? Ha! Yeah, the only good exes are dead exes, right?? Both Wylie and I were recovering from exes when we got together to jam. He, with an ex-gf, and I, with an ex-major label record I produced going down the tubes. It was a play on that, plus we love the music of dead men, so it works. And, the “e” thingy…I liked Exs…no e…no apostrophe…just made sense, and I dig phonetic reduction. You guys are very involved in the NYC music scene, playing gigs left and right. What are the best things about being a NY band? Minivan cabs! I would have to say the best thing is the concentration of people and the iconic, irrepressible pulse of NYC. There’s a ton of creative mindshare here. I mean, look…a couple hundred forward thinking individuals went down to Zuccotti Park, and have changed the course of the world. This would never have happened in LA. A Malibu sunset is too charming. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/deadexs
Ellis Ashbrook By Meijin Bruttomesso
he intertwining and harmonizing vocals of Natalie Lowe and guitarist John Barber create the foundation of Ellis Ashbrook’s atmospheric and encompassing sound. The Brooklyn quartet explores a spectrum of psychedelia, involving layers of underwater-esque effects, bright reverb, and swirling guitars and synths on their 2011 release “Meridia”. Who is Ellis Ashbook? How did the band come to be? John (guitar, vocals) and Alex (drums) grew up playing music together in RI and met Jonathan (bass) in Boston during freshman year of college. Natalie (keys, vocals) met John a few years later, and she joined the band in 2006. We all moved to Brooklyn in 2007 to a cool space where we practice and throw parties in our basement. If your music was a soundtrack to a
movie, what would be the rough premise of the film? Something surreal, flowing, changing. Ups and downs, ins and outs, losing control, letting go (thereby gaining control), learning from mistakes/intuitions, trying not to judge, and ultimately creating something that has a long shelf life. Good things take time to develop, and their meaning usually changes over time. Understanding this comes from experience, which comes from taking risks. The movie has all that plus aliens and dinosaurs. Full interview: www.thedelimagazine.com/ artists/ellisashbrook
Alt Ro c Top 20 k
The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts 1. 2. 3. 4.
Brand New 11. Alberta Cross Taking Back Sunday 12. Steel Train We Are Scientists 13. Ted Leo and Semi Precious the Pharmacists Weapons 14. Robbers on High Street 5. Straylight Run 15. Jennifer Warnes 6. The Bouncing Souls 16. Star Fucking Hipsters 7. The Hold Steady 17. The Static Jacks 8. Stereo Skyline 18. Morningwood 9. Steve Hauschildt 19. Locksley 10. Wakey!Wakey!
Check out our self-ge nerating online charts here: www.thedelima gazine.com/charts
bridge saddle screws counter-clockwise, moving the saddle closer to the pickups, and shortening the working length of the string.
Guitar Intonation By Justin Colletti Problems?
You may be a guitar wizard, but if your instrument isn’t properly set up it will never sound right. Here’s some simple advice about fixing intonation problems. To check a guitar’s intonation, first plug it into a tuner and tune normally. Once that’s done, play a 12th-fret harmonic on your highest string, and look at the reading on the tuner. (This is done by lightly tapping the string just over the 12th fret with one hand, as you pluck the string with the other.) Then, fret the string normally at the 12th fret and play
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it again. Chances are, the two readings are different, and this is the source of all your woes. If the fretted note at the 12th fret was flat compared to the 12th-fret harmonic, turn the
If the fretted note was sharp, turn the saddle screws clockwise, moving the saddle further from the pickups and lengthening the scale of the string. For this adjustment, use half or three-quarter turns to start. After each tweak, be sure to re-tune the string. Adjusting the saddles changes the pitch of the string, so you’ll need to get it back to the desired note before measuring again. Repeat this process on each of the strings until done. Then, sit back and marvel at the improved tone of this newly-calibrated instrument. Read the full article on sonicscoop.com
specials the deli’s features
RIYL: Belle & Sebastian, The Shins, Camera Obscura
Hospitality In Good Company
ecently signed to Merge Records, home to numerous indie luminaries, Hospitality is in excellent company. There’s something irresistibly charming about the band members’ unassuming dispositions that bleed into the quartet’s accessible pop music. Instead of canned responses, they offer stream-of-consciousness answers.
