music and art from the nyc underground Issue #43 Volume #2 Summer 2015
On the Cover:
bk stompbox Exhibit issue !
Buscabulla! plus... Nu-Latin
music and art from the the nyc nyc music underground everything about scene
Issue #43 Vol. #2 Summer 2015 thedelimag.com Paolo De Gregorio Charles Newman Editor: Brian CHidester executive Editor: quang d. tran graphic designer: Kaz Yabe (www.kazyabe.com) Cover Art direction and photography: Nosotrus (www.nstrus.com) Staff Illustrators: JP Peer Michael p. Sincavage I-Nu yeh hip-hop editor: Jason Grimste (aka brokemc) Web Developers: Mark Lewis Alex Borsody mike levine Distribution Coordinator: Kevin Blatchford Contributing Writers: Ben Apatoff JP Basileo Dave Cromwell Bill Dvorak Michael Haskoor Emilio Herce Mike Levine Leora Mandel Kenneth Partridge Dean Van Nguyen Zachary Weg Angel Eugenio Fradel Editor In Chief / Publisher: Founder:
The Kitchen: Ryan Dembinsky Brandon Stoner ryan mo Interns:
p.7 Fresh Buzz
p.8 Nu-Metal Art
p.24 Custom Instruments
Pat Wolff Sam O’Hara Lauren Schechte The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC
The Deli Magazine is a trademark of The Deli Magazine, LLC, Brooklyn & Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2015 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.
Notes from the Editor Summer marks that time each year when city-dwellers head to Long Island or the Rockaways to surf, tan, play vollyball, and drink beer—sometimes all at once. It’s also the season of group art shows and free concerts in the parks. Somebody’s always on vacation and work feels less stressful. For freelancers and skate-rats, though, perhaps Jan & Dean said it best: “Sleeping in late and living right now, ‘cause summer means fun!”
This season’s Deli issue celebrates Buscabulla, the new Puerto Rican-born duo that makes everyday sound like summer. We love the photos they did with art directors Nosotrus—a series of homages to classic ’70s album covers by Willie Colón and Celia Cruz. To long-time New Yorkers, nothing says summer more than that vibe and it’s good to see its essence has survived some four decades hence. There’s also an article on custom-made instruments, which a handful of quirky artisans create by rescuing some of the city’s many discards. You might’ve thought we cooked this whole thing up as one big conceptual nod to recycling, which is always something to keep in mind as the planet goes to shit. We didn’t, but that shouldn’t stop us all from fighting for clean air, open beaches, the $15 minimum wage, an end to racial profiling, and the right for everyone to party safely. Hi Ho! Let’s Go! Brian Chidester, Editor 8/22/2015
delicious-audio.com The Deli’s Blog for DIY Recorders & Stompbox Lovers • bands in the studio profiles • issue-related recording tips • stompbox news and reviews
The rock/classical hybrid is nothing new. Hippies, punks, and new-wavers have been interested in long-form works since at least the mid-’60s. Recently, however, it seems easier to pull off. This past May, Brooklyn Academy of Music hosted Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell, a tribute to that AIDS-fallen cult urchin of the downtown music scene. Russell (d. 1992) worked alongside minimalists Philip Glass and Steve Reich and, as composer and performer, left behind a body of work that spans everything from avant-garde to disco to plaintive folk. Indie luminaries like Cults, Devonté Hynes (Blood Orange), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), and Little Scream breathed new life into a canon that felt not a second outdated. Elsewhere, NYC summer marathon Bang on a Can returned for a twelve-hour marathon situated at the corner of post-minimalism and rock. Highlights? Guitar quartet Dither’s Velvet Underground-inspired Tongue of Thorns and the Nels Cline/So Percussion performance of Bobby Previte’s industrial meditation, Terminals. On a more underground level, two recent shows mixed the indie spirit with the more expansive
The annual 12-hour Bang on a Can marathon is the epitomy of NYC’s classical/rockist hybrid.
palette. Brooklyn’s Glass Ghost brought their LYFE™ project to the Lincoln Center in April. NYC singer-songwriter Rachel Mason performed her Lives of Hamilton Fish at Joe’s Pub near NYU and the Anthology Film Archives in the Bowery. The visual component of Glass Ghost’s project was based on audience data, mined by LYFE™, a fictional company that identifies, analyzes, and advertises users’ emotions pre-show. Mason’s
work was less technologically-adventurous, more psychologically obsessed. It was based on the real Hamilton Fish, who, during the 1930s, was actually two people: a statesman and a serial killer. Each died a day apart and Mason sings both disturbingly off-key, resonating deeply where life resembles fiction, and fiction is an unstable universe. (Brian Chidester)
Records of the Month
Annique Monet Phantom Letters From its first notes, Annique Monet’s uberpsychedelic debut, Phantom Letters, plunges the listener into an alternate reality that takes just over 32 minutes to unfold. Opener “Salt, Veruca” starts whispery and innocuous, then shifts dramatically into aural dopamine, where celestial choruses feel zoomed in from another planet. “Voodoo” tries for a dissonant waltz, equal parts alt-cabaret and goth freakout, reminiscent of the Banshees, c. 1984. “Turtlenecks in July” and “52” both feel Beatles-esque, with pronounced basslines, harpsichord, and modal songwriting shifts. By the time we reach the album’s closer, “Unchange,” every influence condenses into a single dream-like go-go dance—Monet’s love letter from the subconscious to the waking macrocosm—where thought and touch ride the same rhythm. (paolo de gregorio)
the deli Summer 2015
son lux Bones Originally the side-project of film composer/ beatmaker Ryan Lott, Son Lux’s 2013 tour marked the alchemical moment when guitarist Rafiq Bhatia and drummer Ian Chang materialized as full members. Bones is their first LP together. Lott seems to anticipate the backlash on “Flight,” where he asks: “Are we fixed or free?” The song features some of Bhatia’s best guitar soloing, as well as a barrage of Flaming Lips-like pounding from Chang. Even the vocals are quivering and non-specific. The dominant voice, however, remains Lott’s twitched-out breakbeats. They undulate and swirl into strobe-like hazes of dystopian moods. The vibe carries over into ominous cuts like “Undone,” “White Lies,” and “Breath Out,” where lyrics are mantras, even haikus, and beats are dubstep ragas. The underlying tone, however, is one of discontent. Welcome to the future. (Brian Chidester)
the othermen (Do the) Stand Still It’s no secret that new punk and garage records rarely match the intensity of the genres’ pioneers, except, maybe, in that rare underground hardcore club, where concertgoers risk life and limb in the mosh pit. NYC’s Othermen offer the safe alternative (for the body, at least). Their freakishly energetic three song EP—titled (Do the) Stand Still—is the anarchy you seek. Prominent ’60s psych organ comes courtesy Kayla Asbell, who lays the foundation for the band’s barrage of distorted bass, caveman drums, and sublimely demented vocal from Max Frechette. The latter’s guitar is all fuzz too, while his frequent screams are pure devil-may-care. I think he even slobbers into the microphone on “We Love You.” Great oogly moogly. We heard it. (paolo de gregorio)
Fresh Buzz | New Artists
Summer Moon is the latest NYC supergroup, boasting members of Au Revoire Simone, the Strokes, and the Like. Singer/guitarist Lewis Lazar takes the songwriting reigns so far. The quartet played SXSW in March before releasing its first single—”Happenin’”—in May. It starts percussive and gloomy, with sexy post-punk vocals that recall Interpol’s Paul Banks on the verses and Robert Smith of the Cure on the chorus. The bassline picks up muscle halfway through, building to its mantra-like resolution. (paolo de gregorio)
Thanks to one punchy, neo-grunge single gone viral, NYC-by-way-of-Cape Cod combo Highly Suspect are now slated to play this year’s Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza festivals. The single is “Lydia” and it marries the heaviness of Soundgarden (or Queens of the Stone Age) with the economy of 21st century handmade. A debut album dropped in July, continuing the band’s winning streak of radio-friendly revival rock. They even opened a recent Deftones show in Maryland, then hit the road for a summer tour on their own. (Paolo de gregorio)
