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the deli Issue #47

Vol. #2

Summer 2016

Stompbox Exhibit Issue!

the deli

p.6 Fresh Buzz p.8 Records of the Month

the magazine aboutthe emerging nyc scene bands everything about nyc music

Issue #47 Vol. #2 Summer 2016 Paolo De Gregorio Charles Newman Editor: Brian CHidester executive Editor: quang d. tran graphic designer: Kaz Yabe ( ) Cover photograph: Michael Mallette / DESIGN: michael zadick hip-hop editor: Jason Grimste (aka brokemc) Web Developers: mike levine Distribution Coordinator: Kevin Blatchford Contributing Writers: Ben Apatoff Francesca Baker JP Basileo Dave Cromwell Michael Haskoor Mike Levine Leora Mandel Sam Ohara Zachary Weg Editor In Chief / Publisher: Founder:

Ryan Dembinsky Mya Byrne Brandon Stoner Interns: Henry Solotaroff Webber John Honan Madeleine Grossman Olivia Sisinni The Kitchen:


The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC

The Deli Magazine is a trademark of The Deli Magazine, LLC, Brooklyn & Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2016 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.

p.10 State of the Scene

p.16 Cloud Becomes Your Hand

p.18 Tall Juan


Gotham’s Latest Wave of West Coast-Style Pop

Notes from the Editor The Deli is not a political magazine. Okay, sometimes—as in times of war, economic decline, or the latest election cycle— tensions run so high that art and music seem the only voice of reason left. I admit, as editor of this magazine, I’ve never shied away from the political side of music (and don’t intend to now when police violence towards African-Americans and Donald Trump’s bigotry are at a fevered pitch). In fact, with the annual Stompbox exhibit upon us, I can think of no better way to raise a ruckus about free politics than with a solid rack of effects pedals. Indeed, in the ancient Greek polis, the local ampitheater was often adjoined to the political house of delegation, with the arts expected to play a vital role in contemporary democracy. It was only later that high walls were erected around the centers of politics, and that art was cut off from the seat of power. Thereafter, music and theater were tasked with finding a more universal language that could divert the public’s eye from the specificities of the day. For this issue we have several interesting takes on that subject. On the one hand, there is cover act Cloud Becomes Your Hand, who are all about collectivism and using art and the institution to enact positive change. On the flip is Tall Juan, who tells our reporter Dave Cromwell that art is not to be topical, but rather neutral and entertaining. Perhaps the third feature in this issue—an overview of nu-surf music—can be the tiebreaker? Yet even there opinions vary wildly as to whether surf is the sound of summer and innocence, or a precursor to garage, psych, and punk-rock. You’ll just have to read it and, democratically-speaking, decide for yourself. Wherever you stand, we’re grateful it’s in our arena.

Stompbox Section Curated by Gearphoria

p.20 6 Pedælicious NYC Bands p.32 The Stompbox Exhibit’s Essential Accessories

Brian Chidester, Editor August 29, 2016

p.33 The Deli’s Pedalboard

The Stompbox Exhibit Edition 4

the deli Summer 2016

Photo: Shervin Lainez

Fresh Buzz | New Artists



Sofi Tukker


Margaret Glaspy

Photo: Ebru Yildiz


Sofi Tukker is the sobriquet of freshly-graduated couple Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern. Their 2015 single “Drinkee” went viral after appearing in an Apple Watch commercial. Then a handful of well-received live appearances last year opened the door to winter touring with the Knocks. Debut EP Soft Animals recently compiled every single to date, plus some bonus material. As in the past, the new stuff infuses sprightly techno with the polyrhythms of South America and mono-note vocals, oft whispered in sweet Portuguese. (Paolo De Gregorio)

The stylized vocals of Brooklyn-by-way-of-California singer/songwriter Margaret Glaspy warble, whisper, and growl, falling somewhere between Dave Matthews and Joanna Newsom. From this zygote, her raging girl-next-door posture seems an accurate reflection of the current mood in youth culture. Lyrics like “I’m a little drop/In a big fountain” and “I blend in and that’s fine” glamourize solipsism, even as the world around her crumbles. Taken from the song “Somebody to Anybody,” they also exemplify Glaspy’s yen for incongruity. (Mike Levine)


the deli Summer 2016




Maggie Rogers


The Lemon Twigs

Legend has it that Pharrell Williams stumbled upon Maggie Rogers at a recent NYU music seminar and found himself speechless. (One report had him shedding tears.) The early twentysomething’s debut—now removed from the internets—was a largely acoustic affair; two years on, Rogers submits “Alaska,” a fish-and-chips pop single that finds the singer/songwriter’s palette polished to a sheen. The Williams’ endorsement has apparently broadened her audience also: to the tune of ten million Spotify plays. (Paolo De Gregorio)

This Long Island teen brother duo is set for an exciting year, having recently signed with legendary British label 4AD. First single— “These Words” b/w “As Long As We’re Together”—is not merely post-modern mischief. It’s full of seventies cliché, the kind which elegizes funky guitars, prog synths, smooth choruses, and metallic band logos (e.g. Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden). In this case, a hypervigilant sensitivity to the past doesn’t detract, but feels freshly imbued by the spirit of youth. (Brian Chidester)

Records of the Month




1 Big Thief Masterpiece

Throughout Masterpiece, the not-so-humbly-titled debut from Brooklyn folk-rock quartet Big Thief, love braves through woe. Whether it’s meant to warm the cockles of astute listeners, singer Adrienne Lenker pushes each of the album’s twelve tracks to places both panoramic and raw. Its rollicking title song is guitar-trickled—rough and elegant— with soprano vocals that reach for muscle and end up vulnerable. Soulfulness follows on vivid tracks named after potential lovers, “Paul” and “Randy,” which tackle romance and the transience of time with the keen sense of hard-won wisdom. (Zach Weg)

2 Blasteroid Pretty Good EP

Despite their name, Blasteroid’s sound is as calm and composed as it is pitted by noise. Debut EP Pretty Good is filled with astute, no-frills arrangements—stops and starts which drift from pop to psych to nu-grunge. No pretense here, folks! Opener “Artie and the Mountain” may not move stones, but it still rides the kind of competent riff that made bands like Pavement indie gold standard. “Heater” bridles between classic pop and tension/release rock dynamics, whilst “Wet Dog” is all pub-rock chanting and cheap thrills. (John Honan)

3 Sleepies Natural Selection

After four years, Sleepies returns with a new ‘un—Natural Selection— released on Mirror Universe Tapes. It marks a definite shift for the band towards late ’60s British psych. They, like other contemporary acts that go for the caustic and inscrutable, toy with Barrett-esque melodies and tense extended soloing. “Chips Left” and “Genetic Cousins” both fill the sonic spectrum with fuzzy distorted guitars and obtuse lyrics; “All Over the Years” is reminiscent of Parquet Courts’ “Nu-Post-Punk”; while the delirious “Sky Chase” brims with the air of momentousness and power chords. (John Honan)


the deli Summer 2016




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State of the Scene | Surf Music


the deli Summer 2016

Gotham’s Latest Wave of West Coast-Style Pop written By

brian Chidester

On the final night of Northside 2016, Brian Wilson—erstwhile songwriter/arranger/production genius behind L.A.’s Beach Boys—performed his entire 1966 masterpiece, Pet Sounds, at McCarren Park in Brooklyn. The crowd, ranging from very young to elderly, and including patrons from the broadest spectrum of culture and subculture, confirmed what some have known for quite some time: that surf music—a vernacular style forged in early 1960s Southern California—has far outgrown its local wellspring. Yet harder still is detecting the layers of surf history embedded like sediment in contemporary underground music. It’s there, and you’d have heard it if you were at the recent gig by NYC’s High Waisted at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory, where the band offered an evening of sprightly dream-pop tunes, inflected by liberal helpings of reverbed surf guitar and go-go drums. How the larger sound evolved from pop culture gimmick to indie rock ingredient is a story fraught with intrigue—of which New York City and its surrounding suburbs played a small but vital role. In the beginning—back in the 1950s—there were surf films; documentaries that were screened in gymnasiums and rec-halls around Southern California beach towns. Their creators—John Severson, Greg Noll, Bud Browne, Bruce Brown—narrated the footage live and soundtracked it using an array of then-current records: jazz, traditional Hawaiian, rock instrumental.

