afrobeat influences - The Deli

afrobeat influences - The Deli

afrobeat influences - The Deli


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the magazine about emerging nyc bands

FREE in NYC Issue #31 Volume #2 SUMMER 2012

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afrobeat influences

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the deli

the everything magazine about the emerging nyc music nyc scene bands

Issue #31 Volume #2 Summer 2012

EDITOR IN CHIEF: Paolo De Gregorio

FOUNDER: Charles Newman



ART DIRECTOR/DESIGNER: Kaz Yabe (www.kazyabe.com)

COVER PHOTO: Emily Raw (www.emilyraw.com)

WEB DEVELOPERS: Mark Lewis, Alex Borsody

STAFF WRITERS: Bill Dvorak, Nancy Chow, Mike SOS,

Dean Van Nguyen, Meijin Bruttomesso, Dave Cromwell,

Ben Krieger, Mike Levine


Charlie Davis, Simon Heggie, BrokeMC, allison levin,

Ed Guardaro, Amanda F. Dissinger, Chelsea Eriksen,

Molly Horan, Annamarya Scaccia, Tuesday Phillips,

Christine Cauthen, Corinne Bagish, Devon Antonetti,

Jen Mergott

THE KITCHEN: Janice Brown, Howard J. Stock, Ben Wigler,

Shane O’Connor, Matt Rocker, David Weiss,

Justin Colletti, Gus Green

INTERNS: Mijhal Poler, Kristina Tortoriello, Tracy Mamoun,

Max Lefkowitz, Joshua S. Johnson, Bob Raymonda

PUBLISHERS: The Deli Magazine LLC / Mother West, NYC

The Deli Magazine is a trademark of The Deli Magazine, LLC, Brooklyn &

Mother West, NYC. All contents ©2012 The Deli Magazine. All rights reserved.



Note from the Editor

p.20 From Afrobeat to

Brooklyn’s Freaks

Dear readers,

All rock music fans are familiar with the so-called “rock ‘n’ roll attitude”: picture

your favorite rebellious rock star raising a middle finger (figuratively speaking... or

not!) to the “establishment.” Well, we occasionally (very rarely!) experience this attitude

from emerging artists, in most cases angry or disappointed that we haven’t

covered them yet – or because we took too long maybe? It is always a rather sad

experience, because we wish we could make everybody happy, but sometimes you

just can’t. And maybe we are at a point where some musicians now see The Deli

as part of the “establishment.” Kind of an absurd thought, considering what we do

and how we do it (yes, we are still very DIY, and 100% independent). Such circumstances

also make us rethink that in a world inundated with twenty-somethings

who feel fulfilled only when they step on a stage (hey, I was one of those too!),

such behavior can be critically counter-productive. Of course, we all have our preferences

as far as music, mags and blogs, but in such a crowded scene, I’m not sure

how many people want to work with rude, careless musicians. In my experience,

assuming you already have great songs and a fantastic live show, public relations

for a band are a significant component of “success” (whatever that means).

Ultimately, if you’d rather stick with what your gut tells you to do or say at any given

minute, then you may end up making things even more complicated than they

already are - although that sure is very rock ‘n’ roll! On the other side, there are

plenty of bands that we have learned to appreciate over time – patiently working

and showing us their progress. The ultimate goal is to be able to continue making

music and sharing it with others who will appreciate your work, and that’s what

The Deli is here to help you do.

-Paolo De Gregorio

reaD the paSt iSSueS

oF the Deli in pDF !!


the brooklyn

Diy Scene (2008)


grizzly bear (2004)





the lower east Side (2007)


Matt and Kim (2006)






• Home vs. Studio

• Choosing a Recording Studio

• Recording Drums According to

4 NYC Top Producers

• Do You Need Mastering?

4 the deli Summer 2012






• Keep updated with the newest

emerging NYC indie artists.

• Use our free DIY Live Listings and

Open Blog to promote your music

(or other bands you like) !!!






• Enter your band for free in our charts

organized by genre and region.

• Find out about other like-minded

artists in your same genre.



Doe Paoro

Doe Paoro describes her music

as “ghost soul,” due in part to

her haunting vocals and the

lingering chants that fill her songs. Doe

Paoro is actually Sonia Kreitzer, a New

York state native who wears the mythical

façade after an unforgettable trip

through the Himalayas. It was in the

southern Asian mountains that Kreitzer

discovered “Lhamo,” a Tibetan opera

style characterized by songs and dance

of the region. With a unique vocal delivery

and heavy spiritual elements, Doe

Paoro stands out from her Brooklyn

peers by truly stepping away from the

average guitar or piano ballads, opting

for an unusual, but beautiful sound.

Studying Lhamo gives your music

such a rich, unique quality.

What originally drew you to it?

I first discovered Lhamo after days of

hiking alone. I heard a voice so penetrating

that I couldn’t believe it was coming

from a human being. I don’t think it

was; I believe this woman was merely

a conduit for an otherworldly force.

“Lhamo” actually translates into something

akin to siren or goddess. After

asking around, I learned of Lhamo,

and met the teacher. He agreed to take

me on as an apprentice, and I am ever

grateful for his kindness and wisdom.

What kind of music did you grow up on?

I grew up with many different types

of music, but mostly I was fascinated

by sound as a child – a stick whipping

through space, acorns dropping from

trees, a fly in my face. Sound calmed me

in a way that the visual world did not. It

moved me beyond a sensory level.

Full interview by Devon Antonetti:


Friend Roulette

There’s a perfectly hummable

sentiment somewhere in Friend

Roulette’s “Sailing Song” that

keeps working its way back to the surface,

but only after first progressing

through all manner of uneven meter

changes, brass fanfare and incidental

thematic adventure. At times stepping

boldly into a space usually exclusive

to the imagination of score composers

like Danny Elfman, the group essentially

writes baroque pop pieces for an

imagined Brechtian musical, casting

its talented singers/songwriters Julia

Tepper and Matthew Meade as the

show’s unlikely protagonists.

I’m curious where some of your influences

come from.

6 the deli Summer 2012

Friend Roulette

Are any of you big film music fans?

Matt: John (EWI and bass clarinet) is a

big fan of film music. He went through

a big phase of listening to a lot of Ennio

Morricone. I really like the soundtrack to

Psycho. But mainly my biggest influences

are Van Dyke Parks and Stravinsky.

Both those composers carry a cinematic

type of quality with their music.

I understand you have an LP on the

horizon. Tell me what I can expect.

A very lush and dense album is what

you can expect. We have been working

very hard on it. Most tracks have

about 3 layers of bass clarinet and

EWI – violin as well. Many tracks have

4 layers of percussion. It’s moving into

more melted, psychedelic territory,

and Julia’s vocals sound amazing.

Full interview by Mike Levine:


I Am Lightyear

Lauren Zettler is better known

these days as I Am Lightyear. The

Indiana native is the daughter

of chemists, and a former chemistry

student herself. But Zettler was never

particularly interested in the science

world – heading out instead on a musical

path. That path led her to Berklee

College of Music in Boston where she

studied film scoring. After graduating,

Zettler packed up for New York to write

and perform songs for the first time –

showcasing her sweet, poppy vocals.

But it wasn’t until a series of life changes

that she started performing under

the name I Am Lightyear, a moniker

that she takes on for its infinite abilities.

I Am Lightyear

This musical project deals a lot with

transformation and sea change.

What kind of life circumstances

compelled you in this direction?

My artistic life was paralleling my personal

life pretty intensely. I was making

some major changes (mainly related

to a relationship), and so my creative

process really needed to reflect that

because, without getting too personal,

it was the kind of situation that was

all-encompassing. The girl-with-guitar

singer-songwriter thing didn’t feel right

to me anymore, and I wanted to shed

that history and start over again.

You played under your real name in

the past. What is the difference in your

sound and approach to music between

Lauren Zettler and I Am Lightyear?

There is definitely a different mindset –

I feel like I can be a bit freer. If I’m performing

as Lauren Zettler, that’s me up

there, saying things that I would say

and thoughts that I would think. When

I’m performing under I Am Lightyear,

it’s not me anymore. It’s a band. It’s a

bunch of ideas that come from places I

wasn’t really aware of before, because I

feel like I can write about anything.

Full interview by Devon Antonetti:



Mellow Core &

Orchestral Pop Top 20

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Lana Del Rey

2. Beirut

3. Sufjan Stevens

4. St. Vincent

5. Exitmusic

6. Twin Sister

7. The Pierces

8. Emilie Simon

9. Lia Ices

10. Dark Dark Dark

11. Joan as Police Woman

12. MS MR

13. High Highs

14. Chris Garneau

15. Nicole Atkins

16. Miracles of

Modern Science

17. Ida

18. Clare and the Reasons

19. Elephant Parade

20. Bryan Scary


Check out our self-generating online charts:



Bushwick’s own SoftSpot was

founded by Sarah Kinlaw and

Bryan Keller who have been

friends “since the sandbox.” With the

help of drummer Blaze Bateh, the

band charges through their art-rock

compositions with vehement wails –

channeling their inner-Jonsi. The trio

released the EP Nous in the fall of last

year, with a new single “The Cleansing

Hour” that followed in February.

Kinlaw’s operatically-trained voice

soars through each song as ambient

guitars guide the group through sonic

and visual ingenuity. Part of her magnetism

on stage may come from her

high school theater days, giving their

performances a moody, organic appeal.

What finally made you start making

music together after having known

each other since kindergarten?

Bryan: Since knowing each other, we

have always had a mutual appreciation

for music. I had been making music for

a long time with lots of different people,

and when Sarah started writing some

songs of her own, I would help texturize

them. We really liked working together.

Over the years, we started collaborating

more and making more songs as a unit.

Sarah: Yeah, even though we met when

we were so little, our actual friendship

was always formed through music. I

remember bringing Green Day’s Dookie

on the school bus and showing it off to

Bryan. He thought I was so cool which

meant that my plans to reel him in as

a cool bus buddy were a complete success.

Honestly, from that point on, our

friendship was heavily built from our

passions and the need to share what

we love with each other and other

mutual friends. It wasn’t until a few

years ago that I felt comfortable playing

my own songs, and I was so grateful

that Bryan was able to help bring

me out of my own private song-world.

Full interview by Devon Antonetti:



Doe Paoro

After months of ambiguity,

MS MR have finally begun

performing out live – giving

only a slight glimpse into the world of

the mysterious duo.