There’s a definite ‘90s lushness to Haitian transplant Devyn Rose’s R&B/ hip-hop blend. She cites Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony and Whitney Houston as influences, and the title track from her Steller EP speaks to that interest in the dark side of pop. “Falling 4 U” purrs and growls like a female version of D’Angelo. Rose’s delivery on “Cops x the Jury” is snappy and crisp; her voice is silky, while lyrics remain provocative and unexpected, like Amy Winehouse, though less obviously retro. (Jason Grimste)
Central Jersey duo Stolen Jars play an intimate, percussive brand of folkpop. They haven’t rushed things since the release of a well-received debut album in 2011, though a few tracks—including a cover of Beyonce’s “Love on Top”—have complimented an active gig calendar and satiated the appetite of their growing fanbase. Stolen’s catchy single “Driving” turned up in a recent iPad commercial and at last a sophomore LP, titled Kept, has been announced for August 28th. (Sam O’Hara)
Brooklyn’s newest one-man synthpop band is called AYER (real name Danny Schmittler). From 2014 to 2015, he unleashed an impressive string of singles and remixes that resonated with listeners on Soundcloud, Hypem, and Spotify. Bosky lyrics like, “Nothing’s gonna tear us down,” signalled the arrival of a bold new talent. Undeniably catchy and vaguely Prince-like, the mid-tempo burner “Black Diamond” and the electro-soul ballad “Fight Your Fire” grabbed enough attention to convince scouts at Pianos to give AYER a June residency. (Paolo de gregorio)
“Rolling Down the Hill,” the first single by Born Cages, is an anthemic fusion of pop, disco, and indie. Debut album I’m Glad I’m Not Me proves it was no accident. Choruses soar and guitar solos, like the one on “Don’t Look Back,” sound ’80s and light. The general direction is Arcade Fire, minus the hysteria, a formula that got them booked to this summer’s Warped Tour. NYC label Washington Square should do right by the band as they keep the fun and zoom past their influences. (Pat Wolff) the deli Summer 2015
NYC Art in Music
the deli Summer 2015
The art of heavy metal has always been a specific taste. Illustrators like Ken Kelly (Kiss’s Destroyer album) and Derek Kriggs (creator of the Iron Maiden LP series) defined its figural side as an offshoot of ‘70s horror comics. Death metal, during the ‘80s and ‘90s, took the blood and fire to extremes and metal art has remained there ever since. Sleek, ominous, Germanic fonts first appeared on Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, and Judas Preist albums from the 1970s. Later, Metallica frontman James Hetfield developed the band’s own stylized logo himself, standardizing a motif. Metal, however, has never been synonymous with NYC, which makes its recent comeback here worth noting. In the northeast, metal and hard rock are more traditionally centered in New Jersey towns across the Hudson. In Brooklyn, however, Saint Vitus in Greenpoint has emerged as a new nexus for headbangers (This past November they hosted the Bestiary exhibition, featuring 16 nu-metal artists.) Inside the four walls of Williamsburg’s the Gutter are also no shortage of well-executed, handmade flyers made for current metal shows. Old fashion mullets are newly-shorn at the hipster-ish Hair Metal salon, who recently moved to W-Burg too, along with its cheeky hard rock logo. Illustrator Jordan Moser published a similarlydesigned indie comic called Heavy. Available in three primary colors, it gives underground metal something of the Warhol treatment.
In terms of comics, Brooklyn native Sergio Gusella is probably the artist most deep down the nu-metal rabbit hole. His Bravelock series reimagines the borough as a post-apocalyptic wasteland, part-John Carpenter, part-Conan the Barbarian. For local album art, none can top Valnoir’s psychedelic B&W illustration for Mutilation Rites’ 2014 Harbinger LP. Local Mike Hrubovcak is less cerebral than Valnoir, though more brutal and no less stylized. His photorealistic paintings are horrific and impossible to forget. More mainstream is NYC painter Jim D’Amato, whose abstract patterns of plant-life and reptile skin are perfectly evocative of the nu-metal scene’s heady swirl. But my favorite remains Tomas Ives’ blacklight poster for a recent Mother Feather show at the Knitting Factory. It apes Kiss’s rock/new wave Asylum cover of 1985, transforming it for indie purposes and making things uniquely BK. (Brian Chidester)
the deli Summer 2015
Soundbites I Indie Pop
Yale-trained quintet Pavo Pavo has come to NYC bearing a lone chamber-pop single worthy of attention. A-side “Ran Ran Run” is in the mid-’60s Beach Boys style, with lush harmonies on the verses and an ebullient surf go-go chorus. “Annie Hall” is slower, cerebral and warm, right up to its bittersweet finale. (Zach Weg)
Songwriter Gabrille Smith—aka Eskimeaux— has a new LP titled O.K., which smoothes the edges on her previous bedroom sound. Recycling a few cuts from 2013’s Igluenza, lyrics like “I was breaking my neck just to stick it out for you” benefit from the added punch. “I Admit I’m Scared” and “Alone at the Party” continue Smith’s catharsis with agnate sparkle. (Leora Mandel)
Asy and Chloe Saavedra led adorable aughts pop band Smoosh when Chloe was just eight years old! Fully grown now, the Saavedras swap their former moniker for the more aggressive-sounding Chaos Chaos. Two EPs since 2012 saw comparisons to local favorites Lucius, though new single “Love” breaks that tradition by trading indie for the purely anthemic. (paolo de gregorio)
nyc indie pop Top 20 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts
In June, NYC indie band Little Racer released Foreign Tongues—a sincere, relaxed EP that brings to mind summer love, beach towels, and holding seashells to your ear. “Dreamers” boasts the pure surf-pop mantra, “She used to be my girl,” while “Tijuana” swells around an echo-y guitar that bridges aughts indie with current chillwave. (Leora Mandel)
the deli Summer 2015
Katy Gunn and Anna Lidell found each other through music and not even an ocean between them could slow their work as the sprightly-named Teenage Love. The Brooklyn/ Copenhagen duo recently unleashed Gold, a lo-fi EP full of twitchy breakbeats, violin-led melodies, and jazzy-pop harmonies, which finds confidence in the midst of madness. (paolo de gregorio)
1. Lana Del Rey 2. mgmt 3. Rachel Platten 4. Vampire Weekend 5. Julian Casablancas 6. The Front Bottoms 7. The Drums 8. Emilie Simon 9. They Might Be Giants 10. Grizzly Bear 11. Rufus Wainwright 12. Matt and Kim 13. Cults 14. Chaos Chaos 15. Friends 16. Darkside 17. Sufjan Stevens 18. Keren Ann 19. Magnetic Fields 20. Dum Dum Girls
Photo: Pamela Garavano-Coolbaugh
Ezra Tenenbaum used to write about guitar pedals for this very section of our rag. We were pleasantly surprised then to find his new band, EZTV, signed to buzzworthy BK label Captured Tracks, home of notable artists Mac DeMarco, DIIV, Widowspeak, and Wild Nothing. Plus, since we had Tenebaum’s email already, and knew he had more than a passing knowledge of pedals, we thought it time he let us in on how his band’s been putting them to good use. What was your “first time” with a pedal? I was 14. The pedal was a Boss Metal Zone, which sounded like Korn. I’ve wasted a lot of money on pedals since then. Haha! Is there one that totally changed your life? I have a Moog filter pedal which I put a ton of sounds through when I’m recording. It sounds truly great on singing, guitar, nearly anything. I hope Moog will send me free pedals for saying this.
I’ll basically try anything that’s left around, though Shane [O’Connell, guitar] has an acoustic simulator pedal that I hate—it sounds terrible. Have you ever thought about getting into modding pedals? Or building them from scratch? My friend Marshal built an amazing vibrato pedal that I use sometimes. It seems to break a lot. I think I’m too much of a klutz to take up that hobby. Can you promise to be at our upcoming Stompbox Exhibit in September at Main Drag Music? For old time’s sake? Perhaps! (paolo de gregorio)
What’s on your board these days when you play with EZTV? I use an Ibanez CS505 chorus and AD80 delay, along with a boss reverb pedal.
Full interview on Delicious-Audio.com Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb
Tell us about your guitar and amp selection. I play a Burns Baby Bison. It’s underrated, well-made, and cheap-ish for a ‘60s guitar. I’ve got an old Gibson amp I found on Craigslist because I thought it would sound like a Princeton, but cheaper. Do pedals ever inspire songs for you? Pretty much any song I write is built around the sounds. How your instrument sounds effects how you’ll play it. What effects could you not live without and what do you doubt you’ll ever use?