A few, like the Torques, the Malibooz, and the Satans, recorded independent albums and singles. “Crash,” by the Creations on Top Hat Records, deploys a moody, reverb-drenched guitar, augmented by subtle rhythmic changes and wet-sounding colors that hang in dramatic suspension for its entire two-minute run. “Shifting Gears” (Vincent Records, 1965), by Beep Beep and the Road-Runners, is the kind of tight, one-take cruncher that surely grew out of repeated plays in the local teen nightclubs. A self-titled album by L.I.’s the Toads features both menacing instrumental clamour and crazy rat-fink sleeve art, each rivaling the best of California at the time. Whether anything of originality actually came from this scene hardly matters, as surf music on the East Coast was given little chance to succeed in its day. The reason being, remembers John Zambetti of the Malibooz, is “because NYC stations, unlike those in L.A., refused to play anything indie or not pre-programmed.” The Dolphins of Larchmont, NY came close with their Yorkshire Records 45 “Surfin’ East Coast,” which got some regional airplay, but never on WMCA, WINS, or WABC, the city’s top AM rock stations. Follow-up “Endless” made no waves and the boys moved to Texas to perform garage-rock.

By the early sixties, venue owners discarded the films altogether, replacing them with live bands who could mash up the sounds heard in these documentaries and get kids dancing. Soon there was a craze—a West Coast version of NYC’s Twist, dubbed the Surfer’s Stomp.

One local tune that did crossover was the Tradewinds’ “New York’s a Lonely Town (When You’re the Only Surfer Boy Around)” on Red Bird Records. It was a studio concoction, written by Brill Building ad-men Peter Andreoli and Vinnie Poncia; and though it would not be replicated, “Lonely Town” is as good a surf vocal record as anything by the Beach Boys or Jan & Dean.

The sixties being the great era of fads, it didn’t take long before surf music and the Surfer’s Stomp spread out—first to the Northwest, where the Ventures became momentarily a surf band, then to the Midwest (Bobby Fuller, the Astronauts, the Trashmen), and finally to the East Coast, where by the mid-sixties a bevy of new surf bands popped up along the Atlantic seaboard.

These days, the Long Island Sound continues to engender any number of instrumental surf bands, including the Aquatudes of Eastern Connecticut, who play occasionally at Otto’s Shrunken Head—a tiki-themed dive bar on E. 14th Street—and have even refashioned Brian Wilson’s flower-power anthem “Good Vibrations” into a guitar instrumental freakout.

In New York City, a young Lou Reed—before becoming the doyen of underground chic—was a songwriter-for-hire. Which meant he cranked out tunes to fit the latest pop trend, of which a half-dozen or so in 1964 were surf or hot rod singles (“Tiger in My Tank” being the best). Far better were the surf acts coming out of the Long Island Sound region.

According to Mike Rosado, founder of the North East Surf Music Association and member of CT surf band 9th Wave, “Surf instrumental music has no language barriers or age restrictions.” For him the continuance of the genre calls for some progression, though not at the risk of eclipsing the past—the “founding legends,” as he calls them.

the deli Summer 2016


Retro Surf Albums:

The Coffin Daggers Aggravatin Rhythms

The Recruders Stew

Baby Shakes Starry Eyes

“The sixties being the great era of fads, it didn’t take long before surf music spread to the East Coast, where by the mid-sixties a bevy of new surf bands popped up along the Atlantic seaboard.” Of the ideas controlling retro surf today, the basic one revolves around the war between the ancients and the moderns, which turns on the simple question of whether the old sound is superior to the new. Though that battle is a perennial one, it is more sharply articulated in some periods than others. Mike Rosado, having emerged from a hardcore nineties sensibility, remains ancient or purist in taste; a band like the aforementioned High Waisted runs more amorphous and modern. Many artists and fans agree with Rosado’s proclivity, whether clearly enunciated or tacit—though he admits that straight retro rarely gets beyond a core dedicated audience. When it comes to championing bands like Long Island’s Strange But Surf, I suppose it is better to suffer from too much faith than from too little. Yet it’s hard to imagine surf music progressing, much less perpetuating itself, on the basis of something so lightweight and innocuous. In fact, had surf music failed to get beyond its original iteration it is unlikely to’ve survived at all. Jimi Hendrix, in his autumnal 1967 tune “Third Rock from the Sun,” declared: “You’ll never heard surf music again.” Rolling Stone magazine, in its early years, made no effort to hide their absolute disdain for the Beach Boys; and by the late sixties it hardly mattered that AM stations in NYC didn’t play local surf bands, or that East Coast beach towns had a brief season for live entertainment. Surf music was simply obsolete in the era of hippies and social revolution. Yet by the mid-1970s nostalgia for a simpler rock ‘n’ roll was setting in, making surf prime for a comeback. In L.A., first-wave surf acts like Dick Dale and the Challengers were playing local stomps alongside newbies from the punk and new-wave scene: e.g. Jon and the Nightriders, the Surf Punks, et al. Back east, Philly boy Todd Rungren had a minor hit with his re-recording of Brian Wilson’s “Good Vibrations” and the Cramps of NYC revived the Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” on their debut single of 1978, cementing surf’s resurgent appeal within the many-pronged subculture. The Ramones did it before them—and with greater enthusiasm—having covered not just “Surfin’ Bird,” but the Beach Boys’ “Do You Wanna Dance,” Jan & Dean’s “Surf City,” and their own new surf anthem “Rockaway Beach.” Both Link Wray and the Ventures eventually played CBGB’s in the Village at the height of punk-rock. If in fact an innovation in surf could be exclusively pinned to NYC, this consanguinity with punk would have to be it. In the aftermath, punk, surf, and many other subcultures began to co-mingle, as though rock ‘n’ roll in its multitudes were still a super-continent of the Mesozoic age. And as with all survivors of our planet, adaptation was key. These days, bands like Dark City get to play a monthly Saturday surf show at Otto’s, where DJ’s like Phast Phreddie and Evan Tritt fill out the evening with their collection of uber-rare surf 45s. Dark City guitarist Joe Kazer plays a Jazzmaster through a Fender Twin amp, his reverb hiked all the way up for a blend of shimmering twang and roaring punk riffage.

The Supertones Cinema Surf


the deli Summer 2016

“What makes Dark City different,” writes the New York Music Daily blog, “is that they steer clear of all the cliches that so many surf bands fall into: i.e. their music has a total lack of cheese.” An instrumental version of the Buzzcocks’ “Hollow Inside” seems to cement the notion of surf and punk at the heart of their invention.

“Sonically stellar performance” — Kevin Becka, Mix


MEETS INSPIRATION Until now, making music on headphones meant living with flat, uninspiring sound in the name of accuracy. Blue’s visionary headphone design changes all that. The combination of radical ergonomics and big custom 50mm drivers delivers sound that’s both accurate AND inspiring—making your music feel dimensional, not flat. That’s inspiring.



“If an innovation in surf music can be exclusively pinned to NYC, its consanguinity with punk-rock and other subcultures would have to be it.”

Surf Hybrid Albums:

Others playing within the surf/punk hybrid include locals the Howlin’ Thurstons; the Recruders from Staten Island; the Coffin Daggers, whose guitarist Victor Dominicis is formerly of NYC hardcore bands Nausea and Reagan Youth; and the Coppertones, who cover Amy Winehouse’s “You Know that I’m No Good,” amidst other contemporary pop hits. A band calling themselves the Tarantinos play up the association of surf instrumental to the director of ‘90s hit film Pulp Fiction, which almost singlehandedly brought retro surf back into vogue. The Supertones of Rockaway Beach are one of its notable beneficiaries, having come out of the nineties revival and continuing to play internationally to this day.

