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nyc emerging bands and gear

Issue #56 Vol. #3 Winter 2019 thedelimag.com

altopalo

It’s Queens’ Time!

(Brooklyn’s Done)

+ NAMM 2019 Special


Guitar Pedal NAMM Paradise!

(Booths #3231 and #3424! )

After a super-fun 2018 experience, the Delicious Audio’s Stompbox Booth will

return at NAMM 2019 in Hall D at booth #3231—the same spot you found us

during the 2018 edition—with also a smaller extension in booth #3424.

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

pedal manufacturers who will be present with one pedalboard each. Like at all our

Stompbox events, visitors will be able to play with each board through a headphones

setup—demo guitars will be provided.

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

presented at NAMM, this time in collaboration with the guys at 60 Cycle Hum. The

demos will be gathered on our blog Delicious-Audio.com. Don’t forget to check it during

the NAMM week (January 24-27)!

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

are going to NAMM, see you there!


The Pedals of the

Namm 2019 Stompbox Booth

Cooper FX

Moment Machine

Cusack Music

Screamer Fuzz

Deep Space Devices

Trigonaut

DryBell

Unit 67

One of the most tweakable (and

yet easy to use) pitch shifters

available in hardware form. Featuring

two independent polyphonic

pitch shifting engines, a

powerful sixteen step sequencer,

and over two hundred user

adjustable parameters.

A limited edition (50 unitts) Tube

Screamer-style overdrive with an

extra fuzz on top that can gets

you a wide variety of sounds.

This pedal expands on past versions

by including the additions

of a tone/gate control knob, and

a Germanium setting as one of

the three clipping options (Silicon

and LED are the other two).

The Trigonaut is an overdrive

pedal with octave glitch/

stutter capabilities where the

octaves perform the glitch/

stutter effect.

A versatile multi-functional EQ/

dynamics tone-shaping tool

including a “Rangemaster-like”

mid control, a boost and 1176

style one-knob compressor—all

in one extremely practical compact

guitar pedal. The Range

control will help you cut through

the mix adding sparkle and bite.

The compressor is transparent

and through the blend mode can

add the right amount of sustain

while retaining pick dynamics.

Dusky Amp

Hypatia

Glou Glou

Pralines

INDUSTRIALECTRIC

RM-1N

Massive FX

G.O.A.F. Fuzz

A versatile fuzz/overdrive/distortion

pedal with a wide gain range,

an adjustable low end, a specially

designed input buffer, and a

MOSFET-based output buffer.

It spans from ragged crunch to

bludgeoning fuzz—all while remaining

musical. The low end

can be tailored for any instrument

across a range of musical styles.

A pedal featuring four parallel

resonant band-pass filters and

a versatile modulation circuit

applied to them. The filters’ frequency

can be adjusted separately

with a shared volume and

resonance control, and each has

its own “modulation send” control

as well. The toggle switch

on the top engages a gated fuzz.

The RM-1N is a unique and extremely

versatile reverb - some

have called it an amp in a box

but that’s putting it lightly.

A hand-wired recreation of

the octave fuzz Burns Buzzaround,

popularized by Fripp

in the 1970s with separate

fuzz, mid-range and treble

controls. The right footswitch

triggers the Fuzz, the Left one

the Vintage Octave.

6 the deli Winter 2019


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

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

headphones with amp emulation. Demo guitars will be provided by PRS.

Mastro Valvola

LFO Tremolo

Meris

Enzo

NativeAudio

Ghost Ridge

Old Blood Noise Endeavors

Dweller

A tap tempo optical tremolo

that evokes the classic vintage

sounds of the past, while offering

a range of exciting new features.

The warm modulation of

the amps from the ’60s is reproduced

through an opto-isolator

analogue audio signal circuit. A

“Digital Brain” allows you to access

16 waveforms, the innovative

“Symmetry” control and

three tempo divisions.

A multi-voice synthesizer that

tracks your guitar for monosynth

leads, complex chord

polyphony, or multi-note arpeggiation

without the need for a

special pickup. Or, use built-in

pitch shifting, modulation and

filter effects on your dry signal.

It works with any instrument,

allowing you to synthesize the

input signal with a complete

synth tool palette.

A multi-reverb pedal designed

with simplicity in mind, the

Ghost Ridge offers four unique

reverb algorithms: hall, plate,

room, and spring. In addition, it

includes up to four programmable

presets. Each reverb algorithm

features controls for mix,

depth, and modulation.

From familiar phase and vibe

sounds to resonant random

step filtering, warm delays,

and previously unheard in-betweens,

the Dweller is capable

of countless sonic textures with

five controls and six modes. It

features two phaser voices (4/8

stage) and three wave shapes

and an innovative Stretch control

that changes delay time inside

each phase’s stage.

Paradox FX

Oniric Delay

Rabbit Hole FX

OGOD

Spiral Electric FX

Black Spiral Fuzz

SolidGoldFx

Electroman MKII

A delay pedal with pseudo random

modulations to provide a

dynamic trail of repetitions with

a lo-fi touch, ranging from choral

delays, vibratos and a warp

mode for synthetic sounds

brought from beyond.

Driven by mini-vacuum tubes

found in old military radios and

hearing-aids, this is an overdrive

pedal that also works as an amp

emulator with two headphone

outputs. The Level knob controls

the level of signal coming from

the tubes for warmth, while Clean

lets you blend the original signal

back in for parallel distortion.

Versatile and aggressive Maestro

Fuzz-inspired pedal with a unique

blend of vintage tone and futuristic

technology. Bias Control,

three voicing options, and gobs

of output. Separate Gain and

Bias control yield a wide array

of fuzz tones from overdrive to

splatty, horn-like sounds. Incredible

clean-up with guitar volume.

