Down the Vine Vol. 6 – The True Vine these days…


The True Vine
3544 Hickory Ave.
Baltimore, MD

Telephone: 410 235 4500

open hours:
Tues. to Sat. 12 – 9
Sun. & Mon. 12 – 6

Hello! Good to see you!
This update brought to you by special guest Owen Gardner.

Maybe you’d rather hear it from Jason but he needs a break and I have a lot of important things to tell you: Having emerged victorious from our epic struggle against the state comptroller, we have loads of TASTY new stock. Super-cool vinyl spanning the ranges of price and availability practically bursting from the shelves. As much as I’d love to promote some of these records and as much as we love and trust all of you, there’s reason to believe that some might prefer to download the records I’d be promoting rather than buy them here. That’s perfectly defensible – it’s free, it’s immediate, you don’t need to leave your home etc. I’M NOT INTERESTED IN JUDGING YOU. I just think it would be so nice if you stopped in, had a chat, listened to some music with one of us and walked out with a tangible object and a pleasurable EMBODIED experience. It could change your life, who knows?

One thing I will tell you is that we have a Prince record that comes with an extremely rare poster of The Artist in all his extreme, rare, wet sexiness. We also got a set of tablas in recently and, though they need a little work (tuning paste and general tuning adjustments), they look and sound delicious. Don’t you want some tablas? They’re a steal at only $150.

Have you heard about the True Vine CD-R series? Jason has 16 entries thus far, all impossible-to-find, heretofore unreissued weirdness, mostly from the late ’70s and throughout the ’80s, a number of them featuring “Monsieur Cool” Jac Berrocal. They’re all so great that I can’t believe The True Vine is the only place you can buy them. Oh well!

I’ve started my own series but uncooperative or disappearing tape players have made progress slow. Right now I have available a collection by Abubakar Sani, a contemporary Nigerian film composer of great repute. This is Hausa music, from the north, which is not, chances are, what you’ve heard from Nigeria before. I think it’s fabulous – autotuned vocals, ecstatic drum machine programming and extraordinarily cheesy synths make for a fun stew. I’ve got big plans for future releases: weird directions in South Indian classical music and a subseries of old and new Berber music from Morocco, which I’ll talk about more in a future update. All I need is a reliable tape player and a little mastering time and I’ll blow your mind, honest.

But enough about us. Resident electronics master Karl has been doing great work with his new invention, The Moisturizer. It’s a wonderful contraption with a whole hell of a lot of sound-producing potential. Specifics here: http://www.sdiy.org/knas/products/moisturizer/moisturizer.php

Matrixsynth, who he tells me are one of the foremost authorities on the subject, rated the machine highly and orders have been pouring in from the world over. Come in and try it yourself! Talk to Karl here sometime during the week or send him an e-mail at karl@hexagonspace.com.



it turns out that i found some time to do a bit of writing after all. thanks owen, here’s my contribution (partially supplementary):

thankyou to floristree, the musicians & everyone who attended the true vine benefit last month. our debt is much more managable as a result. THANKYOU. here at the shop the vinyl bins are swelling with new incoming records, many of them i haven’t seen in years. this includes higher priced collectables, mid range & lots of $1 records.

the new cex vinyl is now available here & will not be available to the rest of this planet for a little while. it’s a double album vinyl that’s broken into 2 parts & i’m loving it. for me this is the most stimulating cex i’ve experienced. (Editor’s note: I agree.  It is awesome.)

recently i started a true vine cdr series that is releasing amazing long gone unreissued records & my intention is to sell them for a reasonable price so that they can be experienced & we can make a little extra rent money. all of them are from very small labels or private pressed & most were realeased btween late 70′s & mid eighties. these records havent been issued again after decades have passed & in many cases i know why. ive tried it myself. ive been on the phone & email with some of these musicians & in some cases they don’t care enough to see it happen or in some cases just get swept away by their own mind & can’t organize it. either way i have to say it only heightens my respect for them.

to the details:
they are all from vinyl in high quality wave file & burnt onto high quality dual black sided cdrs that are supposed to last for 150 years. i will be 191 years old before i have to worry about complaints from customers. rather than divulge all the details about the music right here i would rather say that the next time your in the true vine & you’re in the mood for something a bit more off the radar, let us know we can play you some of this music. there is also a little section for the 15 titles so far on the far right hand side of the cd bin, as you look at it. owen gardner who works here every week made a true vine gardner subseries & has one submission which is contemporary african.

here is a cut up montage made from this series (Editor’s note: Jason strongly encourages you to come in and ask about any one of the pieces in the collage):

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from our repair/construction division: karl has just finished his newest creation called the moisturizer. it is now for sale here for $300 & is available to be tested out if you’re curious. i’ve been up late for the past 4 nights discovering the potential of this brilliant playable spring reverb/filtering instrument/sound processor. the technical details can be read on his website. i should add that the sound examples of the moisturizer on his site are some, but far from all, of the sounds that can be made with the moisturizer. if you want to contact karl you can call here monday through friday or send him a message here: karl@hexagonspace.com

see you in the future,

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One Response to “Down the Vine Vol. 6 – The True Vine these days…”

  1. murdock says:

    Just picked up that Jac Berrocal cdr and it slays.

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