High Waisted On Ludlow

Around the same time, a resurgence of interest in Brian Wilson’s lost psychedelic music was mounting too. Several NYC tribute shows were held in the late eighties and Thurston Moore, of NYC’s Sonic Youth, appeared in both the Brian Wilson documentary I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times (1995) and on the Wilson tribute LP Smiling Pets (1996). Frank Black, frontman of Northeast band the Pixies, performed Wilson’s “Hang Onto Your Ego” in a single from ‘93, and Julian Koster—of NYC band Chocolate USA— joined psychedelic surf-pop acts Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Apples in Stereo for a series of late ‘90s Pet Sounds homages. By the mid-aughts, enough new artists had climbed these precipices to assure surf’s stability within the rock landscape. NYC’s Animal Collective released Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2009, which grew out of co-founder Panda Bear’s ‘07 solo album Person Pitch—both explorations of the Wilson psych-surf sound. Their aftermath saw a profusion of likeminded indie-surf, including 2009’s Summertime! EP by the Drums; Japanther’s Beets, Limes and Rice (more indie-meets-surf-instrumental); the Crystal Stilts’ moody “Love Is a Wave” single (2010), and DJ Lushlife’s mashup of Pet Sounds with Kanye West’s College Dropout.

Modern Rivals Cemetery Dares

More recent surf-influenced bands include girl-group the Baby Shakes, who reprise the Jan & Dean-meets-Ramones vibe; Fern Mayo (surf/alt-rock); Crushed Out (surf reverb with zero-cool harmonies); and the Modern Rivals, whose Cemetery Dares LP tackles the orchestral Pet Sounds vibe, with minimal electro production. Randy Cruz’s recent cover of “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder),” from Pet Sounds, also makes perfect use of the pared-down synth sound. Elsewhere, the female-led funk band Gentleman Brawlers cut an LP titled We Were Made for These Times, replete with the tongue-in-cheek ode “I Ain’t No Brian Wilson.” The mysterious Brooklyn solo act known as “mommy” recently unleashed an ambient cover/deconstruction/remix of the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo” (which is barely recognizable).

The Drums Summertime! EP

Others, like Druva Krishna, crank out sublime folk instro versions of Dennis Wilson’s “Forever”; Clarence—a self-described “NY neo-Americana sextet by way of California, Philadelphia, and French Guiana”—revamp the Beach Boys’ “Heroes and Villains” by replacing its lyrics with a simple chant of “Brian Wilson,” over and over, until it becomes a maddening drone. Where in the past such incursions into retro might’ve nurtured the rhetoricae of history, these newbies employ its artful alphabet as a form of idle play, to no practical avail. As such, surf is now free to operate in the classic aesthetic, usurp other genres, or be just another production flourish. Regardless, it’s here to stay. d 14

the deli Summer 2016

Fern Mayo Hex Signs EP

Cover | Feature


the deli Summer 2016

Overcoming Fear with Cloud Becomes Your Hand written By

Paolo De Gregorio /

If “fear” is the buzz-word of 2016, then perhaps we’re in for a period lacking in imagination—a kind of self-inflicted grief that typically plagues the passive and uninspired, its effects ranging from paralysis to irrationality. That’s what fear is supposed to do, right? Stop us dead in our tracks; pine for the better days of yesteryear; get our priorities in order by cleansing those elements we deem uncouth or dangerous. It’s unlikely that New Yorkers—with their intellectual restlessness—will buy into such hate as proffered by an orange-colored demagogue, even if he calls himself local. Nay, if the quintessential experience of modernity is being an outsider, then add nu-psychedelic sextet Cloud Becomes Your Hand to that list of true New York iconoclasts (Velvet Underground, Moondog, Patti Smith). Multi-instrumentalist/composer Stephen Cooper is the band’s leader. In emails and texts he refers to himself as “Stephe”; a recent phone conversation about the photo session for the cover had Cooper asking not for a cute promo shot of the group, but an insistence that they be allowed to wear weird clothes and play with the formula. Experimentation seems the manifesto of this band’s sophomore album Rest in Flea—a multi-colored sonic adventure released by intrepid Queens label Northern Spy. Yet the songs themselves—a quirky collection of robotic productions, fuzz-driven ragas, and minimalist deconstructions—doesn’t tell the nearly whole story. With electronic xylophone, clarinet, and electric violin rounding out the drum/bass/guitar sonic backbone, the group also plays one of the tightest, oddest live shows currently on offer. Blending the arty antics of seventies freaks like Devo, Wire, and the Residents, with an interest in the more wizardly aspects of band interplay—i.e. Pink Floyd, King Crimson—Cloud Becomes Your Hand singlehandedly renews that decade’s free intellectual climate. And not a moment too soon. Cooper hails originally from the Stony Brook area of Long Island; he first moved to the city in 2005 and says he was overwhelmed by the amount of options. (Initial efforts came with the sculpture/costume band Eagle Ager and some involvement with dance and performance art.) Cloud, says Cooper, got together with the intention of playing the music from a self-titled tape he’d home recorded. “I’d already played with Sam [Sowyrda],” he recalls of the band’s mallet player, “in various other projects such as Living Things, Dan Deacon Ensemble, a Mauricio Kagel project, duo configurations.” Weston Minissali and Booker Stardrum were also friends and collaborators when Stardum and Cooper started playing together in a klezmer band. The four of them studied music together at SUNY Purchase College and, says Cooper, “had some kind of relationship to the visionary composer and conductor Joel Thome.” Hunter Jack (violin) and Simon Hanes (bass) came later, via rooftop parties and experimentations in EDM culture. What binds them all is eclecticism and the quest for uncharted territory. “One thing I was listening to,” says Cooper, “while working on this album was the Columbian group the Meridian Brothers.” Animals and their activities are also an inspiration, he claims—especially sloths and snails. If he could time-travel to any musical scene of the past, Cooper says he’d visit the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) project, on the South Side of Chicago, where, during the late sixties, some of the touchstones of free jazz and modern-avantgarde music were forged (including the Art Ensemble of Chicago).

Photo by

Christopher weiss

Of his own place within the Northern Spy roster, Cooper says it is filled with artists—Horse Lords, PC Worship, the Zs—“that have similar interests and motivations as ours.” An upcoming gig at the music/art collective Secret Project Robot (Bushwick) puts the band at the farthest edges of Brooklyn’s nascent psychedelic scene. Comparisons to Syd Barrett and the Olivia Tremor Control are taken as compliments by the band members. They are cautious, however, about creating strategies based in branding and marketing. Cooper laments the current state of the music business, where “everyone is essentially volunteering,” though he admires those who don’t get burned out or can stick with it despite rejection and the many invitations to sell out. For him and the others, it’s the camaraderie and opportunity to express through collaboration that keeps things fresh. But the band are also interested in the science and mechanics too. Cooper’s pedalboard, for example, features one-half for guitar pedals, the other for vocals. A BBE Boosta Grande, with its +20dB of clean gain, is used in just a few spots, he says; the Boss Equalizer pedal gets deployed for volume decrease—the lows rolling off for a more jangly sound (i.e. strummy, acoustic songs). The Strymon Ola chorus and vibrato has a chorus sound and a vibrato sound that further accent the acoustic bits (the vibrato much less, says Cooper). A Digitech tremolo is set up for one part of one song, almost like the way Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys would call in a hand-bell player to tap out one bar on the Pet Sounds album, then never repeat it. Cooper, like Wilson, uses instruments and effects like paint on a canvas. “For the last year or two,” he enthuses, “I run my vocals into a submixer, the Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy, so they can both have the same analog delay on them.” He can talk shop all day. “The output of the mixer goes into the Fulltone Full-Drive 2 distortion, which I use on two songs. Thing is I usually have to turn it off during any pauses in the singing so it doesn’t make a pestering squeal.” Even if you’re not a gear-head, the sense of passion is infectious. Dare I say: it almost makes fear disappear. As if it isn’t, or wasn’t, ever necessary. d

Stephen’s Pedalboard Full interview on

Stephen Cooper’s pedalboard is set up to be used both for guitar (left half) and vocals (right half). Hardwire Tremolo / Strymon Ola / EHX Memory Boy / BOSS GE-7 / BBE Boosta Grande / Fulltone Full-Drive 2

the deli Summer 2016


Retro-Punk | Feature


the deli Summer 2016

Newbie Tall Juan Talks Music, Touring, and Keeping It at the Emotional Level written By