A warm sounding echo with a

1000ms maximum delay, modulation

with variable speed and effects

loop. The second switch is

for the Warp feature, which sends

the repeats ramping up to self-oscillation

for ambient textures and

spatial soundscapes delivering

anything from gentle nudging into

infinity to instant freakouts.

the deli Winter 2019 7


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

the deli

nyc emerging bands and gear

Issue #56 Vol. #3 Winter 2019 thedelimag.com

EDITOR IN CHIEF / PUBLISHER

PAOLO DE GREGORIO

FOUNDER

CHARLES NEWMAN

ART DIRECTOR

KAZ YABE ( WWW.KAZYABE.COM)

ASSISTANT EDITOR / COPY EDITOR

ERIN BETHUNE D’SOUZA

EXECUTIVE EDITOR

QUANG D. TRAN

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY

JACKSON BERNARD ( WWW.JACKSONBERNARD.COM)

HIP-HOP EDITOR

JASON GRIMSTE (AKA BROKEMC)

WEB DEVELOPER

BINOD LAMSAL

EXTRA EDITING

CHRISTOPHER SCAPELLITI

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

SARA NUTA

CONNOR MCINERNEY

REBECCA CARROL

CAMERON CARR

TUCKER PENNINGTON

THE KITCHEN

CHRISTOPHER SCAPELLITI

BRANDON STONER

INTERN

SUNNY BETZ

PUBLISHERS

THE DELI MAGAZINE, LLC

MOTHER WEST, NYC

Advertising Inquiries:

paolo.dg@thedelimag.com

Press Inquiries:

info@thedelimagazine.com

TABLE of CONTENTS

p10. Fresh Buzz

p.12 Records of the Month

p.14 Feature: Queening It Over Brooklyn

p.20 altopalo

p.22 Bands + Gear

p.30 Delicious Audio’s Guide to Reverb Pedals

p.34 Best Pedals of 2018

t’s again — it never stopped

Ihappening.

Just as the gentrification of Brooklyn

came about as a consequence of musicians

in Manhattan seeking out low

rents, with the ensuing following of tastemakers

and art-savvy denizens capitalizing

upon this relocation, the same

story is being told again in the city’s

easternmost borough: Queens. And

just as the once-predominantly Jewish

enclave of Williamsburg, or the post-industrial

warehouses of eastern Williamsburg

and Bushwick, may have appeared

insusceptible to dynamic change, so too

could be said about Queens’ bordering,

predominantly residential neighborhoods

today.

This issue’s main feature tackles this

geographic shift of the NYC scene and

possible future scenarios, while other

sections of it are focused on a music

gear event happening on the other side

of the country (the NAMM show), with a

focus on curious devices many NYC musicians

stomp on for creative purposes.

These seemingly separate worlds collide

almost every time we listen to a NYC

band that uses an electric guitar - you’ll

also find a great selection of those in the

central pages of this issue!

Paolo De Gregorio, Editor in Chief

& Connor McInerney


Fresh Buzz | New NYC Artists

We’ve been saying for years that female indie

musicians have, on average, been producing

a lot more interesting material than

their dude counterparts, and L’Freaq,

the project of bi-coastal electronic singer

songwriter Lea Cappelli, is another piece

in the truly beautiful puzzle representing

NYC women’s musical output in the new

millennium. After premiering on Billiboard

the delicate yet edgy electro-soul ballad

“Weird Awakenings,” the artists has recently

unveiled a darker (and even edgier)

single/video combo entitled “Moonlight.”

Channeling the experimental, noir ballads

of Portishead, the track features a deceivingly

sparse arrangement, blending a killer

plodding and syncopated rhythm section

with an ever-evolving ambient electronic

soundscape. Lea’s vocals not only confirm

her noteworthy pipes and silky tone, but

also reveal her ability to convey character

to a performance and “play” the song’s

part, a trait only few musical performer

possess. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)

L’Freaq

Soul, Noir Pop, Electronic

CLAVVS

Synth-Pop, Electronica

Synthpop Brooklyn duo (via Atlanta)

CLAVVS has been catching a lot of cyber-fan

attention recently by topping the

Hype Machine charts with singles “Lay

Back” and “Slow Dive.” The group has already

two well received full length albums

under their belt, but are showing no signs

of slowing down. Atmospheric and easy

on the ear without ever sounding banal,

this year’s singles show a noteworthy

growth in the songwriting department,

which is a promising sign for a project

whose songs aim at moving the listeners’

feelings more than their body, boosted by

vocalist Amber Renee’s soulful and melancholic

alto. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)

Sloppy Jane is a band with bizarre and

grotesque inclinations and an interest in

translating them into their performances.

Naked bodies, colored dye, and television

screens set a backdrop for melting inhibitions

as the music (and often the musician)

tumbles into chaotic fits. It’s a must-see

for fans of avant-garde, performative

punk. Their 2018 album Willow sounds like

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

the story of a “girl who existed

inside of a strip club in Inglewood, who

Sloppy Jane

Photo: Jorge Gonzalez

Avant-Indie, Post-Punk, No Wave

ran away to the desert to hustle pool with a

lion, and who burned herself alive for [our]

freedom.” It’s filled with odd tracks that

develop in unexpected sonic and vocal directions,

without ever sounding disjointed

or randomly assembled. (CAMERON CARR)

If you are stuck with the notion that emo

has become the unbearably whiny expression

of spoiled suburban kids, enter Bay

Faction, and think again. Their 2015

three-track debut EP clearly carries the

genre’s DNA, but slows down its BPM by

a lot, makes a discreet if not spare use of

distorted guitars, and puts a lot of heart in

it. Those early tracks resonated with a lot

Bay Faction

Indie Emo

of kids and gathered over a million plays

on Spotify, and so did following 2017 single

“Pendulum”. The band is now ready to

release their debut LP Florida Guilt, which

expands the group’s sonic palette with a

more varied production, without betraying

their music’s core qualities. Single “It’s

Perfect” is to date their fastest and most

driven track, but still stylistically hybrid,

with the inwardly tortured voice of singer

James McDermott adding oozes of character

to vague lyrics related to the struggles

of dating. Fans of Pingrove and Forth

Wanderers (two other bands that are taking

emo in new directions) should definitely

check these guys out. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)

10 the deli Winter 2019


Records of the Month

CONDUIT

Drowning World

The sheer volume of this album is bound

to be a deal-breaker for some listeners. Yet

for the brave there is much to appreciate

here. “Saturn,” its opening track,” flutters

and screeches, hanging in suspension as

any good intro might. “Hypnagog” is the

album’s full-scale launch, however, pitched

somewhere between the muscular metal of

the Melvins and the more orthodox hardcore-punk.

“End Times” is built on a minor

chord guitar dirge and pounding rhythm,

each taken from the Black Sabbath playbook,

yet juxtaposed by screamed vocals.

“Gille de Rais” is the closest Conduit

comes to modern psychedelic music. Its

menacing rhythm gives rise to a thick wall

of distortion which skirts the line between

post-rock and metal. “Parasites” is the

closest to straight-up hardcore; yet even

here the tension felt in its combination of

instruments seems less message-driven.

“Zero Days” finishes the LP with a clear

almost direct incantation—an oddity in

terms of strategy (yet not out of place).

Drowning World is not for the faint of heart.

