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Issue #44 Volume #2 Fall 2015 www.thedelimagazine.com


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p.10 Fresh Buzz

music and art from the the nyc nyc music underground everything about scene Issue #44 Vol. #2 Fall 2015 thedelimag.com

Paolo De Gregorio Charles Newman Editor: Brian CHidester executive Editor: quang d. tran graphic designer: Kaz Yabe (www.kazyabe.com) Cover photography: shervin lainez (www.shervinfoto.com) COVER DESIGN: MICHAEL ZADICK (www.michaelzadick.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.12 NYC Art in Music p.18 Stolen Jars

Mya Byrne

Pat Wolff Lauren Schechte Isabel Rolston The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC

Publishers:

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 One of the things we humans have a knack for is pattern recognition. Our ancient forebears looked to the stars and saw cosmic order; pioneering scientists and biologists over the last four centuries designated the world’s specimens according to species, class, phylum, and so on. Today, music lovers of all stripes argue endlessly over the distinctions and influences of particular artists and movements. We at The Deli go through it every issue behind closed doors.

p.39 SYNTHS @ BKLYN SXPO 2015

Some of these debates can get quite heated, for music fans are nothing if not opinionated. It is, however, just music and when it comes to enjoying it at home, on the subway cars, or in nightclubs, we’d be wise to heed the words of Cervantes, who once wrote: “Certain people are more jovial than saturnine [and they] say: ‘Let’s have more quixoticies.’” Hear! Hear! For underground music fans in NYC, nothing offer quite the diversity of choice as the annual CMJ Festival. 2015 marks the ninth straight year that The Deli has booked official CMJ shows and devoted an entire issue of the magazine to it. Last year we gave you Sunflower Bean on the cover and they quickly went red-hot. This year it’s Stolen Jars. I suppose if we deviated too far, we’d more easily attract attention, but then The Deli has always been about championing good music, not spectacle. As such, Stolen Jars has the kind of cool, minimal sound that recalls that old showbiz maxim: ‘Always leave ‘em wanting more!’ So, hey! Here’s the rest of it! Nullius en verba. Brian Chidester, Editor 9/20/2015

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


By now, most of us have witnessed a friend or family member break out the old acoustic guitar and play some mellow tunes right there in our living room. Maybe you yourself led the sing- along? Now private concerts are the next big thing. Officially, Sofar Sounds’ “living room shows” started in London five years ago, when two blokes realized that most “regular” concerts they attended were kind of soulless. Sofar became their way of booking intimate secret shows, which their website claims are now in 179 cities worldwide; NYC is among them and (full disclosure) The Deli has helped book several at hush-hush locations around Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Low-key folk acts play most local shows, though perhaps more interesting are the acoustic sets by normally arrangement-heavy bands like Balancer and Gracie and Rachel. Guest appearances by Robert Pattinson (the Twilight dude) and Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have passed through gossip circles; selfies are permitted and leaks on the internet often spill the beans prior to showtime.

(Above) Hypnocraft/The Hum (Right) Sofar Sounds

Here in NYC, Hypnocraft has booked similar shows for a series held at the cozy (as in charmingly small) Manhattan Inn restaurant in Greenpoint. Gone are the old-school piano men entertaining diners, replaced by serious acts like Sam Cohen and Shilpa Ray. Crowds are often so reverent you can hear a pin drop. Hypno’s second series is called “The Hum”; its mission, says founder Rachael Pazdan, “is to connect a diverse community of women making music in New York City.”

for generations now. The Elephant 6 bands of the mid-to-late-’90s (Neutral Milk Hotel, Of Montreal, Beulah) threw early gigs in the basements and living rooms of ardent fans along the East Coast. Farther back, minimalists Philip Glass and Lamont Young’s Eternal Music of the Dream Syndicate (with future Velvet Underground member John Cale) played downtown lofts and living rooms during the heady mid-’60s. For fans of contemporary music, however, and for artists weary of exceedingly distracted audiences, this is a new alternative.

Alas, as trends go, living room shows have gone on

(Brian Chidester)

Records of the Month

Pupppy Shit in the Apple Pie Originally the solo project of singer/songwriter Will Rutledge, Pupppy (yes, three “p”s) has since evolved into a quartet. Debut album Shit in the Apple Pie was released back in April and the band recently finished touring in support of it. An oddly satisfying mix of pop melody contrasted by rough-hewn instrumentation and depressive lyrics, its obvious influences range from early Lemonheads to the Pixies. First single “Beans” surmises the group’s overall attitude: “My foot is stuck/In my mouth/Until I shove it all the way down/ To the bottom of my throat/Then I puke/ Truth all over you.” Fecal matter is reprised on tracks like “Puking (Merry Christmas)” and “Shitheads,” which any good psychotherapist might call cathartic. (Patrick Wolff)

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Pop and Obachan Dream Soup The youth of our time, like that of any other, is fond of setting up societies and circles. Montmartre, Greenwich Village, HaightAshbury; add to that list Bushwick, the swatch of urban greyness in the middle of Brooklyn that has produced colorful psychedelic flowers for more than a decade now. One such is Pop and Obachan, who in just over a year have released two EPs of steady progression. EP1, titled Unfurl, was a sleepy alt-folk affair that got things started; Dream Soup is the new one and it’s quite the metamorphosis. Enriched instrumentation—drum machines, keyboards, electric guitar—give the songs more dreamlike countenance. Highlights include opener “Holly” and “Dry Land,” each impressionistic and whimsical, in perfect balance with their new production style. (Paolo De Gregorio)

The Great Void Shift Age If you’re one of the few not plagued by thoughts of mortality and burdened by selfreflection, consider yourself lucky. If you’re a brooder, however, then Shift Age might be the record for you. It bears all the outward signs of happy pop music, though the longer you listen, the more surreal it gets. Especially vivid is “Medicine Ball,” whose plunky synths and new-wave vocals divert bleakly-rendered lines like, “I know we’d have fun/But you’re much too young.” By “Shift Age (Part 2),” it’s clear the gloss is just a cover for deconstructing nostalgia itself. “Out with the days of the old ways” sings leader Josh Ascalon before a barrage of high-pitched squeals surge towards an apocalyptic finale. Or maybe that’s just the hardware inside his keyboard threatening to fry out? (Brian Chidester)


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CALL: 917.609.4566 EMAIL: INFO@MUSICBUILDING.COM 584 8TH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10018


Fresh Buzz | New Artists

BAEB RXXTH

Acid Dad

The Last Internationale

blahsum

“STRP” is the latest single by NYC duo Baeb Rxxth, whose vocalist Nasimiyu won critical acclaim last year from Vogue, Nylon, and SPIN for her solo EP Dirt. With producer Devon C. Johnson, she now pairs clever lyrics to his 808laced thumps and squeals. On the heels of Fashion Week, “STRP” dares you: “Take it off/Your apathy/Your suit of armor/I wanna see what’s beneath your fashion sense.” (Jason Grimste)

Brooklyn’s Acid Dad, whose name is a malapropism worthy of Ringo Starr, have been active for about a year now. Three singles on Soundcloud are labeled “psych punk,” another conflict of terms that really isn’t! The Butthole Surfers and Primus pulled it off in mad ways, Acid Dad are well on their way. They are getting some good attention too, as one 10 Best Emerging NYC Bands list attests. (Paolo De Gregorio)

With track names like “New Guernica,” and lines like “I’m sick to my stomach/ The shit that they come up with/I wish somebody told it like it is,” Chinatown’s Blahsum mercilessly deconstruct hiphop for the 21st century. Live sets offer equal radicalism, with squeals of feedback, distorted vocals, funky bass, and an on-stage MPC. Young crowds bounce about, while the group hammers through sounds that vacillate between Minor Threat and Public Enemy. (Jason Grimste)

While busy blogging about a million other artists, one relatively unknown band we booked at our Best of NYC Fest in 2011 (as an opening act) has four years hence signed to Epic, recorded with producer Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine), and opened arenas for the Who! Kudos guys and apologies we didn’t see it coming. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)

CMJers, also check out these artists we featured in our previous issues: Buscabulla, Elliot Moss, Strange Names, Future Punx, Pavo Pavo, EZTV. We tried to book them for our shows this year, but, for one reason or another, could not.

C L E A R L Y. D I F F E R E N T.

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Feature | NYC Art in Music

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The Unsolvable Equation Breaking Rammellzee’s Cypher By Jason Grimste

—“The more we listened to it, the more we understood that we had no idea what was going on. Thirteen years old, looking at the label. What’s a Rammellzee?” (Dave Tompkins, from How to Wreck a Nice Beach)

a gyrating, almost unreadable series of letters spelling “HYTE.” It was one of Ramm’s original graffiti names, which only a few like artists at that time could read. Sonic was one of them.

It’s a lamentable feature of institutional culture that the iconoclast is often overlooked in favor of more conventional thinkers. The late NYC-based artist known as Rammellzee knew the sting of rejection all too well, despite being a pioneer of graffiti, alternative hip-hop, street fashion, and the literary sub-genre known as “afrofuturism.” Ramm, as his friends liked to call him, rejected the notion outright, preferring the handle “Gothic Futurism,” and seeing his work as part of a larger European monastic tradition and deconstruction.

I recently met him at his art studio in the Bronx, just as the sun was setting over this shady industrial district. Sonic’s lifelong friend and painting partner Ink76 kicks a box of trash from the sidewalk to the street as I stroll up in a haze of wariness and awe. They had just finished a long day of mural painting. Sonic refers to his style as “folding letters.” Needing only one or two colors, the characters stack on top of eachother, folding underneath like ancient scrolls, delineated by hard lines that bend and squiggle abstractly, even as they define the contours of the words themselves.