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By Nancy Chow / Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford When asked about the name Hospitality, vocalist/guitarist Amber Papini discusses how she likes the dichotomy between the band’s upbeat, inviting sound and subtly cynical lyrics. She remembers that guitarist Nathan Michel had mentioned an interesting point about the band’s name. He takes over beginning with a thought about the state of the word “hospitality,” trails off, and says, “It’s not clear what… what I’m saying.” The band erupts in laughter, and Papini admits that they probably have to think more about what to say about Hospitality. “We haven’t done many interviews, especially together,” says bassist Brian Betancourt. “So this is actually a really fun learning experience.” The seeds of Hospitality can be traced back to when Papini met Michel at a party while attending school. He had already been
recording experimental electronic music under his own name. They later formed a band with Papini’s sister Gia. Shortly thereafter, Betancourt, who Michel had met through an old schoolmate, was enlisted to play guitar. Initially, they performed mostly Michel’s songs, but the gang eventually shifted to playing more of Papini’s tunes and settled into Hospitality. After soundchecking for a show at Cake Shop, Hospitality was offered an unusual proposition by Karl Blau, who happened to be sharing the bill with them that evening. He complimented the group and offered to record their music in exchange for them becoming his backing band for a few shows. He also wrote some songs specifically for Hospitality featuring “bouncy basslines and two keyboard parts that were supposed to be played in harmony with each other.” A few of the songs over time would appear on Blau’s later records. “I always admired [Blau’s] four-track demos,” says Papini, who purchased a four-track from eBay shortly before recording the band’s self-titled debut EP. “The beauty of tape and four-track is like there isn’t much work that has to be done. As far as production, it’s already sort of part of the package of four-track recording. I knew it was going to sound great.” The EP session barely took the whole day to record – merely the afternoon to lay down the six songs. There is an immediate appeal to the effortless pop tunes with jazz touches. The tenuous tracks are coated in sweetness with the delicate, fey vocals of the Papini sisters and temperate instrumentation. The group viewed the EP (which was only available on CD at their shows and via Insound. com) as something between an official release and a demo. Although, they were satisfied with the recordings, they still hoped to rerecord the songs again down the line. In fact, some of the tunes on the EP reappear on the band’s self-titled debut label LP in amplified form. The rekindled songs have a breath of new life with more layers and a heartier quality that was developed through their live performances over the years. “We all agreed that we wanted to give these songs their due,” says Betancourt. “The EP was great, but there weren’t many choices to be made with recording on a four-track. A lot of these songs, especially the newer ones that aren’t on the EP, needed to have a bigger life. I don’t think [the latest single] ‘Friends of Friends’ could exist on a four-track in the right way.” At the outset, the group wanted to record with Blau again in Washington, but the logistics deemed that plan impractical. Instead, they opted to work with Shane Stonebeck (whose diverse resume includes Cults, Vampire Weekend and Fucked Up), and recorded locally. Stonebeck’s demanding schedule limited time in the studio as the band tracked live, but Michel judiciously added additional layers afterwards on his own to expand on the band’s studio session. The full-length album isn’t a far cry from the EP, but rather a natural progression. Over the years, they lost a band member. Gia Papini decided to pursue other interests. However, they picked up another,
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Kyle Olson, whom they added as a drummer due to instrumental responsibility shifts. Hospitality’s current scopious sound developed through the various adjustments made as they grew as a band. “The songs have a lot of nice harmonies that just weren’t well-represented with just Amber playing the guitar and singing,” says Michel of his decision to move from drums to guitar. “We just wanted to fill out the harmonies a little bit more. I also like to play really fast solos, and I wanted to be able to do that. Just playing guitar as fast as possible.” Every track on the album is more pronounced and confident with sardonic lyrics that bear a lot of bite. The songs are expertly bulked up with lush, detailed arrangements: Every little note or effect has a purpose. They excise the excess to bring out the brightest, best parts of the songs, resulting in each track coming off as a single with catchy hooks that delve deep into your skin. “It’s funny picking a single,” says Papini. “We tracked the record according to the flow – the way the songs sound like as a whole piece. When we were deciding singles, we were like, ‘What about the last track? No, we can’t do the last track, because everyone will scroll down to the last track.’” After the album was completed, they started looking for a label to release the record, and by chance, they made a connection a few years ago that would land them a deal with Merge Records. After comedy writer and music video director Scott Jacobson was impressed by the EP version of “Betty Wang” that he had found via Stereogum, he emailed Hospitality to ask if they would like to make a video for the song. The music video never happened (although he did just direct the video for “Friends of Friends”), but they still stayed in touch and became friends. Jacobson eventually heard the finished LP and sent it to his contacts at Merge; the rest is history. “I listened to Superchunk when I was a teenager,” says Papini. “I couldn’t believe when I was talking to Mac [McCaughan] on the phone. I was completely starstruck.” The fortuitous signing has opened up a yet unwritten chapter in the band’s lives. The album’s release is a long time coming, and they are eager to share its songs and take them on the road. “Before this year, I think the farthest we’ve been is Connecticut,” says Betancourt. “I think we toured New York for five or six years, but now we’re heading out. We’re ready.”
Artist Equipment Check!!!
Apogee Duet AKG C414
“Probably the most inspiring piece of equipment for the Hospitality recording was my Roland Juno 60 synth, which I used quite a lot. I’d also occasionally run the Juno (at fairly low volume) through my Fender Twin Reverb to give the synth a little room sound and to use the amp’s spring reverb. As for recording gear, I just use an Apogee Duet and an AKG C414 and Sm57s.”
specials the deliâ€™s features
By Valerie Kuehne / Illustration by Pearl Rachinsky
he word “experiment” is derived from the Latin “ex-perimentum,” which means to try, to attempt. The word “experience” shares the same root, and it basically refers to “what we learn from experimenting.” Apply this funny twist to experimental music, and the following is suggested: the definition of experimental is impossible to pin down, as this process of trial and error applies to all experiences. Oddly, defining oneself as an “experimental” musician has become extremely popular in the past few years. While the etymology of experimental certainly leaves room for this claim, it does not capture the reality of what truly experimental musicians do. To be an undeniably experimental musician – to belong to what is commonly referred to as the “experimental scene” – a band or artist must be focused on music as a pure and unforeseeable experience: music that’s thoroughly raw and free from preconceived notions and genres; music that begins and ends with the experience of listening, creating, performing, remembering, reflecting and everything in between (for better or for worse). It is difficult to imagine a more personal process – one that requires a great effort on behalf of its audience, demanding a listening experience that matches the intensity of the creating experience.
This is what makes experimental music so poignant for us: as our readers surely know, living and working as a musician in this city is hard as nails. Living and working as an experimental musician in this city is a hundred times harder.
We All Move to Brooklyn [ii]*
A few days before I started writing this article, I learned of a serious fight involving NYC drummer Kevin Shea and the son of the owner/ talent buyer of an East Village venue, iconic for its historical interest in avant jazz and experimental music. The owner wanted the musicians to pay her $50 bucks since no one came to hear them. The owner’s son punched Kevin in his left eye when he refused. The musicians chased him into Tompkins Square Park. [iii]* In Manhattan, the following conditions seem to underscore venues opening their doors to experimental music: 1. Poor organization, location and/or reputation force the venue to desperately and haphazardly fill empty nights. 2. The venue can’t get a liquor license. 3. They are John Zorn. In Manhattan, experimental musicians bother to play said venues for the following reasons: 1. They are from Europe. 2. They are in College. 3. They don’t know John Zorn.