MS MR, comprised of a woman and

a man (the MS half may or may not

be named Liz), have released a demo

album and a single, with accompanying

music videos, but that’s about it. They

don’t want to divulge their identities,

they don’t show their faces on any

album work, and they certainly don’t

grant interviews. But it’s that perfect

amount of tease that piques a listener’s

Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

The Interaction of

Vocals and Mics

Slow, sparse songs allow the vocals to become the

central focus of the recording, and that’s when the

choice of microphone and mic preamp can make

a big difference. Not many can afford a Neumann

U47 through a Neve channel, but even with a limited

microphone/preamp arsenal, a lot that can be done

to improve your vocals’ tone. There is a degree of

enigmatic “chemistry” between some mic+preamp

combos and some voices – to be discovered

through trial and error – but here are a few simple

tips that can help fix some common problems:

1. The distance of the mouth from the microphone

is crucial: vocal mics feature the so called “proximity

effect” which exaggerates low frequencies at close

distance and reduces them progressively after a

certain range. 8 inches from the mic is normally a

good place to start, try closer for a warmer tone,

farther for a tinnier one.

2. Excessive sibilance can be

very distracting in vocal tracks.

To fix it try these tips and/or any

combination of them: a less bright

mic (maybe even a Shure SM58),

a better a/d converter, singing

to the mic on an angle, sticking

chewing gum between your

upper front teeth. If you realize

about this problem after the

recording, try a de-esser plug-in.

3. Plosive consonants (“P”s and

“B”s) can create weird artifacts in

your recordings. The solution in

this case is very simple: use a pop

shield between the vocalist and

the mic, and also filter out with

EQ anything under 100-150 Hz. Neumann U47

interest and makes everyone a bit more

curious. MS MR may be hiding their

identities, but their music does speak

for itself. The band is mixture of sweet

and severe, with light and ambient

vocals against pounding pop melodies.

The duo is also likely to be British,

which is possibly where their dream

and drone sound originates. They may

not be eager to expose their inner workings,

but MS MR do have a musical

focus to back their secretive attitude.

Article by Devon Antonetti:


the deli Summer 2012 7


Avan Lava

Avan Lava, as a whole, is a mindblowing

spectacle that takes

time to behold. The band is a

mix of seasoned pros and otherwise

unknown underground talent. Ian

Pai and Le Chev of Fischerspooner

theorized this upbeat hard hitting

disco-rock side project while on tour

in Brazil four years ago. They sought

to remove themselves from the chilled

out ambient norm, and erupted onto

the indie music circuit with high-energy

tracks that get people off the wall

and back onto the dance floor.

In a realm of indie music dominated

by angsty words and feelings, you

guys are a fresh burst of positivity.

How do you relate to other acts within

the burgeoning indie scene in NYC?

The great thing about being in music

(especially the NYC scene) right now, is

that there’s room for everyone. We feel

like we’re not alone in being positive

and energetic, but part of a new movement

with bands like SSION and Body

Language. Angsty sentiments have

become the norm in indie music, and

now energetic upbeat stuff, like what

we’re doing, is the new counterculture.

And we’re happy to wave the flag.

How do you feel about the recent rise in

electro-rock and dubstep when compared

to your musical styles and tastes?

It’s amazing that it’s become so popular.

I remember playing with Skrillex

in a bar about 2 years ago, and now

he has a Grammy. CRAZY, sexy...cool.

The rise of dance music in the states,

in general, is incredible. It’s totally

inspiring to see the biggest stars all

testing the waters on big room house

sounds. This explosion is definitely

doing something bizarre for house

music, and my relationship to it, in

that it’s not underground AT ALL

anymore. But, I think it’s important

to remember that dance music has

always been huge, and I think always

will be, in whatever form it’s in.

Full interview by Ed Guardaro:


Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Reverb Doesn’t

Have to Be... REVERB!

Electronic music thrives on the creation of new

sounds and textures. Here’s a cool idea that’s also

CPU friendly – since it implies using samples instead

of computer power-hungry reverb plug-ins.

With the help of a virtual sampler (like Drumagog or

any of the free samplers available online), a simple

noise gate and a stereo enhancer plug-in, any more

or less “linear” sound can be transformed into an


Avan lava


Saadi is a swirling,


portal into

Boshra AlSaadi’s

eclectic musical

mind. The former

Looker vocalist

brings together a

cornucopia of influences

that transport

listeners through

her musical meta-

morphosis. Born in Syria, AlSaadi fully carries over an Arabic feel to her


beat-driven electro-pop tunes

that also calls on post-punk, reggae,

dancehall, rock and No Wave. AlSaadi

writes boisterous songs that command

attention like other fiery femme fatales

such as M.I.A. and Grace Jones. The

diverse list of artists that have remixed

her music matches the collage of sundry

genres AlSaadi blends. Delicate

Steve, Prince Rama, Lemonade and The

Soundmen have all had their hands in

reimagining the songs while maintaining

the intoxicating exotic essence and

integrity of the originals.

When did you decide to embark on a

solo project?

It was strange, after years of collaboration

in Looker, there was a part of me

that started going its own way musically.

I found myself saving up for a

Free PlugIn, Drum-Trig

effect similar to a reverb – but more interesting.

For example, you can try some white or pink noise

The Deli’s

Web Buzz Charts

1. Lemonade

2. Blood Orange

3. Ratatat

4. LCD Soundsystem

5. A-Trak

6. Teengirl Fantasy

7. Tanlines

8. Porcelain Raft

9. Com Truise

10. St. Lucia

11. Amon Tobin

12. El-P

13. Battles

14. Laurel Halo

15. Discovery

16. Bikini

17. Thieves Like Us

18. Caged Animals

19. Mindless

Self Indulgence

20. The Golden Filter

Check out our

self-generating online charts:

laptop just to use the primitive recording

software on it. The first few songs I

wrote by myself on my computer were

pretty magical. I knew they wouldn’t

be right for Looker, and I knew I had

opened some kind of floodgate. There

have been strange mutations since

with changing lineups, backing tracks,

configurations and instrumentation.

What’s your songwriting process like?

I write everything and make demos.

Until now, all Saadi releases have been

my demos souped up by talented collaborators

like Tim Wagner (from Dither

Down). With this band, I hand over

what I’ve recorded, and they run with

it. The record I’m wrapping up is a real

testament to the magic of a live band.

Full interview by Dean Van Nguyen:



Top 20



Photo: Alberto Milazzo

triggered by the snare, or even a more textured

sample that you may find in your library or out

in the world.

The gate, of course, will allow you to control

its decay. If the sound is mono or doesn’t

give the snare that roomy quality conferred

by reverb, you can try and apply a stereo

enhancer to it, or maybe some very short

stereo delay. Some EQ might be necessary to

blend the sample in with the rest of the track.

This kind of effect can sound very intriguing,

but also get a little repetitive, so in most cases,

it’s better to use it sparingly on sections of

songs or maybe even one occasional hit.




People Get Ready Photo: Jenn Nielsen



lot of Foxygen’s music feels

entirely off the cuff, even while

sounding like a lot of time was

spent on the tracks. Occupying that

historical space somewhere between

the hippie psychedelia of 13th Floor

Elevators and the glam rock of Roxy

Music, it’s hard to tell what era their

music exists in. Frankly, this is a band

that can’t seem to make up their

mind about much of anything, and it’s

probably for the best. The twin vocals

of songwriting team Sam France and

Jonathan Rado seem to switch genres

entirely mid-verse or mid-hook, going

from a tumult of horns and organs to

jangly guitar and back again. Leaderof-the-pack

motorcycle rock ‘n’ roll

gives way to Shirelles fanfare and

Beach Boy anthems, all fronted by

something close to Mick Jagger… it’s

retrolicious – through and through.

I have to ask: How does your writing

process work, especially when you

both live across the country from one


Sam: We recorded Take The Kids

Off Broadway when we were living

together in New York. We share a psychic

vision of the album. I make up

the title. We think of the album cover,

and go from there.

Jonathan: A lot has been made of us

being a “bicoastal” band, but the truth

is that we’re not doing a Postal Service

thing or anything. We live in different

places, but we always record and play

in the same place. We’re both on the

west coast right now – monocoastal.

Who determines the direction and

style of your recordings?

Jonathan: Both of us. We’ve been

doing this for a long time. We don’t

even really talk that much when we

record anymore.

Full interview by Mike Levine:



Brooklyn’s Conveyor

presents an intriguing

blend of styles

and influences on their

sonic palette. Combining

the percussion of Afropop

with moody electronics

and rhythmic patterned

vocal placement, their

sound is bouncy and creative. Time

signatures that break out of the 4/4

mold suggest artists not content to

rely on the safety of familiar patterns.

The band will be releasing their debut

full-length album later this year on

Paper Garden Records.

Your song “Woolgatherer” emphasizes

syncopated vocal rhythms with a variety

of percussive elements and keyboard

flourishes. How does a track like

this come to take its musical shape?

That track kind of came together all at

once in the studio; we didn’t really play

around with it as a band first. It started

with the percussive vocals and a drumbeat,

and then we layered guitars and

synths on top of that. The lyrics were

written pretty stream of consciousness,

which explains the different lengths

of all the verses. I think, in general,

“Woolgatherer” is reflective of how we

approach writing songs: Sing over a

part until it feels like the part should

change, and then go to a new section.

“Anne” takes your cascading vocals

even further – into “Beach Boys” territory.

Is or was Brian Wilson an inspiration

or influence to you?

Definitely – it’s hard to find modern

pop music that doesn’t take a lesson

from the Beach Boys. All four of us

like to sing, and when you’re looking

for inspiration or references for male

vocal harmony, the Beach Boys are

such a powerful starting point.

Full interview by Dave Cromwell:




Get Ready

People Get Ready is a perfect

example of what can happen

when vastly different personalities

come together and become something

greater than their sum. James Rickman

composes many of the band’s guitar

parts, and also writes equally well for

many of New York’s art house musicians

(Playback), while co-conspirator Steven

Reker moonlights as a professional dancer

for several artists (including David

Byrne), and that’s just what two members

of the quartet are up to. Referring

to themselves as interdisciplinary, you’re

just as likely to find physical acrobatics

and light shows at their gigs as you are

to hear a schizophrenic jungle of sounds

tangled together in a loosely defined

version of Afrobeat(y) groove music.

There is so much going on in your

records. Tell me where you get some

of your sounds from.

