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Our Record Store Day picks

Oh we may scoff at Record Store Day but for every piece of charity shop tat masquerading as collectible re-issue there is something of interest to actual music listeners. Let's take a look at what we recommend you get your hands on this year.
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Alan Partridge
Knowing Me Knowing You

Before I hear any complaints about RSD having gone too far this year I would like to present unto you a limited picture disc of Alan Partridge episodes. Steve Coogan's famous broadcasting idiot is now happy to spin 'round your turntables spouting misinformed nonsense about issues close to the heart of Norfolk. 

Bardo Pond
Acid Guru Pond

Ahhhh. It wouldn't be Record Store Day without something from Bardo Pond. They have almost made it their own over the last few years with a series of releases that have proved rather popular, certainly amongst the serious listeners to whom Record Store Day is a Justin Bieber step too far. This is a collaboration with Japanese freaks Acid Mothers Temple and comes on all kinds of shades of vinyl. "Majestic flute playing" says the press release. Stick that in your dreadlock Bieber.   

Blood Sausage
The Short and Painful Life of…

I'm trying to remember anything about Blood Sausage. I remember them being around at the same time as Cornershop and Huggy Bear (members of the latter appear here). They were a punk and poetry ensemble led by Dale Shaw who went around upsetting people and causing general mayhem. This is the first time their collected works have appeared on vinyl.   
  • Vinyl Double LP (DYI014LP)
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition

Carlton Melton
Aground

Psychedelic professor types Carlton Melton follow up the monolithic riff zig-zagging of 'Out To Sea' with five more tracks in the very same vein. These tracks didn't find a place amongst the sequencing of that record, but now they've washed up on shore and are ready to hypnotise your ears, which is a thing psych rock does. Lovely LP via Agitated.

Cat's Eyes
Chameleon Queen

This is a special Record Store Day 7" from the Horrors longhair and his pal/ladyfriend as Cat's Eyes. Cutely, they've drawn the sleeve themselves and in a move that makes me want to scream "sell out" at them the B side is a cover of ‘Das Verlassene Mägdlein’ by Austrian composer Hugo Wolf. 

Cavern of Anti-Matter
Void Versions

Esteemed lord of hauntology Tim Gane was once in Stereolab but hey, now he is in a band with a way more convoluted name, Cavern of Anti-Matter. His kosmische solo excursions can be long, hypnotic dance jams or rapidfire, throwaway pop cuts with Bradford Cox. Following on from his long, pick-your-own-adventure album 'void beats / invocation trex', he now offers a remix record with takes on his work by Hieroglyphic Being and Karen Gwyer. Two awesome people remixing an also awesome person. A nice musical thing.

Clint Mansell & Kronos Quartet
Requiem For A Dream

Clint Mansell seems like a nice guy with a great name and rather talented too. This is the first ever vinyl edition of his  haunting score to Darren Aronofsky's 2000 film Requiem For A Dream, performed by Kronos Quartet. Performed by Kronos Quartet, have those words ever led to bad music? I sincerely doubt it.  

Dirty Three
Sad and Dangerous, Mysterious and Exciting

Well this is exciting. It's very, very early recordings by the Dirty Three that they recorded on a four track machine with only three tracks working. It was initially released as a tape to be sold at shows and eventually got a vinyl release in 1994.  Now back on green vinyl, Mick Turner has raided the archives for bits and bats to add to it. 

Ezra Furman
Songs By Others

This is a limited transparent vinyl LP in which the gender-blurring rocker has a crack at covering some of his favourite songs by the likes of the Replacements, Little Richard, Beck, Arcade Fire and more. I was hoping his cover of Bill Fox's 'My Baby Crying' would be on here but you can't have everything in life can you? 

Howard Marks
Do Not Go Gentle : Howard Marks reads Dylan Thomas

Ah now this is going to be a sad one now that Mr Marks has passed away. This is a recording of the former ganja smuggler turned writer reading some Dylan Thomas poetry in his deep Welsh baritone. Originally released on Tim Burgess's O Genesis imprint as a limited edition Record Store Day release and now more widely available.