Dave cromwell /

There’s just one thing that Argentinian ex-pat and current Far Rockaway resident Tall Juan needs. It ain’t sympathy; and it’s not pity for the struggle that he, like the rest of us, endures to give his own life meaning. What he wants is simple: a European girl that really loves him. That this plea comes a few days before his 44-dates-in-60-days tour of Europe can be seen as a clever promotional ploy. And yet there’s a sincerity to the things Juan Zaballa says too; he convinces you to take him at face value. The tour is done now and Juan is already rueful about its best moments. “The show in Berlin was crazy good,” he says confidently, “as were the ones in Pamplona, Toulouse, and London.” You get the sense they all were, given the artist’s youthful vigor and lanky, chiseled good looks. Then he admits: “After the show in Barcelona my friends got into a fight and one of them had their nose broken.” He ended up in the hospital, says Juan. The artist also says he found it difficult to communicate in the south of Germany. Music can be a universal language, but even the best struggle on occasion to transmit the message. Tall Juan shrugs. Initially traveling by car, he ultimately deployed every form of transportation—train, car-sharing, plane, bus—to complete the journey. His accompanying entourage ranged from two to three people; a few other times with the band Useless Eaters; sometimes just on-stage by himself. To get a true sense of what Tall Juan is all about, he suggests the video his friend Matthew Volz made for his song “Falling Down.” Cleverly mixing in footage from last year’s brawl at Resorts World Casino in Ozone Park, Queens, Juan is superimposed into the fracas. After a half minute of stock television news reports, the artist huddles under a table while chairs fly overhead. Then he’s transported outside, hiding behind a car; gunshots are traded. Does he see this as some kind of political statement? “Nothing political actually,” Juan insists. “I deal with things on a more

Photo by

emotional level.” He says he gets upset by most people’s thoughts and beliefs, and resists the idea that we can do all that much through music and poetry. “I believe art exists to make life more enjoyable, and that’s what I feel I can do right now.” A passion for the Ramones is most evident on Juan’s last EP: Why Not? In keeping with that era’s initial punk ethos, all songs are approximately a minute-and-a-half in length. Yet lyrically he’s closer to Ray Davies of the Kinks, with a clear focus on storytelling over fist-raising anthems. (He also likes paisley shirts, as seen on the EP’s cover.) For the title track, a standard Ramones beat rides alongside jangly, baroque-pop guitar; Juan croons, shrieks, and growls witticisms about lying in bed whilst being entertained by a cheeky lover in birthday suit. “It’s True” channels the buoyant “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” with lyrical content closer to “The KKK Took My Baby Away.” Throughout, his vocals are more Richard Hell than Joey Ramone. A popular Live Session version of the song “Why Not?” was recorded at Juan and Mac DeMarco’s shared home. The connection further confirms the punk/psych hybrid at the heart of Juan’s music. (A video for the song “Take Your Time” has the artist playing his acoustic and singing from a row-boat on the Charles River.) Currently working on a first full-length, the artist says he’s already got over 20 songs recorded—of which 15 are expected to make the final cut. Of his chances for break-out success, Juan is less concerned. “I’m not trying to express that with my music,” he snaps. “I don’t think I’ll get famous playing this kind of stuff, as its pretty far from what’s popular today and singing with my broken English about how my dad once tried to kill himself, or girls breaking up with me...” He trails off, stops a moment to reflect. Then concludes: “I would say my aspirations are to keep doing what I’m doing: being able to share with friends, traveling, eating, playing, and recording music.” Let’s go. d

Tall Juan’s Gear

Nylon-Stringed Classical Guitar

David Weiner

Full interview on

Fender Blues Jr.


“Currently I’m using a Fender Blues Jr. which works great with my nylon-stringed classical guitar. I just add some spring reverb and a bit of saturation from the amp and that’s it! I ended up using this little Fender Blues Jr. amp because my friend bought it for a European tour we played and I kept using it once I found a sound I liked. I don’t like big amps; would rather go with a small one with the volume all the way up than a humongous one at very low volume. As far as pedals are concerned, none on the guitar, I only use a BOSS DD-3 delay pedal as a slap back effect on my vocals.”

the deli Summer 2016


6 Pedælicious NYC Bands Dirty Dishes Noise is no stranger to NYC culture—be it the city’s ambient din of cars and construction, or its musical elocution. The latter comes more often than not from rowdy guitarists and their cache of strident fuzz pedals. Jenny Tuite’s Dirty Dishes offers itself as the latest in this cultish tradition. A skilled shredder, she is admittedly obsessed with stompboxes and keen to chat with The Deli about her pedals.

chorus effect; the Fuzz God for synthy percussive sound; and BOSS Supershifter for feedback.

Which pedal on your board you think you’ll never be able to give up? Definitely the Big Muff.

Latest entry? I just got a Death by Audio Fuzz War. Looking forward to testing it out at our next few shows. Anything you do with these pedals that is not very straightforward? I use the Clone for a boost more so than a

DigiTech RV-7 / Electro-Harmonix Clone Theory / BOSS PS-5 / Red Witch Fuzzgod II / Fulltone OCD / Electro-Harmonix Big Muff / MXR Carbon Copy

Photo: Sheri Giblin

Photo: Ismael Quintanilla

Ummm... whatcha got on your board these days? Electro-Harmonix Big Muff and Clone Theory, MXR Carbon Copy, Fulltone OCD, and Red Witch Fuzz God.


Ghost King

After perfecting their nuanced sound via touring and single releases, the shoegaze duo Shana Falana impressed with a 2015 debut LP titled Set Your Lightning Fire Free. Follow-up Here Comes the Wave is scheduled for this fall. The band’s sound hits all the right sensory marks: positive wonderment, a sense of discovery; its vocals—by singer/guitarist Shana— soar over chiming guitars and tom-tom drums, all of which keep pace with affected, droney guitars. Here’s Shana to re-cap the techie side of things.

Ghost King’s 2016 debut album Bones impressed us so much we made it Record of the Month in April. Why, you ask? ’Cause the album recaps much of the indie guitar rock sound of the ’90s: Sonic Youth, Violent Femmes, Pavement, the Pixies, GBV. That’s why! And considering the range of guitar tones inherent to such influences, we thought it cogent to reach out to songwriter/guitarist Carter McNeil for a few gear-related Q’s.

Dumb question: is there a pedal that changed your life? My vocal looping pedal love began when Jaleel of TV on the Radio left a DL4 at our shared rehearsal space, and I took it over back in 2004. My guitar pedal love began when a friend gave me some Boss DD7 delay pedals he got at a garage sale. I remember my mind just exploding with, ‘OMG, this sounds like this band and THAT band... Line 6 Verbzilla / Catalinbread Echorec / Xotic AC Booster / EQD Hoof Reaper / so that’s how they do it!’

What do you use for distortion? Live I keep my amp pretty clean and use a Malekko Diabolik Fuzz for distortion. The amp I use is a Music Man 112RD.

What’s on your board these days? Two DL4’s, a complex signal booster, TC Helicon for vox, Echorec Delay from Catalinbread, Hoof Reaper by EarthQuaker, EHX Ravish Sitar pedal, Dark Echo by Mr. Black, POG 2, and TC Polytune tuner.

(Dave Cromwell)


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EHX Ravish Sitar / Mr. Black Dark Echo / EHX POG 2 / Line 6 DL4 / TC Helicon VoiceLive Play

Dig that crunchy guitar and overdriven bass on “When the Sky Turns Blue.” Were stompboxes used to get those tones? For the lead guitar lick we used the Wolftone Helium Octave Distortion pedal by Malekko. For the bass tone we used a custom overdrive pedal that Chris had made, no idea what’s inside it.

What other effects do you use? I have a Wampler Spring Reverb pedal that I use for texture since my amp has basically no reverb. I also have a BOSS RE-20 Space Echo pedal. I use it for quick delay accents, swells, and other crazy space sounds. Definitely my favorite pedal.

Wampler Faux Spring Reverb / BOSS RE-20 / Malekko Diabolik / TC Electronic PolyTune

Read the full interviews here: Devo and Pere Ubu) with hints of both surf and garage-rock. Keeping with the DIY ethos and budget, the band’s guitarist Britton Walker maintains just a few trusted pieces of gear, which The Deli asks him about here:

What about your pedal rig? My main idea for the tone is to be able to make a song sound heavy without laying on a bunch of crunch. I’m not particularly crazy about my amp, especially using the distortion channel. The tone sounds great going through the clean channel, but the gain is just too warm and ends up being a bit muddy and cutting out the high end. Overall the amp is just too powerful and I never really get to turn it up past 2.