[i] An absurd title, to be sure - also the name of the legendary record released by Diamanda Galas and John Paul Jones in 1994. [ii] Tongue and cheek title of one of Natti Vogel’s tunes. [iii] Since this article was first written, the son of the venue owner who punched Kevin Shea in the face was arrested and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
“Herein lies the truth of experimental art, spread-eagled and hoarse: it embodies humanity’s basic inability to communicate its deepest needs.” It’s tempting to blame the loss of a desire to explore new modes of musical communication on the irrationality of venue owners who drag art down with them. Indeed, as consumers, we tend to fetishize marketing to the degree at which an idea feels incomplete, untamed and childish if it lacks the structure necessary to keep it short, package it, plug it in two sentences, and describe it over cocktails. When you try to get a word in, a note out and a message past the programmed cacophony of our Information Age, you will feel that you’re up against a slave driver, and the unspoken minority reacts by talking to themselves, in freely improvised code. In the case of experimental music, the code is intentionally obscured to the point of pure reflexivity. Like taking it upon yourself to create a new language for your child – as opposed to teaching them their native tongue – and then laughing in the face of humanity when the child can’t express its need to eat, sleep or use the toilet. Herein lies the truth of experimental art, spread-eagled and hoarse: it embodies humanity’s basic inability to communicate its deepest needs. Transitively, experimental artists portray a child-like obliviousness in understanding that this breakdown in communication, and little more, describes the reality of what they practice: They say what they say because they can’t say what they really want to say. Two years ago I decided to put myself in an uncomfortable position. I armored myself in the few years of experience that I had gigging as a cellist in NYC. I brashly swallowed an opportunity to transform the café that I was working at into a legitimate venue, and discovered what it means to be a full-time curator of experimental music. If you’re a curator of experimental music, you blame the problems with venues and the problems with artists on exclusivity. It floods public perception. It brainwashes musicians. It’s a deadly rash. Case in point: I can count the active experimental “promoters” in this City on one hand. Compare that to your average indie-head talent buyer, and the ratio peels in at about 200/1. This is not because other genres of music are cheap. It is because they understand that exclusivity kills.
The Unconscious Imitated By a Cheesecake [iv]*
Experimental music operates under the principles of spontaneity.
There is no association, idea and chord too absurd. There is no known structure worth adhering to in ritual. In an experimental context, your work is rated relative to the speed and capacity of your imagination and reflexes. You live your life in avoidance of the question: Who are your influences? The fact is everything that we want to be listening to is breaking down. Influence has overcome musical propriety. Blame Pandora or praise the coordinating gestures of Modernism, either way, it is happening. You hear it bold and garishly in Hip Hop (the birthplace of sampling). You face it slightly desperately in the new generation of Classical Musicians (see LPR’s Wordless music series). Mostly and most elegantly – you hear it in electronic music, because the element of newness here is... newer (see Tim Exile’s “Family Galaxy”). Yet music has always been mutating, extending and overtaking. So why have we convinced ourselves otherwise? Why have the most experimentally minded among us decided that deconstructing a genre is a necessarily exclusive process? Is this an inevitable model?
Have You Seen That Movie “Untitled”?
I’ve toured the world, and experimental communities are strong in their intimacy. New York has an experimental community dozens of times larger than anywhere else. Sadly, the community is fractured – subject to the same scene-driven mentality dominating other genres; genres that can actually withstand being broken down into cliques due to corporate marketing of audience surplus. I’m baffled that this subdivision exists in the experimental community. Maybe it’s something we ate. A consequence here is that experimental music has become characterized simply by lack of audience. This is a problem for everyone. Nobody knows what’s going on underneath commercial success. As much as I’d like to accredit an intrinsic lack of curiosity and deafening self-interest on the behalf of those who aren’t bothering to tune in, I can’t. Life is driven by curiosity, anticipation and surprise. The question is how do we share and [iv] A chapter title out of William S. Burrough’s Cities of the Red Night.
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how does the simple act of sharing congeal when faced with corporate appeal and the need to prove financial capability. It’s a pickle. On one hand, you have a group of musicians opting out of the system, focusing on the creative process and vying for a more substantial human currency that deepens as it flails. On the other, you have systems in place to generate hype, interest and attention, and frankly they work. The problem is that they’ve been appropriated by capitalist logic. Neither produces a particularly desirable mating call for the musically savvy.
Alien Suns [v]*
Experimental artists have achieved notoriety, and groups of these artists have pulled together to resonate beyond their more accessible colleagues. I’d be hard pressed to find a New Yorker who wasn’t familiar with (or at least pretended to be familiar with to save face) Laurie Anderson, Sun Ra and Moon Dog. Regardless of what aspiring record execs and teen daydreamers wish to believe, it’s never so much a question of marketing content as it is proliferation and outstanding character (it doesn’t matter whether this character is offensive or diplomatic; it has to be big). A current example to consider might be The Residents. Besides being prolific, they are systematically inclusive. Their M.O. is structured to include as many cursory artists and freaks as possible. A habitat has been created (generative like a biosphere) where the odd grows odder, and music breeds theater and theater performance art – primal and running around with gigantic eyeballs on heads (except for Mr. Skull, he wears a skull). The cameos multiply as rapidly as the production value. There’s nothing pretentious about it. That’s the beauty. The worst that can be said is that it’s weird and weird doesn’t even mean anything. It’s a grammatical and syntactical tick, merely signifying that you don’t know what to think, which is perfectly awesome. That’s more than the point of this experimental confabulation: It’s absurd, and if you let it, this quotient for surprise will feed your human soul forever. I might refer to The Resident’s success, and I wouldn’t be referencing it in economic terms at all. They are successful because they’ve rallied a meticulously talented crew of artists and lunatics to collaborate with them. They’ve cultivated excitement and surprise, and structured their progeny in a way that’s not only functional, but singular. Not only is it singular, but otherworldly from the standpoint of the spectator. I don’t want to imply that experimental music needs to be histrionic. However, stimulation is crucial – no matter how understated one’s approach to performance. It’s a personal choice how one chooses to conceive the theatricality of their
music relative to the spirit of the times. Although, regardless of the content, anybody’s art should aspire to affect as many people as possible, not by embellishing or decreasing the message conveyed to fit a standard, but by expanding and refining toward a greater universality: experience as totality. Expression is reciprocal – give the audience a chance to experience the music as directly as the musician.