Ibanez Analog Delay
Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner
the deli Summer 2015
Soundbites I Garage/Punk
I believe it was Jesus Christ who suggested that putting new wine in old wineskins would burst them disastrously. Las Rosas doesn’t seem to care, though. Their debut EP reaches back to the Kinks and Animals with such understated mastery that its familiarity is subsumed by the strange feeling that this music is being made again for the very first time. (brian chidester)
Surfbort’s R.I.P. Die Old EP wasn’t good enough in its original demo form, so the band re-recorded it song-for-song a few months later. Both sound like bad quality bootlegs, but it hardly matters when your intention is the “union of anarchy and despair.” High five for self-awareness! Live gigs at Baby’s All Right continue their transformation of teenage frustration into rollickin’ good fun. (Paolo De Gregorio)
The Brooklyn quartet Worriers released a debut album last year full of sped-up melodic punk and subtle political observation. Now they have a new LP, Imaginary Life, which dropped August 7. First single “They/Them/ Theirs” questions the notion of the gender binary and its personal frustrations, furthering this band’s grasp on emerging subjects in rock’n’roll. (Paolo De Gregorio)
nyc garage/punk Top 20
Photo: Rebecca Reed
Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts
“I would wait for you all summer/You would turn me away,” sings Chumped’s Anika Pyle on “Hot 97 Summer Jam,” from the band’s ‘90s-inflected Teenage Retirement. Pyle’s expressive vocals are met by Drew Johnson’s mind-blowing guitar sound, recalling both the subtlety and fury of Dinosaur Jr., whilst the rest of the band stays rhythmically focused and tight. (Paolo De Gregorio)
the deli Summer 2015
To describe their sound, Brooklyn-based quintet Imaginary People coined the term “Dance Americana.” A noteworthy new single— “Summerstock”—blends other sonic ingredients outside the boogie-down milieu, especially where lead singer Dylan Von Wagner’s demented rockabilly croon is concerned. It gets an exponential boost from the song’s video, centered entirely around his jittery, bugeyed antics. (Paolo De Gregorio)
1. The Julie Ruin 2. Baby Shakes 3. Star Fucking Hipsters 4. Screaming Females 5. Yonatan Gat 6. Dirty Fences 7. Scully 8. WYLDLIFE 9. Lost In Society 10. Pale Angels 11. Gay For Johnny Depp 12. Larry & the Babes 13. BOYTOY 14. Tall Juan 15. Tournament 16. SHAPES 17. High Waisted 18. The Othermen 19. Jemina Pearl 20. The Britanys
EXPOSE YOURSELF ARTIST
SKY WHITE TIGER WEBSITE: soundcloud.com/skywhitetiger ENTER TO WIN
Submit here thedelimagazine.com/exposeyourself for the chance of winning an online interview with The Deli and having your band's photo featured here in the next issue.
Soundbites I Roots
Norway’s Okay-Kaya is now based in NYC and as far as we can see she’s hit the ground running. “Damn, Gravity” was her first single, produced by Rodaidh McDonald of the XX fame, which led to an opening slot on Tobias Jesso Jr.’s U.S tour, followed by “Clenched Teeth,” another hauntingly sparse single. We gotta think Kaya played more than just those two drumless dream-folk tunes on her Soundcloud page. Wishin’, hopin’. (paolo de gregorio)
Brooklyn rock quintet Howth calls their latest effort Trashy Milky Nothing Town, referencing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a set of quirky stories about longing and comradeship. One such is “Superfreak!,” recalling Wilco in its melancholic self-reflection and spacey keys. Superheroes, however, aren’t real (I don’t think!), even IF they reflect our fears and desires in comics, movies, and sometimes songs. (Zach Weg)
Sister Sparrow & the dirty birds
“Sugar” is the latest single from Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds’ 2015 LP The Weather Below. The Brooklyn sextet dub themselves a “hard soul collective,” which Catskills-rooted frontwoman Arleigh Kincheloe fulfills ably with her warm, full-bodied vocals. Horns, slappy bass, and funky guitars coalesce behind her. (Zach Weg)
Soundbites I Hip-Hop
nyc roots Top 10 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts
1. CocoRosie 2. Citizen Cope 3. Hercules and Love Affair 4. Daniel Merriweather 5. American Authors 6. Antony and the Johnsons 7. Punch Brothers 8. Shilpa Ray 9. Emily King 10. Deer Tick
nyc Hip-Hop Top 10
Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts
1. A$ap Rocky 2. Flatbush Zombies 3. Wu-Tang Clan 4. NAS 5. Beastie Boys 6. Joey Bada$$ 7. Fabolous 8. Mark Ronson 9. Matisyahu 10. Lloyd Banks
St. Lucia-born emcee Chelsea Reject makes island-inflected hip-hop with a social conscience. “Gotta Shine,” for example, starts introspectively, then in a single “you” widens to subjects like impoverishment, oppression, and tragedy. The horn-sloped “Go” further ponders Chelsea’s purpose in a consumerist world by enjoining to fellow strivers. Her subjects are grand, but the overall sense is resolutely personal. (Zach Weg)
MCBC has come a long way since the days of playing live with soul band b.Funk. Six years out, his beat fetish on self-produced mixtapes both thumps and energizes, whilst lines like “Little do they know we about to go around the globe twice” show a serious longing to spread some wings. Better catch him now. (Jason Grimste)
Closed-back performance meets open-back sound.
K553 PRO CLOSED-BACK STUDIO HEADPHONES
› Lightweight over-ear design › Advanced closed-back technology › 50 mm transducer › Low impedance drivers › 2D-axis folding mechanism
© 2015 HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated. All rights reserved. AKG is a trademark of AKG Acoustics GmbH, registered in the United States and/or other countries. Features, specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice. www.akg.com
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Soundbites I Electronic
At just 23, NYC deejay Sajeeb Saha (better known as Jai Wolf) has blown up the electro scene. Skrillex recently name-checked him on Twitter, which means Saha is a secret no more. He does remixes, but it’s the solo tracks that really stand out. “Indian Summer” best showcases Wolf’s confluence of Bollywood and EDM, which die-hard ravers should have no problem being mystically woo’d by. (Sam O’Hara)
Although they’ve only released one track so far—a catchy little number titled “Perfect World”—Brooklyn’s newest synthpop duo have become a live favorite at clubs like Rough Trade and Bowery Ballroom. The single is four minutes of sparkling ‘80s-style production with a chorus that invites dancing and sing-along. More Secret Weapons recordings promised soon. (Patrick Wolff)
Mirror Kisses is the electro nom de plume of Brooklyn’s George Clanton, a young bloke blessed with that rare gift for picking good band names and having musical talent. Fittingly, the artist is in full control here, mixing walls of synth pads, detuning techniques, and snappy drum loops to create rich arrangements for dreamy titles like “Wonder Gently” and “Sleeping in the Hallway.” (Paolo De Gregorio)
nyc electronic Top 20 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts
Songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Cat Martino has a new project called Stranger Cat. The collaboration (with producer Sven Britt) recently yielded In the Wilderness, a debut LP the songwriter says came after a period of disillusionment with the music biz. Already a collaborator of Sufjan Steven and Sharon Van Etten, Martino pushes past indie-folk to emerge darker and more soulful. (Paolo De Gregorio)
the deli Summer 2015
The Fantastic Plastics
Newcomers the Fantastic Plastics aren’t afraid to admit their debt to Midwestern forebears Devo. (The Plastics hail from Chicago.) They’ve actually played as a Devo cover act, something even Future Punx can’t boast, and their forthcoming album is titled Devolver. The FP’s original material also preserves that techno-punk aesthetic, whilst transforming it into fist-pumping ad slogans for the 21st century cynic. (Paolo De Gregorio)
1. Gramatik 2. Neon Indian 3. Ryn Weaver 4. Nicolas Jaar 5. Elliot Moss 6. Battles 7. Pierce Fulton 8. LCD Soundsystem 9. Com Truise 10. Computer Magic 11. Jai Wolf 12. Tei Shi 13. Lonshi 14. Betty Who 15. Ratatat 16. Santigold 17. VÉRITÉ 18. MS MR 19. Levon Vincent 20. Chrome Sparks
For some songwriters, good melodies are simply not enough; it’s not how their creative process works. Some artists are compelled rather by complex sequences of original sounds, where arranging is the starting point of what eventually becomes a song. 21-year-old Elliot Moss belongs to this category. For him, sound design has as much importance as lyrics, chords, or structure, making Moss the perfect interview subject for The Deli’s obsession with technology, gear, and the creative process. Let’s get going...
spend working up a song is fussing with sounds.
