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.
Lizzy Goodman’s “Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011” is the incredible story of NYC’s explosive music scene in the early 2000s—in which bands like The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, LCD Soundsystem and more were propelled into fame. The behind-the-scenes insights are from some 200 interviews with musicians, journalists, photographers, managers, music executives, groupies, DJs and more. It’s a fascinating read—full of gossip—and not just for rock enthusiasts.
Written by Elaine M Hayes, “Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan” explores the jazz musician and human/women’s rights activist’s incredible—yet often looked over—existence and legacy. From her early life in Jersey, to the ways in which she helped desegregate radio, to performing at the Apollo, to her civil rights work, Vaughan was truly a force—paving the way for women of color in the music scene and beyond. This book traces a true success story, and it’s inspiring.
A Tribe Called Quest’s first album in 18 years We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service was released late 2016 but still feels (like all of their records) super-fresh after countless listens. Featuring the likes of André 3000, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, Elton John and more, it’s diverse and boasts seamless production across all 16 tracks. Of course, the group’s beloved, now-deceased member Phife Dawg makes a posthumous appearance.
Syd (aka The Internet’s frontwoman) released her debut solo record recently and it’s sublime. In early April, it will be available on vinyl—and not a moment too soon. With production from MeLo-X, Hit-Boy and Steve Lacy, the 12-track record is sexy and dark—quintessentially Syd.
Step into a time capsule of NYC’s nightlife scene in the ’80s to ’90s—when DJs and promoters would print flyers (often made by people with no design experience) by the thousands and hope their events would spread by word of mouth. Though the internet killed this DIY practice, these ephemeral pieces of paper, with their arresting aesthetic, have been collected to make a book filled with attitude and nostalgia. After selling out its initial run, “No Sleep” is now available thanks to a second printing—nab while you can.
Made from high-quality North American Walnut, Wrensilva’s new Loft console is a beautiful and useful piece. Capable of playing music via vinyl, Sonos, mobile (3.5mm jack) or auxiliary (RCA), it’s a music machine that will complement almost any room in the home. Additionally, there’s storage for 120 records, making the Loft the pinnacle of form meeting function.
While Sharon Jones sadly is no longer be with us, her vast repertoire of soulful tunes remains. A new limited edition pressing of her (along with the Dap Kings, of course) “It’s A Holiday Soul Party,” on green vinyl, offers the ideal opportunity to connect with her zest this holiday season. Supported by her acclaimed band, Jones joyously delivers 11 holiday songs, both original and traditional. It’s funky, powerful and lots of fun for all kinds of festivities.