Written by Chris Martins for LA Weekly, published Dec. 30, 2009 in his blog column Inches.

In the strange wake of music’s digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES reviews the output of L.A.’s healthy vinyl community (artists and labels, indie or other), believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.

Title: Strange Woman’s Room
Label: Stones Throw (Mt. Washington)
Format: 12-inch, spray-painted jackets, 1000 pressed

Another one that almost slipped through the last remaining cracks of 2009, this Baron Zen single not only delivers a few audible treats, but unique packaging to boot — individually spray-painted jackets (plus a decal or two if you’re lucky) in black, purple, orange, and yellow. Orange might be the most fitting, considering San Jose rapper Dave Dub’s reference to “tangerine perfume,” one of a handful of Gary Wilson-like oddball lyrics that bookend the creepily cooed chorus, “I stay relaxed/And she stay relaxed/On my back in a strange woman’s room.” The skittering percussives and wampy electro beat are given a synth-loving chillwave rebirth by James Pants, while the B-side sports two versions (plus instrumentals) of “Talk To Me!,” a catchy and warmly goofy track built around the titular demand of the Baron.

Download: Baron Zen – Talk To Me (Peanut Butter Wolf Remix) (MP3)

Purchase at your local independent record vendor (INCHES recommends Origami or Vacation), or right now via the Stones Throw web store.