Monday, July 2, 2007

Record Store Review: Open Mind Music on Market Street

Open Mind Music just moved into a new location on Market Street, between Church and Sanchez (sorry, I don't have the actual address), and since it's only a few blocks from home, and has bins after bins of vinyl, I'll be stopping in quite a bit; I just hope they bring some better organization to their Techno/House section as they get the shop more in order.

Open Mind is mostly about "collector vinyl," the stuff that's now out of print, or was originally mastered for vinyl release. Walk in and peruse all the great stuff up on the wall, which can range from rare David Bowie twelve-inch remixes to original pressings of Commander Cody. The Rock section is probably the best, with a pretty substantial focus on classics up through the 80s. They also have seperate sections for Ambient/Experimental, Reggae, Jazz, and Disco (at least, these are the ones I looked through). In the very back there is bin after bin labled Techno/House, but after a half hour of digging I couldn't find a single record I wanted to hear (they have both vinyl and CD listening stations). Most of what I found was pre-2002, fairly generic "club" music, though the various color codes, notes, and BPM notations on the sleeves showed that many of these tracks had once been part of some DJs repertoire. Even after all that, though, there was nothing I could find that was even vaguly familiar outside of big club trance producers like Christopher Lawrence. The owner admitted to another customer that the techno section was "a shambles" and that they are in the process of cleaning it up; after some re-organization I'm hoping that it will be easier for me to mine the occasional nugget from here without having to spend a couple hours doing it. My feeling is that the folks behind the counter are much more knowledgeable about and interested in the "classic" vinyl in the rock section than they are what DJs spin, otherwise they'd be more discriminating in what they buy (after all, who do you know who would spend $4 for a track that was produced in 1997 if it isn't something "classic" or by a big name?). Nonetheless, if you're into other genres, like Disco (which was also a very substantial section), or just cool old vinyl, you should definitely stop into Open Mind, just make sure you slot enough time for some serious crate digging.

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