The Freegans of The Music Industry
In a recent post on The Super Coda blog, I asked what experimental musicians were willing to sacrifice for their art. Why it is they don’t bat an eye in subordinating their lives to professional misery and infested apartments if it means a few extra hours per week to craft projects. On a grand scale, the answer to this question is obvious – creating is rejuvenating and life affirming. It’s the only tool that we have to sooth and shift the narrative of personal habit, social fear and disdain. The logical progression of this philosophy (and clue towards a healthy society) is to share this process. It has come to pass that familiar modes of sharing have become outdated. Sharing becomes progressively more problematic while facing the Internet. The fact that being a musician now, in NYC, requires an amount of work previously unheard of is not to be shunned. It just means that you have to work harder, and create a structure, a community and audiences that respond to the same creative urgency you do. You create a way of working, building and exuding that is as creative as the music itself. New contexts must be imagined which almost force people to pay attention. Art is growing more difficult, but it is also simply growing. As with most things, this reality is exaggerated if you live in NYC.
So let it be said that musicians must sacrifice for the strenuous task of generating passion. They learn the ways of surprise, interest and intellect, and recognize these qualities in the world, especially in fellow musicians, even if they veer with dissimilar rhythms. They sacrifice for a realization of sound and performance that is bigger than them – the creators. They sacrifice because their work is worthy of being received by the world because the world is smarter than it realizes, and it deserves to hear music that celebrates this fact with electronic bleeps, cacophonous asymmetry and dissonance – raw, curious and absurd. Otherwise they’re sacrificing for alienation, which is...very boring. [v] Also the name of Rachel Mason’s recently performed rock opera.
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the snacks highlights from the Deli’s NYC blog We Are Augustines Rise Ye Sunken Ships Brooklyn-bred band We Are Augustines’ debut album Rise Ye Sunken Ships was just named “Best Alternative Album” of 2011 in the iTunes “REWIND” Year End Round Up. Guitarist/lead vocalist Billy McCarthy (exPela) and bassist/keyboardist Eric Sanderson poured incredible amounts of emotion into the band’s debut album – which tells the story of McCarthy’s difficult past. (Christine Cauthen) www.weareaugustines.com
Matt Cranstoun The Last Drop of Color On Matt Cranstoun’s The Last Drop of Color, you’ll learn a lot about trains. From the descriptions of the exits in New Jersey in “These Tires,” to the righteous indignation of “Disgrace,” there’s a lot of comings and goings throughout. But all of these trains find their way back to Cranstoun’s adopted city of Brooklyn eventually. A homespun poet with a gift for the kind of Americana that Springsteen used to bring, Cranstoun is etching the gospel to New York’s buildings and
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leaving us with some endearing experiences as naked as his revealing shot on the album’s cover. This is an artist whose power comes from his range – showing in “Ain’t Dead Yet” that he can handle funk and blues as well as his ability to tear down the rafters in album opener “5th Street Lights.” Grab Matt’s latest at his Bandcamp, and you’ll find yourself traveling too. (Mike Levine) www.mattcranstoun.com
New Beard Moment of Peace EP New Beard just released a substantial debut EP, Moment of Peace, and less than a year later is set to release a debut full-length (which we are previewing here), full of the kind of dreamlike touches and dramatic flourishes at home with the Brooklyn-based artist, Ben Wigler. Not content with repeating himself, Wigler has mostly stripped bare many of the dense sounds heard on his EP, Moment of Peace, and has gone for a clean and lush atmospheric this time around. The band showcases an enormous bag of tricks. Less than one minute into opener “Doom,” you are already experiencing flutes, strings, tuba and the many other ways that help to express the kind of dreamy sadness Ben Wigler has made his own. At times, his compositions may remind me of something from Akron/Family, other times Sufjan Stevens’ dramatic flourishes come through in lush ballads like “My People
Are Around.” No stranger to the dramatic, he is a direct individual, but the tenderness of his soundscapes provide comfort and warmth where his thoughts alone might not suffice. This can be a difficult space for most artists to dwell in, but New Beard occupies it well. (Mike Levine) www.newbeardcity.com
Grassfight Icon, An EP Grassfight might be the gazillionth indie band referencing Joy Division in their sound, but their songs are so good that we are definitely not going to complain about that. Besides, there are a lot of other elements here that make things interesting: This is compelling psych-goth rock that’s dark enough to be credible, noisy enough to be truly edgy and punchy enough to be entertaining. As an added bonus, lead singer Nathan Forster can pull off some seriously high tension cadences a la Nick Cave - something that pushes the songs’ climaxes to thundering heights (just check out Icon, An EP’s “Never You Mind”). The guitar work on their debut album is also impressive, ranging from stabs of pure noise to fuzzy walls of sound, to simple acoustic parts to psychedelic with blurred background textures. If you like some sonic horror in your music, keep an ear out for these guys. (Paolo De Gregorio) Grassfight.bandcamp.com
the deli’s icons
Young Magic Melt Young Magic is the Brooklyn-based collaboration between two Australian musicians (Isaac Emmanuel and Michael Italia) and Indonesian singer-songwriter Melati Malay (who made it into our Best of NYC Emerging Artists Poll last year). This project sounds like a more mature development of the direction taken by Malay in her most recent solo material, in which world music influences are rendered through lush and atmospheric arrangements rich in percussions, layered electronic sounds and celestial choirs. The band recently signed to Carpark Records, and their LP Melt is scheduled to be released on February 14. (Paolo De Gregorio) Facebook.com/youngmagicsounds