Anything else? I use two overdrive pedals: a Fulltone OCD and EarthQuaker Devices Speaker Cranker. I had to find a way to get a little grit for my tone without using my

Rogue Analog Delay / Fulltone OCD / BOSS CH-1 / EarthQuaker Devices Speaker Cranker

Photo: Trent McGinn

Brooklyn’s B Boys came seemingly out of nowhere in March 2016, with their debut EP No Worry No Mind (on Captured Tracks). It immediately caught some attention (certainly ours) thanks to the promotion the band received from touring with Parquet Courts soon after. The sound blends Ohio circa 1977 influences (read:

What other effects, if any, do you use that are not gain-related? Besides that BOSS Super Chorus, I have been using a Rogue Analog Delay, which Brendon said he bought for $15. It’s a big p.o.s. in my opinion and I just use it to give the slightest slap back, sparingly.

Photo: Hannah Whitaker

B Boys

amp’s gain channel, and wanted to keep the tone I got from the clean channel, so we searched and found that the Speaker Cranker kind of delicately gives my guitar some grit, but nothing heavy.



Beverly’s sophomore album The Blue Swell marks a major step up in both songwriting and production from 2014’s Careers. The band’s shimmering take on nineties girl-grunge—i.e. Belly, Throwing Muses, the Breeders—is at turns fierce and jangly, which leader Drew Citron guides us through in this brief tech-talk below.

TEEN’s 2016 album Love Yes is the kind of playful, aural kaleidoscope that brings to mind NYC brainiacs like They Might Be Giants and the Talking Heads. From the current scene, these ladies are a force to be reckoned with. Relentlessly prolific and musically intriguing, we wanted to ask main guitarist/songwriter Teeny Lieberson a few questions on the technical side of things.

They say Beverly are shoegazer, or dream-pop, but I don’t hear a lot of guitar effects. I like to get a high gain, on the verge of breaking up “clean” sound through the amp, for the majority of our live show. That way I only have to use one distortion pedal for a big chorus. The less the better. If you want the guitar to sound huge you need as little disrupting the signal chain as possible when you step on the fuzz. What fuzz do you deploy? A Wren & Cuff Tall Font Russian big muff. It’s got a gritty, warm, huge sound. Some big muffs compress and squash the natural height and tone of the guitar, and create an almost synthy quality. Which is cool for some songs, of course, but not necessarily Beverly songs. The cool thing about playing with pedals is there’s no right answer, and fiddling around with knobs gets real fun, real quick. Wren and Cuff Tall Font Russian Fuzz

What’s the stompbox that gets you going most these days? Right now it’s the Eventide Pitch Factor. Has so many possibilities that I haven’t even tapped into yet. Like what? Well, guitar isn’t my first instrument; I’m much more of a synth nerd. So I find myself consistently reaching to get deeper and wilder tones, basically trying to make a synth out of a guitar. The Pitch Factor is practically a synthesizer... it can transform your tone into something totally bizarre or do things like arpeggiate and create crazy patterns. It’s a little unpredictable at times, but I prefer that because it feels like playing an analog keyboard. My goal is to have people watch us play and have no idea where sounds are coming from.

Eventide Pitch Factor Harmonizer

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Pedal Builders of All Sizes Embracing Joint Projects Written By

Blake Wright

TOM CRAM faced a dilemma. As marketing manager for Harman’s DigiTech/DOD unit he was tasked with revamping the veteran effects provider’s product line—a process that called for the rebuilding of several classic boxes and discontinuing of many others.

Not long into the job, Cram realized he’d have a few holes to fill in the line-up. He reached out to a handful of smaller pedal builders and started conversations, mostly about the state of the pedal business, catching up on trends and in the process making friends. It was the winter 2010 NAMM show where Cram says he first started thinking seriously about collaborators. It began with a few casual asides in a typical gear conversation; soon he was intrigued enough to hash out a small wish list. “On the face of it,” admits Cram in hindsight, “it is kind of weird, [as] you’ve got a big company and a small company who are theoretically competitors teaming up.” As he started talking to these guys and becoming friends with them Cram quickly realized that it was more like a band in a scene. “Sure,” he recalls, “there is some rivalry between bands in a scene; some scenes are more healthy than others.” In the effects scene, however, he saw that all the “bands” were into helping each other. “That is how it made sense to me,” he enthuses. “Why wouldn’t we collaborate? We’re all creative people. We’re all doing the same thing.”


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Cram’s list included five smaller pedal-makers he was impressed with, either via their sonic sensibilities or vision. Among those on that initial list? Mark Wentz of Black Arts Toneworks and Christopher Venter of Shoe Pedals. Tennessee-based Black Arts Toneworks met with success right out of the gate with their first pedal in 2010, the Pharaoh fuzz—a tweakable take on the classic Muff. The LSTR followed—the revved-up brother to the Pharaoh with scoopable mids. Much of what Wentz was doing played right into Cram’s wheelhouse as a selfprofessed “fuzz guy.” Yet the 2015 partnership between Black Arts Toneworks and DOD instead spawned the Boneshaker—a uniquelyvoiced distortion pedal, paired with a semi-parametric, three-band EQ. After that success, Cram was eager to try another pairing. This time he fired up a friendship with up-and-coming circuit surgeon Christopher Venter of Shoe Pedals. The result was the Looking Glass overdrive. “The Looking Glass,” says Venter, “was created for the collaboration specifically.” When Cram approached him, Venter recalls, they didn’t know what kind of pedal they would do. Initial thoughts, he says, were to design something too complicated to build as a single person—“an interesting


Partnership between Black Arts Toneworks and DOD spawned the Boneshaker—a uniquely-voiced distortion pedal, paired with a semi-parametric, three-band EQ.


DigiTech’s Tom Cram fired up a friendship with up-and-coming circuit surgeon Christopher Venter of Shoe Pedals. The result was the Looking Glass overdrive.

DigiTech’s Tom Cram didn’t consciously set out looking for help when he was tasked to revamp the company’s effects range. He found it anyway.

phaser or something”—but they already had the 201. Then the conversation shifted to other modulation pedals the pair could do. “That’s when we actually built a prototype of this very high-gain, strange fuzz.” None of their early ideas stuck, says Venter, though soon he came up with an overdrive circuit that both found intriguing. After several rounds of back-and-forth, which included one version of the pedal packed with toggles so that Cram could sample different variations and more easily land on tones he liked, the pedal that would be the final product emerged. “It didn’t sound or respond like any other overdrive I had ever played,” confesses Cram. “I knew that we had something.” Being not an overdrive guy, but a fuzz guy, Cram remembers his cautious enthusiasm. “The guy that we had to please was my product specialist and he is an overdrive guy.” After he started playing it, Cram recalls, and didn’t stop for an hour, they knew they had something. While Cram appears to be batting 1.000 with his collaboration projects thus far, he doesn’t try and hide the fact that he shouldn’t be lost in the glare of a shiny, new pedal. Collaborations are hard. Logistics woes,

communication challenges, the pairing of separate visions all work against a project like this from the onset. “I’d like to do more,” explains Cram, “but I’m not going to pretend it was easy.” There were parts of the process with Venter, Cram remembers, where the two wanted to pull their hair out. There were other points when they thought it wouldn’t come together. “Another thing,” says Cram, “is trying to convince other people, people inside my company, that this was a good idea.” His realization that they weren’t all competitors, but potential collaborators, didn’t mean that others inside Harman agreed with the venture or even the approach. There were battles, Cram recalls. “There was politicking on my end.” Still, he thinks we’ll probably see a wave of this type of collaboration for a while, then the difficulty of it all will see things taper off. “That’s my prediction,” Cram concludes ruefully. “I hope I’m wrong.” Around the same time that Cram was tapping friends on the boutique end of the business for collaborations, Fuzzrocious Pedals’ Ryan Ratajski was finding his pedals catching the attention of another large company.

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Wizard of pitch

Production of Wizard of Pitch by Dwarfcraft and Fuzzrocious Pedals.

MXR Bass Distortion

The result of collaboration between Fuzzrocious Pedals and MXR Bass Innovation department. Dwarfcraft’s Benjamin Hinz (left) and Fuzzrocious Pedals’ Ryan Ratajski (right).