J Dilla
The Diary

Listen up beat-fans: a whole full-length album of J Dilla material, previously utterly unreleased. And get this: Dilla is on the MC duties here, spitting bars over productions by the likes of Madlib and Karriem Riggins. The Diary is thus a very fresh look at another side of a major hip-hop talent. On Mass Appeal.

Jason Molina
The Townes Van Zandt Covers

It's easy to see how Jason Molina drew influence from Townes Van Zandt; his sparse, languishing folk songs absorbed much of Van Zandt's still and modest approach to country songwriting, and it was imparted in both his solo and band records. These two tracks initially appeared on a tape sent to multi-disciplinary artist William Schaff (responsible for artworks as far and wide as Okkervil River, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Molina's own Songs: Ohia), and now they reappear on RSD 7", don't they? Because nothing is sacred but it's still sometimes nice.

Khruangbin
People Everywhere (Still Alive)

Chilled out folks Khruangbin create an extended version of 'People Everywhere' from their recent album The Universe Smiles Upon You. It says here that it's the perfect soundtrack to a beach festival sunrise. Just imagine. Overleaf there is a dub version too. The perfect soundtrack to not getting stressed on Record Store Day. Comes with lazer cut art stencil.  

Kings of Convenience
Quiet Is The New Loud

Despite the fact that the Remote Viewer had coined the phrase months before, it was Kings of Convenience who hit pay dirt with 'Quiet is the New Loud'. This was their debut LP and was a sensational smash on release. Their winsome brand of Norwegian indie folk is indeed very quiet, but also very pretty and alluring. They sing in a near whisper and guitars intertwine in a loving manner. All their three albums have been re-issued for Record Store Day. 

Low / S. Carey
Not a Word / I Won't Let You

Slowcore legends (is that a phrase I'm allowed to type?) and Bon Iver wonderdrummer team up for a collaborative RSD 10". Here, they tie up one anothers' loose ends: seven minute Low-burner "Not A Word" is touched up with help from S. Carey, and vice versa for "I Won't Let You". This is a delicate, moving, indie rawk kinda thing; both bands enjoy making pretty music, all the time, so there you go. 

Lush
Origami

Thank God you didn't rush out to buy Lush's recent 'Chorus' CD box set thinking that there was little chance of a vinyl edition because, strangely, only a few months after the previous box set there is a new box set, this time on vinyl. There is no doubt that it will be well presented (each record is on a different coloured vinyl) and at least half the music will be decent shoegaze but...phew.... these Lush people are really making you dig deep this year. Contains all five of their albums including first time on vinyl for their B sides collection 'Topolino'.     

Mark Pritchard / Bibio / Clark
A Badman Sound / Heath Town / Inf Inf Inf Inf

This looks like a good Record Store Day release. Three of Warp's best and brightest celebrate rave culture with a track each. Pritchard does a throwback jungle anthem, Bibio takes cues from 'A Badman Sound' and uses that 'yeah woo' sample and Clark makes laid back ambience like early Aphex Twin. Bound to be a winner on the day my lad. 

Masayoshi Fujita and Guy Andrews
Needle Six

Phil thinks Guy Andrews was the guy who sang that cover of 'Mad World' but I think he's hopelessly wrong. Guy Andrews in instead a London based producer and here he has collaborated on a live BBC 'Late Junction' session with Japanese vibraphone player Masayoshi Fujita. It has now been released on a very limited 12" to make your Record Store Day just that little bit more improvised.  

Miracle Legion
Portrait of a Damaged Family

Ah now this is more like it Record Store Day. 'Portrait of a Damaged Family' was Miracle Legion's fourth and to date final record but they'd got themselves in a right old muddle with their record company at the time so it was only given a small release. In fact as a Miracle Legion obsessive I only found out about it's existence years later. For the uninitiated, Miracle Legion were a popular mid '80s band that followed closely in the footsteps of REM's early dream like pastoral pop. After they split, singer Mark Mulcahy released a series of acclaimed solo albums of which Thom Yorke is a fan. The band is re-uniting for some shows this summer. Come to England, please.  