Most of the sounds are from old Casio

keyboards – I became obsessed with

them a couple years back! The songs

from the EP were originally guitarbased

– then I distilled those ideas

into the keyboards, which left a bunch

of room for Luke to add percussion

and for Jherek Bischoff (our producer)

to work his magic.

Tell me some more about your upcoming

residency at Process Space. Sounds

very exciting!

10 the deli Summer 2012

the deli Summer 2012 11



Photo: Matei G

Life Size Maps

We are making a performance piece

that will premiere at this incredible theater

in October – New York Live Arts.

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council has

these programs where they offer artists

residencies/places to make new work

– they are an awesome organization.

We’ll be doing some open rehearsals of

what we’re working on – basically it’s

like a performance “mixtape” that is

scored by the band – and it’s over on

Governors Island. You should come by!

Full interview by Dave Cromwell:


Life Size Maps

Life Size Maps have amped up

the oddities on their new EP

Weird Luck. Venturing off from

their more traditional indie pop debut

Magnifier, the band’s sound has come

into its own, establishing the trio

in the noise pop genre. Their latest,

three-song record employs random

sounds and seamlessly incorporates

them into their music, which is also

fed with impressive hooks and occasional

doses of math rock. The EP’s

opener and the title track, “Weird

Luck,” is a speed-pop tune that finds a

unique balance between synthetic cello

riffs and Nintendo beep solos. In both

“Wind in the Furnace” and “Copper

Mirror,” hummable melodies coexist

with frenzied noises, making the group

sound like an intriguing mix of Parts

and Labor and They Might Be Giants.

How did you come up with the band


Mike: We used to be a 6-piece miniorchestra.

Our bassoonist got high one

day and asked to see a “life size map

of the world.”

I felt like Magnifier was sort of an

exploration into what kind of band you

wanted to be, and Weird Luck was the

result. Was this a conscience transition

or did the band just evolve naturally?

Mike: Weird Luck is more sleek and

streamlined. The songs are simpler,

but the sounds are weirder.

Jordyn: I think it also has something to

do with me joining and having a presence

in the sound. Drummers make

more of a difference in the sound than

people realize – a certain feel, energy,

and limitations or expansions.

Full interview by Jen Mergott:



Photo: Danny Krug


If Captain Beefheart was reincarnated

as a petite blonde woman

from Connecticut, he’d be fronting

the post-punk band EULA in the guise

of Alyse Lamb, the vocalist for the now

Brooklyn-based trio that also consists

of bassist Jeff Maleri and drummer

Nate Rose. They’ve released 6 videos

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Yeasayer

10. Kaki King

2. Animal Collective 11. Gang Gang Dance

3. Dirty Projectors 12. Faun

4. Black Dice 13. Rubblebucket

5. Grizzly Bear 14. The Fiery Furnaces

6. A Place To Bury 15. Son Lux

Strangers 16. Rasputina

7. Emil & Friends 17. Delicate Steve

8. Yo La Tengo 18. Mice Parade

9. Department 19. Marnie Stern

of Eagles 20. Ava Luna

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in support of their 2011 LP Maurice

Narcisse, including a new documentary

about their recent show opening for

post-punk icons Mission of Burma.

How did the Mission of Burma

documentary happen?

It came about by accident. Mission of

Burma chose us to open for them at

MIT in 2009 after seeing our video for

“Fight Riff.” They asked us back, two

years later, to open for them at Music

Hall of Williamsburg. I can’t believe

I’m saying this, but they requested

US. It was beautifully surreal! A couple

days before the show at Music Hall, I

thought, “They are the forefathers of

post-punk. We need to document this.”

Burma is such a huge influence, and

I really wanted to capture the experience.

We worked with Collabo!NYC on

our “Live from Big Snow” video, which

was amazing, so it made sense to work

with them again. They are magic.

Full interview by Shanda Boyett:


Avant Indie

& Noise Rock

Top 20

Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Thurston Moore’s

Pedal Board

Sonic Youth is a band that like no other brought innovation to

the sound of indie rock – particularly in the guitar tones and

playing style departments. But unlike many contemporary

Lo-Fi, noise rock bands, Thurston Moore and co. always

devoted a lot of resources to researching the sonic

possibilities offered by different guitars, amps and pedal

effects. So much so, that over their tri-decennial career, they

slowly accumulated an incredible equipment arsenal.

• Mutron Wah-Vol

• Electro-Harmonix/Sovtek Big Muff

• Crowther ‘Hot Cake’ Overdrive

What you may not be aware of though is that

the band went to extreme lengths to document

each piece of gear they used and how they

employed it in their many releases. More

Thurston Moore’s effects pedal board

as reported in August 2008.

• Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Octave Fuzz

• MXR Phase 90

• Sitori Sonics ‘Harem Fuzz’

important – all this information is accessible for

free on their website (www.sonicyouth.com –

Archives/Gearography), and represents a treasure

of details for all those interested in replicating

some of the band’s insane guitar and bass tones.



Night Manager




long time ago, the founding

members of Motive were shredding

through jazz lead sheets

and getting carted across the U.S.

and Europe to showcase their young

talent. Nowadays, Motive populates

a different scene. Erupting from a

Clinton Hill practice space onto stages

and club circuits around the city, the

band is taking NYC – and the internet

– by storm. In the dawn of a quintessential

political election, their song

“Nobody Eats Dinner” was synced to

clips of Mitt Romney at his worst. This

video went viral and with it, Motive.

Their music is masterfully layered and

meticulously produced. With a new

age, larger than life sound that slowly

seeps into your brain, it’s hard not to

hum the enchanting hook of “What’s

So Bad” right before drifting into a

rock and roll daydream.

When creating songs, does one of you

come to the group with an idea, or is

it more of a collaborative process?

Nick is the primary song writer,

although the entire band writes.

Usually, someone comes with an idea

or pieces of an idea, and the band

works out the other parts. We like it to

be collaborative, and it’s pretty easy to

hear each member’s individual voice.

Your track, “Nobody Eats Dinner,”

was featured in a politically-charged

video, Nobody Loves Me: A Mitt

Romney Music Video. How far do

politics play in your songs?

We never intended for that song to

have any political meaning, but we

support anyone who wants to use our

music for good.

Full interview by Ed Guardaro:


Total Slacker

Night Manager

Combining powerful dreamy

female vocals with a band of

dudes chunking out chimey

guitar chords and distinctive rhythmic

bass/drum patterns, Brooklyn’s Night

Manager is a rising new force on the

local indie music scene. The fact of

the matter is that their presence has

already gone national/international.

To the extent that their Ghost 7” EP

caught the attention of labels Rough

Trade in the UK and Big Love in Japan,

and have since released it in those

countries. With lead vocalist Caitlin

Seager providing soaring melodies

that come off relaxed but defined at

the same time, the boys in the band

provide a solid rock backdrop. Night

Manager comes along as a breath of

fresh air in a scene that has simply

duplicated itself one too many times.

How did your distribution relationship

with Rough Trade come about?

Who contacted whom? Did someone

there hear your Big Love release?

I have no idea actually. We never talked

to them. We found out about that

at the same time everyone else did.

I assume it was Haruka at Big Love

who took care of that – cheers to her.

How is the songwriting developed?

Is it the predominant work of one

member or a collaborative process

between multiple members?

Typically, it’s not collaborative. But, we

now have two guitars, which means

Tassy can write guitar lines over

chords he or I write. I think it’s gonna

be more of a group effort in the future.

Full interview by Dave Cromwell:


The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Matt and Kim 11. White Rabbits

2. The Walkmen 12. The Men

3. The National 13. The Front Bottoms

4. The Rapture 14. Eleanor Friedberger

5. The Strokes 15. Cymbals Eat Guitars

6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs 16. Julian Plenti

7. Interpol

17. Bear Hands

8. We Are Augustines 18. Les Savy Fav

9. Yellow Ostrich 19. We Barbarians

10. Blonde Redhead 20. French Kicks

Check out our self-generating online charts:


Total Slacker

Somewhere, creeping through

scattered reverberations of vocals

and guitars, Total Slacker’s sonic

beauty splinters through their sarcastic

lyrics and lethargic lo-fi vibe. There is

a distinct feeling of nostalgia that the

band evokes, with drawn out ride cymbal

eighth and sixteenth note grooves

and clever, tight choruses. Total Slacker

brings all the warmth and charisma

of Summer of Love surf music, with

a witty side that was all too ironic to

rear its stylized head in the ’60s.

Your sound harkens back to a psychedelic

time of excitement and mystery.

Is this rendered from a deliberate,

conscious effort, or a result of a

strange sense of empathy to the idiosyncrasies

of the modern world?

Yeah, it’s about needing the tangible

world again, where records and tapes

brought music to people. The empathy

is more linear.

Your video for “Secret VHS Collection”

looks like a pretty wild time (other

than the video). Did anything extraordinary

come out of the shoot or the

party that inevitably ensued?

We raged hard on the roof that night.

Cole Smith of DIIV and Beach Fossils

does a cameo along with Matt Molnar

of Friends and Ezana Edwards of Night

Manager. That was a great night.

Full interview by Ed Guardaro:



Top 20

14 the deli Summer 2012

the deli Summer 2012 15




JBM, the moniker of solo artist

Jesse Bryan Marchant, underscores

each song with a howl of

the isolation and yearning of a much

older soul. Originally from Montreal,

Canada, Marchant is now based in

Brooklyn and Los Angeles, and has

released a follow-up to his only in

July debut called Stray Ashes. The

singer has already drawn favorable

comparisons to Justin Vernon of Bon

Iver and Jim James of My Morning

Jacket, due in large part to haunting

reverb on songs like “Only Now”

and “Winter Ghosts.” JMB recorded

most of his work in a cabin in a rainy

northern New York town, giving his

music an undertone of isolation as he

searches within himself. Though he

may not initially strike an immediate

chord with all listeners, it’s in his

music’s subtleties that channel his

emotionally wrought spirit and draws

in audiences.

You started playing music at such a

young age. Do you come from a musical

family, or was it something you

got into on your own?

My family was musical, but they did

not play. My grandfather was a musician,

but I was not around him much.

I began showing an interest in playing

instruments at an early age, and my

parents were very supportive in helping

me along with that.

Where did you record Stray Ashes,

and how did that experience differ

creatively from recording not even in

July in an old church?