You’re probably scratching your head already, wondering what the hell this guy was smoking, not entirely surprised that his work fell through the cracks. Yet he might just be the secret ingredient behind today’s most radical hip-hop artists. In his lifetime, Ramm was both dark and elusive, endlessly creative and strangely charismatic. He played something of a muse to Jean-Michel Basquiat during the early ‘80s; made appearances in films by Jim Jarmusch and Henry Chalfant; and influenced hip-hop icons as disparate as the Beastie Boys, Wu-Tang Clan, Kool Keith, and MF Doom. So why haven’t you heard of him? Separating truth from legend has proven something of a quandary where Rammellzee is concerned. Myths abound. Getting a complete picture of what the artist left behind, in terms of visual works and recordings, has been a colossal task. Some time in the early 1990s, Ramm recused himself from the scene he helped create and worked hermetically on his elusive Gothic Futurist Manifesto. He refused most interviews and seldom appeared publicly without one of his elaborately-constructed robot/samurai costumes. He spoke mostly to friends and cultural confederates, then passed away on June 27, 2010, still largely unknown. But let’s go back. Way back.

The Fun (da) Mentalz The Rammellzee was born in 1960 in Far Rockaway, Queens; his mother was Italian, his father black. His birth name is unknown to all but his very closest confidants. Apparently, the artist changed it legally sometime during early adulthood, though one of my interview subjects let the handle slip, claiming it was already out there on Wikipedia. It is not, and others closest to Ramm expressed a desire to keep the birth name secret, a request that shall be honored for the purposes of this article. The artist Sonic Bad first met Ramm during the early 1970s, when both were still living in Far Rockaway. They’d each grown up watching the city make its downward turn into hard drugs and street gangs. It became, however, the open landscape from which they realized their unique artistic visions. Sonic was barely a teenager when, one day out tagging an old rickety train, he sensed he was being watched. A lanky kid in a long trenchcoat leaned out of the subway car to heckle him over. “Yo man,” shouted Rammellzee, “check this out!” He tossed out a tiny square of paper that, once unfolded, revealed

Though graffiti is today endorsed by much of the art establishment, Sonic and Ink remember its genesis—a time now documented in books like Spray Can Art (Thames and Hudson, 1987) and The History of American Graffiti (Harper Design, 2011). They and their peers catalyzed the genre’s evolution from felt tip scribbles on train interiors to large-scale pieces on subway exteriors, painted in the middle of the night. The powers that be considered it vandalism. Most graffitists themselves had no designs on art status; domination held court over style. Ramm, says Sonic, was different. “His letters looked like they was made out of wood,” he recalls, scratching a long salt and pepper beard. “It had holes that was shooting fireballs out of it.” Sonic, who came from a family of draftsman, claims to’ve taught Ramm to relax with the spray can. In sketchbooks, Ramm used a ruler to render straight lines, but had trouble re-creating them on walls with spray-paint. One night, he and Sonic hit the tunnels and split up to do their pieces. When Sonic finished his, he returned to find Ramm laboring over a sixteen-inch section of a tag. “It was a drippy mess,” Sonic laughs, “like he took a water bottle and squirt milk out of it and everything was just running down.” Can control is the hallmark of the accomplished graffitist; unintentional drips are seen as deficiencies in technique. But in Ramm’s case it worked. According to Sonic, “He never really got good at can control,” yet the flaw became a key element of his style. “If you ever look at his graffiti, it’s all dripping and drips.” By the early-to-mid-’80s, Ramm added sculptures and canvas paintings to his regular street murals and train-car tags. Many still exist today and are the most clear examples of his dripping style. Two excellent samples are in the Martin Wong collection, which exhibited two years ago in a show at the Museum of the City of New York titled City As Canvas. “The Walk” (1986) is Ramm’s most incendiary piece, featuring at its center an angular, disjointed female in full stride. Her side profile recalls both the Egyptian hieroglyphic style and the exaggeration of ‘70s black animation (think Fat Albert). She is colored in day-glo pinks and yellows, with splashes of black and primary red that swoop and drip across the canvas, even onto the frame itself. The work recalls the expressionist energy of Willem de Koonig during the 1940s, though it seems less interested in reacting to recent art history, more in

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managing the urban jungle of the moment. Ramm’s style, by this time, both fit neatly into the street-art sub-genre and stood out for its personal mannerisms. Interest in his work was mounting too. Back in 1976, Ramm, Sonic, and Ink had gotten into breakdancing and rapping before either genre had been coined or codified. They collected obscure disco records from all over NYC, then holed up in Sonic’s garage to practice. At the same time as Sugarhill Gang were performing the first hip-hop shows in Harlem and the Bronx, and while DJ Larry Levan was inventing EDM at the Paradise Lounge in Lower Manhattan, another quiet revolution took place in the parks around Far Rockaway. “[Ramm] bought all this echo chamber and reverb shit,” Sonic remembers of these early shows. He recalls Ramm cutting a whistle sample and rapping into an echo chamber until Ink and himself were covering their ears and pleading with him to stop. Little did they know that these initial experimentations would influence entire generations of hip-hop artists in the future. Where most were satisfied to please their audience, Ramm knew from the get-go that to challenge people often meant making them uncomfortable. These days, Ramm’s music is easy to access through the internet. His overall impact on hip-hop, however, is more difficult to pinpoint. Rob Sonic (unrelated to Sonic Bad) is an emcee from the groundbreaking NYC label Def Jux. He considers Ramm a major influence. “I heard ‘Beat Bop’ [ed. Ramm’s first record] with K-Rob when I was a kid,” he claims. “It was on a tape my older brother had and I remember thinking it was crazy with the effects on the vocals and shit.” Rob calls it “the beginning.” Others share the sentiment. Ratking, one of the brightest progressive hip-hop groups in NYC today, named their culture ‘zine Letter Racer after a series of Ramm’s sculptures. In an interview with Complex magazine, MC Wiki said: “To us, Rammellzee defines hiphop.” In the same interview, MC SportingLife takes it further, noting the confluence of Ramm’s audio-visual design: “[He] embodied what Letter Racer is about. Like we can be the dopest artists and illest hip-hop group at the same time.” The “Beat Bop” record itself dropped in 1983. It featured cover art by Basquiat and is today one of the most sought-after 12” records in all of hip-hop. Over ten minutes in length, Ramm and emcee K-Rob go head to head, trading verses, with Ramm going for effected vocals and spacey abstract raps, whilst Rob plays it straight and smooth. “There was a point,” says B-Real, from the rap group Cypress Hill, in an interview on Snoop Dogg’s GGN web show, “in [“Beat Bop”] where he was rapping in his regular voice and then he throws to a different voice that’s slightly higher pitched. So I came with this voice and [DJ Muggs] liked it and he was like, ‘Hey man try that on this “kill a man” beat over here,’ and boom! Then Sen Dog created the ‘psycho beta’ voice, and that’s how that shit came out.” In a YouTube video from 2012, a greying K-Rob gives his own account of the “Beat Bop” recording session. “We was just flowin’,” he exclaims, “and [Ramm] said lines that became legendary. Like ‘Def jam.’ He was the first one to say ‘def jam.’ He shoulda got paid for that.” The reference is to Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons’ early hip-hop label Def Jam Records, whose initial signings included Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. The latter, in fact, sampled a segment of “Beat Bop” on “B-Boys Makin’ with the Freak Freak,” from their Ill Communication album of 1994; the Beasties also dedicated the Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 LP to Ramm. So deep was this obscure little exchange between the artists that when Adam Yauch (aka MCA) passed away in 2012, Ramm’s wife Carmela wrote on Facebook: “So sad bout Adam from Beastie Boys. He liked my husband soooo much and was hit by his influence! May he rest in PEACE for I can only believe his energy may be with Rammellzee making beats!” By this time, Ramm had been dead nearly two years. The influence of “Beat Bop” on underground rap was undeniable, yet the artist himself failed to ever capitalize on its momentum. Even when mainstream acts acknowledged him, Ramm stayed quiet. At least publicly. He continued to record throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, and in 2004 eventually released a debut album: The BioConicals of the Rammellzee. It featured amongst its eleven beefy tracks a reprisal of the duet with K-Rob, appropriately titled “Beat Bop, Part 2.” But it was too late. Despite being critically lauded, the album failed to make a dent on radio and is a cult favorite at best. 14

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The artist kept on recording and even made infrequent guest appearances, including one at the Knitting Factory, where Ramm freestyled over guitarist Buckethead’s experimental fretwork. Following his passing in 2010, Gomma Records, who’d released Ramm’s first solo album, issued a posthumous follow-up: This Is What You Made Me. Earlier in 2015, Gamma Proforma, a UK record label, released a series of 12” singles featuring unreleased Ramm recordings. Each includes remixes by the artist’s acolytes and cover art by many of Ramm’s friends, including Doze Green and Futura, both now famous artists. Most of the songs were recorded by Jonah Mociun in 2007 and are very likely Ramm’s final recordings. On “Brain Storm,” over a backdrop of clashing drum rolls, Ramm’s ineffable spirit is demonstrated when he grunts enthusiastically, “Just trying to put out the wonderful/Just trying to put something out/My words/I’m dying to.” That the artist is most often spoken of as a radical experimenter or cult figure ignores the sincerity of his best work. If you listen closely, rants like the one described above convey both an unwillingness to compromise and a deep desire to communicate to an open-minded audience.