Pinback
Blue Screen Life

Who knew that 'Blue Screen Life' sold over 100,000 copies? I honestly thought I was the only person to own a copy. It was the second record by post Three Mile Pilot band Pinback who continued to deliver excellent indie records over the years but there's something about 'Blue Screen Life' that sets it apart from the others. Their sound is gentle twisting guitar pop with an emo edge to the vocals  - kind of like some kind of post hardcore Field Music in terms of unconventional structures but the overall sound is more likely to appeal to fans of Death Cab For Cutie.

Pinkshinyultrablast
Happy Songs For Happy Zombies

Pinkshinysupermassiveblastoise enter the wonderful world of reissues with a 10", RSD-prepped celebration of 'Happy Songs For Happy Zombies'. The Russian shoegaze outfit treat their host genre more ecstatically than A Sunny Day In Glasgow and Cocteau Twins put together, injecting some well-needed (or at least not unwelcome) thrash techniques into their sweet, dreamy music. This one dates back to 2009. Olde school.

Richard Pinhas & John Livengood
Cyborg Sally

This record marked the return of French electronic pioneer Pinhas back in 1994. The results of a two year collaboration with John Livengood, it's a sophisticated work which placed Pinhas back at the forefront of electronic music. Red coloured vinyl edition on Souffle Continu. Mmmm souffle - that's a word I didn't expect to type today. 

Run The Jewels
VRTJ Viewer

Esteemed rap duo and cat advocate society Run The Jewels are having a good time releasing acclaimed self-titled records with different numbers at the end of them -- they're half way through completing no. 3 as we speak -- so here's a nifty looking piece of cardboard branded after them, for your viewing pleasure. Ah, RSD, never change.

Section 25
Alfresco

Vintage Factory outfit Section 25 were always a bit underrated following as they did in the footsteps of New Order and A Certain Ratio. Blackpool's finest are still at it though and this limited (to 250 on clear vinyl) live LP is a recording of the time last year that they rocked the seaside town to it's very foundations. Will be much sought after for Factory nuts.  

Shirley Collins
English Songs Volume 2

Back in her early days English folk singer Shirley Collins released a series of 7"s for the Collector Records label. These rare artefacts are now being re-issued and this Volume 2 is (confusingly) the third of the EPs. Shirley this will be most sought after things this Record Store Day (ok..ok..look, please don't judge me, I'm trying my best).  

Suicide
Dream Baby Dream

I had absolutely no idea that 'Dream Baby Dream' didn't appear on any Suicide full length album. This is the first time in fact that this classic song has been re-issued on 7".  For the uninitiated Suicide kind of sound like Elvis Presley singing over a Trio backing track and this simple song is wonderfully effective.  

The Chills
Pyramid / When The Poor Can Reach The Moon

The Chills comeback album 'Silver Bullets' really was a winner. A complex album which rewarded multiple listens and it's almost unprecedented for a band to be away for so long and come back with something that's almost the equal of earlier work. This Record Store Day release takes 'Silver Bullets' centre piece 'Pyramids'/ 'Where the Poor Can Reach the Moon' and pairs them with exclusive versions of ‘Night Of Chill Blue’ and ‘Walk On The Beach’ which were both recorded Karma Sound Studios in Bang Sarai Thailand in 2013. What were they doing in Thailand you might ask? With music this good, I really don't care.    

The Orb
Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld

Sheesh! The Orb's legendary debut LP gets a 4LP re-issue to mark its 25th anniversary. An odyssey of ambient and dance the record has many stand outs such as 'Little Fluffy Clouds' making it one of the few places where psych and dance properly collide. Comes in the original artwork. I'm not sure if there are bonus tracks as it doesn't say.   

Various
C86

Well this is pretty exciting. As we all probably know by now C86 was the legendary tape compilation of indie bands that pretty much kick started an entire movement. It was issued on an expanded CD last year but this is the first time it has ever been pressed onto vinyl. Contains all the greats and not so greats from 1986 vintage indie music.  

Virginia Wing
Rhonda

Probably one of the better Record Store Day releases this year