But if straight-up truth is your poison then

here’s the antidote. (BRIAN CHIDESTER)

EYES OF LOVE

End of The Game

In August, Eyes of Love put out their

debut LP, End of The Game. Helmed

by Brooklyn songwriter Andrea Schiavelli,

EoL is a true meeting of the minds

that brings together some of the New

York underground’s most innovative

musicians including Lily Konigsberg

(Palberta, Lily and Horn Horse), Sammy

Weissberg (The Cradle, Sweet Baby

Jesus), and Paco Cathcart (The Cradle,

Shimmer). End of The Game is an expansive—and

impressive—debut of 14

tracks ranging from breezy pop to lush

orchestral arrangements, but mostly

reveling in what could be described as

a subdued, broken-up version of postpunk.

Schiavelli’s vocals, reminiscent of

the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, find

the ability to make any turn of phrase

sound instantly classic and soaked with

character. Be sure to give their excellent

album a listen, it’s a lesson in entertaining

unconventionality. (SARA NUTA)

L’RAIN

Self-Titled

Brooklyn’s Taja Cheek is an experimental

singer/instrumentalist whose classical

music education inspires her solo project

L’Rain’s rich, ambient sound. While

creating her debut, self-titled record in

2017, Taja’s burgeoning music career

was intersected by the passing of her

mother Lorraine, which affected L’Rain’s

lyrical content with themes centered on

the subject of grief—as heard in tracks

like “Stay, Go (Go, Stay)” and “Heavy

(But Not in Wait)”. Her tracks, however,

wander through mystifying and dreamy

territories with the effect of blending

morbidity with cheery effervescence.

Listening to L’Rain’s is the aural equivalent

of gazing into a sonic kaleidoscope

composed by a multitude of synths,

samples, and effects, concocting a wistful

carpet blanketed with her lush, whispery

vocals. (REBECCA CARROLL)

12 the deli Winter 2019


Feature | Far East in the City

* QUEENING

OVER

IT

BROOKLYN

The Rise of Queens As The New Home of

The NYC Music Scene

By Connor McInerney and Sara Nuta / Illustration by Astrid Terrazas

14 the deli Winter 2019

*queen it over (one)

To act in a way that shows one’s arrogance; to behave

as if one is superior than someone else.

Example: “OK, yes, you beat me—now quit queening

it over me.” (Source: TheFreeDictionary.com)


Housing The Struggle

It’s impossible to discuss the New York City music scene

without addressing the “900 dollars a month excluding

utilities” elephant in the room: rent. At the crux of any environment

in which young, broke musicians will thrive is

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

problem that NYC is notorious for, given the ever-increasing

cost of living expenses for anybody who call the city

home. Tangentially, when examining the city’s “It” neighborhoods

throughout the years — the areas endowed

with the ephemeral “cool factor” brought by the presence

of artists — a pattern of eastward migration emerges, one

coherent with the direction of NYC’s gentrification over

the last fifty years.

As the city’s scene expands eastwards, as creative types

settle into cramped three-bedroom Bushwick apartments

en masse, the last bastion in Brooklyn appears on the

precipice of full “artist-ification.” It makes sense why

musicians, venue owners, and scenesters have begun

looking eastwards, towards the inevitable jump to the

Borough of Queens.

Looking at the context of New York’s alternative scene

since the 1960s helps illuminate why Queens is the heir

apparent. The genesis of counterculture in Greenwich Village,

its folksy cafe society of guitar-strapped drifters, the

ilks of which included Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel,

provided a workable modus operandi that informs underground

and DIY music in the city today; all that was necessary

to host performances by up and coming musicians

was a few microphones and a space that’s willing to open

its doors to their admirers.

Over time, such soundscapes inevitably became electric

and the venues changed, moving towards the East River

and into dives like CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, both of

which played host to bands like The Velvet Underground,

Ramones, and Talking Heads, purveyors of a distinct New

York soundscape that was increasingly becoming darker,

“weirder,” and more electronic. The next big transformation

in alternative locale, however, wouldn’t occur until

the early aughts, when the Lower East Side became the

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

rise of then-young indie groups like The Strokes, Yeah

Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio and Interpol, would anoint

now-established performance spaces like the Bowery

Ballroom, Mercury Lounge, Arlene’s Grocery and Pianos.

As the LES thrived, concurrent development in the

now-gentrifying Brooklyn would eventually push artists,

bookers, and venue owners over the river, forming the

basis of the two-borough New York scene we see today.

A Tougher Enviromnent

for DIY

New York scenesters have developed some kind of refrain

that’s reiterated when discussing (read: lamenting) a venue

that’s on its way out: that when one space shuts down,

another will inevitably pop up. We have come to accept

that this reincarnation cycle will take shape in converted

warehouses, multi-purpose spaces, and shabby bar/venue

hybrids. But Brooklyn’s nightlife scene has faced heavy

blows in the last few years. A combination of rising rents,

creative leadership differences, and stringent building

code restrictions have spurred a(nother) wave of closures.

Within the last few years, Brooklyn’s had to say goodbye

to DIY heavyweights like The Silent Barn, Shea Stadium,

Palisades, and Aviv, among others that filled the

void left behind by 285 Kent, Glasslands and Death By

Audio’s closure. Most recently, the underground Brooklyn

club and anchor of Brooklyn’s techno scene, Output,

announced that they would shut its doors come the new

year. This comes just weeks after The Dreamhouse and

The Gateway announced similar outcomes.

These setbacks may stem from serious concerns surrounding

illegal DIY spaces, especially in the wake of the

2016 Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, a tragic occurrence that

claimed the lives of 36 people attending a house show

at the artist collective space. While concerns surrounding

fire safety and building codes are legitimate, many venues

have faced disproportionate scrutiny from legislation

surrounding nightlife (like the cabaret laws, which until

recently banned dancing in venues) and city taskforces,

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

community hotspots (as outlined by Liz Pelly in her piece

in the Baffler, “Cut The Music”).

the deli Winter 2019 15


In short, notwithstanding the enthusiasm propelling many

of these operations, it takes a lot of hard work, perseverance

and also good luck to keep them open; dealing

with a multi-faceted art space with precarious funding

and (in some cases) even less certain legal standing is a

challenging and stressful task even for the most savvy of

entrepreneurs.

SUNNYVALE

These locales’ openings, closings and relocations are just

as central to this timeline as the history of the transient

music communities involved.

