The Deli NYC #41 - Women in Electro, DJ Empress, Young Ejecta, Kiah Victoria, WOLLVES

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Issue #41 Volume #2 Winter 2014

a ct e j E g n u Yo ress . ) p ES m V E V L O DJ W . f o u ( ria a lle icto a V V th iah e K b za i l E



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Syno C p Y x N E +

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music and art from the the nyc nyc music underground everything about scene

Issue #41 Vol. #2 Winter 2014 Paolo De Gregorio Charles Newman Editor: Brian CHidester executive Editor: quang d. tran graphic designer: Kaz Yabe ( Cover: The Art Kartel ( Badder Israel and Suave Rhoomes (Art Directors) Ray Rhoomes (Photographer) Badder Israel (Body-Paint/Graffiti) Noriko Nakanomata (Makeup) comic art: Michael p. Sincavage Staff Illustrators: JP Peer Michael p. Sincavage I-Nu yeh Michael Zadick Editor In Chief / Publisher: Founder:

p.18 Invisible Familiars p.20 The Woman-Machine

Jason Grimste (aka brokemc) Andrés Marín Web Developers: Mark Lewis Alex Borsody mike levine Distribution Coordinator: Kevin Blatchford Contributing Writers: ben apatoff Francesca Baker jp basileo Dave Cromwell Jillian P. Dooley Bill Dvorak Michael Haskoor Emilio Herce Mike Levine brescia mascheretti Kenneth Partridge jake saunders Christopher Scapelliti Dean van nguyen hip-hop editor:

Gear Expos assistant:

Ryan Dembinsky Nathan Smith Mya Byrne Sammie Spektor Maylis Personnaz Publishers: The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC The Kitchen:

Grayson Fiske


The Deli Magazine is a trademark of The Deli Magazine, LLC, Brooklyn & Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2014 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.

p.30 Born to Synthesize

Notes from the Editor Back in 2012, I saw Bronx hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa under two very different circumstances. One was at MoMA PS1 in Queens, where he DJ’d for nearly three hours under video installations by German synth legends, Kraftwerk, who’d recently played the Manhattan MoMA on 53rd Street. The second was at Hostos College in the South Bronx, where Bambaataa spoke to a packed auditorium of aspiring hip-hop artists born mostly after his 1982 breakout hit, “Planet Rock.” It was there that the cover you now hold in your hands germinated in my mind. I held onto it for two years. Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation collective is now 41 years old; this is The Deli’s 41st issue. If you were from California, the coincidence might fascinate, but then New Yorkers remain mostly cynical when it comes to spiritualism (present company included). Regardless, I’ll just say that it was at a party in Brooklyn this past summer that I met Suave Rhoomes and the Art Kartel, who showed me their portfolio; I knew then and there that I’d found the right artists to execute my vision for the cover. At Hostos, Bambaataa talked at length about saving his pennies and dimes as a teenager to buy Kraftwerk’s seminal late ‘70s LPs, Trans Euro Express and The Man Machine. He sampled both liberally in the early days. He also told the young crowd to “quote from whatever inspires you.” The Deli’s visual quotation then—titled “The Woman Machine”—brings these (and other) elements to bear on the current paradigm in NYC, where issues of gender, technology and economics continue to drive artistic dialogue. That the cover coincides with our first-ever Synth Expo (December 6-7 at Main Drag Music) gives the whole thing—as Kraftwerk might prefer—a cohesive quality. A happy accident, in our case. But then as Gore Vidal once said: “In writing and politicking, it’s best not to think about it, just do it.” Brian Chidester Editor, December 2014


the deli Winter 2014 The Deli’s Blog for DIY Recorders & Stompbox Lovers • bands in the studio profiles • issue-related recording tips • stompbox news and reviews

Illustration by Michael P. Sincavage © 2014 ( Original lyrics by Paul McCartney © 1971.

U 47 fet

The distinctive look of an old Polaroid photograph and the typical sounds of the 1970s are immediately recognizable. Similarly to the Polaroid esthetic, the sound concepts of that innovative period are being rediscovered as an extremely enriching creative element in today’s digital world. An icon of that era, the U 47 fet with its unmistakable sound, is now available again. For the new “Collectors Edition U 47 fet,� Neumann has resumed production of this classic mic, according to the original production documents and schematics.

If envy is a central fact of American life, NYC left an awful lot for outsiders to be jealous of this fall. Nowhere was it more evident than in the city’s festivals from October-November. First up, Bowieball celebrated its sixth anniversary at Le Poisson Rouge (Sunday, 10/12). The one-day soiree honoring king-of-glam David Bowie was hosted by singer/impresario Deryck Todd, whose towering crimson wig and neon tights issued a call to freaks and flaneurs to come out and shake a leg (or something). The live show boasted an array of NYC acts, from the Toilet Boys and Militia Vox, to fashionista Keenan Duffy, all backed by Blondie keyboardist Matt Katz-Bowen’s houseband. The highlight of the event, however, was a performance of Bowie’s “Golden Years” by Boy Radio (formerly Radio Muzik), whose bon vivant had so far improved, it was almost unrecognizable. The Joshua Light Show Festival took place next at NYU’s Skirball Center in Greenwich Village (October 23-25), where the legendary ephemeral-cinema troupe who’d once projected abstract kaleidoscopes of color behind ’60s psych legends at the Filmore East, lived up to their atavistic reputation. Opening night featured free-jazz trio Bad Plus performing Ornette Coleman’s entire 1972 masterpiece Science Fiction. Television played Saturday (10/25). It was the middle night, however, that most interested The Deli, where NYC psych-folk duo Woods brought their latest song cycle—the appropriately titled With Light and with Love—to glow beneath the shimmering colours of Joshua Light’s effusive palette. Mixing a steady diet of Grateful Dead-like jams with indie pop-vocals (think the Shins), the live version saw them expand the LP’s five minute rockers into 10-15 minute psych jams, which both warped and calmed the mind in equal doses.

BK band Woods play Joshua Light Festival, October 2014 (Photo by Juliette Lê)

November 7-8 saw the Brooklyn Electronic Music Fest at various Williamsburg clubs, including Cameo, Baby’s All Right and Glasslands. Local trip-hop deejay Cut Chemist played a trio of shows at BEMF with UK funk-mixer DJ Shadow, where they celebrated hip-hop’s original audiocollage master, Afrika Bambaataa, by mashing his four-decade oeuvre into a piling set of psych-soul grooves. Other NYC acts like Fahad, Turtle Bugg and A.Pop topped bills around north Brooklyn, though the festival’s title was somewhat deceptive, offering mostly EDM, as opposed to other, poppier genres in the electro music landscape. Bit Funk’s Saturday night gig at Baby’s All Right was the notable exception, with its ebullient melodic anthems, which have been compared recently to Daft Punk — without the anonymity, of course. (Brian Chidester)

Records of the Month

Buscabulla Kitsuné! Kitsuné is the debut EP by Buscabulla, featuring Puerto Rican designer Raquel Berrios and Brooklyn mainstay Luis Alfredo del Valle. Elements of electro, world music, dream-pop and industrial blend effortlessly into shimmering final productions. Opener “Caer” pairs gritty guitar loops with liquid synths, while Berrios’ voice melts over clean melodies sung in Spanish, yet which seem to bear some kind of Japanese pop influence. “Temporal,” the most experimental track on the EP, blends clanging metallic loops with synchopated finger piano samples and swelling, distorted guitars, which build tension only to release it at diffuse intervals. Final track “Sono” recycles idyllic ‘60s flutes, and surrounds them with funky drum patterns and distorted percussion, making Berrios’ melodic chants into soothing nursery rhymes. With its incredible array of influences — not to mention sweltering sensuality — Kitsuné represents a new direction in NYC music (at not a moment too soon). (Paolo De Gregorio) 8

the deli Winter 2014

Mitski Bury Me at Makeout Creek On her third album, Bury Me at Makeout Creek, BK songwriter Mitski shows a double-sided musicality and multi-faceted talent. Opener “Texas Reznikoff” starts out like another runof-the-mill acoustic singer/songwriter track, wistfully soliciting lovers from far away lands. It takes less than a minute and a half, though, for things to get subverted by a sudden rush of distorted guitars. The sonic saturation continues into the next cut, the noisy gem “Townie,” where Mitski sounds like a new millennium riot-grrl, her tense melodic sensibility marrying carefree lyrics to more relentless guitar feedback. Following track, “First Love/Late Spring,” takes us back to the sparse elegance of where things began. If not quite a seductive melody, it conjurs thoughts ‘50s crooners. The rest of the LP consistently dwells between these two extremes. Poetry shines, while an instinctive, youthful angst rejects any hint of conventionality. (Paolo De Gregorio)

zula This Hopeful There are, traditionally, two sides to the psychedelic coin: Dream and hallucination. Shoegazers more often embrace the first, psych-rockers the latter. Brooklyn’s Zula do both. The band gets the most out of its sonic experimentations when frantically stomping on effects pedals (e.g. the title cut, “This Hopeful”); they also deliver — as in a few minutes later on the flowy “NRGZ” — perfectly-wrought dreamscapes. These are two of the stronger cuts on the band’s debut LP, which never ceases to surprise. (We also dig “Poison” and the Boo Radleys-esque “Look for Tomorrow.”) Though not all home runs, each song showcases a band daring to explore every possibile angle, with no musical element off the table. By refusing to negate either melody or noise (not to mention sneer), Zula has forged a stylistic identity in the process. One that is wide open to possibilities, going forward. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Fresh Buzz | New Artists

the new tarot

This summer, New Tarot popped into The Deli’s psychic sphere. (Actually, just our computer screen, but “psychic sphere” sounds way cooler). Either way, the editors foresaw a bright future for their music. Sisters Monika (vox) and Karen (keys) have crafted dreamy waves of electro-alt-rock, both mysterious and sensual. Check out “Chain of Command” for a fine example of New Tarot’s catchy, virulent assault on the digital world. Add “Adderall Eyes” for more straight alt-rock. Either way, it’s all dreamy. (sAmmie spector)

genesis be

Take yer eyes off a band for a minute and they go and change their name, move to a different city, and forget to inform you! This is now the case for Brooklyn-based artist Arum Rae, who incarnated in Austin as White Dress. A debut EP under her new NYC moniker released earlier this year. Beautiful single/ title cut, “Warranted Queen,” sounds like an update on Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” sung by a lady (of course). Other cuts on the record reveal more electronic, soulful attitudes, which solidly place Arum Rae in the new wave of caucasian artists experimenting with R&B. (Don’t tell Felix Cavaliere it’s a new thing.) Keep an eye out for her full length soon. (paolo de gregorio)