Fant-a-Sieze and Fash-Ion If Rammellzee ever did crossover in any recognizable way, it was, as has been said already, through his influence on other artists. In hip-hop, especially, clothes and style play a huge role in any artist’s success, and such conceits often show up in boastful lyrics about expensive jewelry and gear. Ramm took his fashion sense to extremes and in time nearly disappeared completely behind his futuristic samurai costume. It started in 1979, when Ramm was indicted on charges of purse-snatching. A probation officer offered to help him get into NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where he might better stay out of trouble. It was during this time that Ramm met graffiti legends like Kool Koor, Dondi White, and Basquiat. He also studied jewelry making and fashion, which, combined with pre-college studies of dentistry, informed Ramm’s later sculptural technique in costuming. “When he got caught,” recalls Sonic, “he stopped doing graffiti... didn’t want to get caught again.” Along with fashion, Ramm also tried getting into the gallery scene, like his friend Basquiat, who’d made a sudden and meteoric rise in the mainstream art world. He also made a decisive split from Sonic and Ink. “[Ramm] was with his math,” recalls Chuck Hargrove, aka Kool Koor, an internationally renown artist who befriended Ramm during his FIT days. “[Graffiti crews] were not building aerodynamically and for him it was like, ‘If I’m going to

advance in what I’m trying to do, I have to build with people who are within that same cypher, otherwise I’m just a lost entity within somebody else’s dream.’” By 1983, a Dutch art dealer named Yaki Kornblit brought graffiti to Europe for the first time, exhibiting later icons such as Fab 5 Freddie, Dondi, Futura, Phase 2, Afrika Bambaataa, and Rammellzee. When Ramm returned to NYC, Sonic ran into him on the block. He says the artist pulled a rumpled pamphlet from his pocket, which Sonic flipped through, acknowledging Ramm’s first philosophical explorations on the nature of letters and symbols. Stunned, Sonic asked where he’d learned this stuff. Ramm replied: “I dreamed about it.”

Words Are Very Unnecessary In hip-hop culture, groups like Public Enemy and NWA pioneered the “words as weapons” approach to lyric writing. They were aggressively anti-establishment, unveiling social and racial injustices at a time when such ideas were conveniently hidden behind Reagan-era tropes like The Cosby Show and lightweight ‘80s hip-hop. As the disparity and violence against urban blacks threatened to boil over in the early ‘90s, Ramm tried deconstructing the system a step further. He became transfixed with the idea of liberating individual letters from their enslavement to the alphabet and conventional language. Through dense and confounding treatises, he developed the philosophies of “Iconoclast Panzerism” and “Gothic Futurism,” where hand-drawn letters, outfitted with weapons and armor, became agents of their own emancipation. By then, however, any fascination towards Ramm’s art from the media and gallerists had died down. Solo exhibitions from 1985-90 saw a steep drop-off in the years that followed. Continuing to construct new costumes and everinscrutable manifestos, the culture passed him by, though he seemed not to care. His obsession with samurais, Nieztschian anarchy, and Eastern mysticism found a permanent home in the cosmology of Staten Island’s Wu-Tang Clan, whose many solo projects and offshoots seemed like mainstream versions of Ramm’s arcane obsessions. He kept going deeper. Rammellzee wrote extensive analyses on the function of letters. To him, words weakened the power of letters. By standing them on their own and arming them with symbols of technological prowess, he made a statement about graffiti as a whole. If each letter is to be respected for its strength alone, then properly condensed letters assembled in urban equations, i.e. graffiti, are not to be trifled with. Ramm taught his philosophies to friends through the years and in many respects, they are the surviving interpreters of what seems too obscure for the casual fan to comprehend. Outside specialists, thus far, barely exist. Rammellzee was just 49 at the time of his death; his estate was went entirely to his widow, Carmela Zee (née Zagari). According to Kool Koor, Ramm was prepared and, in the final days of his life, began familiarizing Carmela with the intricacies of his work. She remained fiercely protective of that legacy. She

Images on this page courtesy the Neosi Carrieri Foundation.

Ramm made attempts to promote the album, including an interview on the 88HipHop radio show, where he so confuses the host with his esoteric answers that the two pretty much talk past eachother. Ramm eventually walks out mid-show.

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(Left to Right): This Is What You Made Me (Gomma Records); “Beat Bop” (12” single), artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat; The Brainstorm (Gamma Proforma).

wrote vitriolic comments on the internet after a FatBeats festival was thrown in honor of her husband. “Is Fat Beats making money on this?,” she asked. “Stop exploiting my husband without permission. That’s all I ask.”

gallery reps. Basquiat apparently attempted to slug Ramm who “caught his fist and kissed it.” The bet money was reluctantly paid, but the friendship was over. Did it really happen that way? Hard to say.

Recently, Carmela co-curated an exhibition of Ramm’s work at the Children’s Museum of Arts NY with Prescott Trudeau. It featured many of his life-sized costumes, action figures, comic books, paintings, and an armada of letter racers suspended in attack formation from the ceiling. Carmela, perhaps contented with the culmination and presentation, perhaps culled by her late husband’s atmospheric vibrations, passed a week later.

“Ramm was straightforward,” Koor insists. “The fact that he always had alcohol in his system was a given [and] probably contributed to the rage that he had with certain people.” In a 1999 interview with egotripland.com, Ramm says obscurely: “The burner is being stopped and this particular guy is getting quite rich off of what they, as light dwellers, want to see coming from what they call the subculture. I didn’t see a subculture. I saw a culture in development.” By this time, Ramm had pretty well sealed himself off in his squat apartment. Acolytes occasionally filtered through.

To those that knew Rammellzee personally, his name and work are treated with reverential awe. Kool Koor, along with A-1 and Toxic, were the first to practice Ramm’s Iconoklast Panzerism. I met with Koor for enchiladas in Soho on a recent trip he made to NYC from Belgium. Conveying a monk-like serenity, his voice a Tibetan throat song, he spins yarns like mythical mantras about everything from Ramm’s art techniques to his spirited disposition. “The fact that he had his direction,” says Koor, “and ran with it made him stand out amongst all the rest of what was happening in terms of graffiti art at that time.” It may be true that Basquiat, when his first exhibition in L.A. was mounted, flew Ramm and Toxic out as a way of outfitting himself with the most eclectic entourage possible. Unable to land Ramm gallery representation with Larry Gagosian and Bruno Bischofberger, the relationship between the two friends deteriorated. In several interviews, Ramm recounted an occasion when he made a bet with Basquiat that he could imitate his style. Basquiat took the bet and secretly included three of Ramm’s paintings in a show under his own name. According to Ramm, his paintings were the most popular in the show and sold before any of the others. He then proceeded to call Basquiat out about it in front of the

“They started to realize,” says Koor, “that he was already in the late stages of his condition and no one could tell how long he would be around to take it to the next level.” Koor says Ramm drank Old English 300 and breathed fumes from spray-paint and epoxy day after day, never wearing a mask. Other novelties and spirits contributed to the molotov cocktail too. A chemical fire roared in Ramm’s brain and no amount of malt liquor could quench it. As the artist himself once said: “Be who you are. Wreck them. And then die.” Such recklessness doubtless contributed to an early demise. Yet Ramm’s true docents don’t mourn his passing so much as celebrate his transmutation. For the time being his many costumes are under the guardianship of Ramm’s wife’s sister. His archive of paintings, drawings, and sculptures are scattered amongst family, friends, collectors, and a few interested gallerists. No museum retrospectives are planned anytime soon. His armada of disciples feel he deserves curatorial attention, while conceding that he’d have mistrusted it deeply. In the meantime, they each continue, in their own way, to practice his techniques and labor to decipher his many cryptic codes. It’s a thankless job, some would say, but Ramm’s word is out there. The rest is up to you. d


Cover | Feature

Photos: Anna Moore (1), Lauren Damaskinos (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25), Talia Green (2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 17), Alexander Tsyrlin (5)

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Stolen Jars is playing The Deli’s CMJ show @ Pianos on 10/16.


Coming and Going All the Time Into Recurring Dreams with Stolen Jars By Leora Mandel

Question: What location would you choose to set up the perfect bloodcurdling summer slasher flick? A sleep-away arts camp hidden in the lush hills of Vermont, right? What about the perfect setting for a trio of teenagers to start an indie-folk-pop band? Same thing, right? Brooklyn’s Stolen Jars did the latter... six years ago. Two years hence, one of their tunes soundtracked a new iPad commercial. Then they backed off. Recordings were few and far between; live shows came and went. Then in 2015 a sophomore album was announced. Titled Kept, it dropped in August and now the underground media can’t stop talking about them. So what’s the real story? Cody Fitzgerald is the band’s 22-year-old front-man/composer. Originally from a small town in New Jersey, he recently moved to Crown Heights in Brooklyn, with a few fellow Brown University graduates. The timing seems about right, as Stolen Jars have played a recent smattering of shows at Baby’s Alright, Cameo Gallery, and Pianos. Fitzgerald also wants to try and make it as a songwriter.

After a few minutes, Grund materializes in the form of a floating head on Fitzgerald’s iPhone. She snacks on fig newtons, announcing her physical presence at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. As a senior, Grund is embarking on a yearlong thesis, with plans to recognize “non-geographical boundaries that define our sense of place and manifest them on a two dimensional plane.” Of the warmth and patience both musically and lyrically on Kept, Fitzgerald claims it is partially compensatory. “I’m an anxious person,” he admits freely, “and the waiting is hard.” He says the album was written as a reminder to himself to calm down. “It’s kind of about remembering and relationships, and maintaining a sense of the past, even if it screws up your present.” “I think this is a weird age range to be in,” Grund counters. “I feel like, at least in my experience, there’s a lot of coming and going all the time. It’s like all these things we expect to be stationary, to be stable, are shifting, and the amount which we’re growing personally is also shifting all the time.”

