The Deli #56 - Altopalo, NAMM 2019, Queens takes over Brooklyn

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the deli<br />

nyc emerging bands and gear<br />

Issue <strong>#56</strong> Vol. #3 Winter <strong>2019</strong> thedelimag.com<br />

altopalo<br />

It’s <strong>Queens</strong>’ Time!<br />

(<strong>Brooklyn</strong>’s Done)<br />

+ <strong>NAMM</strong> <strong>2019</strong> Special

Guitar Pedal <strong>NAMM</strong> Paradise!<br />

(Booths #3231 and #3424! )<br />

After a super-fun 2018 experience, the <strong>Deli</strong>cious Audio’s Stompbox Booth will<br />

return at <strong>NAMM</strong> <strong>2019</strong> in Hall D at booth #3231—the same spot you found us<br />

during the 2018 edition—with also a smaller extension in booth #3424.<br />

This year we’ll have our biggest space to date: a 13’ x 20’ isle booth shared by 17 boutique<br />

pedal manufacturers who will be present with one pedalboard each. Like at all our<br />

Stompbox events, visitors will be able to play with each board through a headphones<br />

setup—demo guitars will be provided.<br />

Once again, we’ll be reserving a section of the booth to shoot videos of all the new pedals<br />

presented at <strong>NAMM</strong>, this time in collaboration with the guys at 60 Cycle Hum. <strong>The</strong><br />

demos will be gathered on our blog <strong>Deli</strong>cious-Audio.com. Don’t forget to check it during<br />

the <strong>NAMM</strong> week (January 24-27)!<br />

In the following spread you’ll find one pedal by each of the participating builders. If you<br />

are going to <strong>NAMM</strong>, see you there!

<strong>The</strong> Pedals of the<br />

Namm <strong>2019</strong> Stompbox Booth<br />

Cooper FX<br />

Moment Machine<br />

Cusack Music<br />

Screamer Fuzz<br />

Deep Space Devices<br />

Trigonaut<br />

DryBell<br />

Unit 67<br />

One of the most tweakable (and<br />

yet easy to use) pitch shifters<br />

available in hardware form. Featuring<br />

two independent polyphonic<br />

pitch shifting engines, a<br />

powerful sixteen step sequencer,<br />

and <strong>over</strong> two hundred user<br />

adjustable parameters.<br />

A limited edition (50 unitts) Tube<br />

Screamer-style <strong>over</strong>drive with an<br />

extra fuzz on top that can gets<br />

you a wide variety of sounds.<br />

This pedal expands on past versions<br />

by including the additions<br />

of a tone/gate control knob, and<br />

a Germanium setting as one of<br />

the three clipping options (Silicon<br />

and LED are the other two).<br />

<strong>The</strong> Trigonaut is an <strong>over</strong>drive<br />

pedal with octave glitch/<br />

stutter capabilities where the<br />

octaves perform the glitch/<br />

stutter effect.<br />

A versatile multi-functional EQ/<br />

dynamics tone-shaping tool<br />

including a “Rangemaster-like”<br />

mid control, a boost and 1176<br />

style one-knob compressor—all<br />

in one extremely practical compact<br />

guitar pedal. <strong>The</strong> Range<br />

control will help you cut through<br />

the mix adding sparkle and bite.<br />

<strong>The</strong> compressor is transparent<br />

and through the blend mode can<br />

add the right amount of sustain<br />

while retaining pick dynamics.<br />

Dusky Amp<br />

Hypatia<br />

Glou Glou<br />

Pralines<br />


RM-1N<br />

Massive FX<br />

G.O.A.F. Fuzz<br />

A versatile fuzz/<strong>over</strong>drive/distortion<br />

pedal with a wide gain range,<br />

an adjustable low end, a specially<br />

designed input buffer, and a<br />

MOSFET-based output buffer.<br />

It spans from ragged crunch to<br />

bludgeoning fuzz—all while remaining<br />

musical. <strong>The</strong> low end<br />

can be tailored for any instrument<br />

across a range of musical styles.<br />

A pedal featuring four parallel<br />

resonant band-pass filters and<br />

a versatile modulation circuit<br />

applied to them. <strong>The</strong> filters’ frequency<br />

can be adjusted separately<br />

with a shared volume and<br />

resonance control, and each has<br />

its own “modulation send” control<br />

as well. <strong>The</strong> toggle switch<br />

on the top engages a gated fuzz.<br />

<strong>The</strong> RM-1N is a unique and extremely<br />

versatile reverb - some<br />

have called it an amp in a box<br />

but that’s putting it lightly.<br />

A hand-wired recreation of<br />

the octave fuzz Burns Buzzaround,<br />

popularized by Fripp<br />

in the 1970s with separate<br />

fuzz, mid-range and treble<br />

controls. <strong>The</strong> right footswitch<br />

triggers the Fuzz, the Left one<br />

the Vintage Octave.<br />

6 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>

Each one of these builders (and a few more who joined at the last minute) will be present at our<br />

shared booths #3231 and #3424 with a pedalboard full of their own devices, plugged into studio<br />

headphones with amp emulation. Demo guitars will be provided by PRS.<br />

Mastro Valvola<br />

LFO Tremolo<br />

Meris<br />

Enzo<br />

NativeAudio<br />

Ghost Ridge<br />

Old Blood Noise Endeavors<br />

Dweller<br />

A tap tempo optical tremolo<br />

that evokes the classic vintage<br />

sounds of the past, while offering<br />

a range of exciting new features.<br />

<strong>The</strong> warm modulation of<br />

the amps from the ’60s is reproduced<br />

through an opto-isolator<br />

analogue audio signal circuit. A<br />

“Digital Brain” allows you to access<br />

16 waveforms, the innovative<br />

“Symmetry” control and<br />

three tempo divisions.<br />

A multi-voice synthesizer that<br />

tracks your guitar for monosynth<br />

leads, complex chord<br />

polyphony, or multi-note arpeggiation<br />

without the need for a<br />

special pickup. Or, use built-in<br />

pitch shifting, modulation and<br />

filter effects on your dry signal.<br />

It works with any instrument,<br />

allowing you to synthesize the<br />

input signal with a complete<br />

synth tool palette.<br />

A multi-reverb pedal designed<br />

with simplicity in mind, the<br />

Ghost Ridge offers four unique<br />

reverb algorithms: hall, plate,<br />

room, and spring. In addition, it<br />

includes up to four programmable<br />

presets. Each reverb algorithm<br />

features controls for mix,<br />

depth, and modulation.<br />

From familiar phase and vibe<br />

sounds to resonant random<br />

step filtering, warm delays,<br />

and previously unheard in-betweens,<br />

the Dweller is capable<br />

of countless sonic textures with<br />

five controls and six modes. It<br />

features two phaser voices (4/8<br />

stage) and three wave shapes<br />

and an innovative Stretch control<br />

that changes delay time inside<br />

each phase’s stage.<br />

Paradox FX<br />

Oniric Delay<br />

Rabbit Hole FX<br />

OGOD<br />

Spiral Electric FX<br />

Black Spiral Fuzz<br />

SolidGoldFx<br />

Electroman MKII<br />

A delay pedal with pseudo random<br />

modulations to provide a<br />

dynamic trail of repetitions with<br />

a lo-fi touch, ranging from choral<br />

delays, vibratos and a warp<br />

mode for synthetic sounds<br />

brought from beyond.<br />

Driven by mini-vacuum tubes<br />

found in old military radios and<br />

hearing-aids, this is an <strong>over</strong>drive<br />

pedal that also works as an amp<br />

emulator with two headphone<br />

outputs. <strong>The</strong> Level knob controls<br />

the level of signal coming from<br />

the tubes for warmth, while Clean<br />

lets you blend the original signal<br />

back in for parallel distortion.<br />

Versatile and aggressive Maestro<br />

Fuzz-inspired pedal with a unique<br />

blend of vintage tone and futuristic<br />

technology. Bias Control,<br />

three voicing options, and gobs<br />

of output. Separate Gain and<br />

Bias control yield a wide array<br />

of fuzz tones from <strong>over</strong>drive to<br />

splatty, horn-like sounds. Incredible<br />

clean-up with guitar volume.<br />

A warm sounding echo with a<br />

1000ms maximum delay, modulation<br />

with variable speed and effects<br />

loop. <strong>The</strong> second switch is<br />

for the Warp feature, which sends<br />

the repeats ramping up to self-oscillation<br />

for ambient textures and<br />

spatial soundscapes delivering<br />

anything from gentle nudging into<br />

infinity to instant freakouts.<br />

the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong> 7

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Deli</strong> Magazine is a trademark of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Deli</strong> Magazine, LLC, <strong>Brooklyn</strong> & Mother West, NYC. All contents ©<strong>2019</strong> <strong>The</strong> <strong>Deli</strong> Magazine. All rights reserved.<br />

the deli<br />

nyc emerging bands and gear<br />

Issue <strong>#56</strong> Vol. #3 Winter <strong>2019</strong> thedelimag.com<br />




