Photo: Dominic Neitz

arum rae

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Genesis Be flaunts versatility in a production style that bespeaks her vast musical lexicon. A co-host of “Hip Hop and Her Family” on WNYU, the only all-female hiphop show in NYC, she vacillates vocally between gritty and smooth, like honeydipped in barbed wire. Lyrics are heartfelt, though never saccharine. An upcoming project dubbed Poli Trap reels you in with its maturity, where Genesis, young as she is, knows hip-hop backwards and forwards. To be released in January 2015, it’s only a matter of time before the world knows her too. (jason grimste)

nyc indie pop Top 20

Soundbites I Indie Pop

Full Deli Web Buzz charts:

1) Julian Casablancas 2) MGMT 3) Vampire Weekend 4) MisterWives 5) Beirut 6) St. Vincent 7) Rufus Wainwright 8) The Drums 9) Friends 10) Sufjan Stevens 11) Grizzly Bear 12) Broken Bells 13) Matt and Kim 14) Dum Dum Girls 15) The Front Bottoms 16) Oh Land 17) cults 18) Catey Shaw 19) Mitski 20) Yellerkin


Tell me a bit about the writing process. Any themes you wanted to sew into the new album? There ended up being consistent themes of mortality, but I think that might just be a consistent theme of human life. These songs grew from 2010 until weeks before we recorded in 2013. Can you tell me a little about its production?

Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

How have you promoted the album? It’s a simple idea to go from town to town and play the songs for people. When people hear the songs live, they buy the record. When they buy the record, they want to hear the songs live, and I think both experiences are different enough from each other that we’ve already been able to develop a loyalty among the fans.

Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

Led by keyboardist and songwriter Adam Schatz, Landlady’s lush, symphonic soundscapes on its sophomore record, Upright Behaviour, pull influences from such diverse sources as Sly & the Family Stone and the Pixies. The album offers uplifting instrumentation, huge choruses, and frontman Schatz’s soulful-but-booming vocals at every turn. Speaking after a lengthy touring schedule, Schatz — whose resume includes saxophone and keyboard duties with Vampire Weekend — opened up about the process behind the LP.

We all had our areas of expertise, but sometimes [guitarist] Mikey [Freedom Hart] would lay down a bunch of guitar ideas, and other times any of us would give him a few keywords and it would totally change the performance. But we’d know when we had something that was going to stay on the album. Did the process of creation differ much from your first, album, Keeping to Yourself? Aside from the fact that we were three years

younger, Keeping to Yourself is very different because I produced and recorded it all myself in my basement. Drums would come over and record onto my Tascam 388 tape machine, and then 2 months later we’d do guitar and bass, and it stretched over the course of a year. It felt great this time to go into a studio [The Isokon in Woodstock], and do initial tracking, then finish in our homes in Brooklyn. (Dean Van Nguyen)

salt cathedral Salt Cathedral’s latest EP, Oom Velt, is a richly textured, futuristic affair. Made up of swirly, intertwined parts, close inspection reveals an openness to symmetry too. At its heart, each song is centered around the breathless vocals of Juliana Ronderos, who shape-shifts as she mesmerizes. We chatted up drummer Tommy Hartman recently, who brought us up to speed on how the band got their sound. Salt Cathedral rose from what your former band il abanico was. The difference, however, seems not to be just the name, but something genetic. You’re right, it definitely holds something genetic. We are where we come from, and all those expe10

the deli Winter 2014

riences amount to how we sound. Il abanico, in a way, nurtured what Salt Cathedral and Oom Velt became. Maybe il abanico’s end was inevitable so that we could morph into Salt Cathedral. Does religion or its imagery have an influence on the music? Yes, Catholicism is very important in Colombia, and I would say I live a life based on Catholic values, because it’s so much a part of our culture. We see images constantly, and most towns in Colombia are set up like old Spanish towns, centered around a square that holds the church and the city government. Spirituality and music are deeply connected — from African tribes, to Indian ragas, to European Gregorian chants.

How have your travels, as a band and individually, affected your perspective? I know you toured Japan recently. Bogota, [unlike] other cities in Colombia that are not permeated with their own strong culture, has given us this attitude of exploration and need. We grew up wearing American clothes and listening to local music like vallenatos, but also a lot of American music too. There was even an underground metal scene influenced by Swedish metal bands. I think the moment we leave the country, and start to discover a world so full of diversity, we kind of feel the right to take on what we like and make it part of who we are. (Emilio Herce)

Soundbites I Indie Rock

nyc indie rock Top 20

Full Deli Web Buzz charts:

1) The Strokes 2) Interpol 3) Yeah Yeah Yeahs 4) The National 5) Cult of Youth 6) The Men 7) Blonde Redhead 8) X Ambassadors 9) Karen O 10) Parquet Courts 11) Bear Hands 12) Porches 13) Cymbals Eat Guitars 14) We Are Augustines 15) The Rapture 16) The Walkmen 17) Hamilton Leithauser 18) Bad Books 19) Yellow Ostrich 20) Julian Plenti


I remember covering you guys when you were called Mainland Fever. What’s changed since then? Memories! A lot has changed since that era. We were in college; now we’ve graduated and are devoting a lot more time to the band. In just the last year we toured the states, Canada, Mexico. How did you meet Jim Eno of Spoon, who ended up producing your latest EP? Our manager Kimberly De Los Angeles introduced us while on tour. We’ve always been fans of Eno’s work on Spoon albums. We drove to his studio in Austin before a show and played him the songs we had demo’d. He had a Neve

Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

Earlier in 2014, young Brooklyn indie rockers Mainland released a sophomore EP titled Shiner. Its first single was “Savant,” an upbeat, epic gem featuring sonic overtones ranging from spaghetti western to irresistible punk-folk, ala the Pogues. For CMJ this year, they shared a bill with God the Gift of Ubiquity, along with a host of smaller gigs. Shortly after, The Deli got a group interview from them that helps complete the picture of a local band fast on the rise.

mixing board, church style ceilings, and a 2 inch tape machine. Vintage studio through and through. After we had finished mixing, he left for L.A. to start work on Spoon’s most recent record, They Want My Soul. How long did it take you to get the live show tight and punchy? We spend a lot of time getting our pedals and gear to sound just the way we like it. Gaps

between songs are more purposeful, transitions succinct. What’s the best part about being in a band? Compared to solo art forms, like being a writer or painter, we get to travel around the country making our art with our best friends. It’s a more than ideal situation. (paolo de gregorio)

the deli Winter 2014


Soundbites I Avant Pop

nyc avant indie Top 20

Full Deli Web Buzz charts:

1) Son Lux 2) Yo La Tengo 3) Kaki King 4) Animal Collective 5) Dirty Projectors 6) Rubblebucket 7) Yeasayer 8) Ava Luna 9) Prince Rama 10) Celestial Shore 11) Mice Parade 12) Kayo Dot 13) Emily Wells 14) Marnie Stern 15) Department of Eagles 16) Conveyor 17) Tonstartssbandht 18) Black Dice 19) Friend Roulette 20) Codeine


Given your hybrid style, can you describe your process? Luca Buccellati: Adrian has gotten quite good at recording his own demos, which is great. He’ll just put on, like, the best song I’ve ever heard in my life [laughs], and we’ll figure out how to computer it. It’s not really a process as much as it is producing a track together. We keep adding things until we feel good about it. Adrian Galvin: The process for us is about time. Whether or not it’s a conscious process or not, I think all the songs have had at least three or four previous incarnations that we destroyed, or totally threw out before a full version. Ever have conflicts? AG: That’s what all these previous versions are about. I think when it hits, we both know it. When we haven’t gotten it right, one of us or both has

Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

Meshing Adrian Galvin’s folk sensibility with Luca Buccellati’s electro production gives Yellerkin its succinct hybrid sound. Cut in the duo’s Bushwick bedrooms, the collaborative process generates over a lengthy period. Despite such attention to detail, however, tracks like “Solar Laws” and “Tomboy” have a rustic, fireside feel, rounded out by Galvin’s cabin-in-the-woods vocals. The Deli recently sat down for a chat (sans burning embers).

Has Bushwick affected your sound at all? AG: People see Brooklyn as a seedy spot, but it’s so expensive now it forces us to work in a bedroom. Our sounds are pretty homemade. I feel like if we were in LA or Boston, or somewhere where studio time was cheaper and we had more resources, the sound would be different.

AG: That was originally just me on banjo. There are maybe ten versions; it’s the most varied song that we have. The last line sums it up: “I’ve been faking it my whole life.” The message is: You fake it until you make it. LB: We wound up writing that ending when we were getting ready to play it live, sort of jamming on it. Once we started producing it, and kind of coaxed it out over the past year or so, you have what it is.

