Record Store Day is war.
Yes, it has also something to do with celebrating the importance and valour of the independent record store, but mainly it’s about beating everyone else to that über-limited, screen-printed 12″ you didn’t actually know you needed until the moment you clamped eyes on it. But of course brute force alone isn’t enough to win a war – you need a strategy.
Record Store Day – which this year takes place on Saturday 21 April at participating stores around the world – can be a bewildering affair, not least because dozens of labels use the occasion as an opportunity to pass off the most dreary, ordinary new items in their catalogues as “special editions”, “highly limited” or “exclusive to Record Store Day”. Your average RSD product display threatens to buckle under the weight of polished turds, mutton dressed as lamb – choose whichever hackneyed metaphor you like.
With that in mind we’ve gone through the full list of official Record Store Day 2012 releases and picked out 20 that we actually believe to be worth the blood and tears – be they yours or other people’s – that you’ll need to spill to obtain them. Don’t come away from the store holding a £150 box set of Skrillex rarities; think carefully about what you want before you enter the fray.
Happy hunting, and remember: a) every day can and should be “record store day”, you don’t need wait for this one event in a year to support your local independent; b) people who buy records just to re-sell them on eBay really do go straight to hell.
UPDATE: this list has now been updated and expanded with 10 further killer releases that have only been recently announced. Turn to the last page to check them out.
AS HEARD ON RADIO SOULWAX VOL.2
2012 marks the 10th anniversary of 2ManyDJs’ As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt.2, which was the first of their mash-up-focussed mixes to receive an official CD release, and the one that really made their name; to celebrate, PIAS have decided to produce a one-off vinyl pressing for Record Store Day. Whatever you think of the Dewaele brothers and their career-long aversion to subtlety, it’s hard to deny the impact and originality of this 45-track barrage.
TRANSVERSE TEMPORAL GYRUS
A 4-track EP documenting Animal Collective’s celebrated multimedia collaboration with filmmaker/artist Danny Perez at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in March 2010. Includes fold-out poster.
BBC RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP
DR WHO SOUND EFFECTS / OUT OF THIS WORLD
(BBC AUDIO LPs, 180g, 1000 copies of each)
Two welcome reissues from Auntie’s bunker of eldritch electronic experimentation. Dr Who Sound Effects was originally released in 1978 (no. 19 in the BBC Sound Effects series), and is worth picking up for the track titles alone: ‘Dalek Hatching Tanks On Skaros’, ‘Kraal Disorientation Chamber’, ‘The Shrine Of The Sisterhood Of Karn’, etc. Out Of This World: Atmospheric Sounds and Effects From The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, first issued in 1976, does exactly what it says on the tin, with contributions from Dick Mills, Delia Derbyshire, David Cain, Paddy Kingsland, Glynis Jones and assorted other heartthrobs.
CLEANERS FROM VENUS
BLOW AWAY YOUR TROUBLES / ON ANY NORMAL MONDAY / MIDNIGHT CLEANERS
(CAPTURED TRACKS LPs)
Cleaners From Venus are one of the greatest DIY pop groups ever to have come out of the UK, and count Ariel Pink and MGMT among their most vocal fans, but their classic albums have only ever been available on cassette. Until now! New York’s Captured Tracks are releasing Blow Away Your Troubles (1981), On Any Normal Monday (1982) and Midnight Cleaners (1982) on vinyl for the very first time, replete with bonus tracks, and god bless them for it. A handsome box set compiing all three LPs is currently available to pre-order direct from Captured, but your only opportunity to purchase each record individually is on Record Store Day 2012.
(CARGO 2xLP + 7″, 1000 copies)
One of the most compelling rap albums of 2011, originally released as a free download, lands on wax. Cargo have put together a pretty lavish edition – two LPs, pressed on white vinyl and housed in a gatefold sleeve, plus a bonus 7″ – and demand for it will be high, so be prepared to fight off some stiff competition to get your hands on one.
