After a year hiatus, we’re bringing back our seasonal music club for a limited run in 2018. In 2016 we shipped out twelve albums in twelve months, an ambitious premise that we regretted upon launch. For this revamped Project Twelve, we’ve selected four Eccentric Soul titles that deserved to be pressed, albeit in a more limited fashion. And since so many people asked about CDs, we've acquiesced and added a cheaper CD option. Some of the rules have changed slightly, so pay close attention:
For listeners of a certain age, the recent news that Columbia House was at last filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection was met with a mixture of amusement and sadness. Columbia House thrived in a now-vanished monoculture of limited choices, offering seven (or eight or twelve or twenty) albums for a penny and following up with poorly designed full color catalogs full of a few hits and a lot of misses. Once hooked, a game began in which the warehouse would dispatch a record or tape each month—a surprise, almost always something unwanted— forcing the “club” member to choose between paying up or sending the thing back. And as crazy as it seems now, if you were from Terre Haute, Indiana, or Billings, Montana, this is probably how you got your music.
The 21st century is defined in part by an overwhelming panorama of choices. Especially in the world of recorded music, of which the near-complete history is available in two or three clicks. Want to hear Kelela’s Take Me Apart? Or the Moments' complete Stang sessions? You can, and you should. But the question remains—how will you find out about T.L. Barrett's stupidly rare 1974 album Do Not Pass Me By? And how will you experience it with something resembling the sense of excitement that accompanied those seven Columbia House selections for a penny, the ones you actually wanted? Isn't the predictability of unlimited choice part of what's turning us all into such jaded monsters? In a world of unlimited access, we’re exercising some small degree of restraint. Like some poor kid stuck in 1991, we want you waiting by your mailbox. We want you to love every record so much that you keep the custom box it came in.
Our flagship series broken into digestible single artist LPs for the discerning collector. Fifteen years into effectively remapping the American soul diaspora, we’ve created an alternate universe of motley and mishandled Motown acolytes. We now press our magnifying glass further into the dust, freeing four microbes that could have, should have, never did, but now might.
In a record landscape blurred by one next great but ultimately disappointing private SSW hope after another, we’ve done our best to boil down the finest examples of this world into a handful of themed compilations. Here we dust off some of the truly brilliant and fascinating discoveries made along the path, long-playing documents of talents far bigger than a single track would merit.
Each of us has our own Private Mind Garden. Some are fertile, some are well-tended, some are thorny and overgrown, and some are full of exotic delights not to be found anywhere else. Such is the case with our latest bit of branding, the expression's originator unknown, borne from online message boards, where it has generally tended to denote getting lost in one's own world. It can mean folly and delusion, but we at Numero would like to cultivate a different interpretation, to describe that place from which the most challenging, singular, and personal musical creations spring.
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