Can you describe how “Tools” came together?

(Dean Van Nguyen)

even with all our eccentricities, because the melody and harmony is always central.

of which are not possible in a live situation.

an anxious feeling.

tiny hazard

Tiny Hazard isn’t content to remind themselves of the better angels of our nature. At times delightfully angular, steeped in melody, they occasionally detour into dissonance, mining the darker parts of the human psyche too. The juxtaposition is a credit to Alena Spanger, who leads the band as singer, keyboardist and head songwriter. The Deli sat down recently with her to discuss collaboration, audience expectation, and parental approval. Does your sound have a cohesive mission statement? Or is it the sum of its members’ influences? We’re all different people on different days with different feelings and a very consistent burrito habit. There is no mission statement; it is collaborative. Are there bands that you’d consider contemporaries? Our friends are our biggest influences. Friend Roulette, Celestial Shore, Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Girls and God, J-Zee Sushi Car, Lip Talk, Killer Bob — the list is long. How do you think the current atmosphere is for experimental bands? People at our shows have always been pretty open to the experimental and avant quality of our music. Our parents still aren’t into it. We think we’ve been able to reach a broader audience, 12

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How close is a finished song after it’s been recorded in the studio? I don’t think anyone in the band really knows how any of the songs will ultimately turn out. We try to stay open to any new directions the song seems to want to go in until the bitter end. In terms of recording, we just finished tracking for our first LP, experimenting with sounds and layers, some

You’ve played extensively with Moon Hooch. Tell me what that was like for you as a songwriter. Few boys are as special to us as those boys. They are some of the most spontaneous and productive guys I know. Their energy is super contagious, and working with them really inspired me to get out of my head! (Emilio Herce)


Websites:,, Band Members: Francesca (lead singer), Israel (guitars), Silvio (bass) and Tony (drums) How would you describe your music? Our music is basically Rock and Roll, with everything from Grunge to Metal to Punk Rock with Pop sensibilities. We also pull from Electronica, Movie scores, or anything that really gets us going. What is your latest project? We have a new album, it’s called “The Place With No Darkness.” It’s being shopped right now so it can’t be released just yet. We’re really stoked to have had help from Andrew Felluss at RedBird Studios. His support made this album possible. Also we’re excited to have Producer/Drummer Frank Molina on this. He really helped us find our sound without trying to take control of us, Producers/ Drummers like him make for great bands. Everything in this album is from our lives, not fantasy. It’s about inner struggles overcoming hardships and getting over it, moving forward and not looking back. Anyone can relate to the themes we present on this album. What has the been biggest influence on you musically? Francesca: Singing Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Guns N’ Roses into my Fisher Price radio. Israel: wow,...I guess Everything from Dark Side Of The Moon to Master Of Puppets to Master Of Reality What is your favorite Music Building memory? Two favorite memories, first was the day we moved in, we were told there are ghosts on our floor. It was not long before we realized it was true. Second, sitting in the back stairwell writing the song “Nothing Left Of You”. That song has gotten some of the best responses and we’re thankful for that. If you could share the stage with any musically defined artist, alive or dead, who would it be? Francesca: Kurt Cobain Israel: David Gilmour


Websites:,, Band Members: Adrianne (singer), (Dan (guitar), Ethan (bass), Vic (drums) How would you describe your music? I am a girl that sings Rock/Pop/Punk to an electric guitar. What is your latest project? I just finished my 2nd 8 song CD to be released in March 2015. I really enjoyed working with Joan Jett’s drummer Thommy Price on this one. Who has the been biggest influence on you musically? Our biggest influence in the beginning was Joan Jett, 2010, and mostly now all the current NY local stuff, JennCity, Killcode, the Deafening, Dirty Pearls, even Panzie, early Madonna, the list goes on forever... What is your favorite Music Building memory? Our single greatest experience in the Music Building was doing our Whisky A Go-Go dress rehearsal with Rob Deluca (Sebastian Bach’s bassist). How often do you play live? We try and play a minimum of three times per month locally and regionally with appearances in California and New England. In 2015, we will be making our Texas debut and feel strongly that the fans in that region are going to love our music!

The above artists rehearse in The Music Building in Midtown Manhattan. The building has 69 monthly rehearsal studios and has been tenanted by the likes of Madonna, The Strokes, Billy Idol, and many more. Check out our available rentals at WWW.MUSICBUILDING.COM and use the promo password DELI112014 to get $100.00 off of your first month when signing a new lease.

Soundbites I Punk Rock

nyc PUNK/NOISE/POST HARDCORE Top 2 1) Swans 6) YVETTE 11) aa 16) palm

Full Deli Web Buzz charts:

2) Thurston Moore 3) A Place to Bury Strangers 4) Pharmakon 5) Gnaw 7) Japanther 8) The Julie Ruin 9) Girls Against Boys 10) Big Ups 12) K-Holes 13) Sightings 14) Zs 15) Young Adults 17) The Austerity Program 18) Bambara 19) Dinowalrus 20) Man Foprever


Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

Vomitface formed to improve the local music scene. The trio’s brand of self-proclaimed “blacksurf” (to which we’d add “grungy, sludgy rock goodness”) comes across searingly on its new, self-titled EP. The noisy provocateurs recently played one of The Deli’s CMJ shows, where we sat down with Jered Micah (vocals/guitar), Keller McDivitt (bass) and Preemta Singh (drums) to chat about about origins, passions, and why they do what they do. First off, what is “black-surf”? KM: I love black metal, and try my hardest to bring the “blackened” part of that to most things in my life. Also, surf is catchy as hell. PS: The rise of the micro-genre is something that we get a kick out of because it’s ridiculous. “Black surf” was a way of taking a stab at current music criticism. As a general rule, we don’t think about creating music in order to fit a genre. JM: I was thrilled that publications actually used the term in our reviews. It’s hilarious, because it’s meaningless. But other genre titles like “punk” and “noise” have no meaning anymore either. Why so dissatisfied with pop culture and mainstream indie? KM: It’s just awful. PS: All the fun has been taken out and replaced with rote commercialism. Obviously songs and bands don’t happen by accident, but even the illusion of spontaneity is completely gone. JM: Everyone’s just writing bad jingles now, and they execute them in such uninteresting ways that they have to hide it in over-saturation of reverb so that it sounds “current.” How do you view NYC in terms of being a

place for emerging artists? KM: I think nostalgia of what the city used to be drives a lot of people. Amazing art was made here when it was cheap to live and you were surrounded by artists. These days, not so much. It’s harder to focus on making meaningful art when you work 14 hours daily for a shoddy apartment that you can’t make music in because you have paper-thin walls between you and your neighbors. JM: I hate New York. What a fucking museum of its heyday. It’s just a bunch of ATMs decorated by fake graffiti. And if you want to make a splash

at CMJ, you better have a full fucking staff handing out blowjobs to the local press. At least that’s the only way I can make sense of anyone giving a shit about Sunflower Bean. PS: NYC is such an ossified and un-dynamic place, despite all the constant protests to the contrary. That’s not to say there aren’t cool people and cool things happening, but the struggle to survive while doing something creative definitely limits the level of real innovation. (Michael Haskoor)

Photo: Wes Knoll

show me the body


the deli Winter 2014

Show Me the Body recently opened an unofficial CMJ showcase at Trans Pecos, with Denzel Curry and Ratking at the Letter Racer/Mass Appeal. Besides provoking the craziest mosh pit since Death Grips, the band has pushed deeper and deeper into aggro-loops and pedal mashing. Keep an eye out for them. SMTB have certainly worked towards a crafted image. Yet it never subtracts from the attention they pay to their music, ever challenging audience and themselves on stage. A new EP titled Yellow Kidney shows an expanded palette in the studio, as well, where elements of post-punk, hardcore, ska, and even bluegrass blend to blistering results. If Mike Patton made a bedroom tape, it might sound like this. (jake saunders)

Soundbites I Alt Rock

nyc Alt rock Top 20

Full Deli Web Buzz charts:

1) Fun. 2) SKATERS 3) Andrew W.K. 4) Wheatus 5) We Are Scientists 6) Team Spirit 7) The Hold Steady 8) Alberta Cross 9) Active Bird Community 10) Steel Train 11) SLOTHRUST 12) Morningwood 13) Spirit Animal 14) Atomic Tom 15) Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 16) Bad Girlfriend 17) Jesse Malin 18) BONE GUNN 19) Black Taxi 20) Cormonaut

Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

The Skins—Brooklyn’s heavy-rock/soul outfit consisting of three siblings and two best friends—unleashed a debut EP in 2012 that garnered critical acclaim and positive street buzz. After a handful of recent singles, The Deli learned the quintet is working on a full-length (due next year). We caught up with them after an October show for the CBGB Festival. Talk about working with Ben Rice at Degraw Sound on your latest recordings? The last one was titled “Kiss Me.” We’d done our first EP with him, and trusted his musical intelligence and engineering skills, which are very important to nerd’s like ourselves, especially on a song as heavy as this one. Plus he has a killer studio and has always been more than reasonable, actually quite generous, with studio time and fees. How do you develop a song? It’s a collaborative process amongst all of us. One will come in with a riff or progression or concept or beat, and we’ll all come together and hash out parts until the jumble of notes become a song. Whether it’s jamming for a couple hours in our rehearsal space, or sitting back in the studio and digitally arranging the tunes, we’re all in the room making suggestions. Do you prefer writing and recording? Or playing live? Creating can be a bit more stressful than performing because of the uncertainty. We begin a new song with an idea of what it’s going to be, but never know for sure until it’s done. With performing, we know exactly what we’re doing and how we want to do it. How was playing the CBGB fest? Beautiful. We really dug what the festival represented: the revival of passion in music, and all things revolutionary and avant-garde. We felt honored to be surrounded by legendary talent like Billy Idol, Devo and our faves, Jane’s Addiction.