(ANGULAR 12″, 1000 COPIES)
Remember Angular’s Cold Waves & Minimal Electronics Vol.1? Compiled by Wierd boss Peter Schoolwerth, it was overshadowed a little by Veronica Vasicka’s The Minimal Wave Tapes Vol.1, which came out around the same time, but for us it was every bit as impressive a selection. One of the stand-out tracks was ‘Watching Trees’, a piece of dynamic, dark-hued synth-pop by US outfit Eleven Pond, taken from their one and only album, 1986’s Bas Relief. The track now receives its own 12″ single pressing, backed with a ‘Bedroom Mix’ and another album cut (‘Portugal’).
(WARNER BROS. 2xLP)
Never ones to shy away from the grand gesture, Flaming Lips have called upon a glittering array of guests – including Bon Iver, Ke$ha, Biz Markie, Erykah Badu, Yoko Ono, Prefuse73, Nick Cave and Chris Martin – for a double album of collaborations that’s exclusive to RSD 2012. Pressed on rainbow splattered vinyl, apparently no two copies of the edition will look the same.
THE FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON
‘PAPUA NEW GUINEA’/’MURMURATIONS’
(JUMPIN’ & PUMPIN’ 10″, 500 copies)
10″ revival for Brian Dougans and Gaz Cobain’s evergreen ’91 rave classic, backed with a new track, ‘Murmurations’, a taster of their forthcoming Environments 4 album.
GEOFF BARROW AND BEN SALISBURY (DROKK)
MUSIC INSPIRED BY MEGA-CITY ONE
The latest project from Portishead’s Geoff Barrow is conceived in the tradition of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s moody, synth-driven film scores of the 1970s and 80s; it’s an imaginary soundtrack for the sprawling urban chaos policed by Judge Dredd in the 2000AD comics. This limited CD edition includes a download code providing access to exclusive materials.
(BBE 7″, 225 copies)
One of the late J Dilla’s finest moments, ‘Think Twice’ – which appeared on 2001’s Welcome 2 Detroit collection – receives an ultra-limited 7″ pressing from BBE.
TRANSATLANTIC SESSIONS RECORDINGS
(WHIRLIE RECORDS LP, 180g, 1000 numbered copies)
The folk visionary’s various contributions to the BBC’s Transatlantic Sessions compiled in a deluxe gatefold edition by Whirlie Records, including recordings made on the eve of his death.
BLOODY EYES EP
(GREENSLEEVES 12″, 300 copies)
Keith Hudson is one of reggae’s most criminally under-appreciated artists – just ask Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, who reissued some of his key work through their Basic Replay imprint. 1978’s ‘Bloody Eyes’ finds the Jamaican at the top of his game, both as producer and vocalist; Greensleeves’ 2012 edition replicates their original, with a 12″ packaged in the label’s iconic house bag.
(ACCIDENTAL 7″, 150 copies)
Oink oink – it’s a highly limited 45 from Matthew Herbert, featuring his own remix of the entire One Pig album (compressed, one assumes, into 5 minutes or less) and a remix from his precocious protegé, Micachu.
New music from the former Pan Sonic co-pilot, courtesy of Comfortzone, the label that released his unbelievably swaggering 2010 cut ‘It’s A Muthang’.
THE OF TAPE VOL.2
(SONY 3xLP, 500 copies)
Limited triple vinyl edition of Odd Future’s latest group mixtape, combining the talents of Tyler, The Internet, Hodgy Beats, Frank Ocean, MellowHype, Taco, L Boy, Left Brain, Domogenesis and the rest.
PAUL GIOVANNI & MAGNET
‘WILLOW’S SONG’ / ‘GENTLE JOHNNY’
(SILVA SCREEN 7″, 500 copies)
Silva Screen, who reissued Paul Giovanni and Magnet’s The Wicker Man soundtrack in 2002, zone in on two of its most memorable songs for this one-off 7″ pressing: the silken ‘Willow’s Song’, synonymous with Britt Ekland’s saucy gyrations, and the simply stunning ‘Gentle Johnny’. This is the soundtrack version of ‘Willow’s Song’, sung by Lesley Mackie, as opposed to the film version, which was sung by Rachel Verney and appeared on Trunk Records’ mono edition of The Willow Man soundtrack in 1998. ‘Gentle Johnny’ didn’t appear in the heavily edited first cut of the movie, and so was also missing from the Trunk edition (which sourced its audio from Pinewood’s music and effects tapes for that original cut).
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD.
