Complain all you like about the changing face of Record Store Day, it still remains the biggest event in the vinyl calendar™
As ever, the list of releases this year is extensive, and with vinyl sales reaching peak levels (cheers, Ralph Lauren!), we thought it only fitting to ask our friends and family from other musical establishments to weigh in on what they've been saving their pennies for.
Brand New - Deja Entendu
Looking through the Record Store Day release list I am presented with a dire situation. There's releases from the 1975, Avicii, Mumford and Sons, and U2. Records, I'm sure, that anyone in their right mind would never want to obtain, let alone spend a Saturday morning queuing up to purchase them at an extortionate price. But here we are. Thankfully there's a smattering of good releases though and the one that's piqued my interest comes from Brand New.
Listen. I get that this is Ministry of Sound. But all that means is you, too, being humans, are often consumed with emotion, you just use a different genre of music as a coping mechanism. But why not get to the roots of second-wave emo? Brand New's sophomore record Deja Entendu is the perfect introduction. Plus the astronaut on the cover is basically the epitome of loneliness and shrinking into your pillow after an evening spent out getting lost.
Air – Playground Love
There was a point back in 06/07 when I had pretty much exhausted the entire Ed Rec catalogue (read: any electro making its way out of Paris), and made an active decision to move onto the more downtempo offerings from France. While Moon Safari was your go-to lullaby record, Playground Love was a sonic daydream – drifting you back to prom via Kirsten Dunst in The Virgin Suicides.
David Bowie – Changes
The majority of my musical upbringing consisted of the entire Bowie back catalogue. It’s exhausting even thinking about the amount of styles, images or genres that includes, but "Changes" is one of the tracks that almost serves as the ‘all-encompassing’ Bowie. If Low bought us the Berlin era and Ziggy came with the Spiders from Mars, "Changes" was preparation for these shapeshifting tendencies.
Run The Jewels - Bust No Moves EP
RTJ are the hip-hop equivalent of finding a tenner on the floor: unexpected, rewarding and dirty. This 12” features "Pew Pew Pew" from their eponymous first album, "Love Again" & “Blockbuster Night Pt. 2" from their second album, and an unreleased track featuring Arkansas rapper SL Jones called “Bust No Moves.” With every single release of theirs being stellar thus far, adding three bangers and a previously unheard track to your collection seems like a no-brainer.
J Dilla feat Pharaohe Monch - Love / Love (Instrumental)
The late, great J Dilla teams up with Pharaohe Monch here on “Love,” featuring a beautiful sample from “We Must Be In Love,” the 1970 single by The Impressions (Curtis Mayfield’s band). With Monch on top dexterous form, Dilla lays the groundwork with yet another signature piece of achingly soulful production. This’ll be one of those records that you just can’t stop flipping.
D'Angelo - The Charade/Thousand Deaths
I've come to the conclusion that Voodoo still wears the crown when comparing D'Angelo's triumvirate of albums. That takes nothing away from Black Messiah, mind - a return that was about as invigorating as it gets. I would have loved it if "Till It's Done" squirmed its way on to this gift, but this is a catch all the same.
Magic in Three Beatin' Tha Breaks
Quite simply a sensuous dosage of jazz-leaning soul that I'd love to get my hands on come Record Store Day. I found out about the original after sourcing a similarly lovable rework from Freddie Joachim on Soundcloud. Sunday morning soul food indeed.
Barry Brown The Thompson Sound 1979-82
There are numerous offerings of reggae that have me salivating from this year's run of RSD love. Soul Jazz's 5 x 7" boxset, Linvall Thompson and a four-track 12" from Restriction, originally released in 1984 and now getting a repress of just 500 copies for this year's festivities. Barry Brown's The Thompson Sound 1979-82 will be number one on my radar though. Lately I've been digging through his discography more observantly after finding some of his records in my dad's collection.
It goes without saying that the Todd Terje re-edits of KC and the Sunshine Band’s “I Get Lifted” and “I’m Your Boogie Man” on yellow and green vinyl respectively will be make a handsome addition to any collection. But it’s the rock releases that really shine through for me this year.
The Dandy Warhols - The Dandy's Rule, OK
The 20th Anniversary of The Dandy Warhol’s debut The Dandys Rule, OK will be my first port of call. I’ve always held sophomore release, Come Down, as the greatest of their work, but this debut serves as a worthy prelude and has a rough ‘n’ ready punk aesthetic rarely seen in a Dandy’s record.
Bruce Springsteen - Born In The USA
Probably the most iconic work on the entire list, so it’d be a massive oversight to discount it. I’m not the biggest Springsteen fan, but this is undoubtedly worth your pennies. If only to don double denim, crank up the title track and aggressively swig low carb American beer.
Hedwig And The Angry Inch OST
Wild Card Alert! The soundtrack to a film about a rock star with a botched sex change may not seem like an obvious choice, but if you like your rock with a hair metal swagger – and who doesn’t? – Then you can’t go wrong with this.
Amon Tobin - Dark Jovian
Fresh off the vinyl press NinjaTune have a few exclusive bits coming out this Record Store Day. Amon Tobin’s first album since 2011 comes in the form of a totally unique vinyl packaging inspired by the same space scales that run through the album. Dark Jovian incorporates 2 single-sided white vinyl 12”s with etched markings, encased in a white, branded, rubber wheel, with design by Alexander Brown.
Annabel (Lee) - By the sea and other solitary places
Our other releases include a collaboration with West End vinyl store institution IF music in the form of the ethereal tones of Annabel (Lee). By the sea and other solitary places melds two collaborators shared passion into a hypnotic masterpiece.
Machinedrum - Vapor City
Lastly, Machinedrum offers this limited edition, vinyl only remix EP of his Vapor City project. In the form of fellow electronic heavyweights Om Unit, Moresounds, dBridge and Fis. Expect the hardest Junglist sounds from Metalheadz royalty.
Starvue/Rueben Wilson- Body Fusion / Got To Get Your Own
A track found nowhere but charity shop compilations or thrown into the middle of mixes you meant to bookmark, Body Fusion is a magnanimous hidden gem. A one hit wonder (but was it even a hit? I don’t remember ever hearing it), made by a possibly sinister sounding funk group, this is melted butter soul simplicity. Falsetto smut over strings and lazy basslines, "Body Fusion" is a ray of miscellaneous light that’ll stand the test of time longer than the memory of what you did on RSD. It almost eclipses Wilson’s "Got To Get Your Own", which is saying something. Purchasing this will bring instant summer karma to the life of any wax enthusiast.
Sublime Frequences- Thai Pop Spectacular (1960's-1980's)
Stick a middle finger up to the beards who’ve launched a thousand anti Record Store Day parties and head straight to the counter with Thai Pop Spectacular in hand. Brought to you by the label who first had faith in Omar Souleyman, this is a record Quentin Tarantino wishes he’d found twenty years ago. Spaghetti Western style groove with naughty Thai vocals, track names include "Gang Geng Nai Krai Lab" (Look Whose Underwear Is Showing) and "Tid Lom Ta Lai" (Drinking Whiskey Until I'm Blurred). Get faded, turn up, pour it on up courtesy of the likes of Sangthong Seesai and Man City Lion.