Who are some of the bands that fueled that spark go do it yourself? It’s constantly growing, but to name a few: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Howlin’ Wolf, Aretha Franklin, Deep Purple, Zappa and Hendrix got us started. We listen to every genre though. We love Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, ABBA, Bowie, Kanye West, Kimbra. (Dave Cromwell)


ELAPHANT (nee Andrew James, Aynsley Powell, James Cleare, Tom Deis, Grant Zubritsky) kicked off summer 2014 with a debut EP of short but powerful genuflections, raw and bluesy. While Andrew James is the project’s mastermind and main songwriter, it is the bandmates who transform the tunes into magic. The Deli sat down recently with James to catch up on ELAPHANT — past, present, future. First up, how did your band get its moniker? I wanted a memorable, one-worded name, and liked the symmetry of using the two “A’s.” In my mind, though, it’s the music that matters, not the name. Your Bandcamp page says “All songs written by Andrew James.” How well do the band members execute your vision? The band receive some kind of obscure demo of a song, which somehow makes sense to them, and we work out what parts to include live that cut through. As a solo songwriter, what are the positives of working in a band? Things can get a little chaotic when trying to organize rehearsals and such; everyone that plays in the band has their fingers in a few pies. But all are very accomplished musicians. I think

it comes across in the live show.

of the industry.

Who else are your fans listening to? It’s hard to pinpoint who our fans are, especially in New York. There’s all sorts going on here. Hopefully [they’re listening to] something credible, and not the crap that’s being drilled into them by out of touch old men sitting behind desks — the so called “dream makers”

How will ELAPHANT finish up 2014? Playing more live shows, getting our debut EP into some ears and minds. We’re also in the process of recording a follow-up EP, working with Zac Colwell [of CHAPPO]. (Jillian Dooley) the deli Winter 2014


Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

the skins

Soundbites I Roots

nyc ROOTS/SOUL/ALT FOLK Top 20 1) 6) 10) 14)

Full Deli Web Buzz charts:

Theophilus London 2) Devendra Banhart 3) Nick Hakim 4) Punch Brothers 5) SZA Hiss Golden Messenger 7) Phosphorescent 8) CocoRosie 9) Antony and the Johnsons The Lone Bellow 11) Sam Amidon 12) Sharon Jones and the Dap-king 13) Hercules and Love Affair Citizen Cope 15) WEYES BLOOD 16) Jamie Lidell 17) Deer Tick 18) A.A. Bondy 19) She Keeps Bees 20) Luluc

nick hakim

Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

Singer-songwriter Nick Hakim’s sophomore EP Where Will We Go Pt.2 (released on his own label Earseed Records) is a carefully crafted nod to the soul kings – Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix and Al Green. The 23-year-old says he formed his sound while studying at Berklee College of Music. “Lift Me Up” is a perfect example, with a melodic core expressed by Hakim’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, sparse keys and honest lyrics. How did you come to realize that you wanted to pursue music professionally? I remember getting interested in making music when I got to middle school. I didn’t really mess around with any instruments until I was 17 besides the recorder...... I would hear my teachers play music with each other during their lunch break. I remember being curious to understand what they were doing so I began teaching myself piano and I’ve been writing ever since. What music are you listening to and who (or what) do you personally think influences your sound? Past week I’ve been listening to Shuggie Otis, Blake Mills, the Shaggs, Cymande, Chet Baker and I have a lot of friends that make music that I listen to. Yeah, I have heroes that inspire my sound, I think RZA is one of the greatest and recently I started listening to Third by Portishead again. I think another element of what helps me keep inspiration in my belly is the people I have around me. What kind of progression do you think the listener might be able to hear between your two EPs? They were meant to be listened back to back. So If you listen to both EPs, you can hear little

transitions between tunes and how they mesh together and how essentially are one project. Are there any messages you would like your listeners to take from your songs? If so what are they? It’s funny because once these songs left our computers they no longer belonged to me so, however anyone interprets them is completely individualized and I love how everyone I’ve spoken to has had a different interpretation of what these songs mean based off their experiences.

What most excites you about writing music and playing? Being in an environment where I am able to educate myself. Connecting with people all over and making them feel something through my experiences. Re-creating myself through the music I make. I have so much more to learn which excites me. This shit can be very hard sometimes but I feel blessed that I’m able to carry on in this world doing something that I love. (Brescia Mascheretti)

crushed out

Brooklyn duo Crushed Out—Franklin Russell Hoier (guitar/vocals) and Moselle Spiller (drums/vocals)— released their sophomore full length (titled Teeth) in the last days of summer. The couple (who are romantically linked too) took their reverbed brand of rootsy pop on the road for a tour of US cities where they remain as of this printing. Presented as an “ode to all the potential energy wrapped up in life, in the ocean, and in love,” the album’s first single, “Summer Sunset,” is decidedly Thrills-esque — acoustic, surf-inflected, idyllic. Crushed Out’s live show is a force to be reckoned with too. Moselle often steals the show with her spirited drumming and sexy costumes. Following their progress on Facebook we think every tour should look this fun. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)


the deli Winter 2014

nyc hip hop Top 20

Soundbites I Hip Hop

Full Deli Web Buzz charts:

1) Azealia Banks 2) 50 Cent 3) Run The Jewels 4) Mark Ronson 5) Ghostface Killah 6) A$ap Rocky 7) Wu-Tang Clan 8) Action Bronson 9) GZA 10) Kid Cudi 11) A$AP Ferg 12) Q-Tip 13) Beastie Boys 14) Ja Rule 15) Mobb Deep 16) Lloyd Banks 17) Joey Bada$$ 18) Jay-Z 19) Flatbush Zombies 20) Childish Gambino

Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

Tim Fite recently locked himself in a storefront decorated to look like the window of a smartphone. Part social experiment, part living art project, part publicity stunt (also part of a successful Kickstarter campaign), Fite tends to explore concrete themes that are socio-political. He’s rarely didactic, however. Crafting hip-hop productions both sleek and thunderous, Fite’s rhymes are quirky and poignant. He has something to say, and here’s just a sliver. What was the first hip-hop that knocked your socks off? The first hip-hop that truly drew me towards the art form was Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions. Or maybe BDP’s By All Means Necessary. I saved up for about two years to get a TR-505 drum machine; I couldn’t afford the 808. Now I only use my TR-505. It’s like a time machine. I throw on my Raiders cap, lace up my big black boots, load my uzi, set the tempo to 94 BPM, and head back to 1990 for some black-nationalistic funk. How concerned are you with “the game”? I don’t play games. Beats first? Or rhymes first? Beats first always. Rhymes first is like whacking-off into an old sock. Beats first is like inventive consensual lovemaking on a luxury tempur-pedic bed. Describe your your approach on stage? The first time I rapped on stage in NYC, it was probably whack, and something I should repress. I do, however, remember the first time I rapped in public in NYC. I was 13. Me and my dad were walking to a free, outdoor, Sister Carol concert outside at South Street Seaport. We were rapping Getto Boys at the top of our lungs, and all the tourists were looking at us

crazy, because we were crazy. I think this informed my process, because every time I rap, somebody is looking at me crazy. Biggest inspiration these days? The Book of the Dead. The source of provocation for the present is My Brightest Diamond. As far as inspiration goes: that shit is for suckers and biters. Seeing as I am neither a sucker nor a biter, inspiration can feel free to take note from the Book of the Dead, and eat my feces in the afterlife. (Jason Grimste)


Bronx born emcee Intikana is an artist of unabashed resistance. Roughed up for demonstrating in the fall 2011 occupation of Zuccoti Park in Lower Manhattan (and then fined by NYPD), he’s been an educator in activism throughout the city. Artistically, Inti has recorded in Cuba with some of the country’s top hip-hop artists (see the incredibly heartfelt single/video “Amistad” from his album Master Cleanse), and performed the incendiary Off-Broadway hip-hop show, Penumbra (2009), about his childhood communication with an incarcerated father. “Arizona” (with fellow Bronx emcee Navegante) insists, “We will keep on marching, keep grinding, keep fighting.” “Lil’ Afrika” calls for nothing short of a new revolution, where the poor rise up to overthrow the U.S. government, renaming it, well, you get the point. Fearless shit. NOT TO BE MISSED. (Brian Chidester)

webtrip Webtrip is a collaboration between MCs Lt. Headtrip and Web, with producer Samurai Banana. Released by Queens-based Karma Kids Records, it stands out as an examination of an underground rap ethos — one filled with aliens and human emotional mechanics. Banana’s production is the dirtiest type of boom-bap, full of fuzzy samples and loops arranged to singe your headphones. The MCs sound like a couple of hopped-up muppets staring down a bottle of absinthe. Fuzzed up vocals make their wittiness hard to decipher at times. (See lines like: “Let’s down the system/It’s the sounding science of mysticism/Doesn’t it sound like life has found its line?”) Say wha? Yeh! Stay with it yo — this shit’s worth it. (jason Grimste) the deli Winter 2014