Live Venues Invade

Bushwick and Ridgewood

After the “Williamsburg venue massacre” of the mid

2010s, bonafide names in New York’s scene started setting

up official shop in Bushwick. In 2013, forward thinking

DIY entrepreneur Todd Patrick (colloquially known as

Todd P.) was the first to settle in Ridgewood with all-ages

venue and “community resource center” Trans-Pecos,

while working on re-opening his bigger Bushwick

operation Market Hotel (he co-owns both venues). The

PopGun Presents team — who built its reputation running

now defunct, semi-DIY Williamsburg venue Glasslands

— resurfaced in 2017 with the multi-room, EDM-friendly

warehouse Elsewhere. Most notably, booking giant

Bowery Presents, not happy with running adjacent live

spots Music Hall of Williamsburg and Rough Trade,

built from scratch (!!) Brooklyn Steel, an 1,800 capacity

mega-venue which solidifies that area as as the current

center of the New York scene.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there are

abandoned warehouses and great swaths of the creative

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

Gardner, a massive event complex with a 6,000-person

capacity, was shut down in 2016 for safety violations but

recently came back as a colossal night club for deep

house and techno grooves. The Myrtle-Broadway intersection,

home to the legendary Market Hotel and former

Palisades, serves as a jumping off point for new directions

both musically and geographically. As you move into

Bushwick, you’ll find an emphasis on dance and nightlife

in places like the expansive House of Yes, to the intimate

Bossa Nova Civic Club, to Bushwick’s bonafide

AVANT GARDNER

MARKET HOTEL

astrology themed lounge Mood Ring. For those who

tend to ride the electro wave, these spots are a welcome

haven from the conventional nightclubs in Manhattan.

Equally integral to the Brooklyn music ecosystem are the

smaller, less flashy spots that provide space for emerging

bands (who may not be backed by huge PR teams)

to get booked and meet like-minded artists. Among them

are reliable spots like Alphaville, Gold Sounds, Bushwick

Public House, and Sunnyvale: Bars/venues that

consistently put on good bills in low-key atmospheres. In

GOLD SOUNDS

BUSHWICK

PUBLIC HOUSE

16 the deli Winter 2019


ELSEWHERE

HOUSE OF YES

THE FOOTLIGHT

KNOCKDOWN

CENTER

RIDGEWOOD

(QNS)

THE WINDJAMMER

“It’s more likely that

neighborhoods like

Maspeth, with its large

industrial lowlands,

and Ozone Park, with

its recent development

investments, will become

spaces where artists,

promoters, and

entertainment companies

will set up shop.”

ALPHAVILLE

SECRET PROJECT ROBOT

TRANS-PECOS

RAKIT CLUB

BUSHWICK

(BK)

H0L0

Ridgewood, you’ll find dive bars like The Windjammer

or venues like The Footlight that serve a similar downto-earth

community-oriented vibe. Take H0L0, for instance

— a basement space for electronica with an industrial,

minimalist design and solid sound system — that’s helped

house the nascent lo-fi electronica scene in Ridgewood.

Everything from multi-faceted DIY art spaces like the

Glove to more experimental, electronic-oriented spots, like

the fourth incarnation of Secret Project Robot (or its offshoot

bar Flowers for All Occasions) helps keep the active

and vibrant arts community intact, especially at a time

when DIY spots have been shut down in quick succession.

Yet new venues have and continue to crop up and sprawl

outwards.

Where Next?

Understanding the cyclical nature of artist movement,

neighborhood development, and artist departure, raises

the obvious question of “where next?” Sure, Ridgewood

the deli Winter 2019 17


and Bushwick have furnished denizens of New York with

a variety of performance spaces, and it certainly doesn’t

show any signs of slowing down soon, but the inevitable

process of gentrification will likely continue to push

musicians further into Queens. And while one would be

inclined to just chalk up the immediately adjacent neighborhoods

of Middle Village and Glendale (both of which

are situated right next to Ridgewood), the residential elements

of these areas set them apart from the visually

unappealing industrial spaces of eastern Brooklyn that

have proven fertile ground for art.

Rather, it’s more likely that neighborhoods like Maspeth,

with its large industrial lowlands, and Ozone Park, with

its recent development investments, will become spaces

where artists, promoters, and entertainment companies

will set up shop. Both neighborhoods are characterized,

at least in part, by recent real estate acquisitions of unused

warehouses and factories, and fit with the general

trend of movement that has characterized Brooklyn’s

development over the last twenty years. That being said,

DIY has never necessitated “venues” and established

performance spaces for art to flourish, and as industrial

spaces become increasingly scarce it may force a return

to form. It’s entirely possible that Cypress Hills and its status

as a diverse, residential community (plus its proximity

to the burgeoning scenes of Bushwick and Ridgewood)

may see an influx of creators in the next five years.

Regardless of where exactly the next wave of musicians

and scene-makers lands, their choice of Queens as “the

place for artists” — at the expense of Brooklyn — is not

simply written in the stars: it’s a process that’s already

well on its way. d

A

RIDGEWOOD HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE By Sara Nuta

s the fringes of Bushwick and Ridgewood seem to blur into

one another, many loathsome acronyms have appeared––

from the cringey “Ridgewick” to the somehow even worse

“Quooklyn.” Bad names aside, the trend is noticeable and has

become only more apparent as venues shift over to Queens, too.

choice to be the new “hot” neighborhood. With its quiet treelined

streets and safe yet modest residential sensibility, it’s an

area that seems more conducive to raising a family than starting

a punk band. Yet, the neighborhood was attractive for its convenient

location, proximity to the M train and affordability.

However, the historic Queens district is not simply an extension of

Brooklyn or Bushwick and to refer to it as such would be a) misguided

b) and oversight of Ridgewood’s rich history. Formerly a sturdy

blue collar German enclave and later a predominately Italian and

Latino neighborhood, Ridgewood was able to remain more or less

out of harm’s way during the most chaotic points of deindustrialization

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

beer and knitting industry largely due to its population of German

immigrants and proximity to what was previously farmland throughout

Queens. Around the 1960s and 1970s, the white flight epidemic

spurred many Brooklynites to flee to bucolic areas of Queens. This

was especially salient when Bushwick became a hotbed for chaos

and looting in the Blackout of 1977, leaving much of the area vacant

and burned. However, Ridgewood and Bushwick were, in fact, entwined

at one point, sharing the same zip-code (11227) up until the

wake of the ’77 Blackout when Geraldine Ferraro advocated to split

the neighborhoods and finalize a border.

More recently, when rising rents have pushed artists out from

their loft-style Brooklyn apartments, Ridgewood has presented

a viable option. Ostensibly, Ridgewood appears to be an odd

Unlike Bushwick, which has certain historic buildings, Ridgewood

has designated historic districts (Stockholm Street, Ridgewood

North, Ridgewood South and Central Ridgewood). It’s one

of the reasons you see blocks of uniformed row houses uninterrupted

by modern, plasticky apartment complexes. Architecturally

speaking, crossing over into leafy Ridgewood feels and

looks starkly different from the distinctly industrial look and feel

of Bushwick. Louis Berger, a German born, Pratt-educated architect

who designed around 5,000 homes in the two neighborhood,

is partially responsible.

