VINYL VIEWS: WEEK OF 5/24/21
Vinyl Views is our weekly blog where we feature album recommendations from our store team (Shayne and Jaxon) and reveal picks from guest contributors. This week we hear from Mason Moss (aka Ghoultrane.)
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Ghoultrane is an ongoing alias/project by Bay Area native Mason Moss. Primarily focusing on sample-based music, he gives past sonic textures a contemporary spin. In an era where music has lost all physicality, hours of archiving and research creates the work that calls back to a time where things might have seemed simpler. Conveniently the album is available in our store and on our website! It’s almost like we think you should buy it?
Artist: The Zenmenn
Album: Enter The Zenmenn
A debut that ranks among the very best in my opinion, especially with the timing of this album coming out in this frustrating time of slow recovery. This work is as smooth as you can get with its rich and mellow textures throughout the entire record. The Zenmenn could easily fool anyone into thinking this was a band in the ’80s with the various aesthetic choices they have displayed in their music videos as well as their sound in general, which makes it oh so much better that they are very much an active band who made one of if not THE best release this year (and no I don’t mind calling it this early.) This was released by one of my favorite labels, Music From Memory, whose entire catalog I strongly recommend.
Check out the track Homage To A Friendship.
Artist: Art Farmer
Album: Crawl Space
Stellar work from a legendary artist and released by a legendary label. I mean. let’s be real, if it’s a Jazz record with anyone smoking on the cover you know it is gonna be a classic and this album is no exception. With Farmer doing his thing along with performances by some notable all-stars like Dave Grusin, Jeremy Steig, and Eric Gale, coupled with production by Bob James and Creed Taylor, what you get is a funky magnum opus for Farmer’s time at this label. An album that traverses so much ground yet is in my opinion criminally overlooked in the CTI catalog.
Check out the track Petite Belle.
Album: Days B4 III
Days B4 III is not just any trap record, it is a milestone in the genre. Its heavily synth-based production catered to Lucki’s performances made it one of my favorite records to come out of 2019. This album features some of his best tracks such as: “Beverly Hills to 35th”, “Way 2 Rare”, and “Randomly”; along with some of the most impressive minimal production I have heard to this day. Being one of the distinctive rappers from Chicago, Lucki achieves a sound that is constantly imitated but truly never replicated. which is only refined further on this body of work. If you follow rap music and are from the city, you probably already know and consider him as one of the most important acts of the current underground scene. Truly Flawless.
.Check out the track Randomly
Shayne is switching it up in 2021 and bringing us his custom playlists each week. Check out here or come into the store and listen to them in our Sounderator (tricked out 1940’s refrigerator that you sit in while enjoying a tasty selection of tunes).
Shayne’s playlist this week is titled Chicken Mix.
This week I’m attempting to recreate a playlist lost to time, my Chicken Mix! A friend recently adopted a chihuahua named Chicken who I am already in love with so this one’s for you little guy! Unfortunately, many of the songs are unavailable on Spotify.
This week I am talking about three great psychedelic records. So get ready to take a trip with me as we explore these far-out albums..
This album is a fuzzy, trippy, psychedelic rarity that is very much worth looking for. Morgen was a short-lived psychedelic rock band that only released one self-titled album. The record has a cult following and is, in my opinion, one of the best psychedelic rock albums out there. The guitar is super crunchy and rips through the track like a saw. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys the proto-metal side of psychedelic rock.
.Check out the track Welcome To The Void
Artist: Aphrodite’s Child
Aphrodite’s Child was a Greek psychedelic rock band that featured Vangelis before his solo career took off. It has a slightly progressive rock feel to it. While 666 was recorded in 1970, the label was scared that it wouldn’t sell and waited to release it until 1972. I really enjoy their two previous releases which are more psychedelic pop, but this album takes a giant shift. It takes influence from ethnic Greek music, mixing it with a fusion of prog and psych, and it is irresistible. 666 is a classic and it is well worth your exploration.
Check out the track Seventh Seal
Artist: Red Krayola
Album: The Parable Of Arable Land
This album is an experimental psychedelic masterpiece. It feels a little like a really early noise rock album, even though we were 20 years away from noise rock’s inception. Red Krayola is still around, only ever taking short breaks since their formation in the 60s, which is quite unique. Their sound has evolved with the time too, taking the shape of the experimental sounds of each era. The Parable of Arable Land is where it all started, though. It is loud, distorted, and ugly, and I love it.
Check out the track Hurricane Fighter Plane
How Do I Order Music (Or Other Things)?
Val’s is now open again (safely)! Bring a face mask and we will sanitize your hands on the way in. Social distancing, of course. Val’s halla has worked hard over this quarantine period to launch its Online Store which has thousands of titles for you to choose from. We will continue to add inventory everyday, but just let us know what you are looking for! We are happy to look through our off-line inventory of over 50,000 titles to see what we have for you. Also, we place orders with our distributor every Monday which means we see them in our store by Tuesday (most of the time). We sell records (as well as turntables), CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, DVDs and more. To get started, you can Click Here to access the Online Store, or fill out the form below to let us know what you are looking for.
What About Delivery?
Val’s is offering Curbside Pickup and No-Contact Delivery Service to customers who live within a 5-mile radius of the Oak Park Arts District. Orders can also be shipped to customers outside that radius for a flat fee of $5. Order as much as you want – still $5 shipping! Stay safe and be well!