INTERN<br />





Advertising Inquiries:<br />

paolo.dg@thedelimag.com<br />

Press Inquiries:<br />

info@thedelimagazine.com<br />


p10. Fresh Buzz<br />

p.12 Records of the Month<br />

p.14 Feature: Queening It Over <strong>Brooklyn</strong><br />

p.20 altopalo<br />

p.22 Bands + Gear<br />

p.30 <strong>Deli</strong>cious Audio’s Guide to Reverb Pedals<br />

p.34 Best Pedals of 2018<br />

t’s again — it never stopped<br />

Ihappening.<br />

Just as the gentrification of <strong>Brooklyn</strong><br />

came about as a consequence of musicians<br />

in Manhattan seeking out low<br />

rents, with the ensuing following of tastemakers<br />

and art-savvy denizens capitalizing<br />

upon this relocation, the same<br />

story is being told again in the city’s<br />

easternmost borough: <strong>Queens</strong>. And<br />

just as the once-predominantly Jewish<br />

enclave of Williamsburg, or the post-industrial<br />

warehouses of eastern Williamsburg<br />

and Bushwick, may have appeared<br />

insusceptible to dynamic change, so too<br />

could be said about <strong>Queens</strong>’ bordering,<br />

predominantly residential neighborhoods<br />

today.<br />

This issue’s main feature tackles this<br />

geographic shift of the NYC scene and<br />

possible future scenarios, while other<br />

sections of it are focused on a music<br />

gear event happening on the other side<br />

of the country (the <strong>NAMM</strong> show), with a<br />

focus on curious devices many NYC musicians<br />

stomp on for creative purposes.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se seemingly separate worlds collide<br />

almost every time we listen to a NYC<br />

band that uses an electric guitar - you’ll<br />

also find a great selection of those in the<br />

central pages of this issue!<br />

Paolo De Gregorio, Editor in Chief<br />

& Connor McInerney

Fresh Buzz | New NYC Artists<br />

We’ve been saying for years that female indie<br />

musicians have, on average, been producing<br />

a lot more interesting material than<br />

their dude counterparts, and L’Freaq,<br />

the project of bi-coastal electronic singer<br />

songwriter Lea Cappelli, is another piece<br />

in the truly beautiful puzzle representing<br />

NYC women’s musical output in the new<br />

millennium. After premiering on Billiboard<br />

the delicate yet edgy electro-soul ballad<br />

“Weird Awakenings,” the artists has recently<br />

unveiled a darker (and even edgier)<br />

single/video combo entitled “Moonlight.”<br />

Channeling the experimental, noir ballads<br />

of Portishead, the track features a deceivingly<br />

sparse arrangement, blending a killer<br />

plodding and syncopated rhythm section<br />

with an ever-evolving ambient electronic<br />

soundscape. Lea’s vocals not only confirm<br />

her noteworthy pipes and silky tone, but<br />

also reveal her ability to convey character<br />

to a performance and “play” the song’s<br />

part, a trait only few musical performer<br />

possess. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)<br />

L’Freaq<br />

Soul, Noir Pop, Electronic<br />

CLAVVS<br />

Synth-Pop, Electronica<br />

Synthpop <strong>Brooklyn</strong> duo (via Atlanta)<br />

CLAVVS has been catching a lot of cyber-fan<br />

attention recently by topping the<br />

Hype Machine charts with singles “Lay<br />

Back” and “Slow Dive.” <strong>The</strong> group has already<br />

two well received full length albums<br />

under their belt, but are showing no signs<br />

of slowing down. Atmospheric and easy<br />

on the ear without ever sounding banal,<br />

this year’s singles show a noteworthy<br />

growth in the songwriting department,<br />

which is a promising sign for a project<br />

whose songs aim at moving the listeners’<br />

feelings more than their body, boosted by<br />

vocalist Amber Renee’s soulful and melancholic<br />

alto. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)<br />

Sloppy Jane is a band with bizarre and<br />

grotesque inclinations and an interest in<br />

translating them into their performances.<br />

Naked bodies, colored dye, and television<br />

screens set a backdrop for melting inhibitions<br />

as the music (and often the musician)<br />

tumbles into chaotic fits. It’s a must-see<br />

for fans of avant-garde, performative<br />

punk. <strong>The</strong>ir 2018 album Willow sounds like<br />

a theatrical post-punk/DIY opera and—allegedly—tells<br />

the story of a “girl who existed<br />

inside of a strip club in Inglewood, who<br />

Sloppy Jane<br />

Photo: Jorge Gonzalez<br />

Avant-Indie, Post-Punk, No Wave<br />

ran away to the desert to hustle pool with a<br />

lion, and who burned herself alive for [our]<br />

freedom.” It’s filled with odd tracks that<br />

develop in unexpected sonic and vocal directions,<br />

without ever sounding disjointed<br />

or randomly assembled. (CAMERON CARR)<br />

If you are stuck with the notion that emo<br />

has become the unbearably whiny expression<br />

of spoiled suburban kids, enter Bay<br />

Faction, and think again. <strong>The</strong>ir 2015<br />

three-track debut EP clearly carries the<br />

genre’s DNA, but slows down its BPM by<br />

a lot, makes a discreet if not spare use of<br />

distorted guitars, and puts a lot of heart in<br />

it. Those early tracks resonated with a lot<br />

Bay Faction<br />

Indie Emo<br />

of kids and gathered <strong>over</strong> a million plays<br />

on Spotify, and so did following 2017 single<br />

“Pendulum”. <strong>The</strong> band is now ready to<br />

release their debut LP Florida Guilt, which<br />

expands the group’s sonic palette with a<br />

more varied production, without betraying<br />

their music’s core qualities. Single “It’s<br />

Perfect” is to date their fastest and most<br />

driven track, but still stylistically hybrid,<br />

with the inwardly tortured voice of singer<br />

James McDermott adding oozes of character<br />

to vague lyrics related to the struggles<br />

of dating. Fans of Pingrove and Forth<br />

Wanderers (two other bands that are taking<br />

emo in new directions) should definitely<br />

check these guys out. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)<br />