I recorded Stray Ashes in an old log

home in North Argyle, New York. It

was in the spring of 2011, and I could

swear that it rained every single day.

I was there alone and I worked on it

daily over the span of a few months.

It was different from the last record

in that there was no time constraint,

j BM

and no other people were around or

involved in the recording.

Full interview by Devon Antonetti:



XNY have that rare kind of

chemistry that must make

other bands wonder what

they’re doing wrong. It isn’t every day

that you hear something so large and

well thought out, channeled through

such piecemeal instrumentation. On

the surface, it’s very simple. Pam

Autuori sings her tensions, and releases

over Jacob Schreiber’s booms and

grooves…but really, these are some

heroic jams that carve out an enormous

territory with each song. With

just two members, XNY have managed

to build a world larger than most

ensembles plenty times their size.

You two seem really supportive of one

another. Does your friendship help fuel

creative expression and openness?

Jacob: We’ve eaten food out of each

other’s mouths.

Pam: That’s just about as open as two

people can be.

Jacob, I understand your musical

training stems from jazz. How are

you able to pull that background into

XNY’s drumming?

Jacob: Elvin Jones said, “The smaller

your drumset is = the less equipment

you have to break down = the quicker

you will get laid.” Pam and I like to keep

that mindset when creating and playing

our music. It keeps things simple so you

can focus on what really matters.

Full interview by Mike Levine:


Town Hall

In between dorm life and mid-term

exams, NYU trio Town Hall released

their full-length debut Roots and

Bells this spring. Though maybe not

your typical college undergrads, the

band met as students at the Clive Davis

Institute of Recording Music in 2010,

and have been jamming together ever

since. With the poppy, upbeat vocals of

Stefan Weiner and Phoebe Ryan, Town

16 the deli Summer 2012

Town Hall

Rootsy &


Top 20

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Cat Power 11. Citizen Cope

2. Norah Jones 12. Punch Brothers

3. Regina Spektor 13. Deer Tick

4. Ingrid Michaelson 14. Langhorne Slim

5. Sharon Van Etten 15. A.A. Bondy

6. Devendra Banhart 16. Daniel Merriweather

7. Theophilus London 17. Phosphorescent

8. CocoRosie 18. Titus Andronicus

9. Family Band 19. The Felice Brothers

10. Antony and 20. River City Extension

the Johnsons


Hall charges through Roots and Bells

with songs about mischief and longing

that mix playful humor with a diverse

set of stirring melodies. Together with

multi-instrumentalist Jesse Kranzler

(yes, that is him on the glockenspiel)

and an array of crack backing musicians,

Town Hall brings together

’90s-inspired pop with murmurs of folk.

As band of music students, do you

worry about losing any creative spark

through an instructional structure?

We all study Recorded Music at NYU,

so we spend most of our time focusing

on the business and behind-the-scenes

aspects of the music industry more than

actually working on music in school. It’s

nice to be able to bring our music into

Photo: David Kepner

the classroom as a real-life application of

what we’ve learned, and we’re lucky to

have teachers and mentors who support

us in and outside of the classroom, and

are willing to work with us so we can

get as much out of school as possible.

How do you balance school and work?

Not only are our teachers cool about

us playing shows (as long as we have

enough notice and get our work done),

but also we’re often playing with our

teacher’s bands. Usually school doesn’t

get in the way of what we are trying

to do, but when it has, we’ve been

able to find ways to make it work.

Full interview by Devon Antonetti:


Check out our self-generating online charts:


Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Slide Guitar

Tone Secrets

When playing slide guitar, different materials

used on your strings will create slightly different

tones. If you are after a smooth slide

with long, clean sustain, you should try a

cut-off bottleneck, which was Ry Cooder’s

choice. If you are aiming at something less

atmospheric and with more “bite,” go for the

classic metal slide. A non-round surface like

a blade can bring out a more “grating” sound

by slightly scraping the thicker strings, while

plastic round containers will create a more dull

sound. Heavy brass slides work better on the

acoustic guitar’s “harder” strings, while the

softer strings of the electric will require a gentler

action and lighter slide.

Assuming that you know that when playing in

this style you don’t have to press the strings

down to touch the neck, bear also in mind that

damping the strings behind the slide with the

free fingers on your left hand will give you a

cleaner tone without too many ringing notes.

Try a cut-off bottle neck

for a smooth, long, clean

sustain and a metal slide

for more “bite.”

the deli Summer 2012 17



New Beard

So, New Beard is not just a clever

name, as the band is indeed

dominated by facial hair. The

Brooklyn-based five-piece, consisting

of Tony Waldman, Ben Wigler, Yazan,

Maria Eisen, and “Tuba” Joe Exley

(not just a clever alias either), adding

a creative take on the low end, is

not just your average rock band. The

title track of their upcoming album

New Beard City combines feel-good,

jazzy melodies and bouncing rhythms,

while “I Walk the Streets” features

intricate percussion and moments of

calypso beats, haunting distortion,

and unexpected modulations, which

contrasts with somber, low-key, tubacentric,

“Terran Holiday.” New Beard’s

self-proclaimed “weird rock” genre is

infectiously entertaining and builds

the anticipation of their upcoming

record due out by the end of 2012.

What is the story behind your newest

release, New Beard City?

What is your favorite song and why?

The record is an homage to New

York, as well as other interesting cities

like Tokyo and Stockholm, which

have influenced the process. I was

in a NYC band called Arizona, which

graced the cover of The Deli in 2006.

Immediately afterward, we moved

to North Carolina, which was a great

journey filled with amazing friends,

but a disaster for our career. I started

writing “New Beard City” just as

Arizona broke up. My favorite song

from the album is “Doom” because it

came to me absolutely effortlessly. I

recorded it on my own without the

full NB band while Gustav was mixing

the record, and some of the AZ guys

play on it. Gustav sings with me at

the end and really produced the sound

of the track. It’s got an amazing hook,

and I actually wrote the hook in 2003.

It was the first thing I wrote after I

moved to NYC the first time.

Full interview by Meijin Bruttomesso:


Nude Beach

It’s quite interesting and somewhat

bizarre to see a band emerging

from the Brooklyn DIY scene

like Nude Beach rehash influences

from the very mainstream genre

which expressed artists like Bruce

Springsteen, Tom Petty and Graham

Parker – that genre being Classic

American Rock of the ‘70s - ‘80s.

Considering that since 1977, hardly

any alternative band wanted to

sound like the Boss (until… now!), we

18 the deli Summer 2012

Nude Beach

New Beard

can’t say that Nude Beach’s scruffy

approach to this best-selling musical

tradition lacks courage.

Getting the American Rock thing to

sound right is not an easy task though,

and it took the band 4 years – an eternity

in a band’s lifespan – to perfect it.

For this sound to work, there are a

couple of ingredients you need to get

right: The swagger needs to make the

band look like you don’t care much

about anything (that’s probably why

Nude Beach declined to be interviewed),

but the lyrics need to come

across as passionate and heartfelt.

Most importantly though, you need

to be able to write well-structured,

catchy, energetic and uplifting rock

songs, and perform them with a punch

– all things the guys in Nude Beach

are able to deliver. In the fast-stepping

rocker “Walkin’ Down My Street”

or the lonely hearts anthem “Some

Kinda Love,” both marks are hit.

For being just a three-piece, the group

has somehow managed to sound like

The Heartbreakers, The E Street

Band, Bob Seger and Rick Springfield

Photo: Joel Barhamand

all rolled up into one. It’s quite an


Now signed to Manhattan’s legendary

and immortal record store Other Music’s

label, Nude Beach will surely enjoy a

hot summer, probably at some point on

tour with their friends The Men.

Article by Mike Levine:


Water Knot

Winners of Sonicbids’ “Road

to Roo,” a contest that

awarded a slot at this year’s

Bonnaroo Festival, Williamsburg-born

Water Knot has been riding an upward

wave. The quartet’s sound channels

the late Bruce Lee’s philosophy to

essentially “be water,” and their music

takes the shape of undulating melodies,

angst-ridden multi-part harmonies

that crescendo with sweeping guitar

solos and instrumental interludes.

Their track “Home” opens gently with

minimal instrumentation and evolves

into spacey rock melded with pop

Water Knot

Alt Rock

Top 20

The Deli’s Web Buzz Charts

1. Screaming Females 11. The Bouncing Souls

2. The Pretty Reckless 12. Gung Ho

3. Star Fucking Hipsters 13. Jennifer Warnes

4. Taking Back Sunday 14. Andrew W.K.

5. Rhett Miller

15. The Dig

6. The Parlor Mob 16. New Politics

7. Brand New

17. The Hold Steady

8. We Can’t

18. Alberta Cross

Enjoy Ourselves 19. Jon Spencer

9. We Are Scientists

Blues Explosion

10. Locksley

20. Devin

Check out our self-generating online charts:


Photo: Rafaella Bachmann

clear Plastic Masks

sensibilities, and on their latest single,

“Big Brother,” which has a video to

accompany it, sonic layers echo with

ringing guitar arpeggios and glowing

vocals over crashing drums.

Can any of you tie a water knot, or is

that completely unrelated? What is

the story behind the band name?

Completely unrelated. We were looking

for a band name for quite a while

with no luck until one night I had a

dream where Bruce Lee was hitting

a bucket full of water and the splash

from the hit created a figure on the

adjacent wall spelled “Water Knot.”

Sounded like a good name for a band.

What have been your greatest accomplishments

of 2012 so far?

Being on the same lineup for

Bonnaroo Festival 2012 with heavy

guns as Radiohead, The Beach Boys,

Red Hot Chili Peppers and many other

artists we like.

Full interview by Meijin Bruttomesso:



Plastic Masks

Recent Deli Artist of the Month

winners Clear Plastic Masks

are a rootsy, bluesy 4-piece rock

band in the classic mold. Rough, raw

guitars, loose, jammy drumming and

passionate build-ups throughout are

best displayed on their song “When

The Night Time Comes.” Other songs

like “Outcast” channels Keith Richards’

Rolling Stones aided by a motown

beat, with a conversational testifying

vocal style that has been a rock staple

from Mitch Ryder and The Detroit

Wheels all the way through to present

day bands like The Jim Jones Revue.

The guitar chords and mournful organ

of “Working Girl” suggests a longing

for passionate encounters, flirting with

the more timelessly direct interpretation

of the song’s title.

Talking about the recording session

for your latest album, was it as loose

and live sounding as it appears?

