In 2016, the Numero Group launches Project 12, a seasonal music club featuring 12 exceedingly rare or entirely unreleased LPs.
FOUR ALBUMS OF ECCENTRIC SOUL.
FOUR ALBUMS FROM WAYFARING STRANGERS.
FOUR ALBUMS PLUCKED FROM OUR PRIVATE MIND GARDEN.
These records won’t be available in stores and they won’t be repressed. We’re not issuing them on CD and the only way you can buy them is by joining the club. And that club? It's limited to just a thousand members.
For listeners of a certain age, the recent news that Columbia House was at last filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection was met with a mixture of amusement and sadness. Columbia House thrived in a now-vanished monoculture of limited choices, offering seven (or eight or twelve or twenty) albums for a penny and following up with poorly designed full color catalogs full of a few hits and a lot of misses. Once hooked, a game began in which the warehouse would dispatch a record or tape each month—a surprise, almost always something unwanted— forcing the “club” member to choose between paying up or sending the thing back. And as crazy as it seems now, if you were from Terre Haute, Indiana, or Billings, Montana, this is probably how you got your music.
The 21st century is defined in part by an overwhelming panorama of choices. Especially in the world of recorded music, of which the near-complete history is available in two or three clicks. Want to hear Carly Rae Jepson’s Emotion? Or Ray Charles’ complete Atlantic recordings? You can, and you should. But the question remains—how will you find out about Jimmy Carter & the Dallas County Green’s undeniable 1977 private country-rock masterpiece? And how will you experience it with something resembling the sense of excitement that accompanied those seven Columbia House selections for a penny, the ones you actually wanted? Isn't the predictability of unlimited choice part of what's turning us all into such jaded monsters? In a world of unlimited access, we’re exercising some small degree of restraint. Like some poor kid stuck in 1991, we want you waiting by your mailbox. We want you to love every record so much that you keep the custom box it came in.
Here’s How It Works
You subscribe to one, two, or all three series. Every quarter a record from each series goes out. We'll let you know by email when your record is on its way, along with a tracking number. It’s that simple. Don’t like one of them? Whine on twitter, wait a few months, and flip it on Discogs. Exercise your rights as a consumer, we won't judge.
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Each of us has our own Private Mind Garden. Some are fertile, some are well-tended, some are thorny and overgrown, and some are full of exotic delights not to be found anywhere else. Such is the case with our latest bit of branding, the expression's originator unknown, borne from online message boards, where it has generally tended to denote getting lost in one's own world. It can mean folly and delusion, but we at Numero would like to cultivate a different interpretation, to describe that place from which the most challenging, singular, and personal musical creations spring. Retroactively classified Numero Private Mind Garden entries might include such disparate works as bad acid hard rocker First Step Beyond by Medusa, Otis G. Johnson's drum machine gospel trip Everything – God Is Love '78, and Iasos' self-explanatory Celestial Soul Portrait.
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Our flagship series broken into digestible single artist LPs for the discerning collector. Twelve years into effectively remapping the American soul diaspora, we’ve created an alternate universe of motley and mishandled Motown acolytes. We now press our magnifying glass further into the dust, freeing four microbes that could have, should have, never did, but now might.
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In a record landscape blurred by one next great but ultimately disappointing private SSW hope after another, we’ve done our best to boil down the finest examples of this world into a handful of themed compilations. Here we dust off some of the truly brilliant and fascinating discoveries made along the path, long-playing documents of talents far bigger than a single track would merit.
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