Like many contemporary indie acts, Stolen Jars started out as a bedroom studio project whose members were still in high school. When college came, survival was tested by the long distance writing/recording relationship between Fitzgerald, Molly Grund, and Magda Bermudez. Grund doubles as co-lead singer; Bermudez held that role first, but today mostly remains a satellite songwriter.

Despite not writing any of the band’s lyrics, Grund is at ease interpreting them on stage and in the studio. She remains a keen observer and talks easily about esoteric subject-matter, like dreams. “I used to have this one,” she muses, “where I was driving up a hill and on the side of the road there was this big glass house filled with concrete busts crumbling on stands.” Fitzgerald and I lean in closer to the phone.

The vocal interplay between Grund and Fitzgerald is one of the keys to Stolen Jars’ early success. On Kept, songs often start out dramatically, pausing to take a pulse before the bird-throated Grund enters, or the mellow baritone of Fitzgerald croons a few words in staccato. The recordings are deceptively-complex, a subtlty partially attributable to sound mixer Eli Crews (tUnE-yArDs, Deerhoof) and producer Jeff Lipton (Andrew Bird, Bon Iver). When the band plays live, however, recreating the record is not the primary goal.

“The house was off the highway,” Grund continues, “one of those things where you see it in passing and can never get back to it. The other one is a large house with a lot of passageways—it’s filled with water in the hallway and you have to row a boat to get to the end of it; always the same house.” Fitzgerald leans back and offers his antidote: “All I can remember from my dream last night is a spider crawling around on my body that was impossible to catch.” The combination of ethereality and anxiety about change surmises the American gothic of the band’s sweetly strange lo-fi sound.

“We re-orchestrate everything,” Fitzgerald insists. He mentions other members of the live entourage—Matt, Tristan, Elena, and Connor. For this story, Fitzgerald came to my apartment to be interviewed. His settling into the new space was not passive; the songwriter asked a number of quirky questions about my decorations and accoutrements, leading into inquiries about traveling abroad. He laughs easily and speaks often with his hands. When saying something flowery or optimistic, his voice changes tone, sometimes sounding lofty, other times sarcastic.

For now, Stolen Jars has weathered the long distance separation to remain in tact. Film scoring and songwriting for other artists are two goals Fitzgerald aspires to. “I just want to do all the music, all the time,” he concludes. Grund is less pragmatic, though just as optimistic and free-spirited. Before she says goodbye and her face clicks out, she smiles, offering one final aphorism to live by: “I’m not limited to how I exist currently.” d

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CMJ 2015 Soundbites I Electronic

the golden pony

Paperwhite

Brooklyn’s Golden Pony is all good on the cowbell. Besides crafting custom light-up versions of Christopher Walken’s favorite instrument, the EDM duo has three singles—“Die Inside Your Dance,” “Bonfire,” and “Filthy Lover”—that combine hard house beats with sunny quarter -note flourishes. Guest spots from Savoir Adore and Suntalk keep things poppy, whilst the studio space is explored fully. (Brian Chidester)

Paperwhite’s debut EP Magic yielded a trio of sparkly synthpop singles. Why then does non-single “Galaxy” boast the most plays on Spotify currently? Besides snatching melodically from Martika’s “Toy Soldier,” perhaps it’s the cool ‘80s Japonisme vibe, ala Alphaville or the Banshees at their most exotic, that delivers the fullest fantasy here. (Brian Chidester) Bonfire Single

nyc electronic Top 20 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts

yes alexander

“Is Happiness Just a Word”—the new electro/ hip-hop single by Icelandic chanteuse Yes Alexander and emcee Vinny Paz—re-treads Dido/Eminem territory, minus the forced kinship. She sings full-bodied and optimistically; he wrestles fatalism in earnest lines like: “I don’t wanna be dead/Dead don’t work.” Elsewhere, Alexander leans heavily Bjork-like, especially on Kyanite, her unreleased EP currently making the club rounds. (Brian Chidester)

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Solvey

Peel an onion, there’s lots of layers. Solvey— aka Jessica Zambri—kept a few hidden for her recent debut album. Jess and sister Cristi Jo comprise the lusty goth/synth duo Zambri, whose last release was 2012. Solvey should make up for it with bright singles like “Redlight,” whose chorus promises “You never looked so pretty.” (Brian Chidester)

1. Gramatik 2. Battles 3. Nicolas Jaar 4. SZA 5. Empress of 6. Blood Orange 7. neon indian 8. Ryn Weaver 9. Elliot Moss 10. Bleachers 11. Brick + Mortar 12. Tei shi 13. Ratatat 14. Oneohtrix Point never 15. Santigold 16. Matthew Dear 17. Com Truise 18. Levon Vincent 19. Twin Shadow 20. St. Lucia


All artists featured on this page are playing The Deli’s CMJ shows (see poster on page 4-5)

my body

Most electro bands these days fail to explore the full potential of current synth and digital technology, settling instead for borrowed styles from the past. This has not been the case with Brooklyn’s My Body, the experimental synthpop duo whose work constantly pushes the boundaries of both rock and EDM. The band self-released the solid Six Wives EP in 2014, later picked up by Big Hunt Records and reissued with bonus material in spring 2015. The Deli recently caught up with co-founder Darren Bridenbeck to discuss songwriting and keeping it fresh. What usually comes first: music or lyrics? We don’t typically choose one over the other, although Jordan [Bagnall] does a lot of melody work while riding bike to her day job. It’s a 14 mile round trip. She is the primary songwriter and producer; we both contribute to the sound of our tracks and I give input a lot on general direction, and most often work on drum beats, production ideas, and things like that. What inspired the music for Six Wives? Steven Millhauser’s short story Thirteen Wives. I recommend reading that short story, then listening to our record. When our full length Seven Wives comes out, read the story again and then listen to both Six Wives and Seven Wives immediately after. I bet a lot of artists wish they could set their inspiration in motion that succinctly. Would you say it’s always so predictable? It’s never predictable, but there are ways it can be kick-started. First through routine; second by working on music in new environments; and third by having reflective time to think about what we’ve made so far and how it compares to what we want to make. Do you have a DAW of choice that you prefer to all others? Ableton. 100%. We use it for our live sessions, as it’s easy to map it to tons of external controllers and it has amazing free soundpacks that come out regularly. Does the songwriting start directly on the DAW? Or do you sketch ideas

on a traditional instrument first? We usually start in Albeton, though we just bought a Rhodes and Jordan’s been doing more writing on that first, then porting ideas into an Ableton session. Any new musical toys in your repertoire these days? Our Rhodes 73 MKII. We bought it on a whim in San Luis Obispo for a steal and shipped it out to NYC. I know it can be challenging to translate programmed music to a live setting. What’s your approach? We used to have the “lab” setup, where we had a bunch of gear spread onto a table, but it was ultimately not that engaging. We were trying to re-create these pre-produced tracks live with 100% accuracy, which wasn’t really possible. Now we use one computer and one sampler (the Roland SP-505). The most important thing when performing is to have fun. Deciding to make our live show not a faithful translation of our recorded material was the best decision we’ve made. (paolo de gregorio)

My Body’s Gear

Roland SP-505

Full interview on Delicious-Audio.com

Ableton Live

Rhodes 73 Mk II

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CMJ 2015 Soundbites I Folk/Roots

morningsiders

Self-described “warm neo-folk” quartet Morningsiders originally formed while at Columbia University; their 2014 piano-dallied single “Empress” recently went #1 on Spotify’s U.S. Viral 50. A new EP, Unfocus, is equally majestic, though more introspective. On “Dots,” frontman Magnus Ferguson rasps: “I’m telling lies to get out of socializing”—an artist’s sentiment if there ever was one! (Zach Weg)

buck meek

Earlier this year, Brooklyn-by-way-of-Texas singer/songwriter Buck Meek released Heart Was Beat, an understated collection of country-folk that showcases the smooth-voiced guitarist telling stories of drifters and loners over wistful strings and soft drums. Tumbling numbers like “Misty” and “Fog Rolls” are prosey like Phosphorescent, surreal like Iron and Wine, and exclusively vivid. (Zach Weg)

side saddle

Cassandra Jenkins

Alpenglow

Ember Isles

Jenkins’ debut EP, Up in Flames, bears that supernatural quality she likes to call “Zombie Folk.” She brings it into a new cover of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World,” where sparse production leaves Jenkins’ ghostly, reverbed vocals ample room to soar. 2014’s “Perfect Day” is even deeper fantasy, like late ‘80s Enya, were she produced by Van Dyke Parks. (Isabel Rolston)

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Originally formed in Vermont, Alpenglow is now Brooklyn-based. An atmospheric folk sound pervades the band’s 2013 EP Afterglow, reminiscent of late ‘60s Simon and Garfunkel (with a dash of Coldplay). New EP Chapel finds them growing leaps and bounds, like the word “alpenglow” itself, which Webster’s defines as: “a reddish sunset near the summits of mountains.” (Lauren Schechter)

Side Saddle brings the fields of Connecticut to the asphalt jungle of NYC; single “Don’t Wait for Him” turns the move into wisdom, with lines like: “If the boy needs time to stay at home/Don’t wait for him to love you.” “Legs for Days,” from Young Professional (2015), comes close to plagiarizing Death Cab’s “Summer Skin,” though in the spirit of EDM we’ll just call it sampling. (Isabel Rolston)

