With a built-in microphone and 40-second sample memory, Teenage Engineering pocket-sized micro-sampler provides hours upon hours of entertainment. Craft your own beats and tunes on this portable device, which offers simple instructions on the back. There are also plenty of helpful tutorials online too.
With six color-coded strings that allow kids (three and up) to learn about rhythm, practice songs, create original melodies and play around with sounds, this little guitar features cheerful, stylish motifs, too. Though it stands at just under 22 inches tall, it’s a proper instrument that sounds just like those made for adults.
With ultra-high definition sound, courtesy of bio-diaphragm speaker units that drastically reduce distortion, AIAIAI’s TMA-2 HD headphones deliver unmatched precision. Their Alcantara-wrapped pads are filled with memory foam that retains the wearer’s ear shape, reducing use-related discomfort and the likelihood of headaches. On a full battery, these will last through 16 hours of playback.
Meant to stimulate the Vagus nerve (a regulatory bodily component that starts within the ear and runs through nearly every organ) while its user listens to music, this tech-forward set—which includes the Xen device, headphones, interchangeable earbuds, a display stand, and the necessary charging accessories—replaces typical listening devices. It connects via Bluetooth to your mobile device and streaming service and offers a proprietary in-ear treatment that improves sleep, enhances focus, and overall wellbeing. The stimulation is painless—equivalent to how it feels to use your usual earbuds. Best results (our testing coaxed on calmer sleep after listening just before bed) are achieved with consistent use.
First published to accompany Jason Moran’s exhibit at the Walker Art Center in 2018, this 272 page book marks the first in-depth exploration of his work and practice. A pianist, composer, visual artist, and frequent collaborator, Moran abides by no rules with regard to the confines of medium—resulting in work that teeters somewhere between jazz history, performance art and sculpture. Fit for music fans and art lovers alike, the Whitney Museum store is selling copies to coincide with his fall 2019 exhibition there.
Intended to add depth to streamed media, DropLabs EP 01 sneakers employ vibrations in their soles to accompany audio you’re listening to. Not intended to be used in high-intensity workouts or during sports, these find best use in situations where you’re focused exclusively on what you’re listening to. Whether it be while watching a movie on the plane, in the gym (doing toning work), or during a gaming session, the vibrations pick up the deep bass on hard-hitting tracks and the high-hats on jazz tunes—plus every little detail in horror flicks or action games. They’re both good-looking and comfortable, too. Pre-orders ship between mid-December and early January depending on the selected size.
Billed as the world’s smallest record player, this Ghostly edition Stokyo Record Runner laps the grooves of 33 1⁄3 rpm records, amplifying sound out of its internal speaker. The underside of the van bears a stylus and a cartridge system, which picks up the songs encoded below. It’s self-propelling for up to 90 minutes of playtime, courtesy of two AAA batteries. Though this playful, pocket-sized record player is good looking, it’s not recommended for your best records or overuse, as unexpected bumps could cause scratches.
For anybody interested in analog technologies and music, Gideon Schwartz’s Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design offers a deep dive into the history and renaissance of lo-fi audio. From Bang & Olufsen’s glorious wire recorder from 1947, the Beocord 84U, to the stunning Clearaudio Statement V2 turntable from 2008, and so many more, the products highlighted within this 272-page book are some of the most beautifully designed devices in the world. Audio fans will be delighted by the countless turntables, reel-to-reels, vacuum tubes, amplifiers, speakers and more.
Written by former jazz and pop critic at The New York Times, Nate Chinen, Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century is a definitive guide to the genre from the past to the present. While today’s jazz may be different, it’s rooted in the same ideals and ethos, and Chinen argues for its continued relevance while highlighting some contemporary talent. He does this while educating readers on the genre’s illustrious and influential past.
As Bluetooth earbuds and headphones become more prevalent, many users are now accustomed to frustration when confronted by entertainment systems on airplanes, in gyms or rental cars. Allowing you to connect your wireless headphones to these screens is the AirFly Pro: a dongle that plugs into a standard jack. This little gadget can wirelessly connect to two sets of headphones and has a 16+ hour battery, so your next long-haul flight or gym session can be as entertaining as ever.
Warp Records celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and the “post-genre” label unveiled the epic WXAXRXP SESSIONS box set in celebration. This hinged box comes filled with 10 sessions recorded for radio (each on 12-inch vinyl) spanning the brand’s vast history—from the Peel Sessions of the ’90s right up to this year’s broadcast on NTS. There are also eight prints by Synchrodogs, and a sticker set. Settle in for hours of music by Flying Lotus, Bibio, Aphex Twin and others.
Shot by Ruvan Wijesooriya, this image taken at the DFA + LCD Soundsystem party at midtown NYC’s Downtime club perfectly captures a moment in 2007, a year when both the label and band felt omnipresent. The photograph was used as a poster insert for the European seven-inch version of “Disco Infiltrator” (from the band’s debut self-titled album), and now is being printed in a limited edition of 150 on archival 305 GSM 100% cotton white photo paper. Each print is signed and numbered.
Featuring some of her big hits, rarities and remixes, Mary J Blige’s HERstory Vol. 1 is a set of eight standard-weight, seven-inch records (also available as a double-LP) that’s made for fans of ’90s R&B. With a remix of “What’s the 411” featuring Notorious BIG and K-Ci, and “Can’t Knock The Hustle” with Jay-Z, the album features a bunch of versions not previously available on physical CDs or vinyl. Full of ballads and bops, this is a glorious collection of songs by the R&B queen.
Composed by Sufjan Stevens and played by Timo Andres, this ballet score for a Justin Peck-choreographed dance performance (which premiered with the New York City Ballet in 2017) impresses with its subtlety and emotion. Far from merely background music, the 10 tracks (referencing the collection’s title Decalogue, which means 10 commandments) dip, accelerate, crescendo, and sometimes even pause entirely to afford the performers solemnity. The Deluxe version of the LP comes with a 40-page songbook and an art print by Charlotte de Mezamat.
Set to be released 8 November, this vinyl pressing of the haunting and heartbreaking Ghosteen is the 17th studio album by the universally beloved Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. The stunning record deals with grief and longing, but its over-arching themes are enduring love and healing. Lush and poetic, it’s an exquisite and entirely transfixing record.
An autobiography by punk icon Debbie Harry, Face It: A Memoir was crafted by Harry and music writer Sylvie Simmons. The fascinating tome is full of history, anecdotes and wild tales, but steers clear of being a full-on confessional—which perfectly suits Harry’s impeccably crafted Blondie persona. From her teenage years to moving to New York, meeting Chris Stein, her rise to fame and the creation of Blondie (the band and the character), nearly everything gets documented candidly alongside never-before-published photographs and artwork. Of course, there’s much more to Debbie Harry than Blondie, and plenty of that is explored within, too.