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Mood Music

Indie record store employees pick the albums to help you get down, Valentine's Day style.


"How 'bout we put on some twelve inches and see where that takes us?"  

Blake Lindberg, Academy Records & CDs
12 W. 18th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-242-3000
What gets him going: John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
"This is pure music—non-pyrotechnic jazz playing, just pure music with no hint of ego. Hartman's voice is so soothing and relaxing nobody could escape its ability to relax, and Coltrane, although known to have more technique than most will ever achieve, follows suit."

Bret Winans, Turntable Lab
120 E. 7th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-677-0675
What gets him going: D'Angelo, The Best So Far
"How can you go wrong with D'Angelo? He's the undisputed king of making everything right when the lights are low. Regardless of who you are, you've got to have a soft spot for the dude. There's something for the ladies as well as the fellas. The Best So Far collects the choicest cuts from Brown Sugar and Voodoo."

James Bradley, Sound Fix
44 Berry St., at N. 11th St.; 718-388-8090
What gets him going: Isaac Hayes, Hot Buttered Soul
"I know, I know, this sounds like an obvious pick, but you'd be surprised how many people haven't heard this album. Every time we play it in the store, people flip over it. Four long tracks, sensuous and smoldering, with remarkable buildups of tension and release, just like ... "

Sean Ragon, Heaven Street Records
184 Noll St., nr. Flushing Ave., Bushwick; 718-381-5703
What gets him going: Throbbing Gristle, 20 Jazz Funk Greats LP
"Their all-time classic is finally back in print on vinyl — more than 30 years after its initial release! For many a music fanatic this record is "the one," as it pairs the mutant gristle-ized rhythms of their early works with a more accessible and, dare I say it, sensitive side shown in songs like the dark synth-pop classic 'Hot on the Heels of Love.' An absolute must."

Anthony Cascella, Breakdown Records
48–09 Bell Blvd., nr. 48th Ave., Bayside; 718-279-0040
What gets him going: Van Morrison, Moondance
"Teeming with a sense of serenity and devotion, Moondance is one of the best examples of what you can call a 'romantic mood setter.' From the opening verses of 'And It Stoned Me,' Van Morrison's unnaturally soulful voice declares a romantic state of well-being that has guaranteed the locking of lover's lips decades after its release."

Jeff Ogiba, Black Gold Records
461 Court St., nr. Luquer St.; 347-227-8227
What gets him going: Tony Bagwell, Romantic Moog
"This late-seventies Moog record (Moog as in Robert Moog, the man who invented the analog synthesizer that rose to popularity in the late sixties—think Kraftwerk plays Bach) offers a listening opportunity for potential lovers-to-be. This particular album is a collection of instrumentals of classic love songs, played by Tony Bagwell on the eerie Moog itself. Playing this record at sunset with your newest interest is a great way to find out on your very first date if there is a chance for a long-term relationship. If he or she runs, it will save you both much time given this record is certainly one of many strange love records you probably (will) own."

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