It was as loose and live as it sounds.

That being said we spent all day everyday

for 8 days in the studio peelin’ it

off. We also had way more fun than

anybody is supposed to when making

a record. Anytime the four of us are

together it’s hard not to have a good

time. Andjija Tockic, our producer,

instantly understood what we’re all

about and has a really powerful set of

ears and killer intuition. He’s someone

I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet.

Which do you prefer – writing and

recording music – or presenting it to a

live audience?

All of the above. It’s all a release. It’s

obviously very rewarding to play a

killer show with a bunch of psychos

screaming and running around, but

the studio can have a lot of energy

too. It’s more like launching the missiles

from some remote bunker as

opposed to being on the front line.

Full interview by Dave Cromwell


Production Corner

By Paolo De Gregorio

Drum Recording “Secret”

There are a gazillion articles out there about how to record

drums, but I’ve always thought that the best possible advice

in this regard is not how to record but… what to record.

Yes, mic positioning is challenging when recording a drum

kit, but even the most sophisticated and flawless micing

technique won’t be very helpful if the kit sounds bad and

the drummer is no good.

So, provided you have a tight and mean drummer who

can hopefully also play to the click (important if not crucial

skill), your first priority – rather than the mics – should be

DrumDial ® , Precision Drum Tuners

Made in the USA.

the actual drum kit sound (and how that sound is

affected by the room you are recording in, but that’s a

whole different story).

In most occasions the snare is an element that

requires a lot of attention, mostly because (unlike the

kick) it’s likely to be very exposed in the final mix and

(unlike the toms) it appears regularly throughout the

track. This is why it’s a good idea to have more than

one snare available in the studio, to see which sounds

best in each song’s context.

But finding the right snare isn’t enough if its tuning

isn’t right. Properly tuned drums (and quality cymbals)

are the absolute basic requirements for any great

drum sound. When I used to record bands I would

sometimes pay a professional drummer to come in to

tune the skins, which would also serve as an invaluable

lesson for the band’s drummer. Besides, tuning

can do miracles on kick and toms as well.


the deli’s features








20 the deli Summer 2012

It’s a weird sort of anachronism.

When something so distant

fits right in… like it was there

all along. I felt this way when I

listened to Animal Collective for

the first time. There was so much

going on at once, but somehow it

all came together. And I remember

thinking: “How is this working?”

Listen to “Brother Sport” or “Lion

in a Coma,” and you’ll hear the

Brian Wilson harmonies and dense

synthesizers working together like

they’ve always existed in the same

universe – only it hadn’t really

been done like that before – interesting

stuff. But for me, the real

magic is what happens in the beat.

Usually a dense polyrhythm with

a steady pulse, it’s what keeps the

band’s madness dance floor-ready.

Animal Collective didn’t invent the

endless groove; they just helped

give it a new home.

But before these beats found themselves accessories

to beach bum harmonies and mini-Korg

embellishments, the tribal, ritualistic sound had

a long and messy history, stretching back to the

Afrobeat music of 1970s Nigeria. Here it existed

as a genre in relative isolation for the next

twenty years. This piece picks up when it took

its first flight over to America in the 1990s.

More than almost any other genre I can think of,

nothing seems less likely than what happened to

Afrobeat music when it finally made its way over

to NYC. No matter what you say about Brooklyn,

the town has an inexhaustible thirst for its endless

grooves, and the pioneers that had brought it

over here have influenced countless groups being

talked about today, from The Rainbow Children

and Ms. Lady, to Nomo and The Rex Complex.



Ironically, a lot of Afrobeat’s sound was inspired by

New York, even before it hit Africa. Political dissident

Fela Kuti was looking for something like this

when he came over to Harlem from Nigeria in the

late 1960s to find out what James Brown was up

to. Turned out, Fela was a big fan of funk music.

Fela Kuti was the outlaw of outlaws. Eventually

setting up a musician’s commune in Nigeria

with his 26 wives and scores of musicians, his

colorful lifestyle was responsible for inventing

the hybrid of high life and funk grooves which

he labeled “Afrobeat.”

He built this sound as a monument to challenge

political discourse in his home country. And from

its start, it was never a sound to stand still. Fela

and his group Africa ’70 revolutionized ideas of

musical structure at the same time it altered

the politics of his native land Nigeria.

The music brought together an anti-imperial

mesh of cultures that bound together the country’s

underclass as nothing before. In rejecting

fascist government, the new sound grew to

become the soundtrack of Africa. This was a

big event – even attracting Ginger Baker from

Cream to record with legendary Afrobeat drummer

Tony Allen, a man who practically invented

the “endless groove” drumming of the genre

single-handedly. According to Fela, “without

Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.”

From its nascent roots, Afrobeat held as its

mission, the goal of building a sandbox where

western funk, psychedelia and African high life

grooves could play in together. A lofty goal, but

that’s how novel approaches to music get started.

And while it’s sacrilegious to talk about Afrobeat

without giving due justice to Fela Kuti, it’s near

impossible to discuss how Brooklyn inherited all

the action without paying ode to Antibalas, one

of the first groups to pick this sound up from

Nigeria and give it a home here in New York.

Antibalas basically picked up right where Fela

left off. Vocalist Amayo grew up around the

corner from the Shrine nightclub where Fela first

curated his sound, and group founder Martin

Perna directed the music for Fela, the Broadway

musical tribute to the man. They’ve even played

and recorded with Tony Allen. This is a group that

takes their shit seriously. Says Perna: “I wouldn’t

call it a mission, but playing the music correctly

is something we take very, very seriously, and

within the group we are our own biggest critics.”

Back in the ’90s, and before Brooklyn became

the center of everything, Antibalas held an

exclusive mandate on this sound. For much of

their audience, the band’s heartfelt and dutiful

obligation to preserving Fela’s vision for New

York was all most people thought of when they

thought of Afrobeat.

And then Animal Collective moved to town…and

the doors flew open.


In the early aughts, AnCo came around and

brought their friends over to Brooklyn with

them. These were freakier bands like Yeasayer,

and groups from Wesleyan University that

freaked out at Todd P’s loft parties. It’s hard to

say why Afrobeat took off the way it did here.

Maybe something in the water drugs? Only the

bands know the story. I don’t even think Animal

Collective had any idea how much influence

their insistence on tribal dance groove would be

to the next generation of Brooklyn’s tinkerers.

But today, Tanlines pick up right where “Lion in

a Coma” left off, synthesizing percussion with sequenced

vocals and chopped up guitars – creating

a messy bunch of loops that work together in

a sun-soaked haze of endless grooves. From their

dense sound alone, you’d never know that there

were only two people in this group. (No, they’re

not anti-social. Members Jesse Cohen and Eric

Emm also head Restless People, a dance/pop

quartet nodding vigorously toward West Africa.)

But who knows? If Fela was given a Juno to

mess around with, maybe he would have come

up with something even dirtier to get down to.

If larger groups are more your thing,

Rubblebucket feature at least eight members

when they perform. Traditionalists who got

freakish after they signed with James Murphy’s

DFA dance label, Rubblebucket are big fans of

Antibalas themselves. Singer Kalmia Traver

22 the deli Summer 2012

Funk Guitar in Afrobeat Music

By Howie Statland (www.RivingtonGuitars.com)

Afrobeat was born when Funk music reached Africa, and it was picked up by some local

musicians (Fela Kuti for example) who integrated it with African rhythms and singing stiles.

Therefore the guitar style in Afrobeat owes a lot to the Funk rhythmic way of playing the 6 string.

The Basics The secret to the “funked out” guitar tone starts with the guitar itself: in most cases a

Telecaster and Stratocaster, sometimes an ES-335, ES-175 or Les Paul. Fender amps are standard, usually a Fender

Twin or Showman or other similar amps. These amps tend to have a clean, bright sound that works for this style, with lots

of headroom to let the funk out, as opposed to Marshall amps, which tends to sound more compressed.

The Chicken Scratch Sound Jimmy Nolan of James Brown created the so called

“Chicken Scratch” sound. This sound is achieved when the guitar strings are pressed lightly against the fingerboard with

the left hand and then quickly released with the strumming and picking of the right hand near the bridge. Often this effect

was used with three note augmented 7th and 9th chords using the higher notes on the guitar and strumming straight 16th

note patterns. “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” is a perfect example of “Chicken Scrtatch” guitar in full effect.

Wah-Wah The key to the funk, besides what’s in the fingers, are

guitar effect pedals. The funkiest of all is of course the wah-wah. The Cry Baby is

the most popular and is actually the pedal that has sold more than any other in the

history of stomp boxes. As you certainly know, this effect applies a highly resonant,

variable EQ to the guitar’s tone, with famously “weeping” results. Most funk

tunes have a wah wah guitar happening here or there, it’s a sound that defines

what funk is: “wackah wackah wackah….hit me!!” The Godfather of all wah wah

pedals is a vintage Clyde McCoy, with its warm tone and very wide EQ sweep.

Vintage Vox

Clyde McCoy Wah

Auto-Wah Auto-wah pedals create the wah-wah effect without using your foot to

make the EQ variation, relying instead on an LFO and on the intensity and pitch of the strings that

are played. The best sounding auto-wah is a vintage Ibanez AF-201.

This effect is often used by bass players too - a Musitronics Mu-Tron

III is a staple used by bassists like Bootsy Collins of Parliamant and

Funkadelic, and by Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone – it

also works well on guitar. Its filter is remarkably warm and analog

sounding, and cries “funk” as soon as you hear it.

Phaser Another staple of the style, used prominently by

Eddie Hazel of Parliament and Funkadelic, is a phaser, in particular

the MXR Phase 90. This swooshing, spacey effect was Eddie Hazel’s

signature sound. The earliest versions have a signature script logo on

a classic orange pedal and they sound the best.

These are the basics of FUNKING IT UP!!!

MXR Phase 90

Vintage Ibanez

AF 201 Auto Filter

“loves big, wild bands like Antibalas,” from an

interview with Glide Magazine. But Rubblebucket

have made Afrobeat their own by re-purposing

the genre’s exotic percussion with n’gonis

and doumbeks and synthesizers like Junos and

Minimoogs in songs like “Came Out of a Lady”

and my favorite, “Silly Fathers.”

