Gavin Russom is a multitalented guy. He's released a stack of 12" through DFA. Before delving into music this he'd established himself as an artist. You might know him as Black Meteoric Star or recognise him from his music and art installation work with Delia Gonzalez.
Now he performs under the guise The Crystal Ark and is performing at Vivid.
We asked him to give us an insight into his record collection. He responded with these records and below mixtape using only the 10 records.
Dive into it, it's a wealth of inspiration.
Alice Coltrane With Strings, "World Galaxy"
Alice looks and sounds like she's in an a state of rapture with the eternal here. An amazing moment of psychedelic meeting devotional.
Blowfly, "Zodiac Blowfly"
I discovered Blowfly's records at a time when I was really tired of music but still into records. All his covers are great but this one is the best. And when I started liking music again I realized how on his band is. And the jokes never get old.
Boogie Down Productions, "Criminal Minded"
This cover is tough as hell and made me want to get a gun when I discovered it as a 14 year old. Noticing the back cover image where Scott La Rock is on a phone that I had just seen at Radio Shack on sale for $9.99 gave it a nice balance.
Nat Freedland, "The Occult Explosion"
Another gem from when I was not into music but still into record collecting. Throughout the 1970's "occult" records of this type were really popular. Everything from Witches teaching listeners how to cast spells to live recorded exorcisms. And yes I own most of them.
Ya Ho Wa 13, "Savage Sons of Ya Ho Wa"
Perhaps the best of all the Source Family record covers. Epic commune dreamworld psych. The guy on top of the car is named Electron. The guy in the car is named Father Yod. The other guys are Sunflower, Rhythm, Djin and Octavious. There are tons of girls in the house. Whatever band you're in it's probably not as cool as this one.
Shango, "Shango Funk Theology"
Post planet rock Afrika Bambaataa. Spirituo-political futuristic synth driven Bronx-centric slow-mo funk based on Yoruba mythology? Yep, I'll take that.
David Tudor, "Pulsers/Untitled"
Tudor's famous quote is "The circuit is the score". Meaning that he developed self composing electronics rather than writing music in the conventional way. In this case the record cover is also the score.
Paul Kantner, "Blows Against the Empire"
Between Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship Paul Kantner and Grace Slick made this epic psych masterpiece. The band is made up of most of the Grateful Dead and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Celia Cruz y La Sonora Poncena, "La Ceiba"
"There are six magical uses for the Ceiba: the trunk is used to cast evil spells, the bark is used for teas and for medicinal cures, the leaves also have medicinal uses and are used to cast love spells, the roots are on which the offerings and blood from sacrificial animals are placed, the earth around the tree is used for black magic, and the shade of the tree draws the spirits and gives supernatural powers to the spells."
Paul Chain Violet Theatre, "In the Darkness"
When it comes to designing covers for witchcraft tinged introspective moody horror metal records Italians do, in fact, do it better.
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