Photo: Marco Corral
Record Store Recs: Estereomance Are All In Their Feels With Vinyl From El Paso, Los Angeles & Mexico City
With the unprecedented global disruption of COVID-19, it's important to support the music community however we can. With Record Store Recs, GRAMMY.com checks in with vinyl-loving artists to learn more about their favorite record stores and the gems they've found there, so you can find some new favorite artists and shops.
El Paso-based trio Estereomance—consisting of Manuel Calderon, Adria Del Valle and Paulina Rezain—make dreamy, ethereal tunes as expansive as their multicultural border town identities and influences. They released their desert sunset-tinged self-titled debut album in June 2020 on beloved Latinx indie label Cosmica Records.
The "Seen City" artists take us on a trip to the music shops closest to their hearts, including one right next to their studio in El Paso! They also take us deep into the emotions of some of their favorite vinyl records. Read on to crate dig with the Texas band.
Pick three to five records stores you love.
Amoeba Hollywood in Los Angeles.
La Roma Records in Mexico City.
Atomic Wax in El Paso, Texas.
Why do you love these shops? And what kind of goodies you've found there?
When we're in Los Angeles, we love going to Amoeba Records—it's a must for us. Here in El Paso, we like going to Atomic Wax. The owner Raul has a great selection. When we are in Mexico City, we head to La Roma Records where you can also find our vinyl.
These three record stores are important locations for us. Amoeba in L.A. always gives us that big city treat; You can literally stay there for hours, finding new music every minute. We love that they have in-store shows that a lot of great artists perform at—that always inspires us and makes us daydream of playing there one day. We are mostly working when we are in L.A., but we made it a tradition to make time in our schedule to go and find records there; it feels like a souvenir from each trip. The last time we were there, Adria got Quincy Jones' Sounds…And Stuff Like That!! (1978, A&M Records), Manu got Madvillain's Madvillainy (2004, Stones Throw Records) and Paulina got Aretha Franklin's Aretha Now (1968, Atlantic Records).
Atomic Wax is located right next to our studio in El Paso. We like visiting before or after our studio sessions. It's a cozy but very vast record store, and we love that [Raul] has quite a Spanish oldies collection—artists like José José, Los Angeles Negros, Los Terricolas, Pasteles Verdes, and more.
La Roma Records in Mexico City is a really cool record store in a neighborhood called La Roma ([the place] Alfonso Cuarón grew up and filmed his Oscar-winning movie Roma). You can find goodies like Plastilina Mosh's Aqua Mosh (1998, EMI México), Gustavo Cerati's Bocanada (1999, BMG Argentina) and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs' El Ritmo Mundial (1988, Discos CBS).
Paulina Rezain with 'McCartney'
For at least one of your favorite shops, share a recent record or two you bought there and what you love about the record/artist.
Paulina: Paul McCartney's McCartney (1970, Apple Records). This album is very special to me. It fills me with motivation knowing that Paul recorded the album in his house. It makes me think that the only things you need to fulfill a dream are motivation and faith. This is McCartney's debut solo album and, since I'm obviously a Beatles fan, I knew I had to listen to it. I instantly connected with it. [There are] collaborations with his wife Linda [McCartney on the album]—she complements him beautifully.
"Every Night" always puts me in a good mood; it's the perfect song to start my day or to play sometimes when I'm melancholic. "Maybe I'm Amazed" stole my heart; it makes me cry every time I listen to it. I will dedicate it to the future love of my life. I feel this album is full of feelings, it has a lot of colors and dynamics; You can hear McCartney experiment and take certain risks on his debut album.
Adria: Blonde Redhead's Penny Sparkle (2010, 4AD). Manu introduced me to this album and it instantly blew me away. My favorite track is "Penny Sparkle"—the guitar arpeggios are full of deep feelings. The music is warm and enveloping. I feel the entire track can soundtrack a slow-motion romantic scene in a movie. Kazu Makino's voice is so dreamy; it takes me to another dimension.
I keep discovering my voice and creativity as an artist, and this album opened my mind to perspectives in music. It is definitely an inspiration. The beats are hypnotic, odd and experimental, and [hold] a deep message. It's like jumping into a deep pool and delicately swimming in it.
Manuel: Sparklehorse, Danger Mouse and David Lynch's Dark Night of The Soul (2010, Parlophone/Warner). I bought this record as a CD when it was released. Then I bought the vinyl at Amoeba. I remember listening to this album nonstop when it dropped. I'm a huge fan of all three artists involved, especially Sparklehorse. A friend of mine played Sparklehorse for me on a jukebox in a biker bar on the eastside of El Paso (that for some reason we ended up at), and I instantly fell in love with [frontman] Mark Linkous' sounds.
I bought all of his collection that same week. Unfortunately, that was the week he [died by] suicide. That really broke my heart. About a year later, Dark Night of The Soul dropped. It was beautiful to hear The Flaming Lips, Jason Lytle and Suzanne Vega interpret Mark Linkous' songs that Danger Mouse produced. My favorite track is "Revenge" [featuring The Flaming Lips]. I remember visiting my parents in Juárez, Mexico and listening to that track over and over before I crashed on the couch. The vinyl also has a superb visual presentation done by David Lynch.
Manuel Calderon with 'Dark Night of The Soul' & Adria Del Valle with 'Penny Sparkle'
What's an upcoming/recent release you have your eyes on picking up and why?
The Flaming Lips' American Head (2020, Warner Records). We really like "Flowers of Neptune 6," which we heard for the first time on Danger Mouse's Jukebox playlist that we constantly listen to, especially during the road trips we took this summer. We were actually [featured] on that playlist too, which made it extra special.
More of Estereomance's vinyl collection
How would you describe your record collection in a few words?
To us, our vinyl collection is a collection of souvenirs/moments. It's perfect because when you listen to the record it can somehow take you to the place where you bought it and remember what you were doing that moment. It's a very romantic activity that most people don't experience anymore. It's very special to put on vinyl and listen to it, especially with friends and people you love.
In your opinion, what can music fans do to better support BIPOC artists and business owners?
Look up and research Black music and how it has influenced almost every genre that exists today. Be on the lookout for emergent Black artists and support them by buying their merchandise and sharing their music with friends and on social media. Researching Black-owned businesses in your hometown is also a great way to support locally. For our friends in El Paso, we want to recommend a Black-owned vegan Southern-style restaurant we really like: The Queen's Table—it's delicious!