He recalls Scott Shiraki, from the bass innovation department at MXR, and himself having a common friend in California, as well as a common love for the band Neurosis. “We were fortunate,” says Ratajski, “to make some pedals for Dave Ed from Neurosis and when Scott from MXR found out, he loved that tone and he was like, “I gotta have this Rat King you make.” Ratajski sent it out to him, expecting, he recalls, a simple ‘I hook you up, you hook me up’ kind of situation. “A few weeks later,” he remembers, “out of the blue, Scott was like ‘What do you think about collaborating on a design?’” The prospect was both exciting and unnerving for Ratajski. After all, he was still relatively new to the pedal-sphere and was still learning the ins and outs of most classic circuits. But it was also a hyper-appealing opportunity for his fledgling brand. He felt most comfortable with the classic Muff and Rat circuits, so the initial prototype was a Rat-inspired pedal that was passed back and forth between the two companies for refinement. MXR worked their clean blend into the mix and both ended on something they really liked. The result was the MXR Bass Distortion. Ratajski recalls Jasmin Powell, daughter of Jim Dunlop, reaching out


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and thanking him for taking on the project. “She even came down to the booth at NAMM to meet us in person.” Following the MXR collaboration, Ratajski was eager to pursue more pairings, though not exclusively with larger companies—more with like-minded creators. That approach spawned a pair of pedal marriages involving his products and those of Dwarfcraft Devices and Electro-Faustus. It was during the recent Winter NAMM show, after sharing a booth, that Ratajski and Dwarfcraft’s Benjamin Hinz saw the potential of bringing the former’s Afterlife reverb and the latter’s Wizard of Pitch under one roof, creating the Afterlife of Pitch. “While we were there,” explains Ratajski “we started playing each other’s pedals and started thinking about how it would sound stacked with one of our own.” What to do? “We struck up such a common-minded friendship,” he recalls, “like, how we run our businesses, our philosophies towards the NAMM show, how we approach our customer base, [and then] everything just seemed to

The H9 MAX is the right pedal for every situation. Packed with Eventide’s iconic reverb, delay, modulation and pitch-shifting effects. It delivers the pro-quality sounds you’ll need on the road or in the studio. Visit

Eventide is a registered trademark of Eventide Inc. © 2016 Eventide Inc.

Steak & eggs

JHS Pedals and Keeley Electronics teamed up to offer the Steak & Eggs pedal.

click.” It’s cool to have a pitch shifter, and great to have a reverb, he notes. “But when you put those two things together you get something that no one else has really created.”A similar pairing occurred when Fuzzrocious’ Grey Stache fuzz was stacked with ElectroFaustus’ piezo/spring noise-maker: the Black Fly. The fusion of those two effects hatched the Grey Fly. If Ratajski has his way, the collaborations have just begun. He wants to work with Brian Hamilton at smallsound/bigsound, for instance. “[In] this industry,” Ratajski muses, “sometimes it’s hard to tell whether your pedals are going to sell month-to-month.” Each company loses a bit of money because the margins are split, but according to Rajatski and other designers the chance to experiment creates new exposure for both partnering companies and their fan base. Big company/small company pairings may run into trouble when politics and bureaucracy intervene, but small company-to-small company projects could potentially flourish in the current state of the market, fueled by the appeal of a 2-for-1 that combines the mojo of separate effects houses. But what about midsize company/midsize company


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Robert Keeley of Keeley Electronics (left) and Josh Scott of JHS Pedals (right).

joint ventures? Well, we’ve seen that too, thanks to JHS Pedals and Keeley Electronics. Last year, the companies teamed up to offer the Steak & Eggs pedal. “Josh [Scott] came up to me at the NAMM show,” recalls Robert Keeley, “and said we should do something together.” Scott, says Keeley, asked about combining his compressor with Keeley’s Morning Glory—the two companies’ most popular pedals. Scott and his crew, recalls Keeley, came down one day and hashed out the details. Each modified a little of their own and voila! Keeley engineer Craighton Hale designed the board the same day and Scott suggested they call in the OEM skills of Jon Cusack of Cusack Music to build the pedals. “I’d be open to doing a lot of projects like that with people,” Keeley concludes. “Sometimes there is a little competitive part because I don’t want to give away certain things that we do, but you know, none of this is rocket science.” Anything being done at the laboratory level today will be DIY in the next two months, he says. Still, as in Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation is the best one. Ergo: “Josh and I will probably do another one in the future.” Fingers crossed. d

Tech 21 Fly Rigs are pro units armed with sweet analog tones. In the footprint of a pixie, each embodies an entire, multi-application rig, so you can rule the road, rehearsal or recording gig.




Blake Wright

GUITARISTS are always on the hunt for gear that’ll give them that extra bit of mojo they long for in their tone. For some, it is unobtainium—an endless parade of tubes, circuits, wood, and wire. For others it becomes a case of not knowing “it” until you hear it. Which can be a painful and expensive exercise. Others still like to reach back into the past and find an obscure yet influential piece of kit that they can build from. Then there are those who search starts and ends with effects pedals, because pedals are usually the cheapest, safest bet for coaxing new sounds from any given rig. To that end, let’s take a look at a handful of vintage effects that have found homes in famous rigs and just might hold the key to unlocking a new sonic signature for you.


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[Clockwise from opposite page] Ampeg Scrambler, Marshall Supa Fuzz, Rosac Nu-Fuzz, Seamoon Fresh Fuzz, Lovetone Meatball, WEM-Rush Pep Box, Binson Echorec.

Ampeg Scrambler

In the late 1960s, about the same time Ampeg was working to introduce its now SVT amplifier, the company hopped onto the fuzz bandwagon with the introduction of the Scrambler. The SVT is a legend; the Scrambler was a stunning failure. It was rumored that it took the company half a decade to sell through the initial production run. The Scrambler’s huge upper-octave fuzz sound ran counter to the popular Big Muff-style fatter and thicker amp-like tone. There are clones of the Scrambler around, but Ampeg gooped the originals. Getting a 100% accurate representation of the circuit has its challenges. Ampeg itself reissued the Scrambler in 2005, but fuzz buffs say the newer boxes don’t capture the full range of the original. Some other clones of the original Scrambler include Fredric Effects’ Scrambled Brainz and Creepy Fingers’ Pink Elephant.

Marshall Supa Fuzz

In production for over a decade starting in the mid-1960s, the Marshall Supa Fuzz bounced through several iterations during its long run. Those examples were built by Sola Sound’s Gary Hurst chiefly using the Tonebender MkII circuit. The earliest Supa Fuzz’s actually used a version of the MkI circuit and boasted a tone filter and pre-set gain levels. The Supa Fuzz was popularized by the likes of Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, and the late Ron Asheton. Today some of the more popular versions of the Supa Fuzz will set you back a few thousand dollars. There are a few builders, however, that make clones of the pedal. For these, check out offerings from Pigdog, Castledine, DenTone, and Farmland.

Rosac Nu-Fuzz

Nu-Fuzz designer Ed Sanner (of Fuzzrite design fame) was working on the new pedal as Mosrite filed for bankruptcy in 1969. Out of the bankruptcy sprang Sierra Electronics, a new partnership that would release the Nu-Fuzz, which was basically a Fuzzrite with a tone control. Sierra was forced to change its name after a complaint from another entity called Sierra Electronics. The new name was formed via a simple combination of the names of owners Morris Rosenberg and Ben Sacco—i.e. Rosac. A vintage Nu-Fuzz won’t break the bank, but if you’re interested in a more modern take on the pedal, you might want to check out the EarthQuaker Devices Spires pedal.

Seamoon Fresh Fuzz

The Seamoon Fresh Fuzz was brought to life by electronics guru (and Harmony Central stalwart) Craig Anderton in the early 1970s. Used by the likes of Tom Scholz and Eric Johnson, the Fresh Fuzz is regarded as one of the first distortion units to substitute an operational amplifier (op-amp) for

the typical transistor-driven fuzz, allowing for a massive volume boost that no other pedal had at the time. The Fresh Fuzz V2 rolled out at the end of 1973 and employed a dual 4558 op-amp, thus doubling the power of the 741 chip used in the original. The V2 is thought to be the most produced version of the pedal. A vintage Fresh Fuzz can run you around $350.