However, now that the trendy vegan eateries, rustic pizza shops,

novelty pinball bars, and hip galleries dot the streets alongside

stalwart pork stores and bodegas, Ridgewood’s status is no longer

pegged as an up-and-comer but rather a full fledged destination.

As real estate developers and tastemakers have caught

on to the trend and attracted a wide range of millennial newcomers,

new zoning is being put in place to foster more housing and

mixed-use residential buildings. Inevitably, this may cause speculation

to sky-rocket and land values to rise, further propelling

the cycle of displacement.

18 the deli Winter 2019


Feature | Cover Artist

altopalo

THE GLITCHES of

SOUND and LIFE

by SARA NUTA

20 the deli Winter 2019

Avant-Soul Electronica


Altopalo started off the way

many great NYC bands do:

as college friends. Mike

Haldeman, Jesse Bielenberg,

Dillon Treacy, and Rahm Silverglade

met while studying at NYU,

where they hung out in similar circles

and shared a love for tinkering with

sound. The four were thrown together

under some pretty serendipitous

circumstances for a school gig, and

officially came together as altopalo in

2013. Since then, they’ve been creating

songs that fuse electronica and

R&B, and sometimes dip into postrock

and psych musings. Their sophomore

release, frozenthere, came out

earlier this year on Samedi records.

The band’s debut album noneofuscared

came out in 2015—an impressive and

refreshing blend of funky electronica that

caught the attention of local scenesters

and music blogs. Silverglade’s expressive

vocals layered over knotted rhythms

and moody modulations (plus some serious

production chops) made for a captivating

record that stood out at a time

when the “indie rock sound” was starting

to feel stale. The record picked up where

Radiohead’s Kid A left off, offering an

experimental take on James Blake style

electro-R&B, with a few primal screams

thrown in for good measure.

Altopalo’s newest album frozenthere

pulses more than it grooves.

Where noneofuscared was eager to

burst open and invite you into its spacey

universe, frozenthere is assuredly

patient. It’s an avant-garde record that

unfurls slowly, revealing the band’s more

vulnerable introspections on relationships

in the digital age.

On the new project, altopalo

made the conscious decision to leave behind

their conventional full-band sensibility

in favor of something more challenging

and sparse. “We were listening to some

artists that played with orchestration in

inspiring ways and used that as a departure

from writing for four instruments.”

The process was a lot like taking

a slab of marble and sculpting away

until the desired shape is achieved, and

it wasn’t easy. Just as Brian Eno used the

recording studio as an instrument unto

itself on Another Green World, altopalo

views audio editing software Ableton as

a unique tool for their songs. There were

several cycles of improvising, scrapping

and going back to the drawing board—

or rather, sounding board. “It’s an arduous

process, you wish it were simpler.

We could release two albums-worth

of material comprised only of different

versions of ‘(Head in a) Cloche.’” Along

the way, altopalo realized that when it

comes to songwriting, more is not in

fact more. “Adding one good sound to

another good sound more often than not

makes them both worse.”

The LP was written and recorded

in the dead of winter of 2016 in

Indiana. Being away from the city helped

the musicians uncover a fresh perspective

on what it means to be isolated—

emotionally, physically, and digitally—

which would inform the album’s central

conceit. “Leaving New York to work, it

becomes quite clear what pressures ease

off as the city recedes behind you. The

overbearing presence of the city’s ‘noise’

in its many shapes and varieties fades

away quickly, and it doesn’t really become

clear until you can hear the ringing

in your ears just below the rustle of leaves

made by a nearby pack of coyotes.”

Whereas living in New York

can sometimes force stifling living spac-

es, recording in Indiana gave altopalo

some room to breathe, reflect and ultimately

take their songs into a new direction.

“We’ve all lived in pretty cramped

accommodations in the city, too, and

that minimizing of personal space brings

with it a proximity to others that can

grow at times uncomfortable in its unexpected

intimacy.”

Their songs ruminate on the

distortion of relationships, both physical

and digital. frozenthere meditates

on what it means to feel close, or far, or

stuck—whether it’s in the form of struggling

with monogamy or losing yourself

in the endless scroll of an instagram

feed. In this context, the notion of being

frozen takes on new meaning. It draws a

line from digital freeze—a buffering video,

a glitchy facetime call, the flattened

quality of an instagram profile—to a

more tactile sense of coldness.

Altopalo wouldn’t be the first

band to admit that they have a fraught

relationship with technology. By now,

we’ve all heard the arguments against

the alienating impacts of social media

and nobody needs another laundry list of

why it’s ultimately detrimental for our social

and mental wellbeing. But this skepticism

can be trickier to navigate when

your work depends on sharing, creating,

and connecting online.

After taking a step back, altopalo

were able to see—and express—

clearly the frustrating duality of urban

life: being constantly surrounded by others

but feeling increasingly isolated, and

in turn, “feeling alienated by the ways in

which we distract ourselves from the immediate

world by immersing ourselves in

a universe of screens and pixels.”

A universe, it turns out, that’s

as alienating as it is inspiring—at least as

far as music creation is concerned. d

Altopalo’s Favorite Stompboxes

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

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

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

one standalone pitch shifter. The Line 6 DL-4 and the Montreal Assembly Count to Five

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

the deli Winter 2019 21


ands + Gear

Read the full features on

Delicious-Audio.com

Photo: Joanna Sullivan

Yamaha Reface DX / Behringer

Model D / Electro-Harmonix Deluxe

Memory Man

BARRIE

In the the beginning of 2018, dream-pop five-piece

Barrie put out shimmering singles, “Canyons,” and “Tal

Uno,” before releasing a 12” in October aptly titled Singles.

The Brooklyn-based band hail from all over the

country (and world), but have recently converged in

New York to collaborate and write songs together. Their

dreamy sound puts an ambient spin on retro synthpop,

delivering ultra gorgeous tracks that swirl in a neon glow.

In 2019, they’ll be hitting the road in support of Miya

Frolick. (SARA NUTA)

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

source of inspiration for your 2018 tracks?

Barrie: Those songs were written in 2015 or 2016, it took a long

time to get them out. When I wrote them, I was living in Boston

and my band at the time practiced in my apartment, so I had

a full drum kit, percussion, bass and guitar amps, keyboards,

etc. right in my room. I played everyone’s instruments all the

time and that inspired a lot of music. Especially playing electric

guitar, which was new for me.

Do you guys use guitar pedals?

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

a really simple clean setup, just a Memory Man.

Synthpop Chill Wave

Spurge: I run my piano sounds, per the recommendation of

Dom, through a compressor pedal to even out the sound, and

my Roland JV1010 through the compressor out into a mixer

where I can control the levels of my piano sounds along with my

Reface DX which is handling the synth sounds.

