Dinked Editions: Our Favourite Releases

Dinked Editions have provided us with some of the loveliest vinyl pressings of recent times. Allow us to wax lyrical about a choice few below. Dinked. Independent but stronger together.

In 2018, Drift, Piccadilly, Resident and Transmission - all excellent shops, and all good friends of ours - banded together to start up Dinked Editions. A project that offers bespoke versions of new albums and reissues, Dinked Editions does so in a collective way that benefits the wider ecosphere of indie retailers like ourselves: "independent but stronger together," as the strapline goes. Two years on and the Dinked undertaking has proven a huge success, lifting the lid on dozens of LPs through new pressings that are always presented lovingly, and helping us all keep our heads above the financial water. So, as Dinked closes in on a half-century of releases, here's a list of our personal favourites - with everlasting thanks in particular to Nat (Resident) and Rupert (Drift) for their non-stop work in keeping it all going.

Moses Boyd - Dark Matter

Dinked Edition No.36

Moses Boyd’s debut LP ‘Dark Matter’ was probably subject to the most ambitious Dinked Edition yet, coming emblazoned with black-and-white Union Jack. But did it deserve it? Yes, a million times yes. Boyd is a genius drummer, cracking out patterns that would sound impossible even if a drum machine was playing them. He is also a brilliant collaborator - ‘Dark Matter’ features contributions from Poppy Ajudha, Obongjayar and others without ever coming across as contrived.

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The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin (10th Anniversary Edition)

Dinked Archive Edition No.1

Despite being a wonderful album, The Low Anthem’s 2009 LP ‘Oh My God, Charlie Darwin’ is noteworthy for being the first of Dinked’s Archive Editions. But also, it is actually a wonderful album. There’s a mature and playful folk sound at work here, running from foot-stamping romps to ambience experiments. More than anything it’s the singing that stands out here - the band knows when to use rollicking gang vocals, patient harmonies, or a lonesome solo.

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Algiers - There Is No Year

Dinked Edition No. 34

Algiers have always been a potent mix. The band draws mostly on soul and industrial music, two genres that are both intense but in very different ways. ‘There Is No Year’ is perhaps the most gothic-sounding of the Dinked Editions, helped along by the introduction of ex-Bloc Party drummer Matt Tong (I did wonder what he was up to). The star of the show remains vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Franklin James Fisher whose performance is equal-parts inspiring and terrifying.

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Squirrel Flower - I Was Born Swimming

Dinked Edition No.33

I was caught off-guard by Squirrel Flower. That name didn’t scream slowcore to me, but the music sure did. ‘I Was Born Swimming’ is full of incredibly rich indie-rock which takes its time. It’s an incredibly mature performance, so much so that even when Squirrel Flower is rhyming “honey” with “funny’ there’s an assuredness about it. Perhaps it comes in part from a family that supports her music - Squirrel Flower’s father even plays bass on the album.

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Fenella - Fenella

Dinked Edition No.29

Jane Weaver is probably the most reliable musician working in any of the various psychedelic genres. For years she now has released album after album of psychp-op wonder, but with the eponymous record from her new group Fenella she has the chance to drop the pop. Written as a soundtrack to an obscure Hungarian animated film called, Weaver, along with Peter Philipson and Raz Ullah, conjures dark oscillating vistas that will haunt your dreams and your nightmares too.

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Portico Quartet - Memory Streams

Dinked Edition No.27

Does what Portico Quartet do count as jazz? I don't even know these days - the sound has splintered into so many different factions, all of which are constantly reshaping and cross-pollinating, that I can't really see where the genre’s borders end at this point in time. Portico Quartet’s fifth LP ‘Memory Streams’ certainly approaches things with a sensibility indebted at least in part to free jazz, but like their contemporaries Polar Bear this is mixed with post-rock and contemporary classical influences to create a run of cinematic soundscapes. 

