Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Shepdog - Record Store Day...

Record Shops…usually the enclave of obsessive, retentive collectivists who pore over minutiae such as catalogue and edition numbers, the minority few who still get a kick out of a physical format and prowl the racks for their weekly fix of new releases or the random opportunist trying to find “the tune off that advert that goes…” – I should know, I’ve worked in a few and whiled away my life in a lot more. But on Record Store Day all that changes…queues of young, trendy, hipsters and the aforementioned battle it out for exclusive and fantastic product from a host of record labels.
Started a few years back to support and celebrate the humble vinyl emporium, RSD has grown to something of a monster, enticing all but the most stubborn and cynical into a shop to spend their hard earned on some good old fashioned vinyl (oh, and CD). Some camp out all night, some chance it on the day…but all will be after the coveted limited edition 300-only coloured vinyl goodies that the major labels fling out like crack. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that people are out in force supporting their local businesses, but sometimes the point can be missed with many of the items ending up straight on Ebay to turn a quick buck (the equivalent of tickets touts in my mind). Anyway, here’s a little selection of 5 of the more independent releases that you might just be lucky enough to grab this weekend…

Quantic & Alice Russell With The Combo Barbaro - Look Around The Corner (7″)
I’m a big fan of both Alice Russell & Quantic (and his Combo Barbaro) and was appalled to find out their piano player and percussionist were recently denied entry into the UK for their imminent tour (Quantic now lives in Columbia and his band consists of some legendary local musicians). Sounds like a nightmare, so here’s hoping they get it sorted. For the time being you best make do with this exclusive 7″ which is very special as it is recorded live and direct to disc, which means no studio multi-tracks, overdubs or 2nd takes – what they play together in the studio (in one take) is cut direct to a lacquer and manufactured. It’s an age old method and not very commonplace in today’s digital world – I can’t wait to hear it!

Aspects - Beat Tape (7″)
Bristol’s finest hip hop group have recently made a bit of a comeback, with a new album in the pipeline that I’m really excited about. I remember seeing them in Leeds back when they first started out and they blew me away – mad energy, banter and skills. They blew up pretty soon after when UK hip hop got big, but they always had their own little niche and they’re a bunch of funny bastards! They’re all old men now though so probably forgotten all of their lines, moaning about everything and wearing orthopaedic trainers (joke!). Anyway, they’ve released a limited hand-stamped 7″ of Beat Tape, a new track produced by DJ Format (you should really grab his new album too!) with a remix by Evil Ed on the B side. Seek and ye shall find!

Bizarre Ride 2 The Pharcyde - The Pharcyde (7″box set)
Damn! I really don’t want to want this as it really is a bit over the top, but it completely appeals to the inner geek in me and I kind of NEED it. One of my favourite rap albums spread across 7 coloured 7″s plus a jigsaw, CD and poster – all housed in a box that plays a snippet of one of their tunes when you open it! Totally needless, but completely essential – here’s hoping my man on the inside comes though for me as I expect these will go pretty quickly!

Blackboard Jungle Dub - The Upsetters (10″ coloured vinyl set)
Another one of my favourite albums, and one of the first dub albums ever made. Lee Scratch Perry is a complete genius in my book, although he’s as mad as a hatter and can be hit or miss thesedays, his early output is nigh on perfect and this is one of the finest examples of it. If you’re a fan of dubstep and have never heard this album, you have a little history lesson here waiting for you. Spread across 3 coloured 10″s (in red, gold & green naturally!) plus a poster, this is a nice collectors piece!

Inna NICE UP! Fashion - Paul/Pato Banton (Serial Killaz/Dub Pistols remixes) (12″)
Had to put this in as it’s on my own label! This is the result of roughly a years work, after being put in contact with the legendary UK reggae label following the death of Smiley Culture (RIP). We wanted to introduce the label, which was massive in the 80s & 90s, to todays generation with some remixes of tunes from the back-catalogue. I visited Chris Lane’s house to rummage through his collection of master tapes and was like a kid in a sweet shop. We finally settled on a couple of tunes to lead with and I asked Serial Killaz and Dub Pistols to do the remixes, which I think they’ve done an amazing job of! It just so happens both are playing at the NICE UP! 9th Birthday next month at The Big Chill House too!

So there you go, a couple of tips on what to keep your eyes out for this saturday. You can find a full list of the stores participating here:
Dig deep, be lucky and remember…a record shop is for life, not just Record Store Day!
You can catch Shep Dog playing at the Big Chill House this Saturday for more info click here and you can also see Shep Dog and the rest of the Nice Up crew at Big Chill Presents Nice Up! 9th Birthday at the Big Chill House on the 19th of May, for more info click here.

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