Noah: My guitar pedal set-up is super simple: chorus, phaser,

and space echo. I have the chorus on pretty much all the time

and use the phaser and echo for moments here and there. The

centerpiece of my set-up is the Elektron Octatrack, which is a

sampler, mixer, and MIDI sequencer. I use it to trigger one-shot

samples, and to send MIDI sequences to/process audio from

my KORG Minilogue. We don’t use a backing track so we needed

something that would cover a lot of ground and be ultra-flexible/powerful,

which the Octatrack is perfect for.

What other synths were particularly inspiring?

Noah: The Juno 106 sound played a large role on our first couple

singles. On the upcoming album, Dominic and I did some

modular synth stuff, Spurge did some sounds with the MS20,

and I recorded a lot of Prophet 08 and Moog Mother 32.

Spurge: I use the Reface DX for live and my personal writing. I

really love the user-friendliness of that versus the DX100 or DX7.

I also recently got the Behringer Model D which I would highly

recommend if you like the classic Moog sound.

22 the deli Winter 2019


RODES ROLLINS

There aren’t too many country singers that wax-poetic

about the larger than life figures of our world. It seems

like the cultural focus of the genre has shifted toward different

stories with different motifs. Yet artists like Rodes

Rollins are trying to change that with songs like “Mystery

Man.” Appearing like a country-pop mirage on the horizon,

Rollins’ vocals are watery and obscure, detailing a

man in a “forsaken land” that cannot be shot dead. The

track is less about a character’s arc and more about this

legendary figure’s reputation, and it plays out over haunting

instrumentals that border on psychedelic with twangy

guitars that become surprisingly soothing. With its soft

sonic palette, Rodes’ 2018 material has the tempo of ballads

and the melodies of lullabies, but a sense of unease

and tension conferred by her vocals and the edgy and

dark production transform these tracks in unmissable noir

psychedelic gems. (TUCKER PENNINGTON)

There’s a very intriguing Spaghetti Western element to many

of your tracks. How did that get in there?

I’m immensely inspired my Morricone. Often, when I’m writing I

Photo: Mark Peaced

Electro-Harmonix Lester K

/ Danelectro Spring King /

Spaceman Orion

Noir Folk Dream Pop Spaghetti Western

think about Western landscapes and sounds. His music always

takes me there.

What did you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening to Nirvana, The Beatles, and Cat Stevens.

Mostly stuff my dad would play for my sister and I.

Although sparse, most of your songs feature a subtle but

“intense” production. Is there a team working on your recorded

sound?

I work mostly with producer Alex Goose and engineer Keith

Armstrong. I write and arrange the songs in Brooklyn, and then

I bring them over to LA where we record and work on the production.

Alex is a real tastemaker and has an amazing ear for

references. He collects records and can pull the most obscure

references about that always help with production. Keith, is

an incredible engineer with every guitar pedal imaginable. He

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

Speaking of pedals, what are your favorite ones right now?

Pretty much everything is drenched in verb, we used a lot the

Spaceman Orion Spring Reverb and the Danelectro Spring

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

use to achieve a nice leslie rotator effect.

the deli Winter 2019 23


ands + Gear

Read the full features on

Delicious-Audio.com

BLAC RABBIT

Psych rock is a genre that can encompass a spectrum of

sounds ranging from pop-oriented songs to less-defined

and at times downright chaotic jams. Risen to semi-celebrity

status in NYC through busking in the subway to the

tune of songs by the Beatles, Rockaway Beach, New York’s

Blac Rabbit creates music that falls in the former category,

with precise song structures and thoughtful lyrical content.

What bridges those extreme ends is a like-minded penchant

for phased guitar textures and dreamy introspection.

After impressing with their 2017 debut 6 track EP, the band

recently released new single “Seize The Day” from their

forthcoming record Interstella. We asked the two brothers

at the helm of the band a few questions about their creative

process and gear. (DAVE CROMWELL)

You guys became some kind of NYC sensation for busking in

the subway, how long did you do that and was it a formative

experience for what the band is today?

Busking originated for us as a way to raise money to see our

mother in Puerto Rico, she was living there for a while a few years

ago. It was only years later after settling in to several dead end

jobs, getting sick of them, quitting, and then busking for about a

year and a half before it began to blow up for us. Busking definitely

sharpened our skills in terms of performing. I think pre-busking

Electro-Harmonix Small Stone

Nano / ZOOM G3 / ZOOM G3X

Psych Rock

I would have considered us producers more than anything else.

Does gear have a role in this process? If so, how?

We knew we wanted a “Psych Rock” sound, so when trying to

figure out which analog pedals we would need to achieve that, we

stumbled across these Zoom pedals. The G2 and G3. We chose

them mainly because we were too broke to afford a shit ton of analog

pedals. At first I thought we were settling, but now I think the

sounds have grown on us. We mainly use a compressor and drive

setting which adds some sort of mid range-heavy EQ. It does

a really great job emulating a vintage analog tone. A delay and

reverb combo which nicely washes out a guitar sound makes it

sound ghostly, which I really like. And a Vibrato modulation. Really

like the way this sound warps the pitch ever so slightly… so sick.

Is there a person outside the band that’s been important in

perfecting your recorded and/or live sound?

For me Steve Lacey and Kevin Parker have been major influences

for getting “the right sound”. I remember listening to Tame

Impala and being blown away by the way his record sounded.

Finding out that he produced it all on his own was crazy to me

and super inspiring. An artist who was just as obsessed with the

engineering as the writing resonated with me. I had always been

obsessed with production since high school and hearing Steve

and Kevin definitely inspired some of the sounds on the EP.

24 the deli Winter 2019


ands + Gear

Read the full features on

Delicious-Audio.com

MASS GOTHIC

Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri, active in the NYC scene

since the mid aughts, released music separately through Hooray

for Earth (Noel’s first breakout project, disbanded in 2014)

and Zambri (the electronic band Jessica still plays in with

sister Cristi Jo) and became the two creative forces behind

Mass Gothic. The two musicians share an interest for dark atmospheres

and edgy arrangements. They found themselves

involved in a romantic relationship that soon developed in an

involved artistic collaboration, which fully bloomed in Mass

Gothic’s sophomore album, entitled I’ve Tortured You Long

Enough, released earlier this year through Sub Pop records.

We asked Noel to share some thoughts about the creative

experience and the gear behind it. (PAOLO DE GREGORIO)

The new album sees Jessica join you as creative/songwriting

force, how did you develop the idea that an “equal power”

collaboration was in the cards?