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Blanck Mass - Animated Violence Mild

Dinked Edition No.19

Dinked releases have rarely got as downright gory as Blanck Mass’ fourth album. ‘Animated Violence Mild’ sees the one born Benjamin Power distill the energy of a B-movie slasher flick into music by welding together glam-rock, power electronics and eurotrash. Never mind that it sounds nothing like its Dinked brethren - ‘Animated Violence Mild’ doesn’t sound much like anything being released right now. A declaration of war made at a particularly messy birthday party.

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Dinked Edition No.15

Few artists do spare balladry as well as Jesca Hoop. Hoop’s fifth solo LP ‘STONECHILD’ is an album of small sounds – many songs feature little more than gently-picked acoustic guitar underpinning Hoop’s pertinent ruminations on motherhood. While the sonic world of the album may be close to Aldous Harding, the earthiness of Hoop’s delivery across ‘STONECHILD’ invokes both Richard Dawson and Gillian Welch.

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Cate Le Bon - Reward

Dinked Edition No.14

Even though she has been an indie darling for several years now, I reckon we still underrate Cate Le Bon a bit. I think this comes from the same impulse as why comedy films don't often win best picture at the Academy Awards – the craft behind whimsy is rarely valued as much as that which produces loftier art. Cate Le Bon’s quirky and quixotic compositional knack is in full effect once again on her superb fifth studio LP ‘Reward’. Your record getting a Dinked edition might not be the same as winning an Oscar, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

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John Carpenter - Halloween (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Dinked Edition No.2

Sometimes I think we might as well rename ourselves John Carpenter Records. Seriously, people have gone crazy for the legendary film composer in recent years, and there have been bucketloads of new editions of Carpenter’s archival work as a result. As such, it makes for a nice change when we get to write about something new that Carpenter has done. Well, sort of new – this here is the music that he cooked up for the 2018 remake of his own classic horror flick ‘Halloween’. Sounds pretty much exactly like what you'd expect a reworked ‘Halloween’ score to sound like - needling synth sequences, eerie keyboards, that kind of thing.

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Dry Cleaning - Sweet Princess / Boundary Road Snacks and Drinks

Dinked Edition No.30

Britain has a noble tradition of what you might call chat-punk, rock music where bright and sonorous guitars are offset by the most deadpan deliveries. The latest band to emerge from this long line is Dry Cleaning, a group of Londoners who rally around the arch detachment of vocalist Flo Shaw. Dry Cleaning’s Dinked edition yokes together their first two EPs ‘Sweet Princess’ (2018) and the excellently-titled ‘Boundary Road Snacks And Drinks’ (2019).

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Moon Duo - Stars Are The Light

Dinked Edition No.23

Stars are, indeed, the light - and even if they weren’t, who are we to question lunar luminaries Moon Duo about the logic of the night sky? On their seventh studio LP the freaky-deaky pair claim to have discovered the delights of the dancefloor. There is a little more DJ-friendly thrust here than on their previous Krautscapades, but Moon Duo’s strict adherence to purple-haze production tricks means that ‘Stars Are The Light’ often ends up a lot closer to Peaking Lights’ post-dub than it does to disco. Atmospheres abound.

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Snapped Ankles - Stunning Luxury

Dinked Edition No.6

One of the more eccentric acts on this Dinked list, Snapped Ankles cram a whole bushel of ideas into their second LP ‘Stunning Luxury’. Anchored by barrelling grooves which are part-NYC no-wave and part-Motorik Krautrock, Snapped Ankles deploy shamanistic psychedelic treatments as a Trojan horse with which to disguise an arch counter-cultural fervour they have derived from Gang Of Four. It makes for a rambunctious and charged record. 

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Modern Studies - The Weight of the Sun

Dinked Edition No.43

The Dinked Edition of Modern Studies’ ‘The Weight Of The Sun’ comes on ‘sunburst splatter vinyl’. This colour scheme proves a fitting choice for a record of such dreamy folk-pop. There is the lilt of Wilco-style Americana to tracks like ‘Heavy Water’, but the fact that Modern Studies hail from Scotland also lends ‘The Weight Of The Sun’ its own rootsy charm. Throw in a dash of psychedelic dreaminess and you really do have yourself a sunburst splatter of an LP.

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