Photo: Sasha Arutyunova

tim fite

Feature | Interview

By Emilio Herce 18

the deli Winter 2014

As creation stories go, Jared Samuel—chief songsmith of NYC band Invisible Familiars—has one, just like the rest of us. It begins in suburban New York State, and crystallizes in Brooklyn, where he doubles these days as both session-man and bandleader. “A couple years ago,” Samuel remembers, “when I first started to be able to pay my rent, and do it all from playing music, my dad was like, ‘Wow, neither me nor your brother would have been able to make that choice.’” It’s a rainy day outside the unusually empty Union Pool, where Samuel dons a souvenir jacket, dark jeans and well-worn boots. “He kept calling it a choice,” the songwriter continues. “I understand it seems like that to him.” For Samuel, however, there was no decision. More like a calling. Cool, casual and well spoken, Samuel looks like a cross between Ryan Gosling in the film Drive and a young Keith Richards. Vocal-wise, he’s been compared to glam icon Marc Bolan. He’s a regular at Union Pool, where, when not on tour, Samuel DJ’s, which, he notes, hasn’t been too often lately. He’s back stateside for just a few days -- a brief respite from his tour with Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger. It’s a chance to focus on his own project, Invisible Familiars, whose debut LP, Disturbing Wildlife, drops January 27th. As the consummate sideman, Samuel dips easily into his resume. He’s played and toured with acts like Superhuman Happiness, Cibo Matto, and, more recently, Sean Lennon’s GOASTT. The latter just returned from a stint in Japan. Feeding the empire and the republic can be a tricky balance. “My path isn’t only as a sideman,” Samuel insists. “If it was, you know, my rent would be a lot more easily paid.” He’s been a sideman professionally since age 18, and has played in bands since he was 12. Samuel says he brings both personal vision, as well as a collaborative ear to Invisible Familiars. The cuts on Disturbing Wildlife, he reflects, are the product of a veteran musician still willing to explore new landscapes of sound. “I guess I would consider myself, at best, a utility musician,” Samuel laughs. “As a sideman, I just kind of pick up whatever I [can] for the role. Definitely even doing things like backup vocals for other people has helped me to have a better concept of how to arrange my own stuff.” Invisible Familiars takes its name from a Joseph Campbell book “named for the unseen benevolent creatures that may serve to guide us all along in our path.” I ask Samuel if there is a counter to that — a creature or creatures trying trying to destroy or to decay? “Spotify,” he quips, after a short beat. “I feel like if there’s some sort of malevolent creature that’s out to destroy people’s natural inclination, it’s basically the machine of greed.” He quotes a William Blake poem that he says a friend tipped him to a long time ago, which reads: “When nations grown old, the arts grow cold, and commerce settles on every tree.” Samuel admits Disturbing Wildlife will likely go on Spotify once it is released, reiterating how damaging the streaming platform is to musicians, though he never genuflects on previous record biz practices that, with any modicum of research, might seem even less benign. “I believe that there’s a way to fight against it,” he continues, telling me that he’s aligned with the Content Creators Coalition for the benefit of all musicians. The CCC describes themselves on their website as an organization founded “in order to ensure fairness and dignity for artists in the digital age.”

Moving away from the topic of money, Samuel tells me that Disturbing Wildlife was mostly penned while the songwriter was sequestered on a friend’s boat. He says solitude is a key component in his writing process. “Being out there for ten days,” reflects Samuel, “I had the luxury of having the first two days to get re-acclimated, and also just to relieve myself of the pressure to write.” He prefers not to write under pressure, though he says he’s accustomed to looming deadlines. Freed of the strain, the album soars gracefully through the pop and psychedelic strata, where rich harmonies and an array of exotic instrumentation never overwhelm Samuel’s lyrical expressionism. Lead single “Heavenly All” features “prized friends” Tim Kuhl, Michael Leonhart, and Nels Cline as guests. From a bouncy soul-pop backdrop, Samuel whispers casual couplets like “Shoulda vanished when I closed my eyes/It’s all right,” as if to suggest self-doubt is no reason to stop moving forward. It is reflective of Samuel’s constant self-examination process, where experiences on the road, being largely sequestered to the background, have seeped into the personal work. “The first verse of [title track] ‘Disturbing Wildlife,’” notes Samuel, “is me trying to convince myself to ‘wait for your words to come back.’” (It begins with the line: “It’s okay/You can wait for your words to come back/Anyway what’s the worst it could do?”) He says he was worried at first that he didn’t actually have anything to say. “It was literally me talking to myself... and then I found a melody.” Just as we start getting a glimpse of the artist and his process, Samuel moves on. We make our way outside Union Pool, where he turns back to talk of his side-work. It’s still raining. The bar remains unusually empty. “I think that even if I was able to make a living,” he concludes, “just selling albums and touring, I would still want to be a sideman for other people that I admire.” Samuel mentions Sean Lennon and Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto again. It’s difficult to know sometimes where admiration ends and envy begins. He’s tasted life on the road, something every musician dreams of. Beneath it all, however, it’s not difficult to detect a desire to be where they are, selecting his own sidemen to interpret his songs. “I don’t need the spotlight to be constantly on me,” he laughs sheepishly. “You know, just some of the time.” With Disturbing Wildlife, he’ll get his chance. d

Artist Equipment Box

Malekko EKKO 616 Analog Delay

Eventide MixingLink

“[When I play live] I like to run my voice through a couple of different analog delay pedals: a Malleko 616 into a Minifooger for multiple options, all back into an Eventide Mixing Link.”

the deli Winter 2014


Feature | Cover Story


the deli Winter 2014

M a c h i n e

At a 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg gig, LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Whang told the crowd, “Look at the two people on either side of you. If one of them is not a girl, you are dancing incorrectly.” It was not too much to ask for at an alternative dance show, where audience is generally split between dudes and ladies. But watching Whang put moshers in their place, one couldn’t help but be reminded that despite the diversity of its fanbase, the electro stage is often seen as a boys club. All that may be changing. At least in NYC where, these days, more than half of all electro acts are led by female singers. So what’s changed? Since its advent, electro has come in and out of cultural favor, though its primary artists were never given the kind of megastar coverage that Rolling Stone magazine regularly reserves for its guitar gods and classic rockers. In the past decade, however, electro’s influence has, in many respects, reshaped the indie scene. Acts like the Knife, Postal Service, Of Montreal and Santigold transformed the gloss of ‘80s synth anthems into something more intimate and diaristic during the first decade of the aughts. More visibly, the mainstream has gone crazy these last ten years for electronic dance music (EDM). The breakout happened at least a decade ago across Europe. The US has been slower to embrace the hard beats, samples and obtuse instrumentals that were once the province of underground raves, where hallucinogens were readily partaken. These days, though, EDM crossovers like Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem and Swedish House Mafia routinely sell out Madison Square Garden. As a blanket term, “EDM” conveniently simplifies innumerable dance genres under one acronym: House, Acid, Jungle, Drum’n’Bass, Trance. Separate is the pop side, where melodic bands more inclined to melody than breakbeats are dubbed “electro.” (The ‘80s term was “synthpop.”). A quick look at New York City alone reveals dozens of female talent in electro and EDM subgenres, from hypnotic DIY electronica (Computer Magic, Empress Of), to video game bitpop (Crying), to house variations (Gina Turner), to electro/world music hybrids by acts like the Mast’s Haale, bossa-synth innovator Buscabella and CMJ standout Vandana Jain. The rock-infused dreampop of New Myths and HAERTS sneak electronics into

by ben apatoff

Photos by The art kartel

the rockist platform. Synthpop-inspired duos like Cardiknox, ASTR and Paperwhite re-imagine the genre’s early ‘80s peaks for the 21st century. New starlet Ryn Weaver serves up Billboard-esque pop with electro flavor. (I suppose we shouldn’t leave out Lady Gaga, NYC’s biggest electro export of the past twenty years.) Having women on the cutting edge of dance music in 2014 feels both modern and oddly futuristic. In a country that is finally taking the idea of a female president seriously, but still upholds workplace discrimination, anti-choice laws, income inequality and domestic violence cover-ups, watching NYC electro artists like DJ Empress, Kiah Victoria, Young Ejecta and WOLVVES’ Elizabeth Valleau is both a glimpse of future potential and a reminder that there is still a long way to go. The unclassifiable DJ Empress—a native New Yorker—has made a career of wrapping her dizzying influences into a sound that’s been reduced to genres like jungle and drum’n’bass. 20 years into it, I’d say her sound is now its own thing. A performer of DJ residencies in London and all over the US, Empress blends hip-hop, alternative, funk, industrial metal and more into transcendent dance music. Her tune “Alien Nation” seethes with a riff that recalls Broken-era Nine Inch Nails. “Brooklyn Baby,” Empress’s eight-minute, sample-heavy epic (see grabs of Roy Ayers and Digable Planets) creates a polyrhythmic, almost prog-like atmosphere; the result is as complex and enticing as the borough it honors. Empress’s ambitions are not just musical. Having founded and run her own label, Empower Recordings, she says, “I decided I wanted to sing, write songs that didn’t just cater to deejays.” Essentially be in a band. She’s not alone in the EDM landscape. (Daft Punk, for instance, regularly move between the abstract and the melodic.) “I wrote and produced an album’s worth of material,” she continues, “put together a band and taught them all the songs.” She says she took meetings with a few major labels only to discover that they wouldn’t give her a deal until she showed large numbers in attendance at live gigs. “The whole experience was incredibly tiresome,” she sighs. Instead of waiting to be signed, Empress started Empower in 2011, where she released her first single, “Alien Nation,” along with a bunch of remixes and videos. the deli Winter 2014


She doesn’t see EDM’s gender divide as being particularly different to other genres, but does note its impact. “Being a female performer in general,” notes Empress bluntly, “is challenging because a lot of people will want to have sex with you. Not that there’s anything wrong with lust, but you have to have your guard up.” She acknowledges the scene’s “boys club” mien, but remains optimistic. “I am a music lover,” she concludes, “that just wants to bond and connect with other people who make music too. You take the bad with the good.” Elsewhere, electro-soul—which fuses electronic music with neo-soul vocals—has materialized an impressive New York City presence. Bands like Body Language, Wet, Oyinda and MS MR are the major progenitors, marrying NYC retro-soul influences to synthpop, darkwave and beyond. (MS MR had a giant hit last year when their single “Hurricane” became the soundtrack to HBO’s promo commercials for the fantasy show Game of Thrones.) 21-year-old Kiah Victoria’s music is rooted in electronics, though it lands closer to your mother’s R&B, with Stax-worthy vocals as heard on last year’s potentially star-making Gravitate EP. Victoria, who has been performing all over New York City, but has yet to tour, delivers cinematic hooks on songs like “Breathing Is Too Easy,” “You Don’t Know” and a cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ Bout You.”

