Mood Music

"How 'bout we put on some twelve inches and see where that takes us?"Photo: Photo by FPG/Getty Images

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.”

Harry Belafonte knows what's up. Photo: Metronome/Getty Images

Bret Winans, Turntable Lab
Looking forward to the seductive powers of: Lee Fields, Faithful Man
“If the sounds of classic soul and R&B are more your thing, then keep an eye out for Lee Fields’s upcoming Faithful Man. The upcoming record is packed end to end with love songs and baby-making music. He makes the kind of sweet soul song that may make you forget how cold NYC winter gets (and it gets pretty damn icy!) and how nice the summertime in the city is. Authentic soul groove that sounds like it could’ve come from the seventies, but it’s from today.”
Release Date: February 7, 2012

James Bradley, Sound Fix
Looking forward to the seductive powers of: Air, Le Voyage Dans La Lune
“Anything by the French duo Air, with their lush, seductive vocals and arrangements, is a sexy affair, but their latest album—a soundtrack to the restored classic 1902 silent film of the same name—is a particularly perfect soundtrack for any night of amour. Guest vocals by Victoria Legrand of Beach House and the ladies of Au Revoir Simone add spice to the mix.”
Release Date: Feb 7, 2012

Jeff Ogiba, Black Gold Records
Looking forward to the seductive powers of: The Jealous Sound, A Gentle Reminder
“In the mid-nineties, I fell in love with the music of Knapsack, the Jealous Sound front man Blair Shehan’s most notable project to date. His vocals had a way of soothing me, while the melodic driving force of his band kept me motivated and strangely optimistic. Now not only has the Jealous Sound announced the release of an upcoming full length, A Gentle Reminder, but they’ve also broke the news that Foo Fighters’ bass player Nate Mendel (also of Sunny Day Real Estate) has recorded bass on the album with them. If love is anything like it was some eighteen years ago, we’re all in for a treat.”
Release Date: January 31, 2012

Sean Ragon, Heaven Street Records
Looking forward to the seductive powers of: Pop.1280, The Horror
“Finally, a brand-new record from New York’s last bastion of noisy cyberpunk weirdness. If these creeps don’t get you and your loved one(s) in the mood for a night of heavy petting, then I don’t know what will. I hear their guitar player looks good in a dress … ”
Release Date: January 24, 2012

Blake Lindberg, Academy Records & CDs
Looking forward to the seductive powers of: Nina Simone, At the Village Gate
“This is a great intimate recording that highlights her piano skills (classically trained) as well as her magical voice. She was unique in that she was extremely versatile, weaving folk, African, jazz, blues, gospel, and classical all into one fabric of a performance without sounding contrived. Pure nature is at work when you hear her perform.”
Reissue Date: February 21, 2012

Mood Music