The first new music from John Lydon’s PiL in 20 years takes the form of a 4-track EP, and will be available as an RSD exclusive in advance of the upcoming full-length, This Is PiL.
THE SHAPE OF PUNK TO COME (A CHIMERICAL BOMBINATION IN 12 BURSTS)
(EPITAPH 2xLP, 300 copies)
This singular vision of prog-punk, the inspiration for so much prolix and inscrutable math-rock that has come since, is one of four Refused records being released on Record Store Day 2012. Pressed across two LPs, as far as we can tell this edition scarcely differs from Epitaph’s 2010 version, save for the fact that it’s limited to 300 copies the vinyl is clear rather than blue.
MEN OPENING UMBRELLAS AHEAD
(POPPYDISC LP, 500)
Poor mad Viv’s solo debut, which featured contributions from various members of the Bonzos and Traffic as well as an “unidentified West Indian taxi driver”. Lyrically it’s quite dazzling, whether Stanshall is talking about his penis (“Gotta strap him to me leg to go shopping”) or more serious socio-philosophical issues (“Tomorrow’s children will be sold / an unwittingly enrolled / In the night-soil of your selfishness”), and moreover it’s been unavailable on vinyl for 38 years.
WHERE WERE U IN ’92?
(CVLT MUSIC LP)
Speaking of English eccentrics, Zomby’s debut album is getting a long overdue vinyl pressing. Still his finest LP by a long stretch, this hyperactive tribute to ‘ardkore was originally released on CD on Actress’s Werk Discs in 2008, but the wax edition comes comes courtesy of Zomby’s own label, CVLT Music.
The following are 10 additional RSD releases that were announced after our top 20 was originally published
CARTER TUTTI VOID
(MUTE 7″ PICTURE DISC, 300 COPIES)
Mute have yet to reveal the exact contents of this 7″, but we want one regardless.
‘LAZULI’ / ‘EQUAL MIND’
(SUB POP 7″)
Two brand new songs on this white vinyl single from the US duo, specially released for RSD ahead of their eagerly anticipated album.
THE ELECTRONIC ANTHOLOGY PROJECT OF DINOSAUR JR
THE ELECTRONIC ANTHOLOGY PROJECT OF DINOSAUR, JR.
(ELECTRONIC ANTHOLOGY PROJECT CD/LP)
A couple of years back, Built To Spill bassist Brett Nelson covered seven songs from the BTS catalogue in a zippy synth-pop style, under the guise of The Electronic Anthology Project. Now he’s revived the idea, this time to tackle a bunch of Dinosaur, Jr. classics, and has even enlisted J. Mascis on lead vocals. Tell us you’re not curious to hear it.
THE LHI YEARS: SINGLE, NUDES & BACKSIDES (1968-71)
(LIGHT IN THE ATTIC LP)
RSD-exclusive of remastered recordings by the great songwriter, and even greater moustache-wearer. 50 random copies come with an LHI Records patch.
NICOLAS JAAR AND 78 EDITS
MIKE JAMES KIRKLAND: LUV N’ HAIGHT EDIT SERIES VOL.2
(UBIQUITY RECORDS LP)
Jaar and 78 Edits rework soulman MJK every which way.
PULSE EMITTER / DATE PALMS / EXPO 7O / FACEPLANT
4 WAY SPLIT
(IMMUNE 2xLP, 1000 COPIES)
Four specially commissioned tracks from these notable operators in the neo-synth/psych underground. Cut at D&M in Berlin, and includes free download card.
‘LONESOME SOUND’ / ‘MOSQUITO’
(THRILL JOCKEY 2×7″)
7″ double-pack collecting the Chicago institution’s first two singles, originally released on Thrill Jockey and Torsion Music in 1993.
SACRED BONES PRESENTS: TODO MUERE VOL.2
(SACRED BONES LP)
Second RSD compilation from the hipper-than-thou New York label, featuring the likes of Led Er Est, War, Crystal Stilts, Amen Dunes, Psychic Ills and The Men.
PRETTY IN PINK / THE BREAKFEST CLUB / EMPIRE RECORDS
Students of kitsch, rejoice: the soundtracks of three classic teen movies are being pressed up on white vinyl by UMe for RSD 2012.