Many of the bands carrying Afrobeat’s torch

these days care less about preservation, and

more about bringing the party. It’s one thing to

curate a sound, but quite another to integrate

it with psychedelic music far removed from the

Ivory Coast, and that’s exactly what happened

when the freaks started moving to Brooklyn in

the early aughts – giving rise to an unlikely merger

between Afrobeat and freak folk that I’ve been

known to carelessly shorthand as “afrofreak.”




Today, the sound is everywhere. And its spirit of

funk fusion, freak posture, and endless groove

the deli Summer 2012 23

indoctrinates a newer generation of bands as

far-flung from the Chinatown hip-hop grooves

in The Notorious MSG to the party down soul

of Deathrow Tull and EMEFE. With Deathrow

Tull, the politics live in the percussion. Tracks

like “Hella Keller” challenge the listener to

close our eyes and find a different sense to

make sense of our world.

Fave group Dinosaur Feathers strikes a great

balance between high life roots and funk future,

pressing West African polyrhythm right up

against the boundaries of Brooklyn’s beach music.

For their track “I Ni Sogoma,” they respect the

song’s African origins while making it their own.

The title is taken from Dioula, a regional dialect

spoken in the West African province of Côte

d’Ivoire. “I Ni Sogoma” means “you and morning,”

which is a way of greeting one’s beloved. While

things don’t turn out well for the lover/protagonist

in the song, the tone is surprisingly optimistic:

“…you’re taking off

And I had my say

One thing I have learned

There’s no such thing as a bad day.”

Are these bands this music’s next generation?

Are they removing Afrobeat ever further from

its origins…or extending the genre’s mandate

by building a home large enough for all these

sounds to live together? Martin Perna of Antibalas

claims the interest that folks have in

Afrobeat today stems from the lack of rhythmic

diversity found in much of Western music:

“…the US is not a very rhythmically sophisticated

country compared to Cuba, Brazil or other

countries in the African diaspora.”

Harsh words, but he’s probably right. There’s a

desire in a lot of these bands to catch up with a

lot of what Africa has known about for years already.

Whatever it becomes, Afrobeat is not going

away anytime soon, and probably won’t be

used the same way next year as it’s used today.

Fela put it best: “I did not want to waste my

time splitting hairs over definitions. What I was

trying to do was evolve a unique and authentic

style.” So maybe doing things our own way is

the best way to honor the tradition after all.

24 the deli Summer 2012


the deli’s features


Games of Light

By Nancy Chow / Photo by Emily Raw

RIYL: Fleet Foxes,

High Highs, Local Natives

In the midst of the tense Korean War,

Snowmine frontman Grayson Sanders’

grandfather found surreal beauty one

quiet night in the winter of 1952. He

was ordered to lead his platoon on a night

patrol, only to accidentally stumble into

a snowy minefield. What started off as a

remarkably picturesque evening ended in

one of the most harrowing experiences of

his life. This haunting tale would inspire

Sanders to name his band Snowmine nearly

six decades later.

The story kind of represents this Taoist ‘you can’t have

the light without the dark, and you can’t have the dark

without the light’ mentality, which came to embody what

we do,” says Sanders.

Snowmine’s music is a study in acute dichotomies. The

acoustic and electronic elements in the music waltz,

pushing and pulling, contrasting and harmonizing. The

lyrics, often pensive and melancholy, swim through

tribal, cathartic and occasionally dancey beats. While

even the energy of the pop rock songs swings immensely,

the transitions, though unconventional, are seamless.

These dynamics often shift so quickly that even notions

of musical comparisons and inspirations are fleeting.

There are traces of Animal Collective, Dinosaur Feathers,

Department of Eagles, Wild Beasts, Fleet Foxes and Local

Natives brusquely referenced.

26 the deli Summer 2012

The band’s debut album, Laminate Pet Animal (a clever

palindrome), is a bright, industrious exploration of a

precocious band’s sound. A smattering of musical imprints

tie into a spiritual episode of swells and contractions, of

peaks and valleys. Although the band experiments with

polarities, there are always nuances and undertones that

color and bring dimension to the songs — straying away

from the black and white. The songs hold a tenuous

balance of modern and classical elements that inspires a

meditative, dreamlike state.

Snowmine was built upon a chance encounter between

Sanders and bassist Jay Goodman. It was Sanders’ second

week at NYU, and he was sitting in the Steinhardt

building, killing some time. Enter Goodman carrying

his trusty bass, which prompted Sanders to strike up

a conversation; they ended up playing an impromptu

jam session soon thereafter. Friendships and musical

connections brought in drummer Alex Beckmann,

guitarist Austin Mendenhall and multi-instrumentalist

Calvin Pia to fill out the rest of the band.

Although Snowmine is comprised of learned musicians,

who have either studied jazz or classical composition,

they are not ones to go by

the book. It perhaps may

be unexpected to hear

such experimentalism from

classically-trained musicians,

but it is actually the band’s

collective lenience that

drives the quintet.

“I like to live life by the

mantra, ‘Life is about finding

safety in the open mind,’”

says Sanders. The adage

appropriately describes

the group’s flexibility in

terms of its songwriting and

musical ideas. Despite being

well-versed in music theory

and jargon, they speak in

visual terms to each other

to describe sounds and

concepts during rehearsal.

“Since we’re a very textual group, we tend to try to mimic

our textures with our lyrics,” says Sanders. “So sometimes

you’ll hear a lyric and the sound will happen shortly

thereafter – or at the same time – that we are trying to

have represent, whether it’s a dark beast, a barbarian or

some sort of flowering opening. We definitely speak in

those terms in rehearsal all the time. We talk in imagery

like, ‘play that flower sound again’ or ‘go to that cymbal

part that sounds like a breeze.’”

All the whimsical magic happens in their practice space

in Bushwick. While it may be difficult to imagine the band

speaking of flora and fauna at their space in the industrial

neighborhood, the inspiration for the nature-nourished

lyrics comes from another place and even another time.

Sanders fondly remembers his childhood growing up in

the mountains of California and spending an abundance of

time outdoors with his sister.

“I think oftentimes songwriters pull metaphors from their

nostalgia – a lot of times from their memories,” says

Sanders, who carries around a notebook to write in when

inspired. “It helps contextualize their current adult lives.”

The band is heading into the studio to record a follow-up

to Laminate Pet Animal. Although the debut was only

released about a year ago, they feel miles away from it.

“Since we’re a very textual

group, we tend to try to mimic

our textures with our lyrics. So

sometimes you’ll hear a lyric and

the sound will happen shortly

thereafter – or at the same time

– that we are trying to have

represent, whether it’s a dark

beast, a barbarian or some sort

of flowering opening.”

A lot has happened since they recorded the album in

2010. They completed a residency at Pianos, played CMJ

and SXSW, signed to Billions Corporation to expand their

touring reach, and received some serious praise.

“What’s exciting is that we have five people that have

grown together and sort of come of age as people as

well as musicians, so we’ve known each other through

major life experiences and a lot of major life changes,”

says Sanders. “Those phases have directly impacted what

we’ve written about and how we approach our music.”

The band is “a little less totally broke,” and has grown

dramatically since its inception. Most of Laminate Pet

Animal was actually recorded in Sanders’ apartment. They

got creative with the limited and unusual recording space,

such as working in the bathtub and achieving reverb from

the toilet. This time around they will be working with Jake

Aron (Grizzly Bear, Yeasayer) and Yale Yng-Wong, who

recently assisted Nigel Godrich with Here We Go Magic’s

A Different Ship, to realize a more focused sound. If the

band’s latest single, “Saucer Eyes,” is any indication of

what to expect from the upcoming sophomore album, fans

should be excited about the band’s shimmering yet smooth

blend between earthy and

synthetic elements that has

been elevated to a new level.

“This time we’re going to be

working a lot with distance,”

says Sanders. “We’re going

to be working a lot with big

spaces. We’re going to be

working in a church. We’ll

try putting amps outside

of the rooms and having

our friends come in to sing,

string players and woodwind

players; we’ll have in a big

family. So it’ll be a different

experience from last time.”

The band plans to complete

the album in a mere six

weeks compared to the six

months for Laminate Pet

Animal. They are eager to bring the new songs on the

road for their fall tour. Since the band’s SXSW shows, they

have added a visual facet to their live shows with the help

of Sanders’ roommate, Leia Doran. The band developed

iPhone/iPad application called Colorbeast that allows

users to manipulate video in a more intuitive way with

finger gestures and swipes. Doran uses the app to yield a

stimulating visual experience that compliments the music.

“We want to make visual music,” says Sanders. “Exciting

the eyes is one of the most powerful senses. Connecting

the eyes and the ears is even more powerful, so if you can

draw people in with multiple levels, it’s a big success.”

While the band is extremely effective in relaying the

fascinating paradoxes they explore on their record live,

the emotions are palpable as the crowds dance and sway

along to the music, taking in the soundscapes the quintet

carefully constructs. Their live performances are an aweinspiring

experience as the band takes command of the

stage with such raw energy that hits with a gradual build.

“I think, in the end, we just want a dynamic set;

something that engages the audience that takes them

through a journey, so they’re like, ‘I experienced

something,’” says Mendenhall. “Whatever they take from

it, hopefully they think it’s a journey that they’ve gone

through with our set.”

the deli Summer 2012 27

snacks highlights from the Deli’s NYC blog


Probably because they

only recently relocated to

NYC (they originally hail

from Florida), we somehow

missed BLONDS’ rise to seminotoriety.

The duo, comprised

of dating, non-blonde couple

Cari Rae and Jordy Asher, is

partial to slow tempos and

intense, almost Lynchian

dreamy atmoshperes. A

rather sexy video of the

Portishead-ish single “206”

raised their profile this past

winter, and to take things

to the next level, the band

recently released the single

“RUN” from their upcoming

full-length album The

Bad Ones. We can’t help but

notice spaghetti Western references

both in the record’s

title and in the single, which

sounds very much like a

revisitation of Morricone’s

dramatic approach to

Country ‘n’ Western music.

This band seems to have a

rather big music vocabulary

at their disposal, and this is a

very good sign – looking forward

to the full-length.

(Paolo De Gregorio)

Sewing Machines

If Brian Eno produced a

slightly more Americana

version of TV on the Radio,

you might get a band sounding

something like Sewing

Machines. The group has

a penchant for sculpting

beautiful weird soundscapes

out of the most synthetic

of sources. Keyboards and

drum machines overlay

functionally tweaked vocal

energy… and still, all of it is

catchy as hell. But if there’s

one thing to separate the

band from the legions of

loop machine tinkerers surrounding

Brooklyn, it’s the

unexpected humanity and

simple fun that the band

always make sure to include

in their experiments.