What most inspired you on your debut album? I try to learn new things as much as I can. It feels good to keep my brain going, even if it’s something unrelated to music. As for lyrics, they usually focus on one experience/thing for me. One line that really hits home can be enough to fuel the rest.
What synths do you use in recordings? I built a modular Oberheim SEM rig that’s been a big part of things recently. Also love my Tetra from Dave Smith. That’s on “Slip” and “I Can’t Swim.” Hmm. The Teenage Engineering OP-1 is great; its CV outs with the oplab are inspiring with the modular. Love my Casio SK-1; Cheetah MS6 is a favorite for lush pads and squeaky stuff; Moog Little Phatty for bass quite often. I also have a TC Helicon Voicelive 3 that I’m using to process all of my vocoder harmonies. That’s a very useful tool. How much time do we have?
How long does it take you to realize you’ve turned one of those sketches or nuggets into a full song? I have folders and folders of stuff that is either half-done or in the garbage. Hundreds of songs probably. That’s a hard question because a lot plays into it. For me there are ideas that carry themselves into the safe zone, where they’re sung and mostly tracked. That’s when I can back up and look at it from afar. However, sometimes that new perspective results in me canning it. Then there are things on the back-burner that I find and say, ‘Hey wait, I can grab this and that and reanimate parts of this tune,’ so to speak. Bottom line is, if I can come back to something in a couple weeks and I’m still digging it, then I can feel good about it. What are the pros and cons of electronic music—meaning samplers, loops, and whatnot? I spend a lot of time playing with noises, pedals, synths, plugins, etc. Writing time is spent cashing in on all that playtime. Hardly any of the time that I
Favorite guitar pedals? Red Panda stuff is a new favorite. Patrick uses the Particle and Devin and I both use Context reverb… the RAT distortion. My bass player Evan’s Pigtronix Echolution II is really nice. The Boss SD-1... the Analog Man delay is fantastic! Also love the Eventide Timefactor with the little remote.
(paolo de gregorio)
Elliot Moss’ Gear
David Smith Instruments Tetra
Full interview on Delicious-Audio.com
Red Panda Particle
the deli Summer 2015
Photo: Grace Bush-Vineberg
Soundbites I Psychedelia
Lucas W. Nathan’s purposefully campy project Jerry Paper hit Europe recently in support of a new LP: Carousel. Don’t let the quirk factor fool you. As with Stephin Merritt, close attention to Nathan’s lyrics yields stern critiques of religion and politics. Couplets such as “My inner life/Is just a silly mutation” both deflect a serious intention and let it go down easier. (Leora Mandel)
Dream-rock quartet Whitewash had a busy 2015. Bi-weekly gigs at Brooklyn Bazar (RIP), Cameo, and Baby’s All Right were juggled between a pair of new singles—“Tentacle” and “Member”—both of which ended up on Shibboleth, the band’s sonic trip through neoslacker Brooklyn that doubles as surrealist adventure story. (Brian Chidester)
NYC welcomes L.A.’s Dirty Dishes to the land of black leather. Active since 2010, they remain on the noisier side of neo-psych (think Sonic Youth, Breeders). New single “Red Roulette” and album opener “Thank You Come Again” are two spatial noise-rockers that compliment the band’s mellower, more ambient side on tunes like “Androginous Love Song” and “Dan Cortez.” (Paolo De Gregorio)
nyc psychedelia top 20 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts
BK/Queens quintet Steady Sun recently unleashed a pair of new singles: “Lover Knows” and “Irises.” The former is a waltzing, guitar-twined psych track, full of dreamy intonations; the latter is slightly faster, indulging in lush ‘60s-style arrangements and sleepy melodies that turn wonderfully chaotic around the chorus. A sophomore LP Flora drops this fall. (Zach Weg)
the deli Summer 2015
Psychic Slack is the first EP by shoegaze quartet Chimes, who had a previous single called “Wipe Out” and label their sound “slackedelia.” Lyrics like “I don’t care what you say/Doesn’t matter anyway” confirm the apathy, despite a wall of angry guitar feedback that says otherwise. Both tracks, in fact, are world-weary and dramatically arranged. (Sam O’Hara / Dave Cromwell)
1. Mac DeMarco 2. son lux 3. TV on the Radio 4. Panda Bear 5. Real Estate 6. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart 7. Jennie Vee 8. DIIV 9. School of Seven Bells 10. TEEN 11. Weekend 12. The Raveonettes 13. The Antlers 14. Sharon Van Etten 15. Sunflower Bean 16. Whitewash 17. Beverly 18. Chimes 19. Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk 20. White Magic
Over the past four years, Brooklyn songwriter/producer Lorely Rodriguez— aka Empress Of—has transformed her dubstepy brand of dream-pop into something more epic and avant-garde. Two well-received EPs were released in 2012-13, though a self-produced debut album has been slower in coming. It is now preceded by Empress’s pair of spacey electro-pop singles: “Kitty Kat” and “Water Water.” The Deli recently sat down with the artist to discuss her creative process. Has your source, or sources, of inspiration changed much from the early releases? When I first started making music as Empress Of, I was consumed by sounds and textures. Making my debut album was much more about telling my story. I wanted to become a better songwriter so I could get my point across through words, not just sounds. As a one woman operation, where do you go for feedback? My friends have strong opinions and whenever I play them my music they are very honest in how they feel about it. I really like watching people’s reactions to hearing my songs or demos for the first time. I try to sense whether it impacts them or not. What is it that ignites that initial spark for one of your songs? Most of the time it’s a loop. I make a loop and then turn the mic on and let whatever melodic ideas come out. I do everything simultaneously: produce, write, arrange, rough mix, fake master, bounce, send to manager, send to friends, get shitty email, open session again, change arrangement, change melody, re-bounce. What’s the most challenging aspect of recording? I think trying to replicate the energy of a demo is the hardest part for me. When polishing a production or a vocal take, there’s always this feeling of “getting it right” or “making it perfect,” but that isn’t always what the track needs. Is there one instrument that has become kind of a signature on your new record? There are a couple. I love tuned [Roland] 808s for bass and hand claps. I
also love synth trumpet lead sounds and really quick LFOs on synth pads. I’ve been using a lot of stuff like that. I use the Native Instruments Maschine [for] most of my bass and drum sounds. What’s the key to translating programmed music to a live setting? It took me two years to figure out the best way to do it. I use Ableton for my live set. I bounce out almost every single sound from my record so my bandmates can play it on sample pads. It still allows for the live feel of having a person play something in time without the lag or risk of trying to use a bunch of vsts I recorded my record with. You also remix, right? What do you get out of remixing other people’s music? Really liking the song makes it fun. Getting stems for tracks is always fun too. It’s like seeing a song with all its clothes off. (paolo de gregorio)
Empress Of’s Gear
Full interview on Delicious-Audio.com
Universal Audio Apollo Twin DUO
the deli Summer 2015
Cover | Feature
Luis Del Valle
It Takes Two
How Buscabulla Captured Indie New York’s Heart (and Body) Written by Ben Apatoff | Photo by Nosotrus
“Nuyorica” has been the phonetic descriptor of a hybrid New York/Puerto Rican sound for over five decades now. “Buscabulla”—Puerto Rican slang for “troublemaker”—is the genre’s latest crossover fare. As troublemakers and expats of Puerto Rico, the dream-pop duo has generated a wave of recent underground buzz on the basis of one stellar EP and a host of hip-shaking live gigs. Comprised of partners Raquel Berrios (vocals, keyboards) and Luis Alfredo Del Valle (guitar, bass), Buscabulla emigrated separately. The commonwealth meanwhile descended into an abyss of tax hikes and repressive spending cuts, seeking to thwart its now $72-billion debt. Berrios—a striking chanteuse with a knack for eye-catching outfits—prefers to describe her homeland in social rather than political terms: “Nice weather year ‘round, beaches and lots of family.” The social scene in Puerto Rico, Berrios recalls, was tiny compared to NYC. Her mother was born in the Bronx and her greatgrandmother owned a dress shop in NYC during the 1940s, though the family returned to Puerto Rico after the ‘60s. Berrios came to Brooklyn eight years back, after completing a Master’s at RISD in textile design. Del Valle says he grew up playing music in bands with best friends, then “came to New York when that fell apart.” He’s originally from Ponce; Berrios is from Trujillo Alto. They met in NYC four years ago. “I was in a folk/punk band,” recalls Berrios, “with my friends when I first met Luis.” She asked him for help finding a drum set and he offered his own snare and cymbals. “I bought the rest of the set,” she laughs, “and ended up asking him if he could be our drummer.” Berrios says she was also working on a side project at the time. “Most of it was weird garage-band demos, with acoustic guitar and samples.” In short order, Berrios and Del Valle started dating and turned her demos into proper songs. Berrios is now a professional textile designer, while Del Valle freelances as a tech consultant and software trainer. Together they create haunting, unpredictable avant-pop—a kind of Spanish language take on the Cocteau Twins, often extended into new
