From two of the three Beastie Boys themselves—AD-ROCK (Adam Horowitz) and Mike D (Mike Diamond)—comes a wildly comprehensive retrospective on the iconic trio. Telling the tale of how they—of course with the beloved MCA who passed away in 2012—went from teen punk rockers when they formed in 1981 to hip-hop legends (with a few stops via jazz, funk, experimental and more along the way) the “Beastie Boys Book” also features contributions from Amy Poehler, collaborator Spike Jonze, Luc Sante and others. In addition to the memoir components and rare photos, the tome features a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys’ New York, cookbook and more. The book is as much of an amalgamation as the band itself.
German manufacturer Hohner has over 160 years of experience in producing instruments like this bright, durable glockenspiel. Made from renewable mango wood, the musical toy tracks along the C-major scale. The sound produced is crisp and clear, so little maestros can begin to equate keys with notes.
Delivering the signature, high-quality Bang & Olufsen sound, the Beoplay E8 earphones are made from the finest materials. With four hours of playtime on one charge, the E8s feature intuitive touch-control which means you never have to take your smartphone out. These earphones come with a super-efficient leather charging case which has been designed to power them up while on the move.
As a limited edition release, Thundercat’s inimitable 2017 album Drunk has been “chopped not slopped” by DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C of Houston-based DJ outfit The Chopstars. On special purple vinyl, with inner sleeve artwork by Zack Fox, this record is languid and expertly chopped in a manner that’s mellow and smooth.
Equal parts luxuriant oak furniture and technically-advanced musical keyboard, the Roland Kiyola Piano is a MoMA Design Store exclusive. Handcrafted in Japan by furniture-maker Karimoku, the minimalist instrument features unique grain patterns, with 88 keys crafted from a wood and plastic hybrid structure. In contrast to most other digital pianos (which employ sampling/pre-recorded sounds from other pianos), this particular machine employs Roland’s heartier piano modeling, lending a fullness reminiscent of an acoustic piano.
The smallest portable speaker yet by Danish brand Vifa takes its design cues (and name) from Iceland. With three drivers packed into a pebbly shape that enhances 360-degree sound, the Reykjavik comes either covered in Kvadrat woolen fabric or in a fully anodized aluminum version that’s as tough as it looks.
Designed with kids in mind, the BOSEbuild speaker cube kit is entertaining and educational. The set comes with everything needed to assemble a speaker cube—from panels to coils and more. For children aged eight or older, it’s an experience on how music makes its way through wires and out to our ears (and it’s ultimately delivered through a speaker with Bose-quality sound).
In an edition of just 15 units (produced per month), COTODAMA’s Lyric Speaker beautifully displays the words of some two million songs as they play. Much more than just a traditional karaoke bouncing ball screen, this handmade product is a design object as well as a functional one. Made in Japan, this WiFi-enabled speaker’s track collection will continue to grow.
A collaborative design between powerhouse musician St Vincent and the engineering team of Ernie Ball Music Man, this electric guitar looks and sounds like no other. From the hand-rubbed rosewood neck and fingerboard to St Vincent inlays, Schaller locking tuners and a five-way pick-up selector, the custom configurations make it quite the sonic force. When the guitar first launched it was available in black or custom Vincent Blue, a color hand-mixed by Annie Clark, but it has now expanded to Polaris White, Heritage Red, Tobacco Burst, and Stealth Black as well.
Brooklyn’s brandnewnoise handmakes the Loopy Lou, a petite but powerful recording device that offers both single playback and continous playback with a looping switch. It’s a straightforward, handy device that even offers pitch control. Ideal for an at-home studio, and for anybody interested in exploring looping in recording or for performance.
Released in 1992 via Delicious Vinyl Records, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde is turning 25 years old—and to celebrate, this deluxe edition is available for pre-order now. Including a double-LP along with three 12″ singles, there are also brand new liner notes by respected music writer Jeff Weiss. With plenty of humor, clever word play and textured, lush production, this record was a refreshing departure from the era’s focus on gangsta rap—and remains a classic.
Plastic milk crates, IKEA Kallax shelves, repurposed wooden crates—these classic storage options tend to hide the one of the best things about owning vinyl: album covers. Kickstarted into reality, Chicago-based flipbin has designed a slightly angled aluminum holder for easy browsing (and flaunting). The Model 33 can hold about 33 12-inch records, more than enough for an epic holiday party playlist. Lovingly made in the USA, it comes in nine different colors for extra decor flexibility.
Master & Dynamic’s flagship MW60 wireless over-ear headphones are now available in a few new colorways for their 2017 holiday capsule collection, including olive green, camouflage, and black on black leather. As expected, the high-quality headphones still deliver impeccable sound drawn in part from patent pending stainless steel componentry. The new styles, though, make clear reference to the brand’s home city: NYC.
The Ed Banger Records team chose their favorite AIAIAI headphones, the TMA-2, which have been upgraded with a new reinforced PU headband for the collaborative release. The headband comes complete with a thick foam padding for more comfortable wear during long sessions. Delivering plenty of bass and clear sound, these headphones also come with two cables and a special edition Ed Banger carrying pouch to seal the deal.
The Golden Records (first created to be taken aboard the Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977) were always intended for extraterrestrial ears. Made with 55 greetings in different languages, nature sounds, plus all kinds of music, the contents were chosen by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan. With tracks from Beethoven to Chuck Berry, the records were meant to serve as a welcome for alien life, and an introduction to Earth. Now, the Voyager Golden Records are available for human ears as a three-vinyl box set complete with a 96-page book that includes images transmitted back from the Voyager probes and more.
The red lettering on the album cover of Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio record DAMN now has a complementary limited edition translucent red vinyl pressing. With only 2000 copies, the two-LP record will surely sell out. One of the strongest music offerings of the year, DAMN could and should be enjoyed across various formats.