If this duo is halfway serious

about their band name, they

could not have done any better.

Between the inspired,

heavily looped banjo and

violin work of Sam Moss

and the well-positioned

vocals (and drum machine

madness) of co-conspirator

Max Horwich, this band is

more than apt to cut and

purl their way to an entirely

new means of utilizing sonic

materials. (Mike Levine)

The Inner Banks

Active since 2006, Brooklynbased

couple The Inner

Banks released their third

album Wild on June 12 via

DAG! Records. The band’s

sound, mostly acoustic but

fast-paced, is suspended in a

place between foggy nostalgia

and traditional American

roots music: Is this dreamfolk?

A driving snare drum

beat propels single “Ana

Peru” forward, as a brightly

textured guitar line weaves

around Farfisa organ stabs.

Layered female vocals tell a

tale of how the song title’s

subject matter is “just like

one of us” and “not like none

of us,” while the chorus plays

around the phrase “hey, not

ordinary, hey, just ordinary,”

transformed in a catchy

hook. The other single, “Box

and Crown” confirm this

band’s noteworthy melodic

talent, offering tasteful

string arrangements reminiscent

of R.E.M. from the

Out of Time period, while

title track “Wild” betrays the

group’s country influences.

Not unlike Michael Stipe’s

band, The Inner Banks have

found a convincing middle

ground between Americana

and Dream Pop in the form

of a mature, arousing pop

with orchestral tendencies.

Wild has all the right features

to be the album we

were waiting for to properly

celebrate the summer.

(Dave Cromwell)


There are plenty of noisy

and loud bands out there,

but few of them are also

tight, fun and… insane.

These 5 things combined can

conjure up some outstanding

rock madness. Zulus is a

Brooklyn band that should

be forbidden to adults or

something… Their songs

sound like a tribal celebration

of chaos. Although

respectful of the genre’s typical

droney tendencies, these

guys are actually very inventive

– in some kind of quirky

way. We hear that in “Black

Out,” the song that ends and

starts 4-5 times; or in the

signature never ending delay

on their vocals. They also

don’t disdain to introduce

some melodic lines here and

there – mostly in the form of

backing vocals. Noisy fun lovers,

this is a band for you.

(Paolo De Gregorio)

Moon Hooch

Let me introduce you to one

of the most unlikely dance

groups around New York.

Made up of four-on-floor

drum patterns, contrabass

clarinet and tenor saxophone,

Moon Hooch is just

as likely to start a rave on

an A train’s platform, as

they are to light up any NYC

venue (Brooklyn Bowl hosts

them regularly).

Whether you call it Jazz

music for house fans, or

house music for hipsters,

the band’s natural settings

give the project an organic

touch too often missed in

the club atmosphere. Their

latest track ‘Contra’ neatly

occupies both worlds, featuring

lovely guest vocals by

local jazzcat Alena Spanger,

coupled with an equally

brutal house mix by Wenzl

McGowen. Whether you call

yourself a dance fan or not,

it’s time you started respecting

these fantastic horn

players, and let your body

move to the rhythm of their

stabs. (Mike Levine)

Family Band

From moody folk and gospel,

to unexpected marches and

screaming fireworks, Family

Band moves its way through

some heavy material in the

EP Cold Songs. Though she

could reasonably be accused

of the kind of drawl singing

usually associated with

folksy singers like Chan

Marshall, Kim Krans is no

direct descendant of Cat

Power either. She uses her

powers in quite different

ways. In the track “Beg” for

instance, there are plenty

of twists and turns reminiscent

of Radiohead’s moodier

journeys. Likewise, album

opener “Cold Song” begins

innocently enough, before

knocking you over the head

with its drum lines midway

through. For this band, it’s

the unexpected unfolding of

these songs that makes it

really come together. This is

a record that abandons you

in the middle of the forest

for an evening, and comes to

find you joyous in the morning,

after experiencing the

full range of that journey.

(Mike Levine)

28 the deli Summer 2012

the deli’s


pop rock loud rock folk psych rock melody/soft electronic noise dance lo-fi/DIY ambient other hip hop prime good!


nyc music



To be considered for review, just go here:

thedelimag.com/submit - we listen to all

submissions and review many of them!





To promote your live shows in NYC, go to

nyc.thedelimagazine.com and check

the far right column (scroll down a bit).

The Deli’s Charts - thedelimag.com/charts

- are a huge database of established and

emerging artists, organized by genre and

region and optimized for indie bands.

the deli Summer 2012 29

The bands featured on this page rehearse at The Music

Building in Manhattan. If you rehearse there, submit

your info to be covered in the next issue of the deli at:


ous and speedy drumming. Recently released

“M.A.R.V.” is a two-track EP that was out

this past February and showcases ATOM

STRANGE’s top tracks from their previous

two records, “ATOM STRANGE” and “Cosmic

Disturbance.” The progressive rockers take an

out of the box approach to create multi-dimensional

music that will bring terrestrial head

banging delight.



By Meijin Bruttomesso

Rick Dunn(vocals), Matt Volpe (bass), Alex Rude

(guitars), and Vinnie LaRocca (drums) are New

York City’s ATOM STRANGE. Formulating spacey

hard rock, Dunn’s high register and virtuoso vocals breaks

through a cosmic swirl of intertwining guitar solos and

strums, intricate and booming bass lines, and thunder-

What’s your funniest tour/show story?

One time while out on tour, one night we were

driving to or from Atlanta and needed to get

gas. We took this incredibly long, lonely and

dark road that looked like it lead to nowhere

when we finally found a gas station. It was

really creepy along the lines of Texas Chain

Saw Massacre! Well we get to the gas station

and we all get out to stretch our legs. As we

walk towards the gas station we keep hearing

all this crunching. It was quite dark so we

couldn’t see very much. We fuel up and on our

way back to the van there is still lots of crunching

beneath our feet. Dead leaves? Maybe. We

get in the van and turned on the headlights

and notice that the ground looked like it was moving. There

were millions of what looked like giant cockroaches or

beetles all over the ground! We were all pretty disgusted by

the scene until our then drummer Tony, started screaming

because he had a bunch of them all over his shirt! The scene

could have been out of a horror film or maybe some slapstick

comedy with the way our drummer was freaking out! We got

the bugs off of him but I think he will never be the same!

By Meijin Bruttomesso

Though the members of The Dirty

Grand developed out of different backgrounds,

the three minds meet on the

grounds of dark and haunting electro-dance

rock. The band consists of Lou Reed’s touring

guitarist, Jake Bernstein, on electronics,

and former members of BM Linx, Tony

Diodore and Andrew Griffiths, on bass and

drums. The trio introduced themselves in

the form of The Dirty Grand last October,

but these New York veterans wasted no

time releasing material. Their grungy and

echoing soundscape can now be heard on

their second EP, “Facedown,” which was

released just this April. Ominous and reflective,

the seasoned rockers maintain the

dancey qualities New Yorkers crave while

sustaining the underground grit on which

the Big Apple’s music scene was founded.

What makes you dirty? What makes you grand? What’s

the story with your name?

Our bassist’s (Tony) friend made thirty grand and said “I

made dirty grand”…and we just liked the name.

How did you all meet and form The Dirty Grand?

We all knew each other from previous bands. Tony and

Griff used to be in BM Linx together and Jake was/is good

30 the deli Summer 2012



friends with them. Once BM Linx split, we all decided to

work with each other on something new.

What is your favorite track on your EP, “Facedown?”

What inspired that track?

Probably the title track “Facedown”. Over the winter,

we partied way too much…up until 6am all the time, out

and about from club to club. In the end, we just had felt

“Facedown” about it all.

kitchen recording equipment news

Brought to you by

Arturia Wurlitzer V

Review by Eli Janney

French synth manufacturer Arturia came out

with a Wurlitzer software “emulation” that

uses physical modeling to recreate one specific

synth: the model 200A. It’s the one most people want

when they buy a real Wurlitzer – they can cost up to

$3,000. So how does a $99 piece of software sound

compared to a real one?

When I first loaded up Arturia’s Wurlitzer V plugin (RTAS,

VST, AU) on a basic setting it sounded good – not great,

but good. The low end was awesome, and the mids were

decent, but the high end didn’t sound as sparkling as I had

hoped. BUT as I started to play around with the presets, I

began to see inside the entire device and could hear bits of

what I wanted. One preset had the killer grit on the hi-mids,

another one had the smooth wide stoner chorus, the funky

talking basslines were all there. I just had to open up all the

hidden settings to dial in what I was looking for.

There are two important buttons along the top menu that

give you access to everything you might need to create the

perfect sound. Hitting the Open button pulls down the two

sidespeakers and the front silver panel, and gives you a slew

of options for carving your sound.

You can fully adjust all the parameters for dynamics,

velocity curve, a graphic EQ, hammer noise (grit upon

You can fully adjust all the parameters for dynamics, velocity

curve, a graphic EQ, hammer noise, hammer hardness, note off

noise, sustain pedal noise, pickup distance and axis.

impact), hammer hardness, note off noise (VERY realistic

sound of the hammer coming back to rest), sustain pedal

noise, even pickup distance and axis can be adjusted! All

this is before the pedals and the output stage. Now we are

getting somewhere!

From there on out I could really get the exact type of sound

I wanted for each song – from groovy ’70s Billy Preston

smoothness, to insane distorted ear worms, it really is all

here. There’s even a parameter for making it play out of

tune with itself, just like a real vintage wurli!

For more reviews, visit www.SonicScoop.com!

There’s an amazing feature called

‘Radius RT,’ which keeps the playback

length/speed the same no matter where

you play a sample on the keyboard.”

iZotope Iris

Review by Nathan Kil

iZotope’s new sampling re-synthesizer, Iris, is a

creative sandbox that lets you quickly create/

transform sounds that you’d have otherwise never

imagined from your source material. iZotope defines Iris

as a “visual instrument” – and I was excited to dive right

in with original sounds of my own, to try and “paint”

on the spectral map of a sample. The plug in lets you

literally draw the frequencies you want to be passed

through (or muted).

I pulled in a stem from a recent project – a piano

track which went through a 4 bar progression.

Within Iris, I singled out a section of the audio

within the progression so that it would loop evenly.

Next, I engaged the Magic Wand tool and began

to experiment. What I created was something that

sounded vaguely like a music box instead of a piano.