10 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>

Records of the Month<br />


Drowning World<br />

<strong>The</strong> sheer volume of this album is bound<br />

to be a deal-breaker for some listeners. Yet<br />

for the brave there is much to appreciate<br />

here. “Saturn,” its opening track,” flutters<br />

and screeches, hanging in suspension as<br />

any good intro might. “Hypnagog” is the<br />

album’s full-scale launch, however, pitched<br />

somewhere between the muscular metal of<br />

the Melvins and the more orthodox hardcore-punk.<br />

“End Times” is built on a minor<br />

chord guitar dirge and pounding rhythm,<br />

each taken from the Black Sabbath playbook,<br />

yet juxtaposed by screamed vocals.<br />

“Gille de Rais” is the closest Conduit<br />

comes to modern psychedelic music. Its<br />

menacing rhythm gives rise to a thick wall<br />

of distortion which skirts the line between<br />

post-rock and metal. “Parasites” is the<br />

closest to straight-up hardcore; yet even<br />

here the tension felt in its combination of<br />

instruments seems less message-driven.<br />

“Zero Days” finishes the LP with a clear<br />

almost direct incantation—an oddity in<br />

terms of strategy (yet not out of place).<br />

Drowning World is not for the faint of heart.<br />

But if straight-up truth is your poison then<br />

here’s the antidote. (BRIAN CHIDESTER)<br />


End of <strong>The</strong> Game<br />

In August, Eyes of Love put out their<br />

debut LP, End of <strong>The</strong> Game. Helmed<br />

by <strong>Brooklyn</strong> songwriter Andrea Schiavelli,<br />

EoL is a true meeting of the minds<br />

that brings together some of the New<br />

York underground’s most innovative<br />

musicians including Lily Konigsberg<br />

(Palberta, Lily and Horn Horse), Sammy<br />

Weissberg (<strong>The</strong> Cradle, Sweet Baby<br />

Jesus), and Paco Cathcart (<strong>The</strong> Cradle,<br />

Shimmer). End of <strong>The</strong> Game is an expansive—and<br />

impressive—debut of 14<br />

tracks ranging from breezy pop to lush<br />

orchestral arrangements, but mostly<br />

reveling in what could be described as<br />

a subdued, broken-up version of postpunk.<br />

Schiavelli’s vocals, reminiscent of<br />

the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, find<br />

the ability to make any turn of phrase<br />

sound instantly classic and soaked with<br />

character. Be sure to give their excellent<br />

album a listen, it’s a lesson in entertaining<br />

unconventionality. (SARA NUTA)<br />

L’RAIN<br />

Self-Titled<br />

<strong>Brooklyn</strong>’s Taja Cheek is an experimental<br />

singer/instrumentalist whose classical<br />

music education inspires her solo project<br />

L’Rain’s rich, ambient sound. While<br />

creating her debut, self-titled record in<br />

2017, Taja’s burgeoning music career<br />

was intersected by the passing of her<br />

mother Lorraine, which affected L’Rain’s<br />

lyrical content with themes centered on<br />

the subject of grief—as heard in tracks<br />

like “Stay, Go (Go, Stay)” and “Heavy<br />

(But Not in Wait)”. Her tracks, however,<br />

wander through mystifying and dreamy<br />

territories with the effect of blending<br />

morbidity with cheery effervescence.<br />

Listening to L’Rain’s is the aural equivalent<br />

of gazing into a sonic kaleidoscope<br />

composed by a multitude of synths,<br />

samples, and effects, concocting a wistful<br />

carpet blanketed with her lush, whispery<br />

vocals. (REBECCA CARROLL)<br />

12 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>

Feature | Far East in the City<br />

* QUEENING<br />

OVER<br />

IT<br />


<strong>The</strong> Rise of <strong>Queens</strong> As <strong>The</strong> New Home of<br />

<strong>The</strong> NYC Music Scene<br />

By Connor McInerney and Sara Nuta / Illustration by Astrid Terrazas<br />

14 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong><br />

*queen it <strong>over</strong> (one)<br />

To act in a way that shows one’s arrogance; to behave<br />

as if one is superior than someone else.<br />

Example: “OK, yes, you beat me—now quit queening<br />

it <strong>over</strong> me.” (Source: <strong>The</strong>FreeDictionary.com)

Housing <strong>The</strong> Struggle<br />

It’s impossible to discuss the New York City music scene<br />

without addressing the “900 dollars a month excluding<br />

utilities” elephant in the room: rent. At the crux of any environment<br />

in which young, broke musicians will thrive is<br />

the question of how they will afford to live there, and it’s a<br />

problem that NYC is notorious for, given the ever-increasing<br />

cost of living expenses for anybody who call the city<br />

home. Tangentially, when examining the city’s “It” neighborhoods<br />

throughout the years — the areas endowed<br />

with the ephemeral “cool factor” brought by the presence<br />

of artists — a pattern of eastward migration emerges, one<br />

coherent with the direction of NYC’s gentrification <strong>over</strong><br />

the last fifty years.<br />

As the city’s scene expands eastwards, as creative types<br />

settle into cramped three-bedroom Bushwick apartments<br />

en masse, the last bastion in <strong>Brooklyn</strong> appears on the<br />

precipice of full “artist-ification.” It makes sense why<br />

musicians, venue owners, and scenesters have begun<br />

looking eastwards, towards the inevitable jump to the<br />

Borough of <strong>Queens</strong>.<br />

Looking at the context of New York’s alternative scene<br />

since the 1960s helps illuminate why <strong>Queens</strong> is the heir<br />

apparent. <strong>The</strong> genesis of counterculture in Greenwich Village,<br />

its folksy cafe society of guitar-strapped drifters, the<br />

ilks of which included Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel,<br />

provided a workable modus operandi that informs underground<br />

and DIY music in the city today; all that was necessary<br />

to host performances by up and coming musicians<br />

was a few microphones and a space that’s willing to open<br />

its doors to their admirers.<br />

Over time, such soundscapes inevitably became electric<br />

and the venues changed, moving towards the East River<br />

and into dives like CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, both of<br />

which played host to bands like <strong>The</strong> Velvet Underground,<br />

Ramones, and Talking Heads, purveyors of a distinct New<br />

York soundscape that was increasingly becoming darker,<br />

“weirder,” and more electronic. <strong>The</strong> next big transformation<br />

in alternative locale, however, wouldn’t occur until<br />

the early aughts, when the Lower East Side became the<br />

scene’s new “hot spot.” That, in tandem with the meteoric<br />

rise of then-young indie groups like <strong>The</strong> Strokes, Yeah<br />

Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio and Interpol, would anoint<br />

now-established performance spaces like the Bowery<br />

Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, Arlene’s Grocery and Pianos.<br />

As the LES thrived, concurrent development in the<br />

now-gentrifying <strong>Brooklyn</strong> would eventually push artists,<br />

bookers, and venue owners <strong>over</strong> the river, forming the<br />

basis of the two-borough New York scene we see today.<br />

A Tougher Enviromnent<br />

for DIY<br />

New York scenesters have developed some kind of refrain<br />

that’s reiterated when discussing (read: lamenting) a venue<br />

that’s on its way out: that when one space shuts down,<br />

another will inevitably pop up. We have come to accept<br />

that this reincarnation cycle will take shape in converted<br />

warehouses, multi-purpose spaces, and shabby bar/venue<br />

hybrids. But <strong>Brooklyn</strong>’s nightlife scene has faced heavy<br />

blows in the last few years. A combination of rising rents,<br />

creative leadership differences, and stringent building<br />

code restrictions have spurred a(nother) wave of closures.<br />

Within the last few years, <strong>Brooklyn</strong>’s had to say goodbye<br />

to DIY heavyweights like <strong>The</strong> Silent Barn, Shea Stadium,<br />

Palisades, and Aviv, among others that filled the<br />

void left behind by 285 Kent, Glasslands and Death By<br />

Audio’s closure. Most recently, the underground <strong>Brooklyn</strong><br />

club and anchor of <strong>Brooklyn</strong>’s techno scene, Output,<br />

announced that they would shut its doors come the new<br />

year. This comes just weeks after <strong>The</strong> Dreamhouse and<br />

<strong>The</strong> Gateway announced similar outcomes.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se setbacks may stem from serious concerns surrounding<br />

illegal DIY spaces, especially in the wake of the<br />

2016 Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, a tragic occurrence that<br />

claimed the lives of 36 people attending a house show<br />

at the artist collective space. While concerns surrounding<br />

fire safety and building codes are legitimate, many venues<br />

have faced disproportionate scrutiny from legislation<br />

surrounding nightlife (like the cabaret laws, which until<br />

recently banned dancing in venues) and city taskforces,<br />

such as the NYPD’s M.A.R.C.H. Taskforce, which targets<br />

community hotspots (as outlined by Liz Pelly in her piece<br />

in the Baffler, “Cut <strong>The</strong> Music”).<br />

the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong> 15

In short, notwithstanding the enthusiasm propelling many<br />

of these operations, it <strong>takes</strong> a lot of hard work, perseverance<br />

and also good luck to keep them open; dealing<br />

with a multi-faceted art space with precarious funding<br />

and (in some cases) even less certain legal standing is a<br />

challenging and stressful task even for the most savvy of<br />

entrepreneurs.<br />


<strong>The</strong>se locales’ openings, closings and relocations are just<br />

