My Record Collection - August 2, 2021

My Record Collection by Durand Jones and The Indications' Aaron Frazer
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

My Record Collection by Durand Jones and The Indications' Aaron Frazer

In My Record Collection, we dig down to the bottom of musicians' souls to find out what the most treasured parts of their record collection are. This week, it's the turn of Aaron Frazer, co-founder, songwriter, drummer, and singer for Durand Jones and The Indications. Let's see what he opts for...

 

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

"I was in high school. It was a secondhand store dollar-bin record and found a soul compilation called “El Bimbo- Nonstop Soul Dance Party”. I had just started making hip hop instrumentals and was looking for things to sample. I was so excited that I didn’t even check the condition of the actual vinyl. When I got home, to my dismay I discovered that someone had actually put a copy of Supertramp's Breakfast In America inside the sleeve. So, I guess technically the answer is Breakfast In America. Decent record to be fair! But would have preferred the soul comp..."

 

The record that made me want to be in a band was…

"The Roots’ Do You Want More?!!!??! It blew my mind because I felt like it encompassed every part of who I was musically at the time. I was obsessed with hip-hop, but learned to play the drums through rock n roll. The album was hip hop but with all the energy and soul of live instruments, with DNA of jazz and rock represented as well. Right then I was convinced I would join or form a live hip-hop band. And when I look at The Indications, I think we definitely have elements of hip hop in our playing and overall philosophy, so in a way, I did!"

 

The record I've played more than any other is…

"Man, this is hard. I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to listening. When an album hooks into me, I have to listen to it over and over. The Curtis Mayfield self-titled record was the first one that came to mind. I got it the first time I visited New York City when I was 13, on CD at the old Virgin Records store. But I also used to sit at the drum kit and play all the way through Nas’ Illmatic and Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt for hours."

"My pocket is absolutely a product of Premo, Pete Rock and Large Professor, as much as Levon Helm or Questlove or Meg White. I also wore out the cassette of Eric B & Rakim’s Let The Rhythm Hit Em in high school in my car’s tape deck, playing it every day on my way to and from school."

 

The record that always makes me feel good is…

"Gil Scott Heron’s “I Think I’ll Call it Morning”. GSH was such a fierce warrior, but as tough as he was, he could be just tender and joyful. I Think I’ll Call it Morning sounds exactly like stepping out of my apartment on a sunny day feels."

 

The record I turn to when I'm feeling down is…

"I guess it depends on if I’m trying to cheer up, or if I’m trying to lean in and wallow. For cheering up, I might go with some Ethiopian jazz like Mulatu Astatke, or Tsegue-Maryam Gebrou. Her song 'Mother’s Love' comes to mind. It’s incredibly serene and calming. If I wanted to do some good old fashioned wallowing in my sadness, maybe 'Drad Dog' by Miles Davis, When Sunny Gets Blue- Sarah Vaughan. Jazz has an amazing ability to convey and shape emotions, with or without words."

 

The record I think is the most underrated of all time is…

"If we’re talking full albums, the first ones that come to mind is Ted Lucas’ self-titled record. It’s one of the most unique sounding albums I’ve ever encountered. The first six of the nine songs on the record are all total showstoppers."

"Also, Connie Converse's How Sad How Lovely. Her approach to songwriting was incredibly special, and her story makes it all the more intriguing. I think some of who she was as an artist- a brilliant young woman making wry, observational lo-fi folk-pop gems about the world from her apartment- sometimes playful, sometimes forlorn, always incisive- is a blueprint you can see reflected and expanded upon by artists in the world of indie music today."

 

The record with my favourite cover art is…

"Tough one! I’ll go with my first instinct, Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads. I found it in an antique store when I was living in Indiana. It’s so iconic with the bright pink background and the cutout of Marty on the left, ready to draw, dressed as the proverbial “man in black”. The album art for my solo record is a small nod to that LP."

 

 

The record with my favourite title is…

"There’s a Christian sermon record called All My Friends Are Dead by Freddie Gage. It’s just so hilariously dark and blunt to me. Why would you do that??"

 

The record I can't understand why everybody loves is…

"As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried more to factor context into why something might be enjoyed. Do I love Migos? I really do not. But in the right context, like a strip club, their music might be a super fun fit! Whereas a record I love, like Carole King’s Tapestry, would make for very poor music to strip by. I’m not sure anyone’s attempted that. I’m not sure anyone should..."

 

The last record I bought was…

"It was René & Angela's I Love You More on 45. Great, smooth L.A. boogie on Capitol from 1981. Ideal dancing tempo for me, it’s an easy two-step."

 

The record I'm most looking forward to hearing in 2021 is…

"Anytime Kanye releases a record, I’m gonna tune in. I might not always like everything he’s put out after the first three records (or some of the ways he’s used his public platform), but musically I think you have to respect an artist that’s constantly reaching, and not making the same album over and over again."

 

The greatest record of all time is…

"If I have to pick just one I think I gotta go back to Curtis Mayfield’s self-titled record. It has so many dimensions, so many different facets of what it means to be alive- it’s loving, angry, tender, mournful, hopeful, despairing- it’s all there. But again, in the right context, the right record can be the best record in the world for you at that moment."

 

Durand Jones & The Indications' new album, Private Space, is out now in hmv stores and available here in hmv's online store. 

Private Space
Private Space Durand Jones & The Indications

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