wave salsa jams. Their Kitsuné EP (2014) was produced by Devonté Hynes of Blood Orange and Test Icicles. Echoes of Swedish electro duo the Knife also mark Buscabulla’s minor hit “Métele.” It’s rhythmic shifts blend naturally into the EP’s cinematic closer, “Sono,” where employs a tin whistle loop floats underneath Berrios’ casual, breathy vocals. Adaptability and perseverance have become more prescient mantras for the duo, however, as they now have a one-yearold son, Charly. “It’s not impossible,” Berrios remarks, “but everything has changed.” Still, work, a new baby, and the normal wear-and-tear of city life has not quelled Buscabulla’s enthusiasm for self-expression. The duo also bank on a simple ingredient they see lacking in the current indie landscape: “We make music in Spanish,” Berrios says, laying emphasis on the sweltering Latin sentiment otherwise missing without them. “That makes us different.” Eso es todo? The couple say all of the songs for Buscabulla’s upcoming album were written after Charly’s birth. They hope to have it, along with another EP, out by year’s end. “I think these songs are more emotional,” confirms Berrios. “I’ve been experimenting a lot with my voice.” That voice—a smoky instrument that stars in any of the band’s arrangements—shatters language barriers and wins audiences over easily in Buscabulla’s live performances. They recently played Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn and Santos Party House in Manhattan, also finding time to open for Portland indie rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra at the Warsaw. What most in the media want to know, however, is how the band achieved such a mature sound on their very first outing? Berrios cites Latin American pop star Iris Chacón and Soda Stereo frontman Gustavo Cerati as primary influences; Del Valle prefers more mainstream rock, like Oasis’ ‘90s breakthrough (What’s the Story) Morning Glory. “I like people that do a little bit of everything,” he admits. “Todd Rundgren, Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye, Thom Yorke.” Regardless the influence, Buscabulla’s blend has that special alchemy that is only found under certain conditions: the ups-and-downs of romance, the adjustment of a new city, and, probably, just a little luck. d
the deli Summer 2015
State of the Scene | New Latino Alternative
Outra Vez! “Once again!” Latino Rock is back! Did it ever really go away? Despite the recent wave of racist musings from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, New York City has a long and proud history of Hispanic culture. Musically-speaking, Juan Tizol’s inimitable valve trumpet on Harlem kingpin Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” (1937) and Chano Pozo’s sweltering conga-drums on Dizzy Gillespie’s definitive “Manteca” (1947) left Latin imprints all over war-era popular music. The hybrid Puerto Rican/Cuban rhythms that made up ‘60s boogooloo stompers like “Watermleon Man” by Mongo Santamaria and “El Watusi” by Ray Baretto set the stage for the eventual socio-political mix of Bronx-born salsa god Willie Colón. “Nuyorican” was the buzz-word of that ‘70s explosion which saw Colón pair with luminaries like Celia Cruz and Ruben Blades for a series of landmark LPs. Traditional Latino music (cumbia, flamenco, rhumba, salsa, samba) is still a standard of neighborhoods across the five boroughs. What interests us at The Deli, however, is the new wave of alternative Latin rock, which we’ll briefly run-down here.
The son of Ecuadorean immigrants, Helado Negro plays a special brand of bass-heavy Spanglish pop, synthesized from the pixie dust of dreams. His restrained vocal delivery underlines the music’s cool repose, especially on latest single “Young Latin and Proud,” which moves in equal parts slouch and swagger. Empress Of—the project of another Brooklyn-based Honduran-American, Lorely Rodriguez—shares many of the dreamy dispositions of her contemporary, though it’s also suffused with krautrock’s smart minimalism and EDM’s driving four-on-the-floor rhythms. Comparisons to Bjork, Sinead O’Connor, and St. Vincent point to her penchant for fierceness and experimentation.
Salt Cathedral Oom Velt
Balancer is the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Colombia/Puerto Rico act that keeps things resolutely upbeat. Their latest work could easily find a home amongst the airy electro sounds that float through Sofia Coppola’s delicious indie pictures. Soaring vocals and precise percussion compliment the band’s pronounced Latin lilt, whilst a shimmering guitar/keyboard interplay keeps the songs decidedly new wave. The music of Salt Cathedral sits nicely between the playfulness of Balancer and the ethereality of Empress Of. The Columbian two-piece saw their twitchy pop anthem “Move Along” pass 2 million plays on Spotify recently. “Everything I do is full of love” remains the song’s definitive line, which singer Juliana Ronderos croons casually in her sweet, silky soprano, championing the wounded lover’s yen for passion and survival.
Los Crema Paraiso El Debut
Los Crema Paraiso is one of the more swinging current alt-Latino bands. Their latest album, De Pelicula, shows incredible range, containing within its swift-moving tracklist a beguiling flamenco-laced cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Jose Luis Pardo, the band’s guitarist, describes their music as “a bit like a Polaroid of the country we grew up in.” As photos go, it’s more double-exposure—the image of Venezuela as they were raised, superimposed by contemporary NYC. The Queens-based M.A.K.U. Soundsystem blends funk, punk, and Afro-Columbian rhythms to create a propulsive live energy typified by 2012’s M.N.D. Music Never Dies. They may be the closest thing to a modern-day Santana too, mixing salsa beats with a more epic, psychedelic jamming technique. The truth, however, is that tons of young local talent start out playing traditional music. Who’s to say when or how a taste for underground textures might filter through? (Emilio Herce)
making the world a better sound ing place. 22
the deli Summer 2015
M.A.K.U. Soundsystem M.N.D. Music Never Dies
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Feature | The Biz
the deli Summer 2015
The Shape of Things to Come
Custom Gearmakers in the 21st Century Written by brian chidester | illustration by Rob corradetti
It was Arthur C. Clarke who once said something like, “A technology advanced enough will, to the uninitiated, be indistinguishable from magic.” Now I don’t know where he actually said it, but the quote inevitably comes to mind whenever I’m surrounded by too many wires or spare parts. You see, I’m a writer and Ken Butler is a wizard. Or at least that’s how he appears to me amidst his one hundred-plus custom-made instruments that fill an entire industrial loft in Williamsburg. I was first introduced to Butler’s work by Deli scribe Jake Saunders, who was nearly uncontainable when describing the collection Butler hand-crafted over the past three decades. We discussed other custom gear-makers in New York City and pretty soon realized there must be something in the water to engender such eccentric, engineering-minded aesthetes. Kooks is actually what they are and you probably know a few by name. Let’s take stock. Following the debut of the theremin in NYC in 1928, its inventor—Leon Theremin—stuck around to work with California techguru Henry Cowell in the creation of the Rhythmicon, sometimes referred to as the first drum machine. Experimentation of this type ran high in the post-war years and the so-called “Music for Magnetic Tape” project began in 1951; it featured avant-garde luminaries like John Cage, David Tudor, and Milton Feldman, all of whom were interested in found sounds and tape manipulation. Outside the establishment (but running alongside the Magnetic Tape Group) was a pair of self-taught musicians ignored in their own day, though now considered seminal: Moondog and Bruce Haack. Moondog’s Trimba—a triangular wooden box with a small cymbal fastened to the front—was just the kind of primitive invention that helped realize his unique snake-time rhythm. Haack was more prolific, creating hundreds of instruments from simple bags of hardware junk he’d bought for a dollar. Besides handheld theremins, homemade vocoders, and custom synthesizers, Haack’s best-known invention was the Peopleodian—a magnetic contraption that plays music when the user rubs his or her hands over another human being. Haack also assisted Raymond Scott