Ember Isles is a female folk trio, whose Tamsin Wilson (of the band Wilsen) also graced the cover of The Deli in 2013. Ember has three singles so far. “Love Song (Love Me)” is the most optimistic—an ode to the cosmos whose known hardships are balanced by the promise of romance, expressed in positive lines like: “Oh I know I won’t be alone forever.” (BRIAN CHIDESTER)


All artists featured on this page are playing The Deli’s CMJ shows (see poster on page 4-5)

nyc Folk/roots Top 20 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts

Civil Brother

This year’s Civil Brother Album at first feels mimetic, which is comforting, though there’s something bigger going on here. Opener “Hold On” grabs musically from Ryan Adams and John Mayer, lyrically from Death Cab’s “Follow You Into the Dark.” The same blend pervades the entire LP, which works as a distillation of roots crossover from the last few decades. (Brian Chidester)

Fairytales for the Fatherless

Fairytales for the Fatherless is a new Brooklyn sextet led by Danny Musengo, whose voice is the tender instrument echoing over his band’s weepy pastoral sound. Layers of intricate guitar and swells of violin allow Munsego to tackle life’s hardships and quandaries in lines like: “Do you get nervous like I do?” Affirmative. (Isabel Rolston)

1. CocoRosie 2. American Authors 3. Punch Brothers 4. The Lone Bellow 5. Torres 6. Lucius 7. Phosphorescent 8. Langhorne Slim 9. Spirit Family Reunion 10. Will Knox 11. Roger Street Friedman 12. Jack And Eliza 13. Kevin Morby 14. Nick Miller & the Hustle St 15. Sam Amidon 16. Busty and the Bass 17. Hollis Brown 18. Oh Honey 19. Jeffrey Lewis 20. Air Waves

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All artists featured on this page are playing The Deli’s CMJ shows (see poster on page 4-5)

Photo: Pooneh Ghana

CMJ 2015 Soundbites I Garage/Punk

baby shakes

Starry Eyes is the new LP by Baby Shakes— three gals whose fashion hero is Joan Jett and who sound like Jan & Dean (with Velvet Underground titles). The Ramones claimed similar influences, which means the Shakes should appeal to fans of Forest Hills’ favorite sons. The longest cut—”Teenage Cloud”— also runs just 2:30, leaving no room for senseless jamming. (Brian Chidester)

dances

Dances’ debut EP Whiter Sands (2014) and newer single “Suzy Lee” feature a mixed range of flavours—from melodic-and-fuzzy mid-tempo cuts (“Holy Fool”) to relentlessly speedy garage, as on “Rat.” “Suzy Lee” is based on a blues riff, though it blasts into a devastatingly tense and noisy chorus that makes earphones a requirement, even at low volume. (Paolo De Gregorio)

The Britanys

Garage-rockers the Britanys are a band whose singer could win an award for Most NasalSounding Vocals in the Universe! They released a sophomore EP in October 2014 and by this June had another new single—“It’s What It Is”—which blends Ramones-like guitar licks, Sex Pistols sneer, and head-shaking doo-wop drums, the latter something we hear everywhere these days. (Paolo De Gregorio)

nyc garage rock Top 20 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts

the othermen

Brooklyn’s Othermen play the kind of fuzzy, organ-driven garage-punk that gave them the associative descriptor “space cavemen.” They’ve since taken the show on the road and are booking Europe for springtime. From the standpoint of ritual, the ‘60s novelty gains in freedom what it sometimes lacks in resonance, though I suppose that’s true of all retro. (Brian Chidester)

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big quiet

The second half of 2015 has been prolific for garage trio Big Quiet. In June they released a self-titled debut on cassette, followed in September by a 7” entitled “Maura & Dana.” Jangle-pop quotations range from early R.E.M. (“Why Do We Bother?”) to the La’s (“Ghost”), to the early Bangles, the latter especially lingering behind most of Marisa Cerio’s harmonies. (Paolo De Gregorio)

1. Yonatan Gat 2. Acid Dad 3. Tall Juan 4. Baby Shakes 5. BOYTOY 6. Shark? 7. THE OTHERMEN 8. Dances 9. Jemina Pearl 10. Broken Guru 11. Sharkmuffin 12. Fantasmes 13. The Mad Doctors 14. The Britanys 15. Simon Doom 16. j and the 9s 17. The Electric Mess 18. The Battery Electric 19. Las Rosas 20. Twin Guns


CMJ 2015 Soundbites I Indie Pop

Chaos Chaos

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)

All artists featured on this page are playing The Deli’s CMJ shows (see poster on page 4-5)

The City and Horses

This NYC/Philly band has been around since the late aughts and their loungy pop is colorful and transparent like a glass marble. It also features an instrument bound to come back at some point: the flute. New video “Re-Inking” coincided with the band’s cozy new spot under the wing of Brooklyn’s label/event organizer Paper Garden Records. (Paolo De Gregorio)

zuli

“Better All the Time,” from Zuli’s debut EP, Supernatural Voodoo, is a dazzling pop amalgam of spacey ELO ballad “Strange Magic” and the sunny vibes of Magical Mystery Tourera Beatles. Its title track continues the band’s retro fetish, channeling ‘90s Jellyfish and Wondermints with less polish, more indie grit. (Zach Weg)

nyc alt pop Top 20

Photo: Lauren Smith

Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts

Bodies Be Rivers

Hard-working Brooklyn collective Bodies Be Rivers are new, but this year released a debut EP with three singles and an equal number of well-produced videos. First single “Without You” highlights vocalist/keyboardist Lauren Smith’s graceful soprano in a textural, haunted ballad whose uplifting chorus feels like a promise of things to come. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)

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Elisa Coia

Brooklyn-by-way-of-Rhode Island songstress Elisa Coia released “This Human Ache,” her debut single, this past summer. It was quickly followed by “These Days,” a second single and title track from her dreamy soul-pop EP, which employs minimal ‘80s-style backing tracks to give Coia’s powerful pipes center stage. (Patrick Wolff)

1. Lana Del Rey 2. Beirut 3. The Front Bottoms 4. Friends 5. MisterWives 6. Julian Casablancas 7. Darkside 8. Sufjan Stevens 9. San Fermin 10. Albert Hammond, Jr. 11. Rufus Wainwright 12. The Drums 13. Grizzly Bear 14. Broken Bells 15. Public Access TV 16. Born Cages 17. Miracles of Modern Science 18. Julia Easterlin 19. Pavo Pavo 20. Catey Shaw


All artists featured on this page are playing The Deli’s CMJ shows (see poster on page 4-5)

Photo: Andrew Piccone

CMJ 2015 Soundbites I Indie Rock

frog

Queens duo Frog came out of nowhere this year with debut LP Kind of Blah, an eclectic collection in the slack-rock mien. “All Dogs Go to Heaven” is atmospheric slo-core, while “Fucking” recalls early XTC and “King Kong” is punk madness meets folk sanity. A winter UK tour should provide further occasion for little episodes in the cult of the future. (Paolo De Gregorio)

Journalism

Even the best innovation means nothing without a vital sense of the past. Brooklyn’s Journalism connect two seemingly disparate influences—Joy Division and Sea and Cake— in a brief, three-song EP that radiates complacency and anxiety. Closer “I See Everything” is the exception; it pushes past style, and thus beyond vanity, into more unfettered territory. More like dat, please! (Brian Chidester)

Controller

NYC’s Controller has surely mastered the art of the anthemic chorus. The band’s firm grasp on musical technicality was evidenced by their U2-inspired EP of 2013, which landed somewhere between post-punk and ‘80s pop. New single “Midnight Man” dispenses with any past mopey-ness and goes unabashedly after crossover success. (Jillian Dooley)

nyc indie rock top 20 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts

Whitewash

Whitewash formed at NYU a few years back and this year released a debut LP: Shibboleth. Their deliriously stoner video for “Member” is worth recounting, as band-membersturned-security-guards Sam Thornton (guitar) and Jonathan Ben-Menachem (bass) chase drummer Evan Glazman and guitarist Aram Demirdjian as they steal lettuce, photo-bomb tourist pictures, and throw a house party like true red-eyed vaudevillians. (Zach Weg)

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The Fluids

Just as the reasons for Euripides’ Alcmaeon killing his mother now seem ridiculous, so too the enmity once leveled at punk and new-wave has dissipated. Brooklyn quintet the Fluids are among the beneficiaries of this standardization, especially on “Creatures,” the b-side to their first single, which takes Heroesera Bowie and ‘80s Talking Heads into contemporary indie. (Brian Chidester)

1. X Ambassadors 2. St. Vincent 3. Son Lux 4. The National 5. Beach Fossils 6. Interpol 7. The Strokes 8. Blonde Redhead 9. Mitski 10. Animal Collective 11. Rasputina 12. Porches 13. Grassfight 14. Tauk 15. Karen O 16. Slonk Donkerson 17. Emily Wells 18. Mary Halvorson Trio 19. Honduras 20. Aye Nako


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Photo: Chad Kamenshine

CMJ 2015 Soundbites I Psych/Dream Pop

Beverly

Let it be said that Beverly leader Drew Citron is no shrinking violet. Sure, she lost co-conspirator Frankie Rose soon after the band’s stellar debut album, but Drew pressed on and a new LP is promised for 2016. Judging from recent live shows, it should continue their swirly take on febrile psych-pop, perfectly suited to fans of the Breeders and Throwing Muses. (Brian Chidester)