as central to this timeline as the history of the transient<br />

music communities involved.<br />

Live Venues Invade<br />

Bushwick and Ridgewood<br />

After the “Williamsburg venue massacre” of the mid<br />

2010s, bonafide names in New York’s scene started setting<br />

up official shop in Bushwick. In 2013, forward thinking<br />

DIY entrepreneur Todd Patrick (colloquially known as<br />

Todd P.) was the first to settle in Ridgewood with all-ages<br />

venue and “community resource center” Trans-Pecos,<br />

while working on re-opening his bigger Bushwick<br />

operation Market Hotel (he co-owns both venues). <strong>The</strong><br />

PopGun Presents team — who built its reputation running<br />

now defunct, semi-DIY Williamsburg venue Glasslands<br />

— resurfaced in 2017 with the multi-room, EDM-friendly<br />

warehouse Elsewhere. Most notably, booking giant<br />

Bowery Presents, not happy with running adjacent live<br />

spots Music Hall of Williamsburg and Rough Trade,<br />

built from scratch (!!) <strong>Brooklyn</strong> Steel, an 1,800 capacity<br />

mega-venue which solidifies that area as as the current<br />

center of the New York scene.<br />

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there are<br />

abandoned warehouses and great swaths of the creative<br />

class, there are usually large electro/rave scenes. Avant<br />

Gardner, a massive event complex with a 6,000-person<br />

capacity, was shut down in 2016 for safety violations but<br />

recently came back as a colossal night club for deep<br />

house and techno grooves. <strong>The</strong> Myrtle-Broadway intersection,<br />

home to the legendary Market Hotel and former<br />

Palisades, serves as a jumping off point for new directions<br />

both musically and geographically. As you move into<br />

Bushwick, you’ll find an emphasis on dance and nightlife<br />

in places like the expansive House of Yes, to the intimate<br />

Bossa Nova Civic Club, to Bushwick’s bonafide<br />



astrology themed lounge Mood Ring. For those who<br />

tend to ride the electro wave, these spots are a welcome<br />

haven from the conventional nightclubs in Manhattan.<br />

Equally integral to the <strong>Brooklyn</strong> music ecosystem are the<br />

smaller, less flashy spots that provide space for emerging<br />

bands (who may not be backed by huge PR teams)<br />

to get booked and meet like-minded artists. Among them<br />

are reliable spots like Alphaville, Gold Sounds, Bushwick<br />

Public House, and Sunnyvale: Bars/venues that<br />

consistently put on good bills in low-key atmospheres. In<br />




16 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>





CENTER<br />


(QNS)<br />


“It’s more likely that<br />

neighborhoods like<br />

Maspeth, with its large<br />

industrial lowlands,<br />

and Ozone Park, with<br />

its recent development<br />

investments, will become<br />

spaces where artists,<br />

promoters, and<br />

entertainment companies<br />

will set up shop.”<br />






(BK)<br />

H0L0<br />

Ridgewood, you’ll find dive bars like <strong>The</strong> Windjammer<br />

or venues like <strong>The</strong> Footlight that serve a similar downto-earth<br />

community-oriented vibe. Take H0L0, for instance<br />

— a basement space for electronica with an industrial,<br />

minimalist design and solid sound system — that’s helped<br />

house the nascent lo-fi electronica scene in Ridgewood.<br />

Everything from multi-faceted DIY art spaces like the<br />

Glove to more experimental, electronic-oriented spots, like<br />

the fourth incarnation of Secret Project Robot (or its offshoot<br />

bar Flowers for All Occasions) helps keep the active<br />

and vibrant arts community intact, especially at a time<br />

when DIY spots have been shut down in quick succession.<br />

Yet new venues have and continue to crop up and sprawl<br />

outwards.<br />

Where Next?<br />

Understanding the cyclical nature of artist movement,<br />

neighborhood development, and artist departure, raises<br />

the obvious question of “where next?” Sure, Ridgewood<br />

the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong> 17

and Bushwick have furnished denizens of New York with<br />

a variety of performance spaces, and it certainly doesn’t<br />

show any signs of slowing down soon, but the inevitable<br />

process of gentrification will likely continue to push<br />

musicians further into <strong>Queens</strong>. And while one would be<br />

inclined to just chalk up the immediately adjacent neighborhoods<br />

of Middle Village and Glendale (both of which<br />

are situated right next to Ridgewood), the residential elements<br />

of these areas set them apart from the visually<br />

unappealing industrial spaces of eastern <strong>Brooklyn</strong> that<br />

have proven fertile ground for art.<br />

Rather, it’s more likely that neighborhoods like Maspeth,<br />

with its large industrial lowlands, and Ozone Park, with<br />

its recent development investments, will become spaces<br />

where artists, promoters, and entertainment companies<br />

will set up shop. Both neighborhoods are characterized,<br />

at least in part, by recent real estate acquisitions of unused<br />

warehouses and factories, and fit with the general<br />

trend of movement that has characterized <strong>Brooklyn</strong>’s<br />

development <strong>over</strong> the last twenty years. That being said,<br />

DIY has never necessitated “venues” and established<br />

performance spaces for art to flourish, and as industrial<br />

spaces become increasingly scarce it may force a return<br />

to form. It’s entirely possible that Cypress Hills and its status<br />

as a diverse, residential community (plus its proximity<br />

to the burgeoning scenes of Bushwick and Ridgewood)<br />

may see an influx of creators in the next five years.<br />

Regardless of where exactly the next wave of musicians<br />

and scene-makers lands, their choice of <strong>Queens</strong> as “the<br />

place for artists” — at the expense of <strong>Brooklyn</strong> — is not<br />

simply written in the stars: it’s a process that’s already<br />

well on its way. d<br />

A<br />


s the fringes of Bushwick and Ridgewood seem to blur into<br />

one another, many loathsome acronyms have appeared––<br />

from the cringey “Ridgewick” to the somehow even worse<br />

“Quooklyn.” Bad names aside, the trend is noticeable and has<br />

become only more apparent as venues shift <strong>over</strong> to <strong>Queens</strong>, too.<br />

choice to be the new “hot” neighborhood. With its quiet treelined<br />

streets and safe yet modest residential sensibility, it’s an<br />

area that seems more conducive to raising a family than starting<br />

a punk band. Yet, the neighborhood was attractive for its convenient<br />

location, proximity to the M train and affordability.<br />

However, the historic <strong>Queens</strong> district is not simply an extension of<br />

<strong>Brooklyn</strong> or Bushwick and to refer to it as such would be a) misguided<br />

b) and <strong>over</strong>sight of Ridgewood’s rich history. Formerly a sturdy<br />

blue collar German enclave and later a predominately Italian and<br />

Latino neighborhood, Ridgewood was able to remain more or less<br />

out of harm’s way during the most chaotic points of deindustrialization<br />

in the ’70s. Pre-World War I, Ridgewood sustained a viable<br />

beer and knitting industry largely due to its population of German<br />

immigrants and proximity to what was previously farmland throughout<br />

<strong>Queens</strong>. Around the 1960s and 1970s, the white flight epidemic<br />

spurred many <strong>Brooklyn</strong>ites to flee to bucolic areas of <strong>Queens</strong>. This<br />

was especially salient when Bushwick became a hotbed for chaos<br />

and looting in the Blackout of 1977, leaving much of the area vacant<br />

and burned. However, Ridgewood and Bushwick were, in fact, entwined<br />

at one point, sharing the same zip-code (11227) up until the<br />

wake of the ’77 Blackout when Geraldine Ferraro advocated to split<br />

the neighborhoods and finalize a border.<br />

More recently, when rising rents have pushed artists out from<br />

their loft-style <strong>Brooklyn</strong> apartments, Ridgewood has presented<br />

