Mixing Classics, New School & Interpreting Sound
Quarantine, isolation or germ punishment, no matter what we call it, its have given us time to look deeper into the things we love and for me its music. From inspiring me to create, dance or fall deep into my emotions, music is my life force (beside the elements that actually keep me alive).
Of course, I have a ton of digital music on all my devices and yes I still have CDs in my car and now I’ve taken to collecting vinyl records. Growing up I actually never had records in my house even though we had a huge music unit in the dining room, but, music was always playing. From The Temptations, Patti LaBelle to Tupac and En Vogue — music has been apart of my soul. Just two years ago, I decided to start collecting records. So, I asked Santa (aka my wife Marina) for a record player and my favorite record — Tapestry by Carole King (I’ve got oldhead vibes).
To give you some insight into how I’ve gone about creating a record collection, below you will find my tips and tricks to finding the right vinyl for you.
First things first, you need a record player. They’ve become very trendy and affordable, so you can grab one from places like Urban Outfitters to HomeGoods. Or you might be a budding audiophile with a keen ear for outstanding sound & quality — so, you might look for a full system with preamplifier and external speakers available at somewhere like World Wide Stereo.
Once you’ve found a record player or system that works for your budget and personal needs, the real key is picking the right music. Of course, music is highly personal and there’s no right or wrong way to pick what you like. But, when it comes to vinyl, I’ve noticed a few musical characteristics that come across almost magically from a record player.
How To Pick A Vinyl Record
- Selecting albums that are strong in acoustic and electric guitar. Think of artists like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Prince. Even the early album, N.E.R.D “In Search Of” slap with guitar synths
- Full band sounds that are forward with brass instruments come across beautifully. Think jazz, brand and big band (step into the world of Miles Davis).
- Vocally, singers that have depth to their voices come across with a fair amount of dimension and truly ride the unique waves create on a vinyl record. Artists like Erykah Badu, Sam Smith, Carole King, Amy Winehouse will help to set the tone and help you appreciate the sound
- Spoken word artists are a secret gem of vinyl.
- Don’t forget to tap into disco artists from the 70s and modern artist that they inspired today.
- Think of the era. Music that was specifically made for vinyl will sound more dynamic. Pick up a record by Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Ella Fitzgerald or James Taylor and enjoy all the pops, moody whirls and dynamic tones
Shop Record Players
Best Places To Shop Vinyl Records Online
- Discogs – it’s probably the most comprehensive place to shop & sale vinyl online. With millions of titles, there’s no doubt your musical needs will be met. Expand your musical knowledge by reading up on your artists and new music via their blog.
- FYE — you might remember hitting up FYE after school if you grew up during the 90s. Today, FYE is still going but only online. If you’re looking for current albums, some classics and a few gems — FYE will have you covered
- Urban Outfitters – ok, I know vinyl enthusiast will slam me for this selection, but, all I can say is get over it! For someone starting out, the selection at UO houses a lot of the music that they’re currently listening to, which is a solid gateway to appreciating vinyl. That where I picked up my Nas – Nasir album.
- Etsy – scouring Etsy will require your best detective skills, however, you might be able to locate some obscure albums that people are selling from their personal collections
Founder & Creative Director of Men's Style Pro, Sabir has a deep passion for menswear and all things manly. Selected as one of the "5 Best Dressed Men In America" by Esquire Magazine in 2010 & as #GQFall 2013 Best Dressed Man. As of 2014, Sabir serves as a freelance brand ambassador & executive stylist for GQ Magazine & GQ Report. Outside of that partnership, Sabir serves as an independent brand consultant as well. Reach me directly at SABIR@MENSSTYLEPRO.COM