Aimee Debeer

Aimee DeBeer’s two celestial singles— “Oblivion” and “Persephone and the Devil”— are the kind that give writers good reason to use adjectives as nouns. She’s psych-pop and dream-soul; her silky ballads glide across black skies of cloudy synths and tumbling drums, like metaphoric prose without proper grammatical rules. A new EP is promised soon. (Zach Weg)

Domino Kirke

After her lovely, orchestral debut of 2014— The Guard—chanteuse Domino Kirke had a life-changing encounter with Deli fave Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic. The pair worked electronic arrangements thoroughly for Domino’s sophomore EP, Independent Channel, released this past March, resulting in an imaginative set of electro tunes—puttering, blurred, robotic. (Paolo De Gregorio)

nyc psych/dream pop top 20

Photo: Richard Corman

Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts

Gracie and Rachel

Lines like “Short skirt, tight pants, clean shoes/Won’t deliver the news” drift between poetry and prose on Gracie and Rachel’s impressionistic second single, “Tiptoe.” Its backdrop is pop culture Philip Glass and is apparently from the forthcoming album Go, which the Berkeley-raised, Brooklynbased duo has promised for some time now. (Brian Chidester)

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Chargeaux

Sweltering tracks like “I’m So Pretty” and “Burn Rubber (Gap Band Medley)” display Chargeaux’s early mastery of soul music. More than just style, however, their sophomore EP, Broke and Baroque, boasts strange instrumentals that pit country fiddle and chamber music against undulating beats and sound effects, lifting each descriptor from the quotidian into something fresh. (Brian Chidester)

1. Mac DeMarco 2. DIIV 3. Real Estate 4. Panda Bear 5. Sharon Van Etten 6. TV on the Radio 7. Weekend 8. Ducktails 9. Woods 10. Jennie Vee 11. The Antlers 12. Amen Dunes 13. Weird Owl 14. Snowmine 15. EZTV 16. Sabbath Assembly 17. Crystal Stilts 18. The Mystery Lights 19. Caveman 20. Heaven


All artists featured on this page are playing The Deli’s CMJ shows (see poster on page 4-5)

balancer

Dream-pop trio Balancer recently issued a new video and single, “Re Minder,” depicting the vernal days of youth through the eyes of a sensitive, imagination-filled boy. Its sweetly melancholic melody serves to remind that the cacophony outside our heads is passing and irrelevant, while happiness is but a thought away. Pleasing sentiment, huh? The following Q&A finds the band eager to discuss their creative process and, like the boy in this video, to reintroduce an element of playfulness to both music and life.

Does the gear ever inspire the song for you? There is this guitar pedal that Felipe uses a lot called [Eventide] Pitch Factor. It generates new notes and adds them to what you are playing. Similar to a synth sequencer where you press one key and many notes come out. So if you play around with it you can make up melodies that otherwise would be impossible to play. This is how the guitar line for “The Age is a Gift” was created, and then we made a song out of the idea.

When it comes to songwriting/arranging, how defined is each band member’s role? There’s a lot of jamming together and trying to find balanced grooves. It’s like a conversation between the three of us where you have to say just the right thing, no more, no less, so that we can all be speaking at the same time and still everything makes clear sense. We each contribute a fundamental part to the music, so it’s a true collaboration.

What other pedals are you into? I don’t like having more than five pedals on my pedalboard because it becomes too many possibilities and to me that means less freedom. I like to really know the few pedals I use and make the most of them. I have two delays that I use heavily. They are the EHX Memory Man with Hazarai and the Earth Quaker Devices Disaster Transport. Then I use a compressor, which I don’t move at all, and also a boost and drive, and then I have the Eventide Pitchfactor which I use for more extreme sounds.

What comes first: melody? A chord progression? Lyrics? Maybe a certain sound? It might be any of these, really. There isn’t a set method of initializing the creative process that we necessarily turn to. This gives each song its own kind of life. The more we let go and let the music take us where it wants to, the better and more freely it manifests. Are there any instruments or musical toys that have inspired your latest work? We’ve been working a lot with samplers. There is something special about using them which is how easily a musical idea can morph into something else and if you keep messing with it it’ll keep changing and new worlds will appear. There is also that element of surprise that always reminds me of childhood. You never know what will come out.

(paolo de gregorio)

Balancer’s Gear

EHX Memory Man with Hazarai

Full interview on Delicious-Audio.com

Eventiode Pitchfactor

Earthquaker Devices Disaster Transport

the deli Fall 2015

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CMJ 2015 Soundbites I Singer Songwriters

matt sucich

Tica Douglas

Queens-born singer/songwriter Matt Sucich’s latest single “Lay Low” is the kindred yarn of a romantic do-gooder constantly getting beaten down for reasons even the man upstairs can’t say. Gloom isn’t Sucich’s game, though, as his spectral voice, whimsical production style, and sleek design brighten all three singles and two LPs. (Zach Weg)

Tica Douglas is a prolific songwriter whose latest release—the beautiful full-length Joey— came out in early 2015 and earnestly dwells on gender identity. “I Didn’t” starts out Nirvanaesque, but quickly goes moody, like a dreamy ballad from some episode of Twin Peaks. Douglas’ quivering soprano stays in perfect accord with her crystal-clean sense of melody and production. (Paolo De Gregorio) Stripping for the Blind

nyc singer songwriters Top 20 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts

Julia Weldon

NYC songwriter Julia Weldon makes edgy, intimate pop that flirts with Americana influences, from bluegrass to Elliot Smith. Her newest single, “All I Gave Her,” is an ode to lesbian love that blends folk-rock with heavily-treated guitar sounds. “Careful in the Dark,” from Weldon’s sophomore LP, is similarly gloomy and strangely transcendent. (Paolo De Gregorio)

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sam rivers

NY songwriter Sam Rivers has more songs than followers on Soundcloud. It makes sense for an artist whose homepage offers “commercial songwriting” and “emergency services.” Stylistically, Rivers is pop with a personal tinge (think Daniel Powter, author of American Idol theme “Bad Day”). “My Love 10/21” starts with the line: “Sittin’ here in a coffee shop,” then (whoa-oh-oh!) things turn out fine. (Brian Chidester)

1. Norah Jones 2. Nate Ruess 3. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper 4. Steve Gunn 5. Holly Miranda 6. Devlin Miles 7. Martha Wainwright 8. Rachael Yamagata 9. Lucy Wainwright Roche 10. Adam Melchor 11. Brendan James 12. Jolie Holland 13. Matana Roberts 14. Grace Kelly 15. Allison Weiss 16. Aaron Lee Tasjan 17. Joseph Arthur 18. Frankie Cosmos 19. Lightspeed Champion 20. Jenny Owen Youngs


All artists featured on this page are playing The Deli’s CMJ shows (see poster on page 4-5)

Sorcha Richardson On past releases, like the hushed, guitar-based Sleep Will Set Me Free EP, Brooklyn-by-way-of-Dublin songwriter Sorcha Richardson wrestled her demons publically. “There’s a runaway/Poison train/Tearing through my/ Sinking veins,” she sang on “Midnight Whistle,” a redemption song that crushes before it comforts. The early-twenties artist added electro elements to her latest single, “Petrol Station,” whose sunny disposition and soul music tinge gives Richardson’s list of experiences even deeper relatability. We caught up with the artist recently for a glimpse at her process. How did you first start writing music? I learned guitar when I was about ten and as soon as I could play a few chords I was writing songs. Most of your material is not electronic, though your most popular recent singles are. How did the switch happen? A lot of my friends make electronic music and I’ve spent time writing with them, a lot of the time just for fun, on tracks that were more experimental and electronic. It was just kind of a gradual progress over time. Interests shifted. How did this new experience inspire you? It’s always inspiring to work with new people and collaborate. Everyone has a different process for approaching music and it’s inspiring to create something and bring it to a place where it could never get if it was just coming from my own brain. More specifically, recount for me how the single “Petrol Station” came together. Did producer Baile come to you with a track and you put vocals on it? Or vice-versa? I started writing that track as I was walking home one night and stayed up for hours writing different chord progressions on my keyboard, trying to fit it to music. I sent a demo to Baile and we talked about ideas for where to take it. He worked on the production and after a draft it became the version we released.

Have your original sources of inspiration changed through the years? I still like a lot of the same artists I did a few years ago, but I’ve also discovered or found newer ones over time. I usually feel pretty inspired by whatever city I’m in, so that changes depending on where in the world I’m living. Will your upcoming release continue in the electro milieu? I’ve spent the last few months writing and recording with producers in Brooklyn, but it’s still a work in progress, so I don’t want to say anything too definitive yet. Lastly, do you toy around with electronic instruments yourself or other creative gear besides your guitar? I record at home a lot and I use Ableton. I have a little set up in my bedroom that I use for making demos. I recently got a Fender Telecaster and a bass guitar. I’ve been writing a lot on the bass since I got it. I have a little Novation Launchkey 25 keyboard and trigger pad that I use to write simple synth and percussion parts too. Also, I just got the TC Electronics Hall of Fame reverb pedal which I love. It’s really small and neat and incredibly easy to use and it has a really broad scope of sounds built in, all of which you can tweak to your liking. It gives you a lot of choice and a lot of control. It’s perfect for what I need. (zach weg)

Sorcha Richardson’s Gear

Ableton Live

Full interview on Delicious-Audio.com

Novation Launchkey 25

TC Electronics Hall of Fame Reverb

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CMJ 2015 Soundbites I Soul

The Rooks

Mixing ‘70s funk with yacht rock and modern indie-soul sounds like a Pandora station gone haywire. It works for NYC’s Rooks, who share a moniker with the ‘90s power-pop quartet from Connecticut. Garth Taylor’s silky tenor recalls Frank Ocean and D’Angelo (on faster material), while the band plays tight like session men, freaky like their own thing. (Brian Chidester)