a viable option. Ostensibly, Ridgewood appears to be an odd<br />

Unlike Bushwick, which has certain historic buildings, Ridgewood<br />

has designated historic districts (Stockholm Street, Ridgewood<br />

North, Ridgewood South and Central Ridgewood). It’s one<br />

of the reasons you see blocks of uniformed row houses uninterrupted<br />

by modern, plasticky apartment complexes. Architecturally<br />

speaking, crossing <strong>over</strong> into leafy Ridgewood feels and<br />

looks starkly different from the distinctly industrial look and feel<br />

of Bushwick. Louis Berger, a German born, Pratt-educated architect<br />

who designed around 5,000 homes in the two neighborhood,<br />

is partially responsible.<br />

However, now that the trendy vegan eateries, rustic pizza shops,<br />

novelty pinball bars, and hip galleries dot the streets alongside<br />

stalwart pork stores and bodegas, Ridgewood’s status is no longer<br />

pegged as an up-and-comer but rather a full fledged destination.<br />

As real estate developers and tastemakers have caught<br />

on to the trend and attracted a wide range of millennial newcomers,<br />

new zoning is being put in place to foster more housing and<br />

mixed-use residential buildings. Inevitably, this may cause speculation<br />

to sky-rocket and land values to rise, further propelling<br />

the cycle of displacement.<br />

18 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>

Feature | C<strong>over</strong> Artist<br />

altopalo<br />


SOUND and LIFE<br />

by SARA NUTA<br />

20 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong><br />

Avant-Soul Electronica

<strong>Altopalo</strong> started off the way<br />

many great NYC bands do:<br />

as college friends. Mike<br />

Haldeman, Jesse Bielenberg,<br />

Dillon Treacy, and Rahm Silverglade<br />

met while studying at NYU,<br />

where they hung out in similar circles<br />

and shared a love for tinkering with<br />

sound. <strong>The</strong> four were thrown together<br />

under some pretty serendipitous<br />

circumstances for a school gig, and<br />

officially came together as altopalo in<br />

2013. Since then, they’ve been creating<br />

songs that fuse electronica and<br />

R&B, and sometimes dip into postrock<br />

and psych musings. <strong>The</strong>ir sophomore<br />

release, frozenthere, came out<br />

earlier this year on Samedi records.<br />

<strong>The</strong> band’s debut album noneofuscared<br />

came out in 2015—an impressive and<br />

refreshing blend of funky electronica that<br />

caught the attention of local scenesters<br />

and music blogs. Silverglade’s expressive<br />

vocals layered <strong>over</strong> knotted rhythms<br />

and moody modulations (plus some serious<br />

production chops) made for a captivating<br />

record that stood out at a time<br />

when the “indie rock sound” was starting<br />

to feel stale. <strong>The</strong> record picked up where<br />

Radiohead’s Kid A left off, offering an<br />

experimental take on James Blake style<br />

electro-R&B, with a few primal screams<br />

thrown in for good measure.<br />

<strong>Altopalo</strong>’s newest album frozenthere<br />

pulses more than it grooves.<br />

Where noneofuscared was eager to<br />

burst open and invite you into its spacey<br />

universe, frozenthere is assuredly<br />

patient. It’s an avant-garde record that<br />

unfurls slowly, revealing the band’s more<br />

vulnerable introspections on relationships<br />

in the digital age.<br />

On the new project, altopalo<br />

made the conscious decision to leave behind<br />

their conventional full-band sensibility<br />

in favor of something more challenging<br />

and sparse. “We were listening to some<br />

artists that played with orchestration in<br />

inspiring ways and used that as a departure<br />

from writing for four instruments.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> process was a lot like taking<br />

a slab of marble and sculpting away<br />

until the desired shape is achieved, and<br />

it wasn’t easy. Just as Brian Eno used the<br />

recording studio as an instrument unto<br />

itself on Another Green World, altopalo<br />

views audio editing software Ableton as<br />

a unique tool for their songs. <strong>The</strong>re were<br />

several cycles of improvising, scrapping<br />

and going back to the drawing board—<br />

or rather, sounding board. “It’s an arduous<br />

process, you wish it were simpler.<br />

We could release two albums-worth<br />

of material comprised only of different<br />

versions of ‘(Head in a) Cloche.’” Along<br />

the way, altopalo realized that when it<br />

comes to songwriting, more is not in<br />

fact more. “Adding one good sound to<br />

another good sound more often than not<br />

makes them both worse.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> LP was written and recorded<br />

in the dead of winter of 2016 in<br />

Indiana. Being away from the city helped<br />

the musicians unc<strong>over</strong> a fresh perspective<br />

on what it means to be isolated—<br />

emotionally, physically, and digitally—<br />

which would inform the album’s central<br />

conceit. “Leaving New York to work, it<br />

becomes quite clear what pressures ease<br />

off as the city recedes behind you. <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>over</strong>bearing presence of the city’s ‘noise’<br />

in its many shapes and varieties fades<br />

away quickly, and it doesn’t really become<br />

clear until you can hear the ringing<br />

in your ears just below the rustle of leaves<br />

made by a nearby pack of coyotes.”<br />

Whereas living in New York<br />

can sometimes force stifling living spac-<br />

es, recording in Indiana gave altopalo<br />

some room to breathe, reflect and ultimately<br />

take their songs into a new direction.<br />

“We’ve all lived in pretty cramped<br />

accommodations in the city, too, and<br />

that minimizing of personal space brings<br />

with it a proximity to others that can<br />

grow at times uncomfortable in its unexpected<br />

intimacy.”<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir songs ruminate on the<br />

distortion of relationships, both physical<br />

and digital. frozenthere meditates<br />

on what it means to feel close, or far, or<br />

stuck—whether it’s in the form of struggling<br />

with monogamy or losing yourself<br />

in the endless scroll of an instagram<br />

feed. In this context, the notion of being<br />

frozen <strong>takes</strong> on new meaning. It draws a<br />

line from digital freeze—a buffering video,<br />

a glitchy facetime call, the flattened<br />

quality of an instagram profile—to a<br />

more tactile sense of coldness.<br />

<strong>Altopalo</strong> wouldn’t be the first<br />

band to admit that they have a fraught<br />

relationship with technology. By now,<br />

we’ve all heard the arguments against<br />

the alienating impacts of social media<br />

and nobody needs another laundry list of<br />

why it’s ultimately detrimental for our social<br />

and mental wellbeing. But this skepticism<br />

can be trickier to navigate when<br />

your work depends on sharing, creating,<br />

and connecting online.<br />

After taking a step back, altopalo<br />

were able to see—and express—<br />

clearly the frustrating duality of urban<br />

life: being constantly surrounded by others<br />

but feeling increasingly isolated, and<br />

in turn, “feeling alienated by the ways in<br />

which we distract ourselves from the immediate<br />

world by immersing ourselves in<br />

a universe of screens and pixels.”<br />

A universe, it turns out, that’s<br />

as alienating as it is inspiring—at least as<br />

far as music creation is concerned. d<br />

<strong>Altopalo</strong>’s Favorite Stompboxes<br />

“[We use the] Behringer US600 Ultra Shifter, whose “flutter” setting is paired with the EHX<br />

Stereo Memory Man w/ Hazarai on some bass parts. Mike really likes delay and pitch shifting.<br />

He’s got 5 delay pedals on his board, 2 of which have pitch-shifting capabilities, and<br />

one standalone pitch shifter. <strong>The</strong> Line 6 DL-4 and the Montreal Assembly Count to Five<br />

are often used in tandem with other delays to create floral rushes and verdant cascades.”<br />

the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong> 21

ands + Gear<br />

Read the full features on<br />

<strong>Deli</strong>cious-Audio.com<br />

Photo: Joanna Sullivan<br />

Yamaha Reface DX / Behringer<br />

Model D / Electro-Harmonix Deluxe<br />

Memory Man<br />

BARRIE<br />

In the the beginning of 2018, dream-pop five-piece<br />

Barrie put out shimmering singles, “Canyons,” and “Tal<br />

Uno,” before releasing a 12” in October aptly titled Singles.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Brooklyn</strong>-based band hail from all <strong>over</strong> the<br />

country (and world), but have recently converged in<br />

New York to collaborate and write songs together. <strong>The</strong>ir<br />

dreamy sound puts an ambient spin on retro synthpop,<br />

delivering ultra gorgeous tracks that swirl in a neon glow.<br />

In <strong>2019</strong>, they’ll be hitting the road in support of Miya<br />

Frolick. (SARA NUTA)<br />

What feelings, events, people and/or records worked as a<br />

source of inspiration for your 2018 tracks?<br />

Barrie: Those songs were written in 2015 or 2016, it took a long<br />

time to get them out. When I wrote them, I was living in Boston<br />

and my band at the time practiced in my apartment, so I had<br />

a full drum kit, percussion, bass and guitar amps, keyboards,<br />

etc. right in my room. I played everyone’s instruments all the<br />

time and that inspired a lot of music. Especially playing electric<br />

guitar, which was new for me.<br />

Do you guys use guitar pedals?<br />

Barrie: Live, the texture mostly comes from Noah’s guitar. I like<br />

a really simple clean setup, just a Memory Man.<br />

Synthpop Chill Wave<br />

Spurge: I run my piano sounds, per the recommendation of<br />

Dom, through a compressor pedal to even out the sound, and<br />

my Roland JV1010 through the compressor out into a mixer<br />

where I can control the levels of my piano sounds along with my<br />

Reface DX which is handling the synth sounds.<br />

Noah: My guitar pedal set-up is super simple: chorus, phaser,<br />

and space echo. I have the chorus on pretty much all the time<br />

and use the phaser and echo for moments here and there. <strong>The</strong><br />