Friends I’m His Girl The most ungoogleable name on earth isn’t preventing Brooklyn electro-pop collective Friends to make waves on the internet. Currently recording their debut album, the band released two videos in 2011, including the deliciously captivating single “I’m His
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Girl”. They already toured the US, opened for Oh Land in NYC in December, and have a bunch of UK dates booked in February. Their sexy dream-funk formula, led by a female vocalist reminiscent of a weird combination of Santigold and Chairlift, has tons of seducing power: NYC’s next big thing? www.afriendszone.com
Clouder Serious Business EP The delightfully chaotic live show offered by Brooklyn’s bad boy band Clouder is something that needs to be experienced firsthand to truly grasp it all. Frontman Eric Gilstrap’s reputation as a loose Johnny Thunders-like presence (from his previous band Telltale) already precedes him before walking on stage. However, he has now put down the guitar, and is fully focused on delivering his angst-filled vocal lines while the rest of the band masterfully rumbles along behind him. On “Broadcast Victim,” some kind of Peter Gunn detective groove is churned out by the boys as Gilstrap’s vocal tone and delivery resides in a place somewhere between The Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten and The Fall’s Mark E. Smith. A wickedly tasty guitar solo (of sorts) leads the track to a madcap conclusion. “The Collapse” pitches delightful dual guitar and
prime good! nyc music
bass interplay against a bright ride cymbal, as Gilstrap wails on (in that Lydon-esque way) about how relationships fall apart. An even ruder guitar outburst takes this one to its tender conclusion. Two more glorious tracks can be heard on their Bandcamp page from the Serious Business EP. (Dave Cromwell) Clouder.bandcamp.com
James Levy & The Blood Red Rose Pray To Be Free NYC scenesters might recall James Levy’s band called Levy, which created some serious buzz a few years ago with deliciously moody dream pop songs reminiscent of the “Madchester” sound of the early ’90s. Well, the man is back with a new project featuring a more orchestral flavor, with a slightly Nick Cave-ish name of James Levy & The Blood Red Rose. Judging from the dark and troubled tone of first single (google the video with Allison Pierce of The Pierces) referencing Nick Cave seems actually like an appropriate comparison. The band’s upcoming album (out on Heavenly Recordings) was produced by Coldplay’s bass player Guy Berryman so it looks like big things are about to happen for these guys – looking forward to their first NYC live show. (Ed Guardari) www.thebloodredrose.com
specials the deli’s features
Ava Luna RIYL: Dirty Projectors, ’60s girl groups, Al Green, James Chance, TV on the Radio
Playing party @ D e Th eli’s ry The Merceu Loung 2/24/12
By Bill Dvorak / Photo by Emily Raw
still consider it a funny experiment,” Carlos Hernandez tells The Deli of the formation of his breakthrough avant-pop band, Ava Luna. “When we were first putting this band together, I had a wrist injury and couldn’t play guitar...but couldn’t figure out what to use instead to fill that space. As a kid, I grew up on soul music, and those sounds are really comforting to me...so after mulling for months, one evening (while hanging out at a Parts & Labor show) I suddenly got the idea to try adding a trio of vocalists. It turned out to be really fun and easy to practice (we can do it at anyone’s apartment), so we stuck with it.” While this admission may be a bit surprising for those who thought Ava Luna was formed with the purpose of mirroring the funk rhythms and call-and-response of classic soul and R&B in a modern synth-pop context, it’s apparent that the band sees itself more as an amalgamation of a large number of influences, and the “neo-soul” tag sometimes ascribed to it was just a jumping-off point for the sound. In fact, when asked about the actual neo-soul revival championed by such groups as Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and Daptone Records, Carlos explains, “I like it, but I could never personally get into revivalism, nor do I consider our band to really be neo-soul or soul anything. Everyone’s got their influences, but as a listener, I’ve always been way more interested in new sounds.”
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For those who haven’t been keeping your eye on the blogs and have thus not had a chance to check out Ava Luna’s tunes or enthralling live performances, the band definitely captures that soul and R&B element – mainly through the soaring three-part harmonies delivered by the girl-group trio of Felicia Douglass, Becca Kaufman and Anna Sian – yet mixes that up with a hard-hitting (and at times) surprisingly dissonant dose of electronic post-punk, ’80s funk and something akin to James Chance’s spastic jazz/no-wave. Hernandez plays synth alongside Nathan Tompkins, and Ethan Bassford (bass) and Julian Fader (drums) deliver an adroit rhythm section that grounds the songs.
writing takes forever. There needs to be a lot of balancing,” he concedes. “Usually I’ll bring in ideas, and we’ll knead them as a group. Seeing what’s possible, and how we can color it in better. We also talk a lot. Everyone’s personalities and backgrounds play a huge role in the ideas that guide the songwriting.” The aforementioned albums, by the way, were recorded by the band in a fairly uncommon recording space – the basement of the Trinity Korean Methodist Church near Coney Island, owned by the parents of a former band member. The records were initially released on Cooling Pie, the label run by Julian Fader, who admits, “to be honest, I don’t think I’m cut out for running a real life legit record label, but Cooling Pie just feels like something I have to do. I’ve got plans to publish a book that my friend Ian has been writing in India, so really the ‘record label’ is whatever we want it to be.” He also explains that he “sold” Ava Luna to Infinite Best Recordings for “a single can of beer.” Currently, the group’s Services EP is available through Infinite Best, along with records by local luminaries and soon-to-be tourmates Twin Sister.