in the preparation of the latter’s Electronium for use on Motown recordings of the early ‘70s. By that time, the Silver Apples—contemporaries of NYC protopunk bands like the Godz and Velvet Underground—had developed the Simeon: a set of ten oscillators mounted to a primitive plywood deck. It gave their eponymous debut album of 1968 its eerily contemporary sound. Laurie Anderson’s late ‘70s tape-bow violin was a much-publicized custom instrument in its day, employing a traditional horsehair bow to run up against a mounted piece of magnetic tape. Around the same time, Ken Butler began making his own hand-crafted instruments. Originally from Portland, OR, Butler moved to NYC during the ‘80s and hit the ground running as a painter and assemblage artist. “Music,” he says, “was a side thing.” Butler found objects on the streets, in alleyways and dumpsters, and had a knack for re-assembling them into pun-like sculptures that resembled classic stringed instruments. His first was made from an old hatchet, which Butler outfitted with three violin strings and a chin rest, calling it, simply, “Axe Violin.” “It wasn’t meant to be played,” laughs the artist, noting the sharp-end of the tool being where the violinist would normally place the instrument against their neck. Through the years, Butler’s instruments became more functional, though no less obtuse, and often still potentially hazardous. At his studio, he plugs in a guitar made of an old steel tennis racket and other assorted nuts and bolts, playing a bit of ‘60s electric blues. In the late ‘90s, Butler took a number of his hybrid instruments into the studio to record the decidedly world music Voice of Anxious Objects LP—released on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. The artist says he makes no attempt at “weird music” and that synthesizers don’t interest him at all. Butler still considers himself a visual artist, even when his instruments are sometimes playable (and often employed by outside artists). He talks knowingly of Picasso’s cubist guitar collages, the ergonomics of stringed instruments, and the way guitars mimic the human form. Butler’s favorite word is “bricolage,” a French term for constructing new
the deli Summer 2015
things out of old elements, which the artist says is an overly-simplified English translation. The incongruities around his studio begin to mount: an old laptop computer is flattened out to make a guitar body, mounted to a neck, then stringed (it doesn’t play). Elsewhere, there’s a guitar body made of old lawnmower parts. Some flat works—denim jeans and newspaper cutouts glued to foam-core—are not playable at all, despite being shaped, inevitably, like guitars. They push the very definition of what an instrument can be and everything for Butler leads back to the guitar, which leads eventually to the body. Yet if his work is obsessed with how far forms can stretch, Brian Dewan is more concerned with what instruments symbolize. “The power of the genie is in its confinement,” wrote poet Richard Wilbur during the late ‘60s and artists like Dewan typically boil everything down to the emblematic. “We expect instruments to be standardized,” says the artist from his home in Catskill, about an hour and a half northwest of the city. Dewan left Brooklyn recently after 20 years, though he maintains a gallery relationship with Pierogi 2000 in Williamsburg, where the artist says he mounts a new exhibition every two or so years. He exhibited the Dewanatron in a pair of shows at the gallery during the aughts, which, says Dewan, were set up as interactive installations. “Because they weren’t standardized instruments,” he recalls, “I knew visitors to the gallery would monkey with the controls and that noise would be a constant.” Dewan thinks this openness had less to do with the musicality of the crowd and more to do with the fact that there was no learning curve. “People weren’t shy because there was no standard instrument to learn.” Dewan says his first custom gear piece was an electric zither, which he’d worked on out of necessity rather than a desire to engineer. “I wanted a 100-year-old instrument to be played through a fuzz box,” he says flatly. We talk a bit about antiquity and the many inventions that didn’t become standardized. I quote T.S. Eliot’s dictum, “History has many cunning passages,” to which Dewan counters with the story of Thaddeus Cahill’s Telharmonium of 1897, possibly the first synthesizer. Dewan becomes noticeably animated. “Mark Twain wrote about it,” he enthuses. “The Hammond organ may have even stolen the patent!” During the early ‘90s, Dewan began collecting analog synthesizers
the deli Summer 2015
“because they were considered junk by then, or held in contempt.” He’d already touched many during his years at Oberlin’s Conservatory of Music. The invention of the Dewanatron came when Brian and his cousin, Leon Dewan, teamed up to fix an unworking homemade synth that a friend had left behind. Nowadays, Leon builds the electronics, Brian the consuls. “Dewanatron” is not a solitary custom synth either, but an entire line of oneoff, hand-made instruments. “It’s a company name,” says Dewan cheekily, acknowledging the conceptual debt to John Lydon’s Public Image Ltd. At the same time Dewanatron was developing, the artist met Julian Koster of NYC underground band Chocolate USA. Dewan says of the friendship: “We were just birds of a feather.” Koster went on to join Neutral Milk Hotel in 1996 and started his own Elephant 6 solo project, the Music Tapes, whose 1st Imaginary Symphony for Nomad (1999) treated noninstruments—vacuum cleaners, old wooden chairs—as inherently musical. Koster talked on NPR a few years ago of inanimate objects having anthropomorphic personalities... if you really listen. Dewan toured with Neutral Milk Hotel and contributed artwork to their landmark In the Aeroplane Over the Sea album; his interest, however, differs slightly from Koster’s in that Dewan, rather than seeking magic from the azoic, prefers to take engineering to its aesthetic extreme. His last exhibition at Pierogi (November 2014) was a mad-hatter’s examination of soda pop, replete with test-tubes, beakers, sound effects, and drawings of outsized tongues that recalled both the Rolling Stones logo and the visuallyoverloaded carnival fun house. The A sampling of Ken Butler’s “Hybrid Instruments.” Dewanatron instruments are similarly disorienting, the cumulative effect being to ask: ‘How did Coca Cola or Casio Synthesizers come to represent dependability and standardization?’ Other modern gear-wizards are less conceptual in their creations. Take Aron Sanchez of BK indie darlings Buke and Gase, for instance. His “Gass 2” is a hybrid guitar and bass that sounds strangely thick, whilst remaining fuzzy and tonally vibrant. Sanchez says he wanted to “replicate how Aston Barrett sounded on old Bob Marley records” and to get that tone took a classical guitar body with a bolt-on neck, then attached two bass- and four guitar-strings. The hope was for a simple bass/guitar combo that a single person could play on-stage. Instead, says Sanchez, “it became something else in the process.” Pat Spadine is the founder of the Ashcan Orchestra. Like Ken Butler, his interest is in transforming the throwaway into new forms of custom
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Custom Dewanatron gear: the Keyed Melody Gin (left) and the Swarmatron (right), created by Brian and Leon Dewan.
instrumentation. Unlike Butler, however, Spadine goes for functionality and is unapologetic about his love of odd sounds and combinations of weird tonalities. Spadine lives in Bushwick and moonlights as a bartender (“to keep the supplies budget in good standing”). He is responsible for Ashcan titles like “Scream Piece #2 ‘Uh-Oh’” and “Bell #13.2,” which have a sardonic, Zappa-like quality in both epithet and sound. Spadine, the most scientific-looking of all the customizers I met for this piece—with his shaggy
red/blonde mane and thick-rimmed glasses—epitomizes the outsider approach to instrumentation. Those of us drawn to it already have a penchant for the funky and the stylized; artists such as Spadine, Dewan, and Butler, however, seem driven more by necessity than the need to amuse. Vices become habits and artistic frustrations are often transformed into advantages. The combined sound of NYC’s custom gear is the sound of a city still transforming itself. As the saying goes: “One man’s trash is another’s treasure.” d
COLD BLOOD CLUB NEW ALBUM “TEAR DOWN THE MAPS” COMING SOON FEATURING THE DEBUT SINGLE “GHOSTS” (9/22/15)
the deli Summer 2015
The Compressor that started it all.