Washing it out with reverb and some distortion – both

Iris’ post effects – I achieved something so far-flung

from a piano sound that it was immediately inspiring.

I then created some dark pads using sounds like timestretched

single-violins, or a single vocal “aah” sample.

There’s an amazing feature called “Radius RT”, which

keeps the playback length/speed the same no matter

where you play a sample on the keyboard. Take a

single note of a piano, map it somewhere low on the

keyboard and then enable Radius RT. Now, all of the

notes you play in the upper registers sound – though

familiar like a piano – oddly eerie and ghostly.

It’s also extremely simple to do something like

create a pink-noise wash, which I did in the opening

moments of my project. Iris is also faster in things like

filter automation compared to your DAW: I just painted

in a curve over the pink noise and I was there!

32 the deli Summer 2012

NYC Studio News

Degraw Sound Opens in Gowanus

Brooklyn-based producer Ben Rice (Blackbells, The

Mooney Suzuki) has opened a new recording studio in

Gowanus – Degraw Sound. Located in a new building

across from Littlefield, Degraw offers a newly designed

creative environment for record production – including an

accommodating band-sized live room and drum-sized iso

booth. The studio is centered around a vintage 36-channel

Trident Series 24 analog console and Pro Tools HD2 DAW

with well-sourced outboard gear and mic cabinet, amps,

instruments (including Ludwig drum kit and Wurlitzer

200A) and guitar pedals.

Nova Studios:

A Destination Studio in Staten Island

You’ve heard the term “destination studio” – when a band

with a budget decamps to some remote studio where they

can live while they make their record. Well, how about

seaside Staten Island as a destination? Nova Studios is a

commercial/residential studio in Eltingville, a quiet hamlet

on Staten Island’s South Shore, owned and operated by

filmmaker and music enthusiast Frankie Nasso. Originally

a private studio before opening to the public in 2012, Nova

Studios represents a rare one-stop shop for musicians and

producers. Whole bands, and up to a 10-piece orchestral

recording ensemble, can comfortably track together in the

living room. But its standout strength may be for capturing

drums: By moving the kit or the microphones, anything

from a Bonham-sized earthquake to airtight close-miked

sounds are available.

Ishlab Studios Adds Neve Console

The producer/engineers behind Ishlab Studios have taken the

DUMBO recording/mixing studio to the next level, installing

a newly refurbished Neve v55 analog console to compliment

the colorful array of mic preamps and outboard processing,

Pro Tools HD, Logic and Ableton Live, vintage and modern

synths and samplers, instruments and amps. This is the studio

where A$AP Rocky largely recorded/mixed Live, Love, A$AP

and continues to work on upcoming material (recently with

Skrillex), where Hoodie Allen recorded All American, and

where regular clients include Das Racist, Chaz Van Queen and

Empty Chairs. With the new Neve console, producer/engineers

Daniel Lynas and Frans Mernick have created a studio

environment befitting all kinds of sessions, from rock bands

and rappers to singer/songwriters and electronic artists.

Studio Sweet Spot:

Crosby Collective Studios in SoHo

The Crosby Collective Recording Studios are full-service

recording and mixing ateliers located in the heart of New

York City’s SoHo district. Founded in 2010 by the trio of A.

Bains, Michael Brian, and Billy Gastfield, Crosby Collective

has a focus on vocals, but excels at a number of other

functions as well. The collective encompasses a team of

in-house producers and songwriters. Clients include Busta

Rhymes, Chiddy Bang, Consequence, Skyzoo, Neon Hitch

and The Mystery Lights. The studio recently acquired a

Neve 5116 48-channel analog console for its main control

room, and counts a 1961 Neumann U67, Blue Bottle mic,

SSL Alpha Channel and UA 610 among its select gear.

Find more news about NYC based music businesses on www.SonicScoop.com!

the deli Summer 2012 33

kitchen recording equipment news

MOD Kits DIY The Persuader

Review by Ron Guensche

The Persuader from MOD Kits DIY (available at modkitsdiy.com

for about $65) is a U-build-it, starved plate, 12Ax7 distortion

box kit. It arrives as a collection of parts to be assembled into a

powder-coated purple, pre-drilled Hammond-style cast-aluminum box.

A 16 page assembly manual identifies all the included components, and

has a solid, but brief tutorial on soldering. At the end of the manual

are various tear-out drawings to use as guides in the build process. The

step-by-step build instructions were clear, and if you’ve built a few kits

of reasonable complexity, it’s fairly straight-forward process.

I was surprised the kit is point-topoint

wired on terminal strips. I

was expecting it to be a PCB build.

Assembly took me 3 to 4 hours in

spite of having being interrupted a

few times. If you’re good at this sort

of thing, it should take only a couple

hours. Definitely read through the

instructions until you understand them

before starting, and go slowly, ticking

off each step as you complete it.

The overall signal quality of The

Persuader is good. In spite of having

a lot of gain on tap, it’s fairly clean at

moderate gain settings. It will hiss at

higher gain settings, but what

distortion box doesn’t? The only

thing that’s a little bit of a bummer

in terms of noise is the GAIN knob is

a bit scratchy, especially when going

from moderate to higher settings.

The Persuader also wants a regulated

power supply, as the generic supply

I used caused a fair amount of hum.

This wasn’t a problem with a Voodoo

Labs unit.

The strong suit of The Persuader to

me is its touch-sensitivity. One of my

favorite things about playing guitar

into a loud sounding setup is being

able to play gently and have clean

tone, and then jumping on the strings

and having everything get gritty. The

Persuader does a good job of this. It

also complimented my JCM800 nicely

by having the JCM set to fairly low

input gain, and using The Persuader

as a semi-clean boost to overdrive the

input of the Marshall. I’d recommend

this pedal to guitarists looking for a

simple, yet flexible boost/grit box.

Pigtronix Fat Drive Review by Howard Stock

In a world where you can’t

swing a guitar without

knocking 10 Tubescreamer

clones off the shelf, new entrants

to the oversaturated overdrive

market had better have

something new to say. Pigtronix’s

new Fat Drive (street $140)

accomplishes this by exploiting

what some might perceive

as a weakness in Fender-style

guitars—it adds girth to thinsounding

single coil pickups.

Don’t get me wrong: It works just

fine with humbuckers too, but

the sound this pairing creates,

while perfectly proficient, isn’t

as remarkable. Where it really

shines is in letting a Strat play in

Gibson’s sandbox with a click of

a toe, giving Fender players the

best of both worlds at a relatively

reasonable price.

Compared to its Pigtronix siblings, the

Fat Drive is a simple affair, just volume,

gain, tone (turn it all the way up to

disengage the tone circuit altogether)

and a “more” switch, which doubles the

buzz. It comes with an 18 volt adapter

for more headroom, but it works just

fine on a standard 9 volt daisy chain

and, in truth, it’s hard to tell the

difference when you aren’t listening

for it. The pedal is also smaller than its

brethren, which means it doesn’t take

up too much space on a pedal board.

This is good news, because it plays so

well with others. For a full rhythm sound,

just leave it on all the time, clicking in

other effects at will. But it also works

great as a lead boost in conjunction with

another overdrive pedal.

In short, while it doesn’t do much to

distinguish itself with humbuckers, the

Fat Drive is a superb pedal for players

who generally prefer single coils’

nuanced tones but want to be able to

step up when called on to bring the rock.

Check out the deli’s

stomp box blog!


34 the deli Summer 2012


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the deli Summer 2012 35

the deli's Pedal Board

More pedal reviews at delicious-audio.com!

Mad Professor

Golden Cello

Overdrive w/Delay

• An Overdrive/Fuzz with a

Delay circuit, designed to give

you that classic late ’70s/

early ’80s lead sound – using

only one stompbox.

Delivers a “sweet cello-like

singing fat lead tone with the

most luscious open ambient

tape delay.”

• Internal trimpots allow you to

slightly adjust the delay time

and level of the repeats.

Way Huge ®

Red Llama MkII


• It does one thing awesomely

well: highly musical overdrive/

distortion, pairing its meaty

growl with abundant headroom.

• No tone control, but it responds

exceptionally well to the guitar’s

tone and volume controls.

• A cousin of the fuzz pedal, it

sounds awesome on its own,

but can get a little drowned out

in a band with lots of competing

mid frequencies.

VFE Pedals

Enterprise Phaser

• Very warm and fat tone

characteristic of phasers used

in many make-out tunes of

the ’70s.

• Tons of options with Mode

(which controls the phase’s

character) and Stages (4, 3 or

2) switches.

The feedback section can get

really nasty and when used

with the Level and BIAS trim

pots under the hood, you can

really tweak it to perfection.

Source Audio

Soundblox 2


Bass Distortion

• A great pedal for the

experimental bass player.

• Versatile but complex, provides

some truly original tones

from the natural sounding to

the super-synthy.

• Normal, Foldback and Octave

distortions provide oodles of

options, and Morph function

allows you to slowly progress

from one preset to the other.

the deli's Plug-in inserts

Plug-in inserts

if you are interested in reviewing pedals

and plug-ins for The Deli and

Delicious Audio, please contact


Slate Digital Virtual Tape Machine

• Emulates 16 track 2” machine and 1/2” mastering deck.

• 2 tape formulations and speeds, plus calibration, bass alignment,

wow & flutter, constant gain I/O, grouping, and noise reduction.

• It’s presented as a dynamic, interactive replication of

tape recording — no static modeling.

Subsonic Labs Wolfram

• A Multi-Effect processor that combines several

powerful sound-shaping capabilities into one


• All sorts of effects from modulation, pitch shifting

and filtering to distortion, cabinet emulation.

• Its semi-modular design allows you to route FX

blocks freely anywhere, allowing for separate

processing for L and R channels.

36 the deli Summer 2012

Waves InPhase

• Dedicated plug-in tool for correcting phase

shift and alignment problems between audio

tracks during recording, mixing or mastering.

• It allows to align different tracks in order to

minimize or solve phase problems, through a

intuitive instant A/B system.

• Very effective tool for addressing everyday

phase issues for engineers at a very

reasonable price.

Eventide Blackhole

• A Reverb plug in that offers

endless possibilities from subtle

to sound design.

• It’s a software version of

Eventide Space Stompbox pedal.

• It’s a development from

Eventide’s flagship processors

DSP4000 and H8000.

More plug-in reviews at www.SonicScoop.com!

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