While developing and rehearsing such a dynamic sound may seem daunting, Carlos observes that his bandmates are among the best musicians he knows. “Anna, Becca and Felicia are pros - I’m serious,” he states. “They’ll destroy pretty much any harmony, even the most outrageous dissonance.” According to Carlos, the band is mostly comprised of old friends – he, Nathan and Julian have been playing music together since college, and Anna, Felicia and Ethan attended high school together in New York. “The name ‘Ava Luna’ has been around forever,” Carlos says. “People have come and gone, but the group we currently have is the most stable and longest running. Everyone in the band right now is just amazing.”
Ava Luna has been building buzz in New York and elsewhere for a while now, especially after their recent fall tour with Toro Y Moi, and it looks like they’re going to continue their ascent. According to Carlos, a new album (this time recorded at the home of influential Ladybug Transistor singer and Elephant 6 member Gary Olson) is in the works. And when not working on new music with the band or touring, the members find time for other musical projects. Describing these side-projects, Carlos notes, “Casiorossi is a band that Ethan is in – the densest, harshest guitars and the most incredible songwriting; they kick ass. Then there’s Quilty, Julian’s other band, which I’m very sad to say recently broke up. My second favorite show that I’ve ever seen in my life was a Quilty show. I also play drums in Sweet Tooth, which is really noisy and abrasive and awesome. Felicia is an amazing songwriter in her own right (Anna sings harmonies with her sometimes). Becca’s solo songs rule (at least the ones I’ve heard), and her freestyle raps are hilarious. And Nathan has full recordings that he refuses to show the rest of us.” And as for other current bands they appreciate? “We definitely have to shout out Celestial Shore – amazing music and awesome dudes,” he says. “White Suns, who floor me every time, and Night Manager – Julian and I are recording their album, and I’m psyched for that.”
Influences in the group are far-ranging. Carlos drops Bauhaus and Roy Ayers, and observes, “There’s a lot of people in the band. We’re all over the place. Some of us are really into ’60s electronic and downtown avant-garde stuff, some are into more no wave-y early ’80s stuff – of course, there’s a shared love of ’70s and ’90s vocal R&B – and others spend time digging for dropped post-Nirvana major label bands. Of course, there’s also the obvious – Al Green, The Supremes, The Soul Stirrers and Prince.” Further elaborating on the band’s penchant for synths over guitar and the music’s relative minimalism, Carlos explains, “I used to play guitar in the band long ago, but when I injured my wrist, I went and bought the cheapest synth in Guitar Center, and we went from there – learning about synths as we went. For over a year, we didn’t have any other instruments – just drums and the one synth, plus the vocal harmonies. I actually just started playing guitar in the band again about three months ago. I’m taking it slow – still learning. We’ll see how it goes.”
As for future plans? As to be expected, they’re forward-thinking: “I want to do a collaboration with loud objects,” Carlos exclaims. “They can run chainsaws while we try to sing. Also my new dream in life is to play a show with ESG. They’ve got contact info on their Myspace! I think it’s an AOL email address.”
Despite the group’s musicality and friendship, Carlos notes that writing such progressive and powerful songs like “Clips,” off 2010’s Services EP, or “(Do Me No Wrong) While I Am Gone” from 2009’s 3rd Avenue Island – requires patience and dedication. “The song-
Artist Equipment Check!!!
SansAmp Bass Driver
“We mostly build the sounds out of synth patches. I love my Casio CZ-101, it’s got astounding versatility for a cheap synth. For the bass we use a Sansamp Bass Driver. Really powerful, flexible EQ, warm overdrive, plus it functions as an active DI. It’s great for both recording and shows.”
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 Christine Cauthen
omething happens when you listen to the soulful vocals and jazzy influences of Shelly Bhushan songs. Her lyrics have the ability to capture the human soul, and she knows how to elevate this emotionally through her music. Shelly has a new album on the way, her fourth, one that Bhushan herself considers her most personal yet. Her songs are perfect for those looking for inspired and inspiring music, that is enjoyable to listen to and thought provoking at once.
Your music has been described by many as extremely raw and honest. Is it hard to express your personal experiences and feelings for the whole world to hear? When I first started singing my own music I had a really tough time trying to find my voice. I sometimes found it easier to sing other people’s music… I definitely have had a few experiences recently where I brought out a new song and thought — this is really too honest and I’m embarrassed to be singing this right now. But eventually you get over it and just trust that you are doing the right thing. And maybe I’m actually connecting with others in a real way… ultimately, that’s what I’m after and if I’ve done that in spite of my discomfort, it’s all good. How has the writing process gone so far for your upcoming fourth album?
Shelly Bhushan RIYL: Fiona Apple, Lauryn Hill
The writing process for album 4 has been really, really awesome. Really, fun. I was honestly pretty uninspired at first. I was getting really tired of my subject matter, getting tired of me. I felt like I was so angry all the time, in my writing. It got old to me, I got old to me. I was writing the same song over and over again. So, I started trying to write from a different perspective. I allowed myself patience and time, which I’m not great at granting myself. As a result, I found that I was starting to get inspired by the most random things: a house plant, a lonely feather on the N train, NYC as a lover… all set in relation to myself and observation. I just found that I was able to look at the world through a different lens and really be emotional in a way I had never, ever been before.
ferent backgrounds and intentions, and relating them together as one — representing the world in an entirely accurate way. Montez hopes that through her representations listeners can not only enjoy what they hear, but apply the topics and viewpoints and really make a difference in their own lives.