Jess influenced the first Mass Gothic album via proximity, we were

always together while I was recording. Then with Sup Goth she

ended up finishing a lot of the vocals, writing and recording. Around

that point we realized we were making a band together. Natural

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

Overall, the new album sounds less electronic and more guitar (and

bass!) based than the debut, what influenced this sonic direction?

We toured a great deal playing these songs so when it came

Death By Audio Exit Index Prototype (housed in Apocalypse

chassis) / BOSS PS-5 / Death By Audio Echo

Dream 2 / DOD FX56

Indie Rock

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

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

parts we recorded earlier, much of it in demos. I think most often

it’s either Josh’s (Ascalon, co-producer) MS20, ARP2600 or it’s

vocal samples of our own.

What guitar pedals were particularly inspiring while working

on the new record?

The DBA Echo Dream 2 is on, literally, all of the time. I put it in my

setup a few years ago to replace a Memory Boy, which I used to

run almost all the time. When I hooked in the Echo Dream it just

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

sound would basically die. That’s what happens with hugely bold

sounding pedals. They ask to crash on your couch for a week

but before you know it, oops they’re on the lease now.

What other pedals do you use a lot?

The BOSS PS-5 has also ended up becoming a permanent fixture.

It started because my guitars are tuned too low to reach

the occasional high note, so I throw the pitch up and octave

or two with that. Jess and I like this DOD metal pedal for bass

and guitar. The footswitch is awful though, so we just record

it. Finally, I was gifted a Death By Audio prototype by Travis

Johnson. It’s housed inside an Apocalypse but it’s actually the

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

started using that extensively for solo. With mega low tuning,

treated correctly it becomes quite scary.

26 the deli Winter 2019


STUNNINGLY

ACCURATE.

OR, MORE

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OR, MORE

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D’ADDARIO CHROMATIC PEDAL TUNER

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With its striking, full-color vertical display and quick, accurate

response, the new D’Addario Chromatic Pedal Tuner helps you

make sure not to miss the mark—even in demanding onstage

conditions. Its slim profile leaves room on your pedalboard for

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

way when you don’t.

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response, the new D’Addario Chromatic Pedal Tuner helps you

make DADDARIO.COM/PEDALTUNER

sure not to miss the mark—even in demanding onstage

conditions. Its slim profile leaves room on your pedalboard for

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

way when you don’t.

DADDARIO.COM/PEDALTUNER


ands + Gear

Read the full features on

Delicious-Audio.com

TAKING MEDS

Brooklyn-based four-piece Taking Meds boldly advocates

their distinct musical style, ascribing to the ’math-punk’

label. After producing their debut album My Life as a Bro

in 2016, the group returned to the studio earlier this year

to begin recording EP My Moon Is Always Full. Many of

their songs like “Blue Shirt Boogie” and “Comfort in Poor

Planning” fuse aspects of classic, dissonant post-hardcore

with the relatable edge of indie rock, creating a combination

of hard-biting lyrics and rhythmic complexity that

penetrates the spirit of punk rock. With vocals that err on

the side of Four Year Strong or Neck Deep, blended into

layers of Balance and Composure-esq post-hardcore instrumentals,

you are left with a cutting mixture of intense

yet complex loudness. (REBECCA CARROLL)

What inspired for your 2018 EP?

Skylar: Lyrically “My Moon Is Always Full” was highly personal.

I had just gotten sober and was reflecting on that. A lot of our

previous release, My Life as a Bro, addresses some extremely

inebriated experiences. Sobriety was new ground.

Jon: Musically we’ve spent a lot of the last year really digging

into the Polvo and Shudder To Think discographies. To me,

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

Audio Glacial Zenith / BOSS PH-3 / BOSS TU-3

[Bottom] Skylar’s pedalboard: Adventure Audio Dream

Reaper / Adventure Audio Whateverb / ProCo RAT /

Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Nano / MXR Carbon

Copy / Fulltone OCD / BOSS TU-3

Math Rock Alt Rock

“Discount Furniture” has a bit of a faster and more cross-eyed

Chavez vibe while “My Moon Is Always Full” has a more melodic

Drive Like Jehu quality to it.

What’s about odd tempos that excites you?

Jon: We seldom if ever think in terms of making intentionally complex

music. We naturally lean that way as listeners and instrumentalists.

Skylar: When I was first entering high school, I liked playing in

bands a lot but was pretty self-conscious and easily defeated

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

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

guess I felt like latching on to odd tempo parts has always come

more quickly and naturally to me.

Was there a specific pedal that kind of changed your life?

Jon: As a guitarist and a studio engineer I love my ’80s Memory

Man. I got it about 10 years ago and It was the first time I discovered

a pedal that really extended far beyond that of simply an “effect”.

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

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

Skylar: I really love my Fulltone OCD. It fixes so many things I

used to struggle with in my tone, and I’m learning how to gain

stage that against my AC30.

28 the deli Winter 2019


Teenage Engineering

PO-33 KO

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

Hotone EKO / EarthQuaker Devices Grand

Orbiter / BOSS DS-1

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

Electronics Tone Press / Electro-Harmonix

Bass Big Muff Pi

T-REXTASY

Garage Rock Punk

NYC’s T-Rextasy are thinking about the end of the world, and

the primordial beginnings of it, too. The punk four-piece have

been shredding sugar-rush punk with a socially conscious

twist and a Lisa Frank vibrancy since they were seniors in

high school in New York City. Their excellent debut Jurassic

Punk––where they sing about everything and everyone

from cafeteria ladies to gap year boys—came out in 2016

on Father/Daughter records. Since garnering a cult following

and going off to different colleges, T-Rextasy has continued

to tour and gain momentum for their anticipated sophomore

LP, Prehysteria, which is out in January. (SARA NUTA)

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

you were writing and recording your new album Prehysteria?

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

world. We gotta burn our iPhones. We gotta return to the land.

Ebun: I second what Lyris said. I also was just influenced by

the notion of not giving a fuck about people thinking I’m crazy

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

Vera: The feeling of “wow we’re grown ups!” mixed with “wow I

still live with my parents and worry about how I look!”

Annie: Thinking about inevitable graduation (which has now

happened), coming out as gay, feeling like an adult and also a

leetle bitty baby all at the same time.

Do pedals inspire your music as well?