Lovetone Meatball

In April 1995, Dan Coggins gave up his night shifts as a BBC engineer and the Lovetone company was founded. That summer, Dan and partner Vlad Naslas took their Meatball envelope filter production prototype to effects guru Pete Cornish, who provided them with some solid advice moving forward. The Meatball was described by the company as an amazing envelope follower/triggered filter. Famous users include the Edge (of U2), Ed O’Brien, and Kirk Hammett. A few companies have taken their own passes at the Meatball design since Lovetone shuttered around 2001. If interested, check out the Robot Factory Meatwad or the also-now-defunct Barge Concepts Grinder.

WEM-Rush Pep Box

Based on the Maestro Fuzztone, the Pep Box was a bit of a mystery up until very recently. One of the early models was seen lingering in the background of a famous photograph of John Lennon at Abbey Road, taken in the fall of 1966. But what it was exactly stumped effects historians. In 2008, a random forum post attracted the attention of Pepe Rush, the man that created the Pep Box, and the mystery was soon solved. Two versions of the Pep Box were created back in the day. Rush left the pedal business after a falling out with WEM, who had taken over manufacturing of the second iteration. In recent years, however, Rush was convinced to return to building the Pep Box by Macari’s guitar shop in London and new short runs sold out instantly.

Binson Echorec

Not a pedal per se, but a highly sought-after effect unit popularized by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, the Binson Echorec was produced in the 1950s in Milan (Italy) by the Binson Amplifier Hi Fi company. It’s based on a magnetic drum system (called “memory disc”) that was more durable and stable than the magnetic tape used in the same era in other delay/ echo units. Today the machines just look old, big, complex, and noisy. But when firing on all cylinders they can create some of the most unique delay/echo effects on the planet. A working Binson Echorec will run you in the thousands, but there are more modern, small box alternatives that come close to getting you the tone and versatility of the original, including Catalinbread’s Echorec, Gurus’ Echosex 2, and Dawner Prince’s Boonar. the deli Summer 2016


The Stompbox Exhibit’s Essential Accessories Stompbox Exhibit - September 10 & 11 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:

BOSS Instrument Cables

Blue Mo-Fi Headphones

Remember the days when they sold us studio monitors and a separate amplifier to power them? Now that we are all used to amplified monitors, we can say it didn’t make much sense. Blue was the first to apply that same concept to headphones, creating the first pair of cans featuring a built-in amplifier with custom matched drivers. This means portable top notch high fidelity, since you don’t need to rely on the cheap headphone amps provided by smart phones or other hybrid devices not made exclusively for driving a great pair of headphones.

D’Addario NYXL Strings

Long Island string manufacturer D’Addario in 2014 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.

Strymon Zuma and Ojai Power Supplies

Strymon Zuma and Ojai Power Supplies

Strymon’s entry in the already crowded field of power supplies cam as a surprise early this year, but it shouldn’t have, since their analog design gurus Gregg Stock and Josh Forbes collectively have a rich history designing power supply systems for a wide range of industries. The Zuma and Ojai provide, respectively, 9 and 5 high-current, individually isolated, ultra-low-noise outputs, each providing a massive 500mA of current. They both feature innovative technology that allows your pedals to achieve their highest possible dynamic range.

BOSS Instrument Cables

In June of 2016 BOSS introduced an all-new line of premium music accessories available through authorized dealers, featuring more than 60 different products. Focused primarily on the needs of guitarists and bassists, the accessories include instrument and speaker cables, picks, straps, instrument care products, lifestyle gear, and more.

Atomic Amps / Studio Devil Amplifire

Born of a collaboration between guitar modelers/designers Atomic Amps and Studio Devil, Amplifire is a powerful amp tone and multieffects pedal. It will be also amplifying most of the boards at the upcoming Stompbbox Exhibit. 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.

D’Addario NYXL Strings

Blue Mo-Fi Headphones

Big Thanks also to:

Since its 2013 launch, this online marketplace focusing on musical gear has quickly become one of the most popular sites for musicians. Reverb allows both dealers and individuals to create free listings for instruments and other equipment, charging a sale fee that’s a fraction compared to other generic online marketplaces. The platform also offers a useful price guide and a very popular news section featuring, among other things, video reviews, tutorials and interviews with artists and manufacturers.


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Atomic Amps / Studio Devil Amplifire

the deli's pedalboard

Try these and hundreds of other pedals in the headphones (and some through amps) at Main Drag Music on September 10 & 11.

The Stompbox Exhibit Edition


Mod Kits DIY Suspended Chime

BOSS CE-2W Chorus

Old Blood Noise Reflector Chorus

Valeton Coral Mod

• Build it yourself! Two effects in one pedal: chorus and chorus/delay. • Blend knob allows you to go from subtle to lush chorus effect in either set up. • Selector switch adds a 190-milli-second delay to the chorus introducing special depth to the tone.

• The world’s first chorus pedal, reborn. • Standard mode faithfully recreates the classic CE-2 with added stereo output. • CE-1 reproduces the stereo chorus and vibrato sounds of the CE-1, BOSS’s first pedal, with added variable chorus depth.

• Densely lush chorus coupled with three modes of modulation (Chorus/Flanger/Vibrato). • Modulate knob adds Pitch value, Chorus Voice value or Flanger depth, depending on the mode. • Features an expression out jack and clickless switching. • Output level can be tweaked via an internal trimpot.

• 16 types of digital modulation. • Pristine tone with low noise level mix, depth, and rate knobs for detailed effect control. • Heavy duty metal footswitch and on/off status LED.


Experimental Noize Aphazing

Lotus Pedals Gray Tremolo

Hammond Leslie G Pedal

Electro-Harmonix Lester K

• Recreates the classic swirling effect from just barely there to deep, resonant phase shifting. • Four selectable number of stages (2, 4, 8, or 12) and four modes (additive, subtractive, alternate additive, and alternative subtractive). • Seven dedicated soundshaping knobs.

• A discrete class-A analog tremolo utilizing a JFET gain stage to mimic vintage tubedriven tremolos of the past. • Offers from slow and shallow vintage harmonic vibratos to fast, choppy tremolo vibes and everything in between. • Turning the Depth and Rate down you get a clean boost, with just a touch of warble.

• A rotary pedal optimized for guitar from the effect’s original creators: Leslie (now owned by Hammond). • Features three classic hotrodded cabinet styles: Models122, 147, and the 18v. • Useful Dry and Wet knobs, and “Red Line” control provides precise adjustment of the overall “fast” speed of the virtual rotors.

• Lush rotary speaker emulation with stereo/mono in/out. • Tube emulated overdrive. • Adjustable Fast and Slow modes and classic rotary speaker speed up and down.

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Try these and hundreds of other pedals in the headphones (and some through amps) at Main Drag Music on September 10 & 11.

boost/ preamp

JHS The Crayon

Humboldt Preserver

Solo Dallas Storm

Two Notes Le Clean

• A streamlined version of JHS’ popular Colour Box pedal, which emulates the behavior of a British style preamp. • No XLR function, no 3-band EQ, just the Colour Box’s “dirt.” • “Pre” works as a drive or fuzz control; “Tilt” affects the tone’s EQ together with the “Hi-Pass” toggle.

• A transparent preamp hosted in a wooden enclosure, featuring three modes. • “Warm Mode” emulates a tube overdrive setting that cuts into the mix. • “Raw Mode” gives a more compressed, “brown” sound for more aggressive riffs and solos.

• An even more compact 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 only recreates the circuit of the original, dropping the wireless functionality.

• A two-channel tube preamp: A is ultra clean, B delivers a warm overdrive. • “Cold Fusion” mode runs the two channels in parallel, giving clarity and articulation. • In “Hot Fusion” mode, A and B are cascaded, meaning A can be used as a boost for B, with both A and B EQs available to shape the result.

Analogman King of Tone

Nunomo Limbo

Wampler Tumnus

Rockbox Boiling Point

• A legendary pedal in production since 2004, featuring two circuits. • Four position configuration DIP switch inside the pedal lets you choose between Clean, OD, and DISTORTION modes for each side. • Internal treble control make it adapt well to most guitars.

• An overdrive pedal that allows the change clipping voltage seamlessly. • High clipping voltage gives a more dynamic and sharp response, while it’s more compressed and mid-focused at lower voltage. • Positive and Negative knobs allow to produce asymmetrical clipping.

• A Klon-type pedal in a mini enclosure, at an affordable price.