Sonia Montez RIYL: Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, Jenny Owen Youngs
By Christine Cauthen
oung Brooklyn songwriter Sonia Montez knows how to put the perfect spin on modern singer songwriting, creating in her songs a musical diorama of human interaction. She excels at tying together the ropes of reality, even when they come from entirely dif-
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Why do you make music? Your songs seem so inspired and relatable, but what drives you to make the music you make? Music is like a conductor for great bonding energy with other people, and, growing up, music was that one constant thing across the many different social mini-structures I was exposed to. Writing became a creative outlet for my emotionally turbulent adolescence, a phase I hope to grow out of soon. Here’s what I truly love about music though: music is indifferent to the social confines which divide us. Financial class, ethnic background and socio-political circumstances have affected the way we make music, but not its power to become connected to the person next to us while we’re listening to or playing the same tune. In its purest form, music has the potential to bridge divides in very amazing and positive ways. I want to build musical bridges with my live shows, as many as I can and as big as I can. I want people to come to these shows and know they can meet new future friends to the soundtrack of some great tunes. I see that you’re in pre-production for a studio album. What kind of sounds should fans expect from the album? People should expect a lot of the kind of energy the band and I have live. I also like to incorporate out-of-character musical elements in my shows, so that will be well-represented on the album. I had a few of the girls from this all woman mariachi outfit I play with come in and guest on a few songs during a recent show. We mixed Mexican folk elements with our indie folk/rock/soul/jazz/whatever-you-call-this. It went over really well, so we’ll probably do a track with them.
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kitchen recording equipment news
Death By Audio Apocalypse Fuzz
Review by Ezra Tenenbaum
About the size of two compact boss pedals, housed in a sturdy sea foam metal casing, the Apocalypse’s 5 circuits cover everything sonically from mid-scooped thrash metal, to sustained big muffinfluenced tones, to squelching blown speaker overdrive (think Neil Young at his heaviest). To be sure, every setting retains a few similar characteristics: big, broken, and aggressive. Its massive sounds are perfect for filling up space in a single guitar or no-bass rock band setting. If you’re looking for a buttery classic rock overdrive or shimmery lead tone, the Apocalypse will clearly not be your cup of tea. However, for those looking to conjure a wall of sound in the shoegaze, metal or grunge mold will find in the Apocalypse a Swiss army knife.
“For those looking to conjure a wall of sound in the shoegaze, metal or grunge mold will find in the Apocalypse a Swiss army knife.”
or years Death By Audio have built their reputation on providing some of the gnarliest heavy distortion pedals. It’s a distinct sound you can hear on albums by bands like Sisters or Grooms, who form part of the collective/venue/pedal company. After numerous variations, DBA has created a sort of “best of” pedal, combining 5 of their unique fuzz circuits into a single stomp box.
The controls are straightforward. There’s a switch that toggles between the 5 fuzz circuits, trim pots for drive and volume, and a huge EQ knob for fine tuning the settings (it’s big enough that you can adjust it with your foot during a live set). The only feature I miss is a foot-switch to move between the distortion settings on the fly. It’s rare that an all-analog stompbox possesses versatility bordering on what you’d expect from a digital pedal. As the name suggests, the Apocalypse is an attempt at a “be all end all” boutique fuzz box. Approaching $300, it aims to preach to the converted fuzz fanatic. Still, if you’re going to get one pedal in this vein, this is easily one of the most cohesive collections of heavy tones available from a single pedal.
Way Huge Aqua-Puss MK II Analog Delay
he Way Huge Electronics Aqua-Puss mkII Analog Delay is a reissue of the original pedal from the ’90s, which is very rare and has been known to command quite the premium on eBay and in used guitar shops. Way Huge Electronics is a company that was resurrected in the last few years and is now distributed by Dunlop Manufacturing with Jeorge Tripps still at the helm. The company has a full line of pedals and the original and vintage looking quirky lettering and colorful cases are still intact.
li’s Check out the de blog! audio equipment
the deli_31 Winter 2012
Review by Gus Green
Things that I look for in an analog delay pedal: warm, slightly dark repeats with the ability to be fed back into oblivion when the feedback knob is jacked up all the way. Do you get this with the Aqua-Puss mkII? Yes. Is that all? No. With this delay it’s all about its unique character. I absolutely love the way this pedal sounds when feedback is used in abundance. In between phrases the delay will feedback like crazy but when you play again it calms down. It reminds me of amp feedback.
“In between phrases the delay will feedback like crazy but when you play again it calms down. It reminds me of amp feedback.” I never owned the original so I can’t compare the two, but from what I hear they are pretty on par (there’s a not-so-great video that compares the two here). The price is very competitive and I would say that if you are in the market for a 300ms analog delay then you should absolutely give this a whirl. I plan to take advantage of the unique repeats and wild feedback swells for my own personal productions. This pedal is a lot of fun! Full review: delicious-audio.com/review-way-huge-auqua-puss-mkii
kitchen recording equipment news
Studio Projects LSM Microphone
he Studio Projects LSM (Little Square Mic; $179.99) microphone has a 34mm Von Braunmuhl and Weber-style cardioid transducer that is coupled to a discrete JFET impedance converter with a high SPL-handling output circuit. The result: audio that is pretty accurately represented – especially for something of this size and price (under $200).