Vera (guitar): I was recently gifted a sweet Fulltone Plimsoul

overdrive. My friend got it for me and said that if he ever caught

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

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

I missed my BOSS DS-1. I would hear people playing and be

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

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

tour without it again. One pedal that’s been blowing my mind

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

an organ. Amazing clarity, and it almost gives a shimmer of chorus

effect or something that makes the octaves sound 3D. I’ve

also been really digging the combo of my DS-1 and EarthQuaker

Grand Orbiter. Also, not a pedal, but I’ve been crazy about

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

Annie (bass): This summer was the first time I toured with any

pedals other than a tuner. I got an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff for

that much needed bass distortion, alongside a Barber Tone Press

compressor, because I finger play and sometimes that comes

with a wooliness that I like to compress a bit so it really rings out

to the back of the room. My forever love though is my tuning pedal,

which I maintain is the only pedal anyone truly needs.

the deli Winter 2019 29


The Ultimate Guide to

Reverb Pedals

delicious-audio.com

The object pictured here that

looks like a 10 inch-long

metal bath tub is how reverb

effects for guitar looked like

when they first appeared in the

early ’60s — although you didn’t

really see that, since it was hidden

inside guitar amps like the Ampeg

Reverberocket and the Fender Vibroverb.

Those amps represented

the beginning of a long lasting and

prolific love story: the one between

electric guitar and reverberation.

The first reverb in stompbox format

only appeared in the mid ’80s (DOD

and BOSS units), but since then the

acceleration in popularity has been

A spring reverb tank. (Credit: Grebe, Common License)

so swift that, thirty years later, looking

for a reverb pedal has become a

little bit like looking for a car: there’s

a wide range of options and prices,

with each model excelling at different

things and offering different features.

This is why when confronted

with the idea of creating a guide to

reverb pedals we decided to organize

it in the four categories below

— you can find the full articles by following

the red links next to the titles.

Best Ambient/Shoegazer Reverb Pedals

bit.ly/GazeVerbs

Once upon a shoe-gazing time, guitarists had few choices when it

came to pedals that could create washes of ambiance. Many players

used multiple delay and reverb pedals at the end of their signal chains

to generate deep, blooming and lingering soundscapes. These days,

thanks to advances in digital signal processing (DSP) chips, pedal

makers can create stompboxes dedicated to this particular brand of

reverb. As it happens, pedals that excel at creating ambience are all

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

and have collected 18 that we consider the best. All of the pedals

listed in this article will allow you to create cavernous reverbs with

lingering tails, shimmer effects, delay, modulation and much more.

In this article you’ll find these lists:

1. Ambient/Shoegaze Reverb Pedals

2. Ambient/Shoegaze Reverb + Delay Pedals

30 the deli Winter 2019


Best Multi-Mode Reverb Pedals

bit.ly/Multiverbs

If a simple spring reverb is a little too spartan for you, we have compiled

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

market organized by depth of features and (perceived) popularity. They

range from stompboxes with three or four different reverb flavors to fullblown

workhorses that deliver a dozen ambience algorithms and deep

levels of control. Some are big, some are small, but all will tickle your

craving for the wondrously wet world of reverb.

In this article you’ll find these lists:

1. Multi-Algorithm Reverb Workstations

2. Compact Reverb Pedals with 5 or More Modes

3. Compact Reverb Stompboxes with 3-4 Modes

Best Spring Reverb Pedals

bit.ly/SpringRvb

This list focuses on pedals dedicated to the spring reverb effect, which

is based on a design featuring springs in a little tank that vibrate when

your guitar’s signal goes through them. A pickup mounted inside the

tank picks up those vibrations and sends them back to your amp. The

spring reverb is an effect associated with the electric guitar sound of

the ’60s, brought to fame, in particular, by surf music, and facilitated by

reverb circuits built inside many vintage amps from that decade. The

first Fender Reverb Unit was introduced in 1961 and reissued in 2016.

In this article you’ll find these lists:

1. Pedals with Actual Springs

2. Spring Pedals without Springs

3. Mini Spring Reverb Pedals

4. Spring Reverb Pedals with Tremolo

Best Hybrid Reverbs with

Modulation and Fuzz/Distortion

bit.ly/HybridVerbs

Some of the best reverb stompboxes out there are not “pure” reverb circuits,

but feature other effects that are often used with it — without necessarily

being a “do-it-all” reverb workstation. In this article you’ll find reverb

mixed with tremolo and other forms of low-frequency modulation, and

with old-school fuzz, distortion and EQ filtering that lets you emphasize

bass or treble frequencies. While many of the entries in this article feature

both classic and modern styles of reverb, a few are satisfyingly spartan,

allowing you to conjure up vintage ambience by turning just a few knobs.

In this article you’ll find these lists:

1. Reverb Pedals with Modulation

2. Reverb Pedals with Distortion or Fuzz


Aggregating the

A

s usual, the Winter NAMM show will

unleash on us a tsunami of new pedals

(we’ll shoot demos for as many as we

can together with the guys at 60 Cycle Hum,

check Delicious-Audio.com for the coverage!).

However, we shouldn’t miss the opportunity

given to us by the first issue of 2019 to see

what devices stood out from the crowd during

the previous twelve months...

Since Delicious Audio is an aggregator of

pedal news and doesn’t review gear, our “Best

Stompboxes of 2018” chart is an aggregate

of the year-end lists compiled by other pedal-centered

online resources. Up to this point

(early January at the time of writing), we found

this list of relevant “best ofs”: Reverb.com,

The Pedal Zone, Dennis Kayzer, BestGuitarEffects.com,

Popular Mechanics and

Vintage King — the chart in these pages is

compiled by tallying these lists’ results.

Here’s how we did it: some of these lists (like

The Pedal Zone’s one) assigned a specific

“chart position” to each effect, while others

(like the JHS one) just mentioned a list of devices

in no particular order. To add the results

up in a way that made sense, we decided to

assign a value of 10 to any pedal that was

given the #1 spot; we gave second places

9 points, 8 to third places and so on. Pedals

beyond the 9th position got just 1 point.

Lists that didn’t specify an order generated 5

points for each pedal.

Here are the results!

P.S. We’ll updating this page on

Delicious-Audio.com whenever new,

relevant year-end lists will be published:

bit.ly/BestFX18—keep checking it!

1

2

Chase Bliss Audio

Dark World

27 pt.

delicious-audio.com

“Best Pedals of 2018” Lists

3

Meris

Enzo

29 pt.

Red Panda

Tensor

23 pt.


4 5

EarthQuaker Devices

Pyramids

6 6

20 pt.

8

Benson

Preamp

15 pt.

Beetronix

Royal Jelly

9 pt.

BOSS

MT-2w

10 pt.

Chase Bliss Audio

Thermae

10 pt.

8

10. Chase Bliss Audio - Condor

10. Old Blood Noise Endeavors - Dweller

10. Southampton Pedals - Indie Dream

13. Dwarfcraft Devices - Witch Shifter

14. Electro-Harmonix - OCEANS 11

8pt.

8pt.

8pt.

7pt.

6pt.

Find the full list of 40+ pedals here: bit.ly/BestFX18

KMA Machines

Horizont

9 pt.

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