DJ Empress

“My dear homie/producer Tolu Adeyemo [aka Toulouse],” recalls Victoria, “had been listening to Frank religiously during our sophomore year [of college], and really wanted to cover him.” She says Tolu had the idea to slow everything down and take a more orchestral approach. “We started recording in his dorm room,” she continues, “and got super-inspired as we worked; Tolu directed the vocal arrangement and we just vibed from there, layering voices and textures.” The pair started writing the songs for Gravitate while they were abroad in Europe. “He’d send rough bounces of production that I’d write to,” she remembers fondly. “I’d send my two-chord ideas with some lyrics and melody, which he would then build around.” When they got back to NYC, Adeyemo and Victoria fleshed out what they now call “our baby.”

Elizabeth Valleau

“We had a lengthy and productive session one day,” she notes, “tracking all the vocals for ‘Breathing Is Too Easy,’ only to find that there were pops and ticks on every single one of the 53 vocal tracks.” DIY for the perfectionist can be frustrating. The pair overcame. When asked about the role of women in dance music, Victoria states: “Too often women are expected to sexualize themselves or emphasize their bodies over their work and their art.” She concedes that sex has always been political and that humans are naturally sensual. But, she counters, “I never want that fact to take precedence over what I’m bringing to the table artistically.” “I want to touch people with my music and my person,” she concludes. “I think you can feel that in my voice and in my performance.” Young Ejecta—formerly known as Ejecta (the name is being contested by another deejay in the UK)—is less interested in sincerity. The duo is resolutely synthpop, featuring Neon Indian’s Leanne Macomber and Ford & Lopatin’s Joel Ford. Their 2013 debut Dominae arrived in New York’s burgeoning gothic synthpop scene (Clementine & the Galaxy, the Hundred in the Hands, Tei Shi), earning the band local notoriety for haunting darkwave numbers like “Eleanor Lyle,” and a live show that Macomber describes as “Rammstein meets the B-52’s.”

Young Ejecta

“Ejecta stands out,” says Macomber, “because Joel is a forward-thinking fashion icon and I’m a 20-year-old busty blonde.” Perhaps also because she performs live shows in the buff. “We’re here,” she asserts, “because we’ve systematically slept with everyone in Hollywood and they consistently told us we’d be better off in NYC.” “New York has chewed me up and spit me out,” confesses the iconoclast. “It reawakened some really deep social anxiety.” She says she feels like she can’t open her mouth unless it is to go on some fantastical rant that no one else finds funny. “I don’t know where the freaks are,” Macomber says


the deli Winter 2014

Kiah Victoria

of her cultural vertigo. “I don’t know where my friends are; I think I’m just meant to be a nomad.” Yet, as a woman in electro, Macomber sees the genre as an inviting one, comparing Young Ejecta’s reception favorably to that of her previous work in the all-girl Texas punk band, Christian Teenage Runaway. “We got heckled in hilarious, barbaric ways,” recalls Macomber of the experience. “We’d be on the same bill with guys who literally couldn’t get through a tune—but when they couldn’t play it was ‘political,’ it was ‘so avant-garde.’ They were sticking it to the institutions that had failed them— we were just ‘talentless sluts’ and ‘attention whores.’” On the contrast, Macomber concludes, “From its inception, electronic music has embraced and facilitated radical ideas and performers. For some, gender and sexuality are still taboo. Electronic music allows everyone to write, perform and record without training, virtuosic musicianship, or an Abbey Road budget. Those of us who exist outside the more prestigious industry or academic circles can DIY our way through music this way.” Elsewhere on the NYC scene, WOLVVES have taken electro to its darkest depths. Their astonishing debut EP Feed the Hand that Bites is filled with abrupt time-signature changes that play off bricolages of industrial hip-hop riffs. The record took its title from a lyric in the Knife song “Neverland.” Singer Elizabeth Valleau describes the title as “roughly about embracing and nurturing the bad guy—the villain in your story.” In this case, she says, “we are the bad guy.” Valleau is drawn easily into a philosophical conversation. “New York City rewards the least homogenized and most punk,” she comments, “because


the deli Winter 2014

relief from the stress of living in the world’s most brutal city comes in the form of truly raw catharsis.” It’s a catharsis that can be seen in WOLVVES’s fire and brimstone performances, or the hyperkinetic track “White on White,” with its nightmarish music video. “Electronic music is ecstatic,” Valleau continues. It’s also escapist, ritualistic, sensual and primitive, she says. “Add pussy and you’ve got something close to heaven.” She thinks the relative scarcity of prominent female deejays and artists raises those figures to a cartoonish pedestal. “Truly,” she continues, “I have never experienced resistance to my gender. I think the electronic production and performance communities are some of the least sexist in the music industry.” What she does take issue with is a failure in the education system to expose young girls to disciplines that are engineering-oriented. She calls them “left-brain pleasures,” and includes electronic composition and performance amongst engineering’s many offshoots. “I was fortunate enough to be raised by wild animals,” Valleau laughs, “but I know for a fact that many women are trained to be intimidated by things with wires and switches. Stop that. Buy your baby girl a fucking modular. They are colorful and good for hand-eye coordination too.” Art is not a democracy, however, and talent like Valleau’s is not so easily come by. If parents and educators fail to heed her advice anytime soon, perhaps her example, as well as that of others across the NYC landscape, will inspire self-determination outside the system. What’s certain is that these artists have continually demolished the concept of electro and EDM as “boys clubs.” With any luck, such archaisms will soon become historical footnotes. d

State of the Scene | Electro

ice choir

Electric Café When synthpop and new wave first arrived on the British charts in the late 1970s they were pinned by detractors as icy and emotionless. Over time (and with the help of early MTV), these descriptions—add to that isolation, despair and fear— became the new vogue in pop music. Synths briefly disappeared during the grungy early ‘90s, though never entirely, as EDM carried the techno torch into more abstract territory. These days, electronic music is bigger than ever, and New York may well be the Metropolis of its new, icy (read: Orwellian) universe. Need evidence? Check the anguished tones and claustrophobic orchestration pervading dystopian tech-noir acts like Forma, Infinitely Shred and Rioux, just three examples. Forma recently unleashed a single (“Cool Haptics”) on the Bunker New York label. The group’s leaders John Also Bennett and M. Dwinell are both synth visionaries; Dwinell’s other project, Golden Ratio, incorporates static pulse drones and heavily-arpeggiated chards of musical vocabulary to express an obsession with outer-space. Bennett’s graphic scores—marrying synth patterns to visual graphs—are both cold and bouncy, and utterly invigorating.

infinity shred

Infinity Shred’s 2013 album Sanctuary was an instant cult favorite in NYC, where nothing else sounded remotely like it. Damon Hardjowirogo and George Stroud had previously worked together as Starscream, a dance-punk act that drew heavy influence from cyberpunk-ish soundtracks to 1980s Japanese films. A track off their last LP, Future, Towards the Edge of Forever (2011), titled “Thrashers (Infinity Shred),” gave the pair’s next act both its name and new direction. Infinity’s proggish techno reconfigures Jan Hammer’s coked-up ‘80s instrumentals (think “The Miami Vice Theme”) into digital nightmares for the 21st century. We hear they’re preparing a new album for early 2015.

computer magic

We also know that synths can drive some of the most emotive music imaginable too. Beacon’s instrumentals fit into that category, employing soothing keyboard loops, light drum machines and a multitude of ambient textures. Such twinkling musical canvases bolster Beacon’s occasional foray into pretty melody, where singer Thomas Mullarney’s vocals warm the soul. Twintapes too put a brittle but soulful voice at the forefront of their instrumentation. A 2013 EP titled WDWG was Stereolab meets LCD Soundsystem, done perfectly lo-fi. A series of live shows this past summer, as well as a flurry of Facebook updates, let their fans know that new work is on its way too. Elsewhere, Ice Choir offered such dead-on re-creation of chart-friendly ‘80s synthpop on their LP Afar (2012), that you’d be forgiven for mistaking it as having fallen through a crack in time. The last two years have seen them working on solo projects, and remixes for other electro acts, though a handful of 2014 shows confirm Ice Choir is still in the game. Saint Pepsi is an act that recently came across our radar. He is Ryan DeRobertis, and his infusion of ‘70s disco into contemporary bedroom pop led Stereogum to call St. Pepsi, “addicting and fun.” Gin City was a 2014 EP—his third release in as many years. He’s also a prolific remixer of other artists’ singles. Brooklyn’s Computer Magic is another solo project—this time by Danielle ‘Danz’ Johnson—who releases music almost as quickly as she produces it. Computer Magic highlights the quality of work that can be produced by young musicians who don’t require a huge range of instruments, but just a laptop and a few synths. Spacy and psychedelic, it’s no wonder her latest EP, the appropriately titled Extra Stuff, features Johnson on the cover in a hippie-tie-dye!

beacon paperwhite

These bands and a huge amount of others show there’s much more than nostalgia keeping synthetic orchestration at the forefront of pop and indie music. As evidence, NYC provides exhibit A, B and C. (Dean Van Nguyen) 26

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Photo: Wil Calcutt

On the other side of the electronic continuum, Paperwhite have forged a singular style by combining synth instrumentation with Huey Lewis-esque poprock melodies, while Anamanaguchi (and more recently Deli-NYC record-ofthe-month pick Crying) have been at the forefront of the chiptune and bitpop genres, adding retro gaming consoles to the electronic instrument canon.