All artists featured on this page are playing The Deli’s CMJ shows (see poster on page 4-5)

Jaime Woods

If you saw the cover of Jaime Woods’ new EP, Troy, and thought it was an effort in nu-feminist rock, ala Tracy Chapman or Sinead O’Connor, you’d only be half wrong. Musically, she’s retro-soul with a modern twist; vocal inflections recall Amy Winehouse, though the restrained singer-songwriter vibe of cuts like “How Love’s Made” keep things resolutely personal and poetic. (Brian Chidester)

Shayna Steele

There’s no shortage of self-released solo albums by backup singers and Broadway celebrities, two posts which Shayna Steele knows well. Rise is her latest release, recorded between stints with Bette Midler, Moby, and the revival of Hairspray. Mellow cuts recall ‘80s Sade, though lively soul numbers like “Everybody’s Crying Mercy” make a solid case for Steele’s own spotlight. (Brian Chidester)

nyc alt soul top 20 Full Deli Web Buzz charts: thedelimagazine.com/charts

The Bright Smoke

Terrible Towns—the second LP from NYC’s Bright Smoke—puts further distance between them and the reverby dream-pop of past efforts. Singer Mia Wilson’s voice is still deep and husky, but she uses it more to roar than swoon this time. I’m thinking something like Fiona Apple, backed by Stereolab—an approximation. So let’s just call it “emotionally abstract.” (JP Basileo)

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Feathers+Eyes

These BK transplants also reinforce the recent musical shift away from less-is-more to pileit-on baroque, replete with orchestral strings, horns, and twitchy breakbeats. Such complexity is easily overlooked when paired to Alisha Roney’s ethereal voice—a multi-octave instrument that moves freely between husky alto and catastrophic soprano, and transcending easy classification. (Brian Chidester)

1. Hercules and Love Affair 2. Sharon Jones and the Dap-king 3. Citizen Cope 4. Emily King 5. Antony and the Johnsons 6. Alice Smith 7. Trixie Whitley 8. KimberlyNichole 9. Nick Hakim 10. Kiah Victoria 11. Carmen Chiles 12. Erin Barra 13. Adrian Daniel 14. Kendra Morris 15. Mad Satta 16. Caleb Hawley 17. Oyinda 18. Fiona Silver 19. The Gold Magnolias 20. Eliza Neals


TOBIAS JESSO JR., KAMASI WASHINGTON, PANDA BEAR, BØRNS, PERFECT PUSSY, TITUS ANDRONICUS, EX HEX, GLASS ANIMALS, THE WORD, DRINKS, CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN, MERCURY REV, MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK, SMALLPOOLS, THE JOY FORMIDABLE, NEON INDIAN, ALLDAY, POTTY MOUTH, CAR SEAT HEADREST, FRANKIE COSMOS, SHANNON AND THE CLAMS ...AND MANY MORE! GET YOUR BADGE AT: CMJ.COM/MARATHON

CMJ.COM

#CMJ2015


Photo: Kaitlin Parry

Extra I BEMF

Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival Returns for Eighth Year It’s no secret that, over the last decade, nightlife in NYC has migrated east. By the late ‘90s, Brooklyn had become a new epicenter of the city’s electronic music culture, where some still argue it started over three decades back. The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (BEMF), November 6th and 7th, gave definite voice to this shift when it debuted eight years ago. This year the fest’s organizers once again curate a series of shows across multiple venues in Williamsburg, involving the cutting-edge of emerging live and DJ talent. Bookings include MK, Laidback Luke, Floating Points, Eats Everything, Snakehips, Daniel Avery, Django Django, George Fitzgerald, Matrixx Mann, Luke Hess, and Soul Clap among others. In addition to programming, which involved seminal tastemakers like Fade to Mind, White Materials, Route 94, and the Black Madonna, BEMF also provides a forum for discussion on the issues facing the industry and today’s artists and labels. This year’s schedule extends beyond the two-day festival to include pre-parties on 11/5, plus a slew of after-hours events, and single day tickets for those diving in for a single night of adventure.

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Photo: Tina Mit

Two NYC artists playing BEMF 2015

JULIA GOVOR

Gina Turner

What are the synths that are currently inspiring you and why? Everything started with the Korg MS-20. You can get some nice bass sounds from it, but also I like the noise and filters. Mostly I use Ableton and some recordings of my voice.

What are the synths that are currently inspiring you and why? To be honest I’m really into the old school sound. So I tend to use the Sylenth plug-in or the (Korg) M1!

Mixing a distinct melodic flair with the sonic bombast of new techno, Govor pushes dancing and fun to the very edge, reveling in hallucinogenic textures that suggest not sleeping is its own form of dreaming. (Brian Chidester)

What synth do you use for your bass and drums sounds? I’m a big fan of the TR-909 sound! It’s a rare piece so I use good samples. I’ve also been using the [Teenage Engineering] Op-1 for bass. Sometimes I just use really simple sine wave synths in Ableton. Tell us of a neat trick that you like doing when arranging your tracks. I like combining delays to make some strange rhythm behind the main rhythm. I like to keep the sound closed and slowly open it up.

DJ Gina Turner, besides being a contemporary EDM artist, is also a deejay/host on Sirius XM. Husband Laidback Luke shares side-project Nouveau Yorican with Turner, who recently collaborated with Sweden hitmmaker Style of the Eye too. She’s everywhere! (Brian Chidester)

What synth do you use for your bass and drums sounds? (Roland TR-) 808 or 909!!! All the way! I use an 808 Tom sometimes and modulate it to sound like a bass line! Tell us of a neat trick that you like doing when arranging your tracks. I tend to make a solid 40-second loop with all of the elements I plan to use in my track, then I cut and paste it and automate it to make a full song!

KORG M1

KORG MS-20

Ableton Live Teenage Engineering OP-1

making the world a better sounding place.

Roland TR 808

Sylenth Plug-In

10 jay street suite 405 brooklyn, ny 11201 (718) 797-0177 www.joelambertmastering.com

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SYNTHS @ BKLYN SXPO 2015 Brooklyn Synth Expo, Nov 7-8, Main Drag Music

MicroBrute SE

MiniBrute SE

ARTURIA

Maker of mini-synths that are at once fun, stylish, and brutally named (the word “brute” is recurrent in their monikers), the French manufacturer Arturia distinguishes itself from the pack via “virtual” origins. What that means is that they have a large catalog of vintage synth software emulations and in 2003 they even worked with Bob Moog to create the Modular V Softsynth. Once Arturia entered the analog market in 2012, though, they made their biggest splash with the affordable but very expressive (and feature packed) MiniBrute and MicroBrute synths, which have been a success story emblematic of the world’s rediscovery of knobs.

Few things in music are as inspiring and intimidating as synthesizers. We all have synthpop faves from the Eighties, Nineties, and today, though it’s a general truism that much of the relevant electro output (Kraftwerk, Suicide, Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Ministry, Prodigy) is resolutely dark, cold, even apocalyptic. Could the art coming from such “unnatural” instruments inspire a revolt of the machines against their master human creators? Do synths alone trigger such scary, fascinating thoughts in music? Creatively, different personalities get different vibes when staring at a wall of knobs. The analytical mind may identify them as toys opening onto an infinite number of creative options. Others see a huge learning curve that threatens to interfere with inspiration, opting for a “less (knobs) is more” approach. Both of these types will have plenty of options that suit their creative processes at this year’s 2nd Brooklyn Synth Expo, scheduled at Main Drag Music in Williamsburg, with these participating manufacturers... in rigorous alphabetical order!

Eurorack

Eurorack is the new, trendier incarnation of the modular synth systems invented by Moog and Buchla in 1963. They don’t really differ in anything but size—a height slightly over 5”—which is an important detail, because that’s a lot smaller than the other modular formats. Plus, in today’s world, smaller is better, or so they say. Anyway, the concept is the same, the format is a lot more open; it all allows electro geeks to create their own synthesizers, mixing and matching racks from different manufacturers. The Eurorack community is comprised of many very new independent manufacturers, although giants like Roland and Dave Smith Instruments have recently joined the ranks.

Critter & Guitari

Bolsa Bass

Pocket Piano

Bushwick-based Critter & Guitari founders Owen Osborn and Chris Kucinski have made a name for themselves thanks to the Pocket Piano, a versatile mini-synth featuring 18 wooden keys, seven modes, four knobs, and built-in speakers hosted in a rugged anodized aluminum and wood enclosure. That’s not the only synth they do though! In addition to a bass synth variation of their flagship product, C&G also produced a portable 7W guitar amp for Jack White’s Third Man Records, two modular synths (with very few knobs!), video synthesizers and the bizarre Kaleidoloop, a portable sound collector designed to be taken anywhere to gather and manipulate all kinds of sounds.

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Prophet 6

Tempest

Dave Smith Instruments

The name Dave Smith will always be tied to the word “Prophet,” part of Dave’s synth legacy ever since his original company, Sequential Circuits, unveiled the legendary “Prophet-5” in 1978 — the world’s first fullyprogrammable polyphonic synth. Roughly three decades later, Dave resurrected the Prophet name with the Prophet ’08 under the Dave Smith Instruments brand. Fast forward to 2015 and the Prophet (and Sequential) name is back once again with the introduction of the Prophet-6 — a tribute to the poly synth that started it all. It features the original analog warmth of VCOs, VCFs and VCAs, plus studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and more. Dave has also been producing successful hybrid synths (Pro 2 and) and Prophet 12), mini synths (Mopho series) and the Tetra desktop synth module, as well as the Tempest drum machine, designed with the father of drum machines, Roger Linn.

