photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
it feels like we are living currently in a GOLDEN ERA OF BOUTIQUE GUITAR PEDALS.
in the past decade or two there have been a number of small firms like EARTHQUAKER DEVICES, CATALINBREAD, MYTHOS PEDALS, CAROLINE GUITAR COMPANY, DEATH BY AUDIO, CHASE BLISS AUDIO, HUDSON ELECTRONICS, JHS PEDALS, KEELEY ELECTRONICS, ORIGIN EFFECTS, WALRUS AUDIO, MR. BLACK PEDALS, STONE DEAF FX, WAMPLER PEDALS and DARKGLASS ELECTRONICS among many others that have producing products that, in some instances, are veritable ART PIECES.
one of my favorites is the OKLAHOMA-based OLD BLOOD NOISE ENDEAVORS who have created some MULTIFUNCTIONAL yet highly IDIOSYNCRATIC pedals that tend to blur the line between traditional genres like REVERB, DELAY, DISTORTION and the like. their pedals feel geared towards EXPERIMENTATION and a deep sense of EXPLORATION of unknown sonic landscapes. at least that has been my experience, as i have found myself on more than one occasion playing open chords in my practice room through one of their MODULATED REVERB / DELAY pedals and got totally lost some WEIRD, AMBIENT ALTERNATIVE REALITY only to look up at my phone eventually to learn more than an hour had passed (full disclosure: i won their SUNLIGHT, DARK STAR and VISITOR pedals). its just FUN.
what i love about OLD BLOOD NOISE ENDEAVORS' interview and live performance series COFFEE & RIFFS is how it maintains and delivers on that experimental DIY aspect of their product. friends of the company are basically interviewed and filmed in a very sporadic fashion about their sound and musical OUTLOOK followed by a brief performance which shows them UTILIZING various pedals by various manufacturers. its a genius concept because it very much feels like me in my practice space EXPERIMENTING with the countless ways of UTILIZING my pedal collection. like you are mining for gold, except here it is UNEXPECTED HAPPY ACCIDENTS that result in EMOTIONALLY RESONANT SOUNDS.
it is one of my favorite past times and i am sure it is the same way for countless bedroom hobbyists and guitar enthusiasts alike. watching these videos, for me at least, is a thoroughly ENJOYABLE experience. definitely worth checking out if you are so inclined.