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Lighting by Benton C. Bainbridge

Lighting by Sperm Whale (Photo by Jason Grimste)

Lighting by Matt Romein

Lighting by Sperm Whale

Lighting by Permian Strata (Photo by Sooah Kwak)

Lighting by Permian Strata (Photo by Sooah Kwak)

Drugs or not, music is enhanced by visual accompaniment. From Pink Floyd laser-light shows at your local planetarium, to mind-melting digital provocations by Flying Lotus, to avant-garde mutations projected onto the Bushwick DIY firetrap du jour, today myriad forums for evolving light shows defy easy categorization. Though rock and hip-hop employ video- and lightart too, the medium reached something of an apotheosis recently under the umbrella of EDM. Video art’s genesis first thrust into the public eye via Oskar Fischinger’s entropic cryptograms of the Nineteen-Thirties, which were essentially the first music videos. (Walt Disney eventually hired the German filmmaker to animate the opening sequence of his 1940 musical, Fantasia.) By the late ‘60s, Joshua White trailblazed the art of projecting colored oils as backdrop to now-legendary performances at the Fillmore East by Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, et al. Simultaneously, Andy Warhol took his analog projections— dubbed the Exploding Plastic Inevitable—around to clubs for 1966-67 Velvet Underground gigs that created mass hysteria. (One club on L.A.’s Sunset Strip closed in its wake.) All of this, in conjunction with cheaper technologies, leads us to the current video art renaissance. Take a trip some night to Output, Drom, Santos Party House, or Terminal 5 for one of their EDM shows, and experience the hedonistic reverie for yourself. Monthly Warper parties, started in 2005 by DJ Shakey, are EDM projection-art maelstroms geared toward “presenting the most forward thinking artists to the party people.” Among them are the Sperm Whale, Permian Strata, Glitch Fairy, 0h10M1ke, and Liquid Light Lab — all frequenters of Shakey’s roving raving shindig. Others, like Matt Romein and Benton C. Bainbridge, eschew the rave scene for museums and galleries. Regardless the venue, each labors to create programs, algorithms, and technologies that conjure sublime prisms that throb and explode behind musical artists at all levels of notoriety. Here’s just a smattering of NYC’s latest, and greatest. (Jason Grimste)

Liquid Light Show (Photo by Steve Pavlovsky)

Liquid Light Lab (Photo by Mac Rutledge)

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Feature | Technology

Born to Synthesize Born to Synthesize Born to Synthesize By Christopher Scapelliti / Illustration by i-nu yeh


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How I Learned to Listen — and Live — Through Synthesis Synthesizers let us create sounds and transform their nature. They can also shape our own natures and inspire how we perceive the world. In the mid-1960s, when I was a child, my family got a Webcor Royal Coronet Stereofonic tape recorder that had belonged to our Uncle Bob. The Webcor was a large, heavy relic from the previous decade that seemed ancient to me even in those days of minified, covetable transistorized electronics. The recorder’s most distinctive feature was what Webcor called its “magic eye,” the glass top of a 6E5 vacuum tube framed in a circular plastic socket on the machine’s control panel. A fluorescent screen in the 6E5 produces a glow that expands and contracts like a cat’s eye in response to an electronic signal, making the tube a crude but useful gauge of volume strength. As the Webcor warmed up, the eye would slowly awaken, changing color from drowsy grey to brilliant phosphorescent green. Watching its iris pulse as we blurted our childish nonsense into the microphone was like getting a reassuring wink from the recorder: Stimuli sensed, message received. Machines can be gratifying that way. The Webcor was bidirectional, which, we soon discovered, meant it could play sounds backward as well as forward. (A revelation!) From then on, we were transfixed by the recorded sounds of music, TV shows and our own voices played backward, and at half or double speed. We’d cut them into incoherent staccato bursts of audio, manually stopping and releasing the tape spool while recording. Had we been older and living in some cultural hub, rather than the aluminum-sided suburbs of Detroit, we might have known this was not an entirely immature or unproductive activity. Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and other composers at the San Francisco Tape Music Center were employing these and other techniques— albeit knowledgeably and purposefully—to explore recorded sound in the years leading up to the development of the voltage-controlled synthesizer. Some 2,400 miles and a generation away, we were dabbling in an art form we didn’t know existed. That Webcor recorder was my introduction to synthesis. The hours I spent with magnetic tape helped me perceive sound in a different way. That being the Sixties, the culture supported it. To turn on the radio in 1967 was to hear the latest in sonic innovation. The Beatles were changing pop music’s molecular structure with albums like Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Jimi Hendrix was taking us on an interstellar voyage with his wah-wah and Octavia pedal. Things were about to get stranger.

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By the latter half of the 1960s, Robert Moog began gathering his newly conceived voltage-controlled synthesizer circuits into systems that provided the basics of sound shaping. Moog’s synthesizers were among the first available commercially. Large, expensive and entirely modular, they required patch cords to make their oscillators, filters and modulators talk amongst themselves. Moog’s synths quickly found eager patrons in academic settings, which is where they might have languished had it not been for Paul Beaver, Moog’s West Coast sales rep, and pioneering synthesist Bernie Krause. In June 1967, Beaver and Krause set up a Moog synth at the Monterey Pop Festival, a groundbreaking three-day music-and-culture event featuring, among other acts, the Who, Jefferson Airplane, and Hendrix. There at the festival—next to a booth of dulcimers, no less—the Moog was demonstrated to rock artists like Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees, and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, who employed it on their bands’ records of late ’67. It took a true iconoclast, however, to integrate the synthesizer fully into popular consciousness. In 1968, New York composer Wendy Carlos—a recent Columbia University graduate who abhorred academics and their serialized compositional systems—released a debut album titled Switched-On Bach. The LP was a selection of the baroque German composer’s antique pieces, performed entirely on Carlos’s Moog modular. To everyone’s surprise, it went Top 10, becoming the first classical album to sell half a million copies. Carlos had shown the wild and ungainly Moog to be versatile, domesticable, even musical. Suddenly, everyone knew what a synthesizer was. Unfortunately, being so young, I had to wait years to get my own. By the time I did, analog synths of Wendy Carlos’s heyday were as archaic as my old Webcor tape deck. Digital synthesizers were the new tech. It wasn’t the sound of digital I minded as much as the design of the synths, which were packaged in sleek, steel-and-plastic bodies that had all the charm of a safedeposit box. The synths I’d grown up lusting after seemed nearly impossible to find by the mid Eighties. And when they did show up, they were usually so battered that you would moan for what had been. Shortly after eBay arrived in 1995, it was suddenly easier to find the wellcared-for specimens. For a few years, I was on a mad spree, eager to make up for lost time. I was lucky. Prices had yet to go through the roof, and there were deals to be found. Among my earliest analog synth purchases was a Roland SH-5, a smartly designed monosynth with a cluster of silver knobs and switches set on a spearmint-green control panel. With two voices, two filters, two voltagecontrolled amps and a wealth of ways to make the circuits interact, the SH-5 is as satisfying to play as it is to look at. It was joined in my home by a Yamaha CS-50 polyphonic, a precursor to the CS-80, one of the most coveted synthesizers from the golden age of analog. Whereas Moogs sound obscenely juicy, Korgs rude and dirty, and Rolands flashy and slick, those old Yamahas are rich, smooth and refined, even when their filters are sent into high-resonance screeching. The keyboards’ actions are tight and solid, and the controls are oil damped, making for a luxurious playing experience. In choosing synthesizers over the years, I’ve been drawn as much by sounds, features and rarity as by my own curiosity and sense of nostalgia. I bought an EML ElectroComp 200, a blue-faced modular synth from 1970, because it’s weird and beautiful to look at, and because Laurie Spiegel, a pioneer 32

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of NYC’s late-Seventies New Music scene, made some deliciously organicsounding compositions with one. The EML 200 can’t track pitch but it bellows fearsomely like a baleful spirit trapped in an iron box. Likewise, when I had a chance to own a 1969 EMS VCS 3, with its nearlyimpossible-to-find keyboard, I couldn’t pass it up. This was the model that Brian Eno used to process instruments on early Roxy Music albums and to record his first four solo LPs. It’s the synthesizer visible in the gatefold of Todd Rundgren’s 1972 album, Something/Anything?, and heard throughout his follow-up, A Wizard/A True Star, two records that were among the most influential to me. The VCS 3 is, in fact, a magnificent noisemaker. The fact that its keyboard can’t track pitch accurately beyond an octave and a half makes not a bit of difference. It creates the sounds that graced some of the records dearest to my heart — reason enough to treasure it. The desire to emulate familiar sounds is part of my attraction to the more common vintage synths. But a synthesizer’s obscurity can be just as entrancing, and the instrument’s history is littered with truncated lineages and evolutionary missteps. In 1977, Korg created the first and only polyphonic modular synthesizers: the PS-3100, PS-3200 and PS-3300. These were made in limited quantities for about a year before inexpensive integrated circuits heralded the arrival of polyphonic synths that could do more and do it for less. Still, I’ll take my PS-3100 over nearly anything else that came after it. Its scarcity is part of its appeal, but so are its sounds, not to mention the ability to break in and out of circuits with its modular jack panel. Working with a few dozen controls and inputs makes for tangible involvement, and it’s suited to slow and contemplative tinkering that is itself a form of meditation. And that, really, is at the heart of synthesis for me. At one extreme, I use it consciously to construct sounds I’ve heard or imagined. If I want to imitate a flute, for example, I know a flute’s waveform is closest to a triangle wave. But that’s just a fragment of the total sound. A flute also has a soft attack. Its tone is darker in the low registers, brightening as the player ascends the scale. The performer’s breath adds a sound of its own, as well as vibrato. Each of these parameters brings to my mind a circuit in the synthesizer: an envelope generator to adjust the attack; a filter whose cutoff frequency tracks the keyboard’s control voltage to make the filter open in the higher registers and close in the lower; white noise to provide the “breath,” and, for the vibrato, a low-frequency oscillator. Keep breaking down sounds in this fashion and after a while the world starts to unlock in exciting ways. This sort of deconstruction begins seeping into the other senses, to where you can ascertain how to disassemble a plumbing fixture, hack code or discern the ingredients in a casserole. Synthesis raises awareness and trains the mind to analyze and comprehend. Meditation is at the other extreme. Sitting before a synthesizer with an empty mind and a panel full of controls, switches and jacks is an opportunity to go deep into sound and the subconscious. The more complex a synthesizer is, the more opportunities it gives me to start somewhere new and create something I’ve never heard—to follow my mind someplace it hasn’t been and renew my connection with sound. Somewhere in there I find myself — the young me, the old me. The me I didn’t know was there. The me I am to become. d