• 3 position diode selector for a nearly endless variety of harmonic flavor: Plexi, Symetrical Overdrive, and Clean Boost. • Bass Boost switch for humbucker and single coil operation. • Delivers responsive and articulate crunch.



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Read about pedals on!


Cameltone Freak Scene

Main Ace Shell Shock

Rabbit Hole Chaosmic Fuzz

Pelican NoiseWorks Pelitaur

• A painstakingly accurate replica of J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr.’s legendary “#2” muff. • The PAIN switch toggles between a “splatter mode” the designer stumbled upon while designing it and the correct version of this vintage Ram’s Head circuit.

• Deep fuzz on one side, variable speed range tremolo on the other. • Foot-switchable speed ranges allow to move between fast and slow trem speeds on the fly.

• Inspired by an obscure circuit from the 1960s called the Scrambler. • Highly versatile and noise-free octave fuzz pedal with precise controls. • Generates fat growling synth fuzz, ripping upper-octave riffinspiring thick fuzz and chaotic inter-modulating sonic destruction, while being highly sensitive to playing dynamics.

• A Klon inspired box running two distinct fuzz circuits running in parallel. • Internal trim pots allow to adjust gain level of each fuzz if need be.

ProCo RAT 2

Source Audio Kingmaker

Tomkat Violet Muffler

Wright Sounds Fuzz-Stang

• A Distortion/Overdrive/Fuzz that excels at arena rock rhythm tones and soaring leads. • Nails that sweet spot where a tube amp goes from sparkly clean to warm overdrive. • Can be used as a boost for solos to give the extra kick you need.

• A fuzz with three sounds directly in the box and many more accessible through the Neuro Mobile app. • “Heavy” is a highly-saturated yet articulate fuzz, “Normal” a responsive fuzz that cleans up nicely, “Octave” an octave fuzz in the style of vintage Octavio pedals. • Extended EQ accessible through the app + Midi compatible.

• A recreation on the Violet Ram’s Head big m-ff. • Smooth crunchy with extra mids. • Lift switch takes out the first pair of clipping diodes, adding a beefier low-end.

• Inspired to the ultra-rare Sam Ash Fuzz-Stainer (two silicon transistors circuit). • Can create classic sounding fuzz, but is its touch-sensitive, choked-out, sputtery and static-filled buzz that sets it apart.

the deli Summer 2016


Try these and hundreds of other pedals in the headphones (and some through amps) at Main Drag Music on September 10 & 11.


Chase Bliss Tone Recall • 100% analog delay with a mind-blowing amount of controls in a regular pedal case. • Besides your regular delay controls, it features built-in tap tempo, wave shape control, MIDI compatibility, hold foot control to add continual oscillation, two presets. • 16 dip switches on the back of the pedal allow for (a lot of) extra tweakability.

Fuzzrocious Anomalies • A bare bones PT2399 delay chip with momentary switch that speeds up (or slows down) the delay time. • Internal trimpot allows control of the slower speed setting.


the deli Summer 2016

EarthQuaker Devices Avalanche Run • A user friendly delay/reverb borrowing from the Dispatch Master’s most dreamy and ambient tones. • Up to two seconds of delay time and a lush reverb, tap switch, and flexible expression pedal input. • Normal, Reverse, and Swell mode.

MOOG MF Delay • 5mS-700mS of analog delay time, over 22dB of drive, infinite feedback trails, and expression pedal control of delay for Time or Feedback.

Ernie Ball Ambient Delay • 50 milliseconds to 1 second of delay time, layered with reverb, for everything from slap-back to extended repeats. • Settings for delay time and feedback, as well as reverb size and level. • Foot-sweepable effect level control to integrate everything from subtle textures to ambient soundscapes.

Rainger FX Echo-X • Up to 540 ms digital mini-delay, filled with control options. • Igor pressure pad controller can adjust delay speed, amount of feedback, or work as a ‘send’ control for real time echo-swoop effects. • Oscillates at extreme settings.

Escape Plan Science Friction • An echo circuit fed into drive circuit. • Can be used as a reverb at minimum echo settings, or just a drive. • It can create classic surf tones or spacey and experimental ones.

T-Rex Replicator Analog Tape Echo • A REAL tape delay echo pedal! • Like old vintage tape units, the actual magnetic tape will wear down in due time, but the tape is easily replaceable. • Tap functionality and expression controls make it easy to use on stage.


Red Panda Context

Strymon Big Sky

• A digital reverb with six modes. • Each algorithm is adjustable to let you dial in the right combination of pre-delay, reverb time, and tone, and features specific features (modulation on the Cathedral, EQ control on Plate, etc).

• A “do-it-all” and incredibly organic-sounding reverb pedal, with twelve different reverb types. • 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.

Death by Audio Reverberation Machine • Presented as a “synthetic atmosphere creator.” • Two reverb flavors: Bright Sunshine and Dark Star. • The three knobs open up a vast array of sounds, from simulations of vintage amp verb, cave-like scenarios, large concert halls, etc.


JangleBox Compressor • A compressor/sustainer that captures the clean, bright ringing chime popularized by the Beatles and enhanced by the Byrds. • Improved over the original design with a more stable IC chip and a more standardized power polarity.

Malekko Sneak Attack • A digitally-controlled analog VCA pedal that can also be manually triggered or used in a tremolo mode. • Separate length and curve controls for both the attack and decay segments. • The envelope can be triggered or cycled using the input signal, built in footswitch, Lil’ Buddy footswitch, or external clock/click track.


Jonny Rock Gear Dino Range • A “set it and forget it” kind of pedal for live use, or a complete and versatile tool for studio recordings. • Knob translation: FORCE (volume), CRUSH (compression), FREE (release), and ATTACK Short-Long (toggle).


Montreal Assembly Count to Five

Outlaw FX Lasso

• A unique delay/sampler that offers many sonic possibilities. • Three different modes allow you to configure sampler and looping in different ways. • Made for experimenting!

• Affordable, simple looper with ten minutes of recording time and unlimited overdubs. • Record, playback, overdub, stop, and delete all at the touch of a single footswitch.

Singular Sound BeatBuddy • A pedal with a drum machine inside! • Includes 200 programmable songs and ten drum kits. • Expandable thanks to the online library. • Features Midi synch, SD card, stereo, and headphone outputs, optional two way footswitch.

Try these and hundreds of other pedals in the headphones (and some through amps) at Main Drag Music on September 10 & 11.


Henretta Custom Six Speed

• Hand-made to order, players get to choose the effects and their order, based on Henretta’s line-up of no-knobber circuits. • Available circuits: Boost, Compressor, Delay, Envelope Filter, Fuzz, Octave Up, Overdrive/Distortion, Phaser, Preamp, Reverb and Tremolo.

Mu-FX Boostron 3 • Three effects (based upon classic pedals) in one, adding extra functionality to them. • BLASTER is a clean boost based on an Alembic Stratoblaster. • SQUEEZER is a Compressor based on a Musitronics/ Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer. • SLACKER is Distortion based on a ProCo RAT pedal.

TECH 21 RK5 Fly Rig • A portable, flexible, all analog multi-effect built on a version of Tech21’s renown SansAmp amp emulator, optimized for clean tones, including drive and EQ and spring-type reverb. • Developed in close collaboration with Richie Kotzen, features his signature OMG overdrive circuit, delivering the organic distortion of single power tube Class A amplifiers, but with a tighter response. • DLA section (with Tap Tempo) delivers a vintage tape echo effect.


Dandy Job Whipple Wah

• A very light, classic sounding and musical wah. • Uses the company’s flagship Whipple Wah inductor (a copy of the late ’60s Vox Wah component that can be installed in any wah). • Stands out for its warm mids and never shrill highs.

Eventide H9

• 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 and inapp algorithm purchases.

Profile for The Deli Mag

The Deli NYC #47 - Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Stompbox Expo, Gearphoria, Tall Juan  

The Stompbox Exhibit special issue, with Cloud Becomes Your Hand on the cover. Plus: a new partnership with Gearphoria, bringing in-depth co...

The Deli NYC #47 - Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Stompbox Expo, Gearphoria, Tall Juan  

The Stompbox Exhibit special issue, with Cloud Becomes Your Hand on the cover. Plus: a new partnership with Gearphoria, bringing in-depth co...