centerpiece of my set-up is the Elektron Octatrack, which is a<br />

sampler, mixer, and MIDI sequencer. I use it to trigger one-shot<br />

samples, and to send MIDI sequences to/process audio from<br />

my KORG Minilogue. We don’t use a backing track so we needed<br />

something that would c<strong>over</strong> a lot of ground and be ultra-flexible/powerful,<br />

which the Octatrack is perfect for.<br />

What other synths were particularly inspiring?<br />

Noah: <strong>The</strong> Juno 106 sound played a large role on our first couple<br />

singles. On the upcoming album, Dominic and I did some<br />

modular synth stuff, Spurge did some sounds with the MS20,<br />

and I recorded a lot of Prophet 08 and Moog Mother 32.<br />

Spurge: I use the Reface DX for live and my personal writing. I<br />

really love the user-friendliness of that versus the DX100 or DX7.<br />

I also recently got the Behringer Model D which I would highly<br />

recommend if you like the classic Moog sound.<br />

22 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>


<strong>The</strong>re aren’t too many country singers that wax-poetic<br />

about the larger than life figures of our world. It seems<br />

like the cultural focus of the genre has shifted toward different<br />

stories with different motifs. Yet artists like Rodes<br />

Rollins are trying to change that with songs like “Mystery<br />

Man.” Appearing like a country-pop mirage on the horizon,<br />

Rollins’ vocals are watery and obscure, detailing a<br />

man in a “forsaken land” that cannot be shot dead. <strong>The</strong><br />

track is less about a character’s arc and more about this<br />

legendary figure’s reputation, and it plays out <strong>over</strong> haunting<br />

instrumentals that border on psychedelic with twangy<br />

guitars that become surprisingly soothing. With its soft<br />

sonic palette, Rodes’ 2018 material has the tempo of ballads<br />

and the melodies of lullabies, but a sense of unease<br />

and tension conferred by her vocals and the edgy and<br />

dark production transform these tracks in unmissable noir<br />

psychedelic gems. (TUCKER PENNINGTON)<br />

<strong>The</strong>re’s a very intriguing Spaghetti Western element to many<br />

of your tracks. How did that get in there?<br />

I’m immensely inspired my Morricone. Often, when I’m writing I<br />

Photo: Mark Peaced<br />

Electro-Harmonix Lester K<br />

/ Danelectro Spring King /<br />

Spaceman Orion<br />

Noir Folk Dream Pop Spaghetti Western<br />

think about Western landscapes and sounds. His music always<br />

<strong>takes</strong> me there.<br />

What did you grow up listening to?<br />

I grew up listening to Nirvana, <strong>The</strong> Beatles, and Cat Stevens.<br />

Mostly stuff my dad would play for my sister and I.<br />

Although sparse, most of your songs feature a subtle but<br />

“intense” production. Is there a team working on your recorded<br />

sound?<br />

I work mostly with producer Alex Goose and engineer Keith<br />

Armstrong. I write and arrange the songs in <strong>Brooklyn</strong>, and then<br />

I bring them <strong>over</strong> to LA where we record and work on the production.<br />

Alex is a real tastemaker and has an amazing ear for<br />

references. He collects records and can pull the most obscure<br />

references about that always help with production. Keith, is<br />

an incredible engineer with every guitar pedal imaginable. He<br />

knows how to achieve any sound, and he’s a real analog guy.<br />

Speaking of pedals, what are your favorite ones right now?<br />

Pretty much everything is drenched in verb, we used a lot the<br />

Spaceman Orion Spring Reverb and the Danelectro Spring<br />

King. I’m also a fan of the Electro-Harmonix Lester K, which I<br />

use to achieve a nice leslie rotator effect.<br />

the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong> 23

ands + Gear<br />

Read the full features on<br />

<strong>Deli</strong>cious-Audio.com<br />


Psych rock is a genre that can encompass a spectrum of<br />

sounds ranging from pop-oriented songs to less-defined<br />

and at times downright chaotic jams. Risen to semi-celebrity<br />

status in NYC through busking in the subway to the<br />

tune of songs by the Beatles, Rockaway Beach, New York’s<br />

Blac Rabbit creates music that falls in the former category,<br />

with precise song structures and thoughtful lyrical content.<br />

What bridges those extreme ends is a like-minded penchant<br />

for phased guitar textures and dreamy introspection.<br />

After impressing with their 2017 debut 6 track EP, the band<br />

recently released new single “Seize <strong>The</strong> Day” from their<br />

forthcoming record Interstella. We asked the two brothers<br />

at the helm of the band a few questions about their creative<br />

process and gear. (DAVE CROMWELL)<br />

You guys became some kind of NYC sensation for busking in<br />

the subway, how long did you do that and was it a formative<br />

experience for what the band is today?<br />

Busking originated for us as a way to raise money to see our<br />

mother in Puerto Rico, she was living there for a while a few years<br />

ago. It was only years later after settling in to several dead end<br />

jobs, getting sick of them, quitting, and then busking for about a<br />

year and a half before it began to blow up for us. Busking definitely<br />

sharpened our skills in terms of performing. I think pre-busking<br />

Electro-Harmonix Small Stone<br />

Nano / ZOOM G3 / ZOOM G3X<br />

Psych Rock<br />

I would have considered us producers more than anything else.<br />

Does gear have a role in this process? If so, how?<br />

We knew we wanted a “Psych Rock” sound, so when trying to<br />

figure out which analog pedals we would need to achieve that, we<br />

stumbled across these Zoom pedals. <strong>The</strong> G2 and G3. We chose<br />

them mainly because we were too broke to afford a shit ton of analog<br />

pedals. At first I thought we were settling, but now I think the<br />

sounds have grown on us. We mainly use a compressor and drive<br />

setting which adds some sort of mid range-heavy EQ. It does<br />

a really great job emulating a vintage analog tone. A delay and<br />

reverb combo which nicely washes out a guitar sound makes it<br />

sound ghostly, which I really like. And a Vibrato modulation. Really<br />

like the way this sound warps the pitch ever so slightly… so sick.<br />

Is there a person outside the band that’s been important in<br />

perfecting your recorded and/or live sound?<br />

For me Steve Lacey and Kevin Parker have been major influences<br />

for getting “the right sound”. I remember listening to Tame<br />

Impala and being blown away by the way his record sounded.<br />

Finding out that he produced it all on his own was crazy to me<br />

and super inspiring. An artist who was just as obsessed with the<br />

engineering as the writing resonated with me. I had always been<br />

obsessed with production since high school and hearing Steve<br />

and Kevin definitely inspired some of the sounds on the EP.<br />

24 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>

ands + Gear<br />

Read the full features on<br />

<strong>Deli</strong>cious-Audio.com<br />


Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri, active in the NYC scene<br />

since the mid aughts, released music separately through Hooray<br />

for Earth (Noel’s first breakout project, disbanded in 2014)<br />

and Zambri (the electronic band Jessica still plays in with<br />

sister Cristi Jo) and became the two creative forces behind<br />

Mass Gothic. <strong>The</strong> two musicians share an interest for dark atmospheres<br />

and edgy arrangements. <strong>The</strong>y found themselves<br />

involved in a romantic relationship that soon developed in an<br />

involved artistic collaboration, which fully bloomed in Mass<br />

Gothic’s sophomore album, entitled I’ve Tortured You Long<br />

Enough, released earlier this year through Sub Pop records.<br />

We asked Noel to share some thoughts about the creative<br />

experience and the gear behind it. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)<br />

<strong>The</strong> new album sees Jessica join you as creative/songwriting<br />

force, how did you develop the idea that an “equal power”<br />

collaboration was in the cards?<br />

Jess influenced the first Mass Gothic album via proximity, we were<br />

always together while I was recording. <strong>The</strong>n with Sup Goth she<br />

ended up finishing a lot of the vocals, writing and recording. Around<br />

that point we realized we were making a band together. Natural<br />

progression when two people spend 24/7 in each other’s company.<br />

Overall, the new album sounds less electronic and more guitar (and<br />

bass!) based than the debut, what influenced this sonic direction?<br />

We toured a great deal playing these songs so when it came<br />

Death By Audio Exit Index Prototype (housed in Apocalypse<br />

chassis) / BOSS PS-5 / Death By Audio Echo<br />

Dream 2 / DOD FX56<br />

Indie Rock<br />

time to record we played it as it is live, so you’re hearing that.<br />

Cristi Jo (Zambri) handles a couple samplers full of sounds/<br />

parts we recorded earlier, much of it in demos. I think most often<br />

it’s either Josh’s (Ascalon, co-producer) MS20, ARP2600 or it’s<br />

vocal samples of our own.<br />

What guitar pedals were particularly inspiring while working<br />

on the new record?<br />

<strong>The</strong> DBA Echo Dream 2 is on, literally, all of the time. I put it in my<br />

setup a few years ago to replace a Memory Boy, which I used to<br />

run almost all the time. When I hooked in the Echo Dream it just<br />

did so much work that I ended up unable to turn it off, or else my<br />

sound would basically die. That’s what happens with hugely bold<br />

sounding pedals. <strong>The</strong>y ask to crash on your couch for a week<br />

but before you know it, oops they’re on the lease now.<br />

What other pedals do you use a lot?<br />

<strong>The</strong> BOSS PS-5 has also ended up becoming a permanent fixture.<br />

