We close a quick month this Monday, September 30th at Trenchermen with a visit from and a listen to Kyle Hodges, ex-franchisee of Karma Records in Greenwood, Indiana (our mutual homeland) and current Minister of Propaganda for Dark Matter Coffee (Trenchermen’s guest roaster for the month of November).  In addition to his history with Karma and subsequent tour of duty at Reckless Records here in Chicago, Hodges musical engagement extends to present with the limited edition mixtape series he launched for Dark Matter over the summer.  Here we’ll take a look at, and on Monday we’ll have a listen to, the records he calls his own and stores at home.

The first piece to surface, one of his prize records, is O.G. Hoosier Melvin Rhyne’s first Jazzlandrelease, Organizing.  Hodges collection bears a decent bit of organ jazz recordings; this title was an excellent entry into the ensuing acid jazz, lounge, and exotica set he shared.


This Groove Merchant Compilation features another another swinging Hoosier, Dr. David Baker.  If I’m not mistaken, this recording predates Baker’s latter day clumsy cello sawing.


A fine lounge offering, Reuben Slade’s “Theme from The Iron Horse” is a groovy little bumpy breakbeat, a smooth modulator for jazz and/or trip hop and/or downtempo, exotica, et cetera.


Hodges has a nice gathering of Exotica proper, including this Richard Hayman LP.


And another piece of mid-century hepcat ephemera.


Hodges likes to keep sku stickers on the dust covers and receipts in the sleeves to make sure all acquisitions are contextualized.


Our exotic adventure took us into trip hop and European downtempo, where we started with one of Richard Dorfmeister’s duos, Tosca.


The photo set in the gatefold is humorously fabulous, almost as if the album could be renamed “Posing Euro-Trash in Manicured Forests.”


Attempting to play me a track from a Kruder and Dorfmeister album, Hodges realized that he hadn’t yet unsealed the LP.  He chuckled and said “this was the problem with working in record stores, I bought shit relentlessly, never even opened some of it.”


Hodges expects a good downtempo exotica vibe to at some point land in Golden Era Hip Hop, of which he got an education from cassettes his twin brother thieved in the early 90s.  Sex Packets by Digital Underground was a major component of his ill juvie rap canon.  Little did I know, “The Humpty Dance” is just one tiny element of a greater concept album composed and conducted by the thematic geniuses of the Digital Underground.


After jamming a few pervy digi tunes, it seemed appropriate we took a listen to this Sexotone 7".  I shan’t describe the content, I’ll just say: “Sin from Sweden” left us both speechless.


Buddha with Protractor.  One of the remnant relics from the old Karma location that Hodges owned until the internet killed the industry in the early 2000s.