We run through our top 10 picks of this year's Record Store Day offerings.
Record Store Day is nearly upon us. 20th April sees the nation’s independent record shops turn into all-out warzones as labels vie for your attention, insisting you buy their novelty releases, gratuitous reissues and odds-and-ends.
It also sees a lot of excellent music get small-run releases from some of the best independent labels around, though, giving a small boost to the vinyl economy in the short term and giving a bigger boost to people’s faith in music-as-physical-product in the long term.
Sure, RSDhas its problems – it turns music into pristine monuments for collectors, it makes record shopping a one day thing, it drowns out the labels who toil with release schedules and pressing plant issues all year long – but it’s ultimately a force for good. To celebrate this year’s outing, we’ve collected ten RSD picks that Dummy readers may enjoy. We’re focusing on new sounds predominantly – so no, not that overpriced GZA chess boxset – that should be bought and listened to over and over again rather than left to gather dust on a shelf.
We don’t want to give any one thing importance over another, so we’ve listed them in alphabetical order. And of course, it’s always worth stressing those important words: every day is record store day.
The Asphodells – ‘The Asphodells Remixes’ [12” vinyl, Rotters Golf Club]
The Asphodells aka Andrew Weatherall and Timothy J. Fairplay released a brilliant debut album earlier this year, a psych disco racket that reminded us of the glory days of DC Recordings. This 12” features remixes from Phantasy wonderboy Daniel Avery (who, we should add, made the first ever Dummy Mix back in the day) and krautrockers Wooden Shjips.
Austra & Gina X – Mayan Drums [12” vinyl, Domino]
Canadian bunch Austra are releasing their new album ‘Olympia’ in June, but ahead of that you can pick up Mayan Drums, a collaboration with cult German singer Gina X (responsible for the brilliant No G.D.M. amongst others). The 12” comes backed with remixes by Herve and Doldrums, amongst others.
Beat Box: a drum machine obsession: V.2 TR-909 [book, Get On Down]
A 20 page book about the Roland TR-909 drum machine’s role in hip hop. It also contains two flexidiscs with the sounds of the TR-909, voiced by Schoolly D. Given that the 909 isn’t a machine often associated with hip hop, this should be an interesting little artefact.
Brian Eno / Grizzly Bear – Nicolas Jaar Remixes [12” vinyl, Warp]
Songs by Brian Eno and Grizzly Bear have been given over to moody so-and-so Nicolas Jaar for this 12”, released through Warp. We haven’t heard this admittedly, but given Nico’s past efforts this will probably be deep and meaningful, and it will definitely be a labour of love.
Connan Mockasin – Live at La Cigalle, Paris [12” vinyl, Phantasy]
Connan Mockasin was responsible for one of the best albums ever (yes, ever) in the form of ‘Please Turn Me Into The Snat’ (later repackaged as ‘Forever Dolphin Love’), so we’ve been eagerly anticipating his follow-up for a long time now. Apparently it’s being recorded now, along with a certain side project, but whilst we wait for that fans can check out this EP recorded live in Paris.
Evian Christ – ‘Duga03’ [12” vinyl, Tri Angle]
Evian Christ made us a Dummy Mix last year that consisted of original music inspired by a Soviet signal transmitter, and that mix is being pressed to wax for Record Store Day with some beautiful artwork courtesy of Tri Angle.
Fela Kuti – Sorrow Tears And Blood / Perambulator [12” vinyl, Knitting Factory]
With official reissues of Fela Kuti’s back catalogue underway, Knitting Factory are releasing this limited edition 12” exclusively for Record Store Day. Sorrow Tears And Blood is taken from the 1977 album of the same name (an attack on police and army violence against dissent that Decca refused to release), whilst Perambulator has previously only appeared on a Japanese release during the 1980s and has never been available on vinyl before.
Pulp – After You [12” vinyl, Rough Trade]
Pulp may not have recored anything new following their reunion, but they did manage to keep things fairly current with After You. Even though the track dates back a few years in demo form, it was given a modern update courtesy of LCD Soundsystem/DFA man James Murphy. Which is nice. But the bigger draw here might be the b-side, a remix by indie disco titans Soulwax.
Steve Moore – ‘Horror Business’ [12” vinyl, Death Waltz]
Horror obsessive Steve Moore has been responsible for some of the best synth music of the past decade, be it with solo releases for L.I.E.S. and Kompakt, as one half of the amazing, underrated Zombi, as the Miami Vice-styled Lovelock, as imaginary film scorer Gianni Rossi…the list could go on and on. ‘Horror Business’ is Moore’s soundtrack to the 2005 documentary of the same name, and this release comes courtesy of the likeminded folks at Death Waltz Records.
The xx – ‘Jamie xx Edits’ [12” vinyl, XL]
This shouldn’t be too hard to wrap your head around: Jamie xx remixes Sunset and Reconsider from The xx’s recent-ish album ‘Coexist’. Whilst most Record Store Day releases are generally limited to between 500 and 1000 copies, there are a good 4000 of these floating around – as The xx shifted more vinyl than anyone else last year, so expect this to be in high demand.