It started because my guitars are tuned too low to reach<br />

the occasional high note, so I throw the pitch up and octave<br />

or two with that. Jess and I like this DOD metal pedal for bass<br />

and guitar. <strong>The</strong> footswitch is awful though, so we just record<br />

it. Finally, I was gifted a Death By Audio prototype by Travis<br />

Johnson. It’s housed inside an Apocalypse but it’s actually the<br />

first prototype of Exit Index, a signal sensitive tremolo/fuzz. I’ve<br />

started using that extensively for solo. With mega low tuning,<br />

treated correctly it becomes quite scary.<br />

26 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>



OR, MORE<br />





OR, MORE<br />




With its striking, full-color vertical display and quick, accurate<br />

response, the new D’Addario Chromatic Pedal Tuner helps you<br />

make sure not to miss the mark—even in demanding onstage<br />

conditions. Its slim profile leaves room on your pedalboard for<br />

D’ADDARIO all your effects, so CHROMATIC it’s there when you PEDAL need it, but TUNER out of the<br />

way when you don’t.<br />

With its striking, full-color vertical display and quick, accurate<br />

response, the new D’Addario Chromatic Pedal Tuner helps you<br />


sure not to miss the mark—even in demanding onstage<br />

conditions. Its slim profile leaves room on your pedalboard for<br />

all your effects, so it’s there when you need it, but out of the<br />

way when you don’t.<br />


ands + Gear<br />

Read the full features on<br />

<strong>Deli</strong>cious-Audio.com<br />


<strong>Brooklyn</strong>-based four-piece Taking Meds boldly advocates<br />

their distinct musical style, ascribing to the ’math-punk’<br />

label. After producing their debut album My Life as a Bro<br />

in 2016, the group returned to the studio earlier this year<br />

to begin recording EP My Moon Is Always Full. Many of<br />

their songs like “Blue Shirt Boogie” and “Comfort in Poor<br />

Planning” fuse aspects of classic, dissonant post-hardcore<br />

with the relatable edge of indie rock, creating a combination<br />

of hard-biting lyrics and rhythmic complexity that<br />

penetrates the spirit of punk rock. With vocals that err on<br />

the side of Four Year Strong or Neck Deep, blended into<br />

layers of Balance and Composure-esq post-hardcore instrumentals,<br />

you are left with a cutting mixture of intense<br />

yet complex loudness. (REBECCA CARROLL)<br />

What inspired for your 2018 EP?<br />

Skylar: Lyrically “My Moon Is Always Full” was highly personal.<br />

I had just gotten sober and was reflecting on that. A lot of our<br />

previous release, My Life as a Bro, addresses some extremely<br />

inebriated experiences. Sobriety was new ground.<br />

Jon: Musically we’ve spent a lot of the last year really digging<br />

into the Polvo and Shudder To Think discographies. To me,<br />

[Top] Jon’s pedalboard: BOSS ODB-3 / BOSS DD-7 / Adventure<br />

Audio Glacial Zenith / BOSS PH-3 / BOSS TU-3<br />

[Bottom] Skylar’s pedalboard: Adventure Audio Dream<br />

Reaper / Adventure Audio Whateverb / ProCo RAT /<br />

Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Nano / MXR Carbon<br />

Copy / Fulltone OCD / BOSS TU-3<br />

Math Rock Alt Rock<br />

“Discount Furniture” has a bit of a faster and more cross-eyed<br />

Chavez vibe while “My Moon Is Always Full” has a more melodic<br />

Drive Like Jehu quality to it.<br />

What’s about odd tempos that excites you?<br />

Jon: We seldom if ever think in terms of making intentionally complex<br />

music. We naturally lean that way as listeners and instrumentalists.<br />

Skylar: When I was first entering high school, I liked playing in<br />

bands a lot but was pretty self-conscious and easily defeated<br />

when it came to my abilities. My friend was like “I bet you can’t<br />

play this, it’s in 7/4” and he was all stoked when I could and I<br />

guess I felt like latching on to odd tempo parts has always come<br />

more quickly and naturally to me.<br />

Was there a specific pedal that kind of changed your life?<br />

Jon: As a guitarist and a studio engineer I love my ’80s Memory<br />

Man. I got it about 10 years ago and It was the first time I disc<strong>over</strong>ed<br />

a pedal that really extended far beyond that of simply an “effect”.<br />

Another pedal I really love is the BOSS GE-7 EQ. Pushing or pulling<br />

midrange before/after dirt boxes can bring extra focus to the guitar.<br />

Skylar: I really love my Fulltone OCD. It fixes so many things I<br />

used to struggle with in my tone, and I’m learning how to gain<br />

stage that against my AC30.<br />

28 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>

Teenage Engineering<br />

PO-33 KO<br />

[Top] Vera’s pedals: TC Electronic Ditto /<br />

Hotone EKO / EarthQuaker Devices Grand<br />

Orbiter / BOSS DS-1<br />

[Bottom] Annie’s pedals: BOSS TU-2 / Barber<br />

Electronics Tone Press / Electro-Harmonix<br />

Bass Big Muff Pi<br />


Garage Rock Punk<br />

NYC’s T-Rextasy are thinking about the end of the world, and<br />

the primordial beginnings of it, too. <strong>The</strong> punk four-piece have<br />

been shredding sugar-rush punk with a socially conscious<br />

twist and a Lisa Frank vibrancy since they were seniors in<br />

high school in New York City. <strong>The</strong>ir excellent debut Jurassic<br />

Punk––where they sing about everything and everyone<br />

from cafeteria ladies to gap year boys—came out in 2016<br />

on Father/Daughter records. Since garnering a cult following<br />

and going off to different colleges, T-Rextasy has continued<br />

to tour and gain momentum for their anticipated sophomore<br />

LP, Prehysteria, which is out in January. (SARA NUTA)<br />

What people, records, events and/or feelings influenced you while<br />

you were writing and recording your new album Prehysteria?<br />

Lyris: Thinking about technology/social media and the end of the<br />

world. We gotta burn our iPhones. We gotta return to the land.<br />

Ebun: I second what Lyris said. I also was just influenced by<br />

the notion of not giving a fuck about people thinking I’m crazy<br />

or “hysterical” and living in the body as I am as a black femme.<br />

Vera: <strong>The</strong> feeling of “wow we’re grown ups!” mixed with “wow I<br />

still live with my parents and worry about how I look!”<br />

Annie: Thinking about inevitable graduation (which has now<br />

happened), coming out as gay, feeling like an adult and also a<br />

leetle bitty baby all at the same time.<br />

Do pedals inspire your music as well?<br />

Vera (guitar): I was recently gifted a sweet Fulltone Plimsoul<br />

<strong>over</strong>drive. My friend got it for me and said that if he ever caught<br />

me playing with my BOSS DS-1, he would take it back. I brought<br />

the gifted pedal on tour with me, and it did a slammin’ job, but<br />

I missed my BOSS DS-1. I would hear people playing and be<br />

like, “damn, that’s a rad tone!” And sure enough, they would<br />

have a DS-1 in their pedal chain. I love that pedal and will never<br />

tour without it again. One pedal that’s been blowing my mind<br />

recently is the Electro-Harmonix POG. When you hear it, it’s like<br />

an organ. Amazing clarity, and it almost gives a shimmer of chorus<br />

effect or something that makes the octaves sound 3D. I’ve<br />

also been really digging the combo of my DS-1 and EarthQuaker<br />

Grand Orbiter. Also, not a pedal, but I’ve been crazy about<br />

my new Teenage Engineering PO K.O. sampler/drum machine.<br />

Annie (bass): This summer was the first time I toured with any<br />

pedals other than a tuner. I got an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff for<br />