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Built by the same guys that invented the MXR Dyna Comp back in the 70s, the Red Box is a true classic and since its introduction in 1976 has been heard on countless landmark recordings.Known best for its crisp, percussive attack as well as its lush, rich sustain while maintaining the natural, clear tone of your guitar.
Built by the same guys that invented the MXR phase 90 back in the 70s, this handwired classic features select resistors paired with handmatched components to achieve the same smooth and warm modulation as the original. . . the result? Gobs of thick, rich, swirling tone.
Built by the same guys that invented the MXR Distortion Plus back in the 70s, this classic handwired tank of a box delivers a wide range of sonic distortion from a subtle, warm, tube-driven tone, to searing hot overdrive, with that vintage distortion, and classic tone you grew up with.
This power house of a pedal couldn’t be simpler, one knob dials your volume boost from 1 to 11, which takes you from a gentle increase in volume and gain for those subtle solos, all the way to eleven giving you as much boost as you can handle!
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With three pre programmable attack speeds, you can switch from a super fast, thumping grab, to a long and lush compressed sustain, with plenty of adjustment in between. The OC BASS comes with adjustable input and outputs, so you can easily tailor the exact amount of punch and sustain you desire.
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The Stompbox Exhibit’s Essential Accessories Stompbox Exhibit - September 19 & 20 Main Drag Music, Williamsburg The Stompbox Exhibit is, of course, all about guitar pedals. But it couldn’t happen without some crucial “ancillary” equipment provided by our sponsors. Here’s a list of these helpful instruments and devices:
Truetone 1 Spot Pro Visual Sound, the Spring Hill, TN manufacturer of the ubiquitous small power supplier for pedals 1 Spot, is now called Truetone. To celebrate the news, the company unveiled two big sisters to the 1 Spot family: the CS7 and the CS12. These will be powering the Stompbox Exhibit’s mixed boards. The brick-style PSUs use the same technology, but take things to the next level, via isolated inputs, worldwide input voltage and 9Vdc, 12 Vdc, and 18 Vdc options.
AKG K553 Austrian manufacturer AKG makes some of the most sought-after, high-end studio microphones and headphones. They will provide a pair of their K553 PRO closed-back studio headphones for each of the display pedalboards at our Stompbox Exhibit. With their 50mm drivers, the K553 provide a strong, yet accurate and distinguished bass response as needed for monitoring and mastering.
George L’s Cables Cables are an essential link between all the components involved in any audio setup and Nashvillebased George L’s transparent-sounding, high-end guitar cables are the first choice of many pro guitarists.
D’Addario NYXL Strings On top of that, George L’s created the first high-end cable that doesn’t require stripping or soldering,
easily allowing any musician to customize its size or create it from scratch.
Atomic Amps Amplifire Born of a collaboration between guitar modelers/designers Atomic Amps and Studio Devil, the Amplifire is a powerful amp tone and multi-effects pedal. It is also sponsoring (and amplifying) the Stompbbox Exhibit’s mixed boards (i.e. boards of pedals organized by type of effect). Among its many features, Amplifire can load third party speaker impulses, faithfully recreating the experience of playing through the greatest guitar amps of all-time.
Long Island string manufacturer D’Addario last year launched a new line of guitar strings that proudly features the letters “NY” in its name: NYXL. The set represents a complete redesign from the ground up that reportedly allows the new product to be stronger, more durable, more easily bendable, and less likely to go out of tune than the regular nickel-plated steel string.
Stompblox The modular pedalboard concept introduced by Stompblox is perfect for those guitarists who can’t help but keep adding pedals to their chain. At 12.5” wide by 8.5” deep, the basic stompbox unit is perfect for a 3 pedal starter setup. Add a second unit, attach it to the other one on either side, and you get space for 3-4 more pedals (and so on and on). A series of other attachable elements provide guitarists with an innovative, flexible and functional format.
Stompbox Exhibit Edition!
Try these and hundreds of other pedals in the headphones at Main Drag Music on September 19-20.
Electro-Harmonix 22500 Dual Stereo Looper • A powerful new looper by the original inventors of loopers. • Dual stereo loops with independent or locked loop lengths. • Parallel or sequential looping for layering or verse/chorus switching. • 16 built-in drum loops, plus reverse and octave functions, quantize mode, and mic input.
• The first of a new DSP-powered line of pedals, it includes both digital and analog features, affording infinite settings. • Includes expression and CV input for controlling and modulating bit, rate, filter, Q, and combinations of these settings. • Pre-amp control for input gain/ attenuation, bit-rate reduction control from 16bit to 2bit and sample rate reduction control from 48kHz to 300Hz. • Two-pole bandpass/lowpass filter + Q control for bandwidth.
T-Rex Replicator Analog Tape Echo
• A real tape delay echo pedal!!! • Like vintage tape units, the actual magnetic tape will wear down in due time, but is easily replaceable. • Tap functionality and expression controls for easy to use on stage.
VFE Yodeler Delay-Verb
• A delay and reverb into one compact box, with independent mix-level controls for each. • An internal switch lets you choose if the reverb is in series (reverberates each delay repeat) or parallel and independent from the delay. • This lets you use the Yodeler as a standard delay or reverb, as a reverberating delay, or as a reverb with infinite trails and predelay control.
DigiTech Obscura Altered Delay • Four delay types include: analog, tape, lo-fi, and reverse. • “Tone” and “Degrade” controls allow user to add character, darkening, degrading, and distorting the effect on the fly. • “Delay/Hold Repeat” feature adds simple looper functionality. • Tap Tempo mode with Beat Divisions and a Delay Tails On/Off switch round out the features.
Strymon Dig Dual Digital Delay
• Two simultaneous, integrated delays emulate boxes from the ‘80s (12-bit and ADM delays) up to today’s high-end resolution. • Five rhythmic subdivisions and three dual-delay routing options facilitate the creation of anything from intricate patterns to spaced-out reverb-like sounds. • Three modulation depth options allow for richer tones.
Source Audio Vertigo
• Boasts three distinct tremolo effects: Fender amp-style opto trem (normal); ‘60s Fender Super’s “Vibrato” effect (harmonic); and swampy “bias wiggle” of early tube bias modulation (BIAS). • Shape knob allows you to change the LFO wave shape from square to sine to saw tooth. • Neuro Mobile App “save/upload” option for presets + access to additional parameters (EQ, wet/dry mix, tap tempo, stereo separation). the deli Summer 2015
BIG EAR n.y.c. ELLE
• An ever-so-slightly modulated reverb pedal that can cover anything from a spring-esque slap-back to a huge-sounding hall reverb. • Three knob layout allows to easily dial in inspiring settings in seconds. • The light modulation adds dimension and character.
Henretta Moody Blue Reverb • A tiny reverb that provides a wide range of sounds with three internal trimmers: dry mix, wet mix, and decay time. • Slightly larger than the original no-knobber line, but sporting top-mounted jacks for improved space savings.
Old Blood Noise Procession Reverb
Strymon Big Sky
• A peculiar mix of haunting reverb and three modulation settings (flange, filter, or tremolo). • Produces anything from simple reverb to complex sci-fi filtery echo weirdness. • Hold switch locks in and sustain whatever note is being played, letting the dry signal through.
• A “do-it-all” and incredibly organicsounding reverb pedal. • Twelve different reverb types (called “machines”), from “Room” and “Plate,” to more intriguing sounding “Bloom,” “Cloud,” and “Magneto.” • All the important reverb settings are directly accessible through dedicated knobs. Five other knobs let you control deeper settings. • Three footswitches allow preset navigation and special effects when held down, like freeze and sustain.
Walrus Audio Bellwether
Analogman ARDX20 • True analog delay with 650ms of delay time, no power-robbing digital chips. • Two identical sets of controls (time, feedback, and level) for two separate delay settings. • Effects loop jack allows running various effects on the wet delay signal only. Delay time jack allows expression pedal control or use AMAZE0 controller for tap tem.
the deli Summer 2015
Ibanez Echoshifter ES2
• A 30ms-1000m delay with tap tempo. • Combines analog sound quality with digital-like flexibility. • Oscillation mode adds 15dB of gain to the feedback loop for psychedelic effects. • Feedback control, pitch modulation, and depth control function.
• A remake of this coveted pedal discontinued in 1984, with extra switchable sound modes and greater versatility. • Standard mode faithfully recreates the sound of the original DM-2 20300ms deay. • Custom mode instantly changes the character to a cleaner analog tone with over twice the available delay time.
