2016 was not a very good year. But, I did get some VERY good records during 2016. These were my favorites from a year spent obsessing over vinyl.
Absolutely my favorite find of the past year, heard while perusing the wares at Discos Bora Bora. I knew I wanted the record pretty much as soon as the first song started playing, but by the time it got to the second side and “Dulces Palabras” came out over the speakers, I was completely entranced. I love the sound of the organ on the introduction and closing, like shimmering drops of honey, a sweet as the words promised in the title.
This was another find in Spain, though this one from Discos Wah Wah in Barcelona. Though I spent two days at the store, the Jazz room was only open part of one of them. I’d hoped to find some Catalan Jazz, Rock or Soul, and happened to nail all three with this double album from Orquestra Mirasol. “Freed’s Funk,” is downright slinky and gives me hope that there’s more to uncover from the 1970s of this region.
The record is French-Canadian, but it was also picked up at Discos Wah Wah, while going through their legitimately insane psychedelic LP section. Because Wah Wah reseals all of their records you never know what you get until you get a chance to open them up. Given that I had no access to a turntable while in Spain, there were a lot of LPs that were a mystery waiting to be solved when I got stateside once again. Of all of those mystery records, this one was far and away the best. Something that I’ll definitely be highlighting more in the near (I absolutely promise!) future.
Was surprised to see this hanging out on “The Wall” at Atomic. After spending 20+ years as a DJ and collector, with the majority of my knowledge connected to Jazz, I couldn’t believe there was an Impulse record that I simply didn’t know, but there it was. The super-duper hippie-fied “Journey To The East,” might be the standout track, but the whole album was a welcome surprise.
This record came my way via an instagram post from Andy of Record Jungle. Apparently he’d attempted to see the record on eBay without any takers, due to a chip in the vinyl. So, he played part of this track and mentioned that it would be at the store. This just happened to have happened roughly at the same time I happened to be online and I swiftly asked him to put it on hold and I’d swing by in 30 minutes. He did, I did and now a record that is often $$$ was mine on the cheap. Recently I made the decision to withdraw from social media, for a number of personal reasons. If there’s one thing I’ll miss, it’s checking on Record Jungle’s instagram page. However, since Andy is no longer holding records he posts about, chances are I’d miss anything he posted up anyway and so I’ll be twice as happy to be back to the old-school practice of never knowing what you’ll find at maybe the best store to just drop by with hours of time to explore and dig.