This compact microphone comes with a folding yoke that allows the mic to sit on a flat surface (the box it comes in came in handy for me) but it can also be mounted on a mic stand if so desired. It’s super portable and easy to set up and comes with both an XLR cable (+48v)
NYC Studio News: By Justin Colletti
Review by Erica Glyn
and a USB cable that connects directly to both Windows and Macbased systems. And it comes in a variety of colors, including pink! The LSM is a great microphone for any singer/songwriter, and I imagine especially so for one who is on tour. On recent travels, I had the perfect opportunity to test out the LSM on the go. I broke out the LSM, my MacBook Pro, my guitar and ukulele and for the first time ever, GarageBand. Having not much experience with a USB microphone, I must say it was pretty nice to just plug it directly into my computer and hit record: one step closer to bridging the gap between inspired idea and capturing it during the creative process. The microphone doesn’t have much of its own “character” but rather does a really good job of returning your acoustic sound back to you faithfully. On the whole, I found it to be clear and bright but also able to capture a full low end as well. If it has any tendency, it’s toward the brighter side of the spectrum. I went a little deeper with the LSM for another recording, connecting it via XLR cable to my Mbox, Intel iMac, and Pro Tools. Here I went full-on multi-track, recording acoustic and electric guitar, vocals, percussion, piano, flute and ukulele. Recording in somewhat of a haphazard fashion, I placed the mic on a work surface and moved my position depending on what instrument I was recording. Overall, I found the mic to be versatile, accommodating all the instruments – capturing the up-close intimacy of the vocals, the loud crunch of the distorted electric guitar, and almost everything in-between.
For more on these stories, visit
Brooklyn Blowing Up
In 2011, Manhattan saw the opening of Ann Mincieli’s impressive, golden-age-reviving Jungle City Studios, and major
sions across town at the existing Strange Weather Recording – where Here We Go Magic recently recorded for their upcoming album with producer Nigel Godrich.
bed of new studio activity.
Edging onto Greenpoint’s new Transmitter Park-grounds is a modest two-story building housing the brand-new recording studio and performance complex known as The End. Anyone would agree: the location is hard to beat. The recording studio portion of The End occupies one side of the floor, and encompasses two control rooms (A and B) tied to a few live tracking spaces. These are sizeable rooms – on our visit, the main room comfortably fit a grand piano and full drum kit with plenty of space to spare, and the second room may be larger still, and doubles as an art gallery.
renovations and new rooms at the legendary Electric Lady Studios, but Brooklyn has been the real hot-
And 2012 will see three new serious recording facilities open in Williamsburg – all three bigger/better versions of existing local indie favorites. The Bunker, for one, has already held inaugural sessions at its impressive new two-room facility which features an exciting new Studio A with large live room with 25-ft ceilings and three isolated sections which can be closed off by sliding glass doors. Meanwhile, across town on the Williamsburg/Greenpoint border, Joel Hamilton and Tony Maimone are preparing to open the new Studio G – this is one of the original recording studios in the ‘burg now expanded into 5,000+ square feet. Studio G will house one of the city’s only commercially available Bosendorfer grand pianos, and three full featured studios – a 48-input SSL 8048 “A” room, and an equally spacious Neve 5316-equipped “B” room – with ample tracking space and isolation...built by musicians for musicians Another engineer/producer with an ambitious new studio in the works for 2012 is Marc Alan Goodman who’s building his new studio on Graham Ave in Williamsburg, while continuing to run ses-
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LoHo Recording Studios – Blue Men, Living Legends, and Weekend Warriors Loho Studios has lived two lives. From 1983-2007 it evolved from a downtown rehearsal space to a world-class recording studio, hosting living legends like Willie Nelson, Patty Smith, Joan Jett, Yo La Tengo, Art Garfunkel and Joey Ramone. Following this 25-year run it disappeared from the market completely, presumably moth-balled or auctioned off in pieces like so many of the best NYC studios. But after couple years out of the public eye, LoHo returned to the commercial market in 2009 with a new staff and new owners.
kitchen recording equipment news
Propellerhead Reason 6
Review by Bo Boddie
Reason 6 is also 64-bit. You can now load samples into RAM for days. I also love the new Echo and Pulveriser effects – both are great for adding grit and character to tracks that need a little extra vibe or thickening. Pulveriser offers an intense compression effect, referred to as “squash”, a distortion control (“dirt”) that can go from subtle to ripping, and filters and modulation. The addition of a wet/ dry control makes blending distorted and clean sounds a snap. I found myself using Pulveriser on virtually every track I could as it provided instant depth and character to even the blandest sources. The Echo is inspired by some of the great tape and analog delay effects of the past, and includes “trigger”, “duck”, and “roll” modes, which control delay characteristics. Duck, for example, lowers the dry/wet blend based on the incoming signal; essentially pulling the delay down in level when it receives source, and letting it come back up during pauses, definitely a great timesaver for vocals!
eason 6 ($449) is Propellerhead’s first all-in DAW product, integrating audio recording capabilities with Reason’s classic sequencer and rack of virtual gear, and a host of great new features, including… an SSL-style mixer; Neptune, a pitch correction and voice synthesizer for the rack; Great time stretching and pitch shifting algorithms; A large recording meter complete with an instrument tuner; A set of Line 6 amp emulators; A comp editor for audio tracks; and an audio export function, which makes it easy to print stems and output tracks and effects returns for use with other DAW software.
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Using Reason 6, it was especially nice to be able to quickly plug in a guitar or bass and track real audio as well. Although sync’ing earlier version of Reason to Logic or Pro Tools via ReWire was always easy, it is so much more convenient to instantly be able to track ideas without ever leaving the Reason environment. Reason 6 behaves like most other DAWs in respect to audio. You simply create a track, choose your input, and you’re off to the races. Latency was definitely not an issue here; given the efficiency with which Reason operates I was usually able to keep the playback buffer set at 64 samples which ends up giving around 3 ms of latency monitoring through the software. Additionally, with Propellerhead’s new Balance USB interface you can monitor the input, which gives you zero latency performance if necessary.
making the world a better sounding place.
the deli_34â€ƒ Winter 2012
10 jay street suite 405 brooklyn, ny 11201 (718) 797-0177 www.joelambertmastering.com