• Bucket brigade 1000ms delay pedal with tap tempo with seven knobs. • Offers warm repeats, a la Boss DM2, or brightened up ones with the tone control for more pronounced rhythmic delays. • Analog Chorus Engine manipulates the depth and rate of the chorus applied to the trails. • Four tap division options and expression control offer extra flexibility.
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Bearfoot FX Model Hs • The last incarnation of the high-gain Model H Overdrive/Distortion, where the “s” stands for “sparkle.” • Offers more low-gain, more overall headroom, and more amp-like tones than the original. • It produces compression from clean to speaker-like and great pick-related dynamics.
Port City Sahana Drive • Smooth drive with a great lowmid presence. • The tone control has a larger sweep and is noticeably more sensitive than other mid-gain overdrive pedals. • Use it in front of a clean amp, get great mid-gain overdrive to add harmonic complexity to any setup.
Wampler Plexi Drive Deluxe
• A pedal inspired by the sound of Plexi era Marshall amps. • Active three-band EQ, bass, and bright switches allow for deep tonal control and cabinet emulation. • Separate mid-focused, pregain boost helps push leads into overdrive.
Ibanez Mini Tube Screamer • Since it inspired a million other pedals, you may as well find a little spot for a mini-version of the original.
Main Ace FX One Shot
• Start with the gain knobs dialed back and groove out some soft, warm overdrive. • Or dime everything to 11 and crunch some killer distortion. • Click down the oscillation switch and get ready to get weird! • All controls are reactive and work together to weave some intriguing sounds.
TrueTone Jekyll & Hyde V3 • An update of the Visual Sound’s first true dual effect pedals, redesigned from scratch. • Distortion channel (a.k.a. “Hyde”) now includes a new bass knob and a new voice switch, which allows to choose between classic open distortion or a more saturated tone. • Overdrive channel (a.k.a. “Jekyll”) is now based on the Open Road pedal, but with added bass and clean mix knobs.
Amzel Cheshire Cat
• This radical overdrive features a unique means of adjustment whereby the filteronly affects the part of the soundwave which exceeds the distortion threshold, giving you the ability to design and tweak the distortion texture independently of the desired guitar tone.
Mod Kits DIY The Aggressor
• High gain distortion pedal kit that you need to build yourself. • True bypass, LED indicator, and a versatile tone control with a scoop/bump switch that shifts the mid-frequency response. • The distortion goes from subtle break-up to over-thetop at maximum gain.
the deli Summer 2015
Animal Factory Chemical Burn • A “vicious, brutal” octaveup fuzz. • Almost-faithful reproduction of the Shin-ei/Companion Superfuzz FY-6, with a few modern twists. • Not exactly subtle: it will turn your sweet boutique pickup output into a corrosive sonic blast.
Tomkat Violet Muffer
• A recreation on the Violet Ram’s Head big m-ff. • Mids heavy, crunchy, but smooth tone that cuts through. • “Lift” switch takes out the first pair of clipping diodes, adding beefier low-end.
SoloDallas The Schaffer Replica
• A recreation of the Schaffer-Vega Diversity System (SVDS), one of the first wireless systems used by electric guitarists. • Many legendary guitarists used that box for its tone coloring and boosting options. • The stompbox version recreates the circuit of the original, without wireless functionality.
the deli Summer 2015
LIC Pedals Professional MK II
• Based on the ‘60s British pedal Sola Sound Tonebender Professional MKII, one of the most sought-after fuzz pedals on the vintage market (and loved by Jimmy Page). • Recreates unparalleled thick, warm saturated sustain that is hard to beat. • Uses NOS germanium transistors and all the same part values as the original.
Tone Bakery Creme Brulee • A recreation of a legendary boost circuit, with a slight bump in the mid-range to make it extra creamy. • Set-it-and-forget-it kind of pedal, adds clean gain and warmth to your tone. • Lower noise level than the original, much lower price than it.
Eventide H9 • Simple interface for an incredibly powerful pedal that runs all of Eventide’s stompbox effects. • Fully controllable through one knob user interface. • Connects wirelessly to iPods, iPhones and iPads for creating and managing presets, live control, etc.
ProCo Fat Rat
• It gives you a choice between the original or a new MOSFET clipping circuit (smoother smoother upper midrange) • Stock/Fat switch lets you enhance the low res frequency response. • Support 9-18 volts for extra headroom, and sports a socketed op-amp, so that you can switch the chip.
Red Panda Particle
• A granular delay/pitch-shifting pedal that chops your signal into small grains and then does various strange, trippy, robot things to it. • Results range from radical pitch and delay modulation to shimmering repeats to stutter/glitch sounds.
Read about pedals on delicious-audio.com!
Whirlwind Orange Box Phaser • A simple one knob phaser: it’s all in the chewy, transparent sound. • An improvement on the original MXR Phase 90 (with which it shares the designer).
Neunaber Seraphim Mono Shimmer
• Combines the wet reverb with Neunaber’s own shimmer effect, taking the “choir of angels” sound to a new level. • You can switch on-the-fly between shimmer and reverb-only with a long-press of the footswitch, which is just like setting the Shim knob to 0, while a second long press sets it back to the knob position, without break in the effect. • Zero latency.
MOOG MF Chorus
• Flexible BBD-based time modulation pedal. • Mix switch shifts it into an ultra-thick, swirling analog chorus.
Electro-Faustus Guitar Disruptor
• Features a hybrid overdrive/ octave/oscillation pedal. • Massages and manipulates the signal with copious amounts of digital mayhem. • Not for the faint of heart (or Billy Joel fans).
Outlaw FX Vigilante Chorus
• Enhances your tone with a sparkling modulation effect. • From a subtle, ambient shimmer to more dramatic effects with pulsating tones. • Reacts equally well to rhythm chords and lead work, and can even be used for acoustic guitar.
Randall Bloq Noise Gate
• Dynamic noise gate pedal with threshold control and switchable input sensitivity for “loop” or “front-end” application. • True bypass, powered by 9v battery or Randall adapter.
• A flexible dynamic wah-style filter pedal for bass that allows to fine-tune your instrument’s EQ, depending on your needs. • Great to add some excitement to your percussive sound or liven up the bass runs. • Two voicing modes provide two different filter voices.
• Includes a transparent and versatile optical compressor for bass. • Three-way toggle for fast, slow and medium attack. • Limiter switch ideal for funk or other genres that require extreme control of the instrument’s dynamics.
the deli Summer 2015
TC Electronic Polytune Clip
• Takes modeling technology to the next level, accurately recreating the dynamic feel of tube amplifiers, not just their sonic fingerprint. • Features 45 amps, 30 cabs, 16 mics, and 70 effects, and also lets you load custom 1024/2048 cab impulse responses. • Extended routing options (inside and outside the box) are clearly displayed in the large LCD screen and can be edited hands-free via pedal edit mode. • Four freely-assignable effects loops: MIDI, CV/Expression, AES/EBU, S/PDIF, and Variax VDI integration. • Also available in a 3RU rack format.
• Ok, not a stomp box per se, but it saves space on your board! • Works with any guitar, from electric to acoustic to bass. • Lets you tune all the strings at once with +/-0.02 cents of tuning precision.
Main Drag Music
Guitarists in the NYC area, you may want to get to early on Saturday the 19th or Sunday the 20th for our Brooklyn Stompbox Exhibit (starting at 12pm). The reason? Because the show is beyond free... we’re actually giving you back some of your spending cash! Check out the list of accumulative discounts offered to attendees:
• $15 discount to the first 30 attendees who will be making a pedal purchase on each day of the show. • 5% discount (depending on the manufacturer) on all pedals participating in the show, throughout the weekend.
This should get you a darn good price on anything you are itching to buy. Careful though! Discounts only apply to models manufactured by companies present at the show!
Same Legendary Pedal... Same Legendary Tone. Ibanez knows your pedalboard real estate is valuable. Here’s a Tube Screamer made to help you manage that hallowed ground. Manufactured in Japan and measuring in at 1.5” wide by 3.875” long, the new TSMINI has all the featu features that have made the TS808 a legend, including Overdrive, Tone and Level controls, analog circuitry, and the legendary JRC4558 IC chip.