PLAY Introducing MicroBrute SE, a special edition of Arturia’s award-winning analog synthesizer. Available in three colors, with stacking patch cables and custom carry bag.

Kitchen | Synth News Toys! Who said they are just for kids? Like toys, synths are colorful, intriguing, even addictive. Or, in one word: inspiring. Here are a few of the many toys you’ll be able to see and hear at our first ever NYC Synth Expo.


Novation - Bass Station II

Notwithstanding its compact size, the Novation Bass Station II is a fully featured analog synth, which, as you may have gathered, is optimized for bass sounds, though capable of delivering much more than that. Two oscillators plus a third sub-oscillator, two distinct filters (“Acid” and “Classic,” designed by Christ Huggett of vintage synths Wasp and Oscar fame), and a fully analog effect section will get any sound designer’s creative juices flowing. Dedicated controls for all major parameters allow for instant hands-on control of the sound engine, and, if you like arpeggiators, you won’t be disappointed by its pattern based step sequencer.

In the ‘80s, Japanese manufacturer Roland made the history of electronic and dance music by releasing timeless products like the TR-808 drum machine and the TB-303, still sought after today by many musicians. The latter was a monophonic bass synth featuring a single oscillator capable of producing either a sawtooth or a square wave, your regular envelope and low pass filter, and also some cool new tricks like portamento and note accent. Released in 1982, by the end of that decade the TB-303 was a star of the dancefloor. Roland has recently released a faithful recreation of it, and wrapped it in a modern package with a pressure-sensitive touch pad. It’s called the TB-3, and we can’t wait to check it out.

Synthetic Sound Labs

Synthetic Sound Labs’ Doug Slocum got his start in the synth business in the ‘70s when he became known for his “enhanced” (i.e. modded) Moog synths. He recently launched a Eurorack line with a very personal “SteamPunk” graphic approach. Although departing from the SteamPunk panel designs, his latest module SSL 2520 Segwencer is an ambitious, 4 channel scanner module that borrows some ideas from the way pipe organs work, creating an entirely new way of morphing sounds, textures and even control voltages. The four channels have separate ins and outs, and their signals can be modulated, blended or also sequenced in new creative ways. He also makes a full line of Moog Unit (MU) sized modules.

KORG - Volca Keys

Synths can be complicated things, and Korg has its fair share of “deep” synthetizers in its product line. Yet their Volca series was created with the “Less Is More” motto in mind. Consisting of three separate compact analog synths, with the self explanatory names for Keys, Bass and Beats, they feature Korg’s legendary “big synth” sound, minus the bukly dimensions. The Volca Keys, a three voice lead synth, is definitely the king of the bunch. With its filter section that borrows the circuitry of the legendary miniKORG700S (1974), it sports an added delay effect for extra sonic flourishes that lets it truly soar. On top of that, you also get a sequencer, a self-tuning function and MIDI in, so that you can synch it to anything you want.

MOOG - Werkstatt-01

If you are a synth beginner, and belong to the numerous club of musicians interested in understanding how analog synthesizer circuits work, you should probably get yourself a Moog Werkstatt-01. It comes as a kit that needs to be assembled by the user (don’t get scared, it’s pretty straight forward). After it’s done, you’ll have a compact, one oscillator, analog synth based on the classic MOOG circuit, featuring seven integrated modules whose order can be organized through an embedded patch.


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Kitchen | Synth News


As you may have gathered, synths are made of several different circuits (like oscillators, filters, modulations, effects) that interact with each other to create the final sound. Changing their chain’s order dramatically affects the resulting tone. Korg and littleBits had the simple but brilliant idea to shrink all these circuits to their bare bones minimum, separate them, and implement a simple, magnet based way of connecting them to each other. The growing library of modules (all very affordable) guarantees protracted fun and the new Midi integration opens a whole new world of possibilities.

Basic Synth Vocabulary ADSR (or ENVELOP) A module that provides control over Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release times. The resulting envelope can be applied to amplitude, filter cut-off frequency and so on, to alter and shape the audio signal. ARPEGGIATOR A synth feature that automatically transforms chords into arpeggios and other alternating note patterns. EURO RACK A small (128.5mm-tall) modular synth format that’s has become standardized and popular. FILTER (or VCF) An equalizing circuit that removes frequencies (like a wah pedal). LFO A Low Frequency Oscillator, used for modulation, tremolo and vibrato purposes. MODULAR SYNTH A synth consisting of separate, specialized circuits (or modules) that the user connects with patch cords, unlike synths in which the various circuits are hard wired together.

ARTURIA - MiniBrute SE

Qu-Bit Electronix

Brooklyn based Qu-Bit specializes in Eurorack modules. Their piece de resistance is their Nebulæ audio file player/granular oscillator, which uses sound files as the source material for creating loops, melodies, granular clouds, drones, pads and otherworldy textures. Ships with a flash drive containing a copyright-free sample library recorded and mastered specifically for Nebulæ. Their other module is the stereo multi-effects processor RT60.

A rather young player in the synth field (it was founded in 1999), French manufacturer Arturia has quickly built a solid reputation with their forward thinking synths, which feature unmistakably stylish design. A VCO based monophonic synth with a plethora of sonic possibility—including a filter section powered by the Steiner-Parker multimode filter, a wide range sync’able LFO, a dedicated vibrato, two ADSR envelopes and an arpeggiator—their 25 key MiniBrute was already a very popular item in its first version. The new MiniBrute SE, produced in limited quantity, adds a step sequencer instead of the regular arpeggiator and sports a new brushed aluminum panel and wooden sides. Pretty mind-blowingly, this quite affordable baby offers USB, MIDI and CV/Gate connections, and also lets you process external audio sources through it!

Novation Bass Station II Notwithstanding its compact size, the Novation Bass Station II is a fully featured analog synth, which, as you may have gathered, is optimized for bass sounds, though capable of delivering much more than that. Two oscillators plus a third sub-oscillator, two distinct filters (“Acid” and “Classic,” designed by Christ Huggett of vintage synths Wasp and Oscar fame), and a fully analog effect section will get any sound designer’s creative juices flowing. Dedicated controls for all major parameters allow for instant hands-on control of the sound engine, and, if you like arpeggiators, you won’t be disappointed by its pattern based step sequencer.

making the world a better sound ing place.


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MONOPHONIC A term to describe a synth that can sound only one note at a time. POLYPHONIC A term to describe a synth capable of sounding more than one note simultaneously (typically three or more). OSCILLATOR (or VCO) Generally speaking, the source of the synth’s sound (or wave), which then gets modified by filters, envelops, and other effects.

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We’ve got knobs... and amazing analog sound that won’t break the bank. Whether you opt for the true-analog Volca series, the patchable MS-20 Mini, or King Korg – the 61-key polyphonic analog modeling monster – there’s new inspiration awaiting you with every turn of every knob. Tweak on.


+ 100% analog envelopecontrolled vocal formant filter based on the rare Colorsound Dipthonizer circuit. + Improved tracking, fuller frequency response, lower noise floor, and a pedalboard-friendly chassis. + Can emulate talkboxes, filters, phasers, or flangers, or a weirdly vocal-sounding wah-wah.

+ A pedal with a drum machine inside! + Includes 200 programmable songs and 10 drum kits. + Expandable thanks to the online library. + Features Midi Synch, SD Card, Stereo and headphone outputs, optional two way footswitch.

+ A recreation of the legendary Japanese effect unit called "Univibe" created under the supervision of the original developer. + Discrete design using 79 transistors.

+ The new WAVE sliders allow original waveforms to be generated. + Comes with dedicated expression pedal.

+ Three independent delay engines, 11 different subdivisions.

+ 12 delay types, 4 TonePrint slots, tap tempo switch, stereo I/O, MIDI connectivity and expression pedal + Toggle between having your delays input. in series or in parallel.

+ A recreation of the Schaffer-Vega Diversity System (SVDS), one of the first wireless systems used by electric guitarists.

+ A simple, super compact, great sounding two knob overdrive. + It features a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that lasts up to 120 hours of continuous use.

+ Many legendary guitarists used that box for its tone coloring and boosting options. + The stompbox of course only recreates the circuit of the original, dropping the wireless functionality.



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