that much needed bass distortion, alongside a Barber Tone Press<br />

compressor, because I finger play and sometimes that comes<br />

with a wooliness that I like to compress a bit so it really rings out<br />

to the back of the room. My forever love though is my tuning pedal,<br />

which I maintain is the only pedal anyone truly needs.<br />

the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong> 29

<strong>The</strong> Ultimate Guide to<br />

Reverb Pedals<br />

delicious-audio.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> object pictured here that<br />

looks like a 10 inch-long<br />

metal bath tub is how reverb<br />

effects for guitar looked like<br />

when they first appeared in the<br />

early ’60s — although you didn’t<br />

really see that, since it was hidden<br />

inside guitar amps like the Ampeg<br />

Reverberocket and the Fender Vibr<strong>over</strong>b.<br />

Those amps represented<br />

the beginning of a long lasting and<br />

prolific love story: the one between<br />

electric guitar and reverberation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first reverb in stompbox format<br />

only appeared in the mid ’80s (DOD<br />

and BOSS units), but since then the<br />

acceleration in popularity has been<br />

A spring reverb tank. (Credit: Grebe, Common License)<br />

so swift that, thirty years later, looking<br />

for a reverb pedal has become a<br />

little bit like looking for a car: there’s<br />

a wide range of options and prices,<br />

with each model excelling at different<br />

things and offering different features.<br />

This is why when confronted<br />

with the idea of creating a guide to<br />

reverb pedals we decided to organize<br />

it in the four categories below<br />

— you can find the full articles by following<br />

the red links next to the titles.<br />

Best Ambient/Shoegazer Reverb Pedals<br />

bit.ly/GazeVerbs<br />

Once upon a shoe-gazing time, guitarists had few choices when it<br />

came to pedals that could create washes of ambiance. Many players<br />

used multiple delay and reverb pedals at the end of their signal chains<br />

to generate deep, blooming and lingering soundscapes. <strong>The</strong>se days,<br />

thanks to advances in digital signal processing (DSP) chips, pedal<br />

makers can create stompboxes dedicated to this particular brand of<br />

reverb. As it happens, pedals that excel at creating ambience are all<br />

the rage right now. We’ve spent some time with the current crop of offerings<br />

and have collected 18 that we consider the best. All of the pedals<br />

listed in this article will allow you to create cavernous reverbs with<br />

lingering tails, shimmer effects, delay, modulation and much more.<br />

In this article you’ll find these lists:<br />

1. Ambient/Shoegaze Reverb Pedals<br />

2. Ambient/Shoegaze Reverb + Delay Pedals<br />

30 the deli Winter <strong>2019</strong>

Best Multi-Mode Reverb Pedals<br />

bit.ly/Multiverbs<br />

If a simple spring reverb is a little too spartan for you, we have compiled<br />

a list of the best multi-function reverb pedals (aka “Multiverbs”) on the<br />

market organized by depth of features and (perceived) popularity. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

range from stompboxes with three or four different reverb flavors to fullblown<br />

workhorses that deliver a dozen ambience algorithms and deep<br />

levels of control. Some are big, some are small, but all will tickle your<br />

craving for the wondrously wet world of reverb.<br />

In this article you’ll find these lists:<br />

1. Multi-Algorithm Reverb Workstations<br />

2. Compact Reverb Pedals with 5 or More Modes<br />

3. Compact Reverb Stompboxes with 3-4 Modes<br />

Best Spring Reverb Pedals<br />

bit.ly/SpringRvb<br />

This list focuses on pedals dedicated to the spring reverb effect, which<br />

is based on a design featuring springs in a little tank that vibrate when<br />

your guitar’s signal goes through them. A pickup mounted inside the<br />

tank picks up those vibrations and sends them back to your amp. <strong>The</strong><br />

spring reverb is an effect associated with the electric guitar sound of<br />

the ’60s, brought to fame, in particular, by surf music, and facilitated by<br />

reverb circuits built inside many vintage amps from that decade. <strong>The</strong><br />

first Fender Reverb Unit was introduced in 1961 and reissued in 2016.<br />

In this article you’ll find these lists:<br />

1. Pedals with Actual Springs<br />

2. Spring Pedals without Springs<br />

3. Mini Spring Reverb Pedals<br />

4. Spring Reverb Pedals with Tremolo<br />

Best Hybrid Reverbs with<br />

Modulation and Fuzz/Distortion<br />

bit.ly/HybridVerbs<br />

Some of the best reverb stompboxes out there are not “pure” reverb circuits,<br />

but feature other effects that are often used with it — without necessarily<br />

being a “do-it-all” reverb workstation. In this article you’ll find reverb<br />

mixed with tremolo and other forms of low-frequency modulation, and<br />

with old-school fuzz, distortion and EQ filtering that lets you emphasize<br />

bass or treble frequencies. While many of the entries in this article feature<br />

both classic and modern styles of reverb, a few are satisfyingly spartan,<br />

allowing you to conjure up vintage ambience by turning just a few knobs.<br />

In this article you’ll find these lists:<br />

1. Reverb Pedals with Modulation<br />

2. Reverb Pedals with Distortion or Fuzz

Aggregating the<br />

A<br />

s usual, the Winter <strong>NAMM</strong> show will<br />

unleash on us a tsunami of new pedals<br />

(we’ll shoot demos for as many as we<br />

can together with the guys at 60 Cycle Hum,<br />

check <strong>Deli</strong>cious-Audio.com for the c<strong>over</strong>age!).<br />

However, we shouldn’t miss the opportunity<br />

given to us by the first issue of <strong>2019</strong> to see<br />

what devices stood out from the crowd during<br />

the previous twelve months...<br />

Since <strong>Deli</strong>cious Audio is an aggregator of<br />

pedal news and doesn’t review gear, our “Best<br />

Stompboxes of 2018” chart is an aggregate<br />

of the year-end lists compiled by other pedal-centered<br />

online resources. Up to this point<br />

(early January at the time of writing), we found<br />

this list of relevant “best ofs”: Reverb.com,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Pedal Zone, Dennis Kayzer, BestGuitarEffects.com,<br />

Popular Mechanics and<br />

Vintage King — the chart in these pages is<br />

compiled by tallying these lists’ results.<br />

Here’s how we did it: some of these lists (like<br />

<strong>The</strong> Pedal Zone’s one) assigned a specific<br />

“chart position” to each effect, while others<br />

(like the JHS one) just mentioned a list of devices<br />

in no particular order. To add the results<br />

up in a way that made sense, we decided to<br />

assign a value of 10 to any pedal that was<br />

given the #1 spot; we gave second places<br />

9 points, 8 to third places and so on. Pedals<br />

beyond the 9th position got just 1 point.<br />

Lists that didn’t specify an order generated 5<br />

points for each pedal.<br />

Here are the results!<br />

P.S. We’ll updating this page on<br />

<strong>Deli</strong>cious-Audio.com whenever new,<br />

relevant year-end lists will be published:<br />

bit.ly/BestFX18—keep checking it!<br />

1<br />

2<br />

Chase Bliss Audio<br />

Dark World<br />

27 pt.<br />

delicious-audio.com<br />

“Best Pedals of 2018” Lists<br />

3<br />

Meris<br />

Enzo<br />

29 pt.<br />

Red Panda<br />

Tensor<br />

23 pt.

4 5<br />

EarthQuaker Devices<br />

Pyramids<br />

6 6<br />

20 pt.<br />

8<br />

Benson<br />

Preamp<br />

15 pt.<br />

Beetronix<br />

Royal Jelly<br />

9 pt.<br />

BOSS<br />

MT-2w<br />

10 pt.<br />

Chase Bliss Audio<br />

<strong>The</strong>rmae<br />

10 pt.<br />

8<br />

10. Chase Bliss Audio - Condor<br />

10. Old Blood Noise Endeavors - Dweller<br />

10. Southampton Pedals - Indie Dream<br />

13. Dwarfcraft Devices - Witch Shifter<br />

14. Electro-Harmonix - OCEANS 11<br />

8pt.<br />

8pt.<br />

8pt.<br />

7pt.<br />

6pt.<br />

Find the full list of 40+ pedals here: bit.ly/BestFX18<br />

KMA Machines<br />

Horizont<br />

9 pt.

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