RK-100S Keystar Analog Rytm

Analog Keys

Elektron

Founded in 1998 by three Swedish university students who created a synthesizer from the Commodore 64 SID sound chip, Elektron is a manufacturer with a catalogue of solid and beautifully-designed products. Their most recent venture combines hardware and software in Overbridge, the world’s first Analog VST plugin. On the hardware side, Analog Rytm is one of their most popular products, combining a discreet custom designed 8-voice analog drum synthesizer alongside sample playback in beautiful harmony with a very versatile 13-track sequencer, including DIN sync outputs and an effect section that carries delay, reverb, analog distortion, and analog compression. Intuitive without lacking depth, this tabletop drum machine is a source of inspiration for a growing number of musicians.

ARP Odyssey

KORG

KORG has a gazillion wonderful synths in their arsenal (ARP Odyssey, MS-20, the Volca series), but today we’re in the mood to highlight their Keytar RK-100S, since from a quick search it seems like they are one of the few manufacturers believing in this underappreciated hybrid, bound for a revival. Why, you ask? Because “keytar” means playing keyboards the non-boring way. The RK-100S is a new re-make of KORG’s 1984 RK-100. While keeping its essence, the Japanese company armed it newly with a built-in analog modeling sound generator (the original needed an external sound module). Other new features and functions include two ribbon controllers, an arpeggiator, and also a vocoder! Guess it’s time for synth geeks to learn Chuck Berry’s duck walk.

Moog

Sub 37 System 15

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The concept of modular synth, invented by Robert Moog 50 years ago, was obviously too early for its time. The idea that musicians, instead of relying on manufacturers to deliver “ready made,” finished synths, could mix and match modules from different companies, is more compatible with a super-educated world that’s going DIY all the way, rather than with the one Dr. Moog lived in. The company he founded has started a limited run of three of Moog’s most sought after 5U, large format, modular synthesizers: the System 55, the System 35, and the Model 15 (pictured, the most affordable of the bunch at $10k). These were originally created and manufactured by Moog in 1973.


RolandUS.com

Past legends. Future classics. Defining the sound of electronic music.


Accelerator

System-1m

RT-451

TR-8

Bass Station II

Circuit

Novation

UK’s Novation has been one of the first synth makers to introduce the idea of super-portable keyboard synths. (Remember the Bass Station from the early ‘90s?) That format is now all the rage and mini-synths seem to be getting smaller and more feature-heavy by the hour. Their new product “Circuit”—what they call a “Groove Box”—goes exactly in this direction, combining two Novation polysynths, a four-part drum machine with an intuitive grid-based sequencer into a really small table-top box. A rich selection of oscillator types and wavetables, plus an effect section of reverbs and delay, make Circuit a complete and affordable production box to create music while at home, in the studio, or on the go.

Radikal Technologies

When you pick a name like “Radikal,” then compromise is out of the question, isn’t it? That’s one of the reasons why the latest synth offered by this high-end German manufacturer will set you back more than $2K! But what you get with that pricetag is the Accelerator, a great sounding, 8-voice, subtractive, digital synth with a rich engine and an abundance of features (three oscillators per voice, six envelopes, four LFOs, four track sequencers, two filters, and a great FX section just to mention a few). Radikal has recently also ventured into the Eurorack format with the module RT-451 Dual Multimode Filter, featuring two of the Spectralis multimode filters.

Roland

Roland’s AIRA system was introduced about a year and a half ago. Since then it seems to be breeding like rabbits. Based on a new modelling technology called Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB), it first aimed at modernizing the vintage Roland classics (TB-303, System-100, and TR-808) through the launch of the TB-3 bass synth, the System-1 lead synth, the TR-8 Rhythm Performer (a drum machine), and the VT-3 Vocal Transformer (effect for vocals). Then at Summer Namm we were surprised to see an unexpected crowd of AIRA “grandkids”: four smaller, cutting edge FX boxes (the Bitrazer bit crusher, the Demora delay, the Scooper filter, and the Torcido distortion) and a version of the System-1 in Eurorack format (pictured). Four cheers to audacity and prolificity!

Yamaha

This Japanese manufacturer has a glorious history as a synth maker (suffice to say: DX7). In the last few decades, however, it has kept its focus on that hybrid synth/do-it-all category called workstations (see their flagship product, the Motif). Until... today! Aware that their vintage synths are still very much loved by many musicians, Yamaha in 2015 came out with the “Reface” line of mini keyboards. Inspired by four of their most successful products (read: effects, generous polyphony and connectivity), the two synths in the group are the Reface DX, which re-launches the FM synthesis of the DX7, adding a phrase looper and a multi-touch control interface to it, and the Reface CS, which uses analog physical modelling to create multiple synthesis and oscillator types. The Reface CP and YC, instead, similarly modernize Yamaha’s take on electric piano and organ.

Reface DX

Reface CS

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Create your sound

any place, any time

Five unique organs with drawbars, rotary speaker, percussion and effects for a complete organ experience that fits under your arm.

Get a van-full of iconic 70s stage keyboards and vintage effects in a portable retro-style package without sacrificing sound, playability or polyphony.

Go from retro 80s to cutting-edge modern at the flick of a finger… literally! The multi-touch control panel puts powerful FM synthesis under your fingertips.

Not just another monophonic analog clone, the 8-note polyphonic reface CS’ five unique oscillator modules create a variety of sounds from analog to digital.

Keyboardists, songwriters and sound designers need great sound, feel and portability. Meet reface: a Mobile Mini Keyboard series with a re-imagined interface of classic Yamaha keyboards from the past 40 years. Each model in the reface series has a unique sound and matched controls for immediate, interactive and inspirational music-making. The new HQ-mini keyboard raises the bar for playability, response and feel. And with battery operation and built-in speakers plus 1/4" line outs, USB and MIDI, reface is at home on stage, in the studio, on a plane, at the beach – any place, any time inspiration strikes.

Get to know reface here:

4wrd.it/refaceBSE ©2015 Yamaha Corporation of America. All rights reserved.


Pocket Operator

Teenage Engineering

While everybody else was busy making synths that fit into a backpack, Sweden’s Teenage Engineering (which already has a tremendous one of those, called the OP-1), came out with a line of synths that can fit... in your pocket! The Pocket Operator exists in three versions (Rhythm for drum machine, Sub for bass, and Factory for lead sounds), and features at once hilarious animations and clever engineering. Considering the size, they pack an insane amount of features. For example, Factory has multiple synthesizer engines, including fm, subtractive synthesis, wave table, and physical modeled string, plus sixteen FX, sixteen arpeggio and chord play styles, and a 16-step sequencer, just to mention a few. Here’s a good excuse to leave your smartphone home.

Vintage Synths from Three Wave Music

A Synth Expo would be a little disappointing without the presence of some vintage synths. In particular, considering how those early models still inspire most new ones. Even though Main Drag has its fair share of old machines, probably no other store in the US can boast a bigger collection of vintage synths than legendary Hawthorne, NJ store Three Wave Music (pictured). Owner Sam Masuko will be present at our Brooklyn Synth Expo with a selection of instruments that should make collectors salivate and geeks take notes.

40 YEARS OF GROUNDBREAKING SYNTHESIZERS Grammy® winner and MIDI co-creator Dave Smith has designed more groundbreaking synths than anyone. Ever. Whatever your musical need or budget, Dave’s award-winning line of analog and analog/digital hybrid instruments has the right tool for you.

| 6 -Vo i c e A n a l o g Po l y S y n t h

Prophet-6 · Pro 2 · Prophet 12

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Prophet ‘08 · Mopho · Mopho x4

Designed and built in California

Mopho SE · Tetra · Tempest · Evolver

w w w.d a v es m i t h i n s t ru m ents. co m

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PERFORM On stage or in the studio BeatStep Pro is designed to perform. Whether you work with MIDI, USB, CV/gate or DIN sync gear, BeatStep Pro is all about no limits and total creative control.


Read about pedals on delicious-audio.com!

Synth Expo Edition!

Catalinbread Heliotrope

• An “analog bit crusher” without... analog to digital conversion! • “Hi”/”Lo” switch moves the range of the pedal’s carrier frequency. • “Sample Rate” is the fine adjustment of the carrier frequency within the given range. • “Resolution” determines the duty cycle or the ratio of on to off time of the carrier frequency, making the sound as sharp or as blurry as you like.

Red Witch Synthotron

• Two discreet, all analog synth voices (i.e. oscillators, the red and yellow channels) generating one or two octaves up or down. • Light blue channel controls the tremolo. • Dark blue channel controls the filter. • One footswitch controls the octave range and the other various options related to the effect section, including sample/hold mode.

EarthQuaker Devices Bit Commander

• Monophonic analog guitar synthesizer, with four octaves of square wave synth tones. • Adds or subtracts octaves to create a wide variety of sounds without having to dial in envelopes or oscillators. • The best tracking occurs from the seventh fret up on all the strings.

Fuzzhugger Sonic Shroom • Harmonic-blasting, liquidsounding, layered fuzz, with controls that take you from smooth and searing, to splattery. From there, add a mind-altering second mode with wild oscillation, whale calls, blips, self-arpeggiation, more synth tones, and fat octave down!


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The Deli NYC #44 - CMJ 2015, Stolen Jars, The Rammellzee, Brooklyn Stompbox Exhibit  

2015 CMJ issue. Featuring Stolen Jars on the cover. Also: a full-length article on hip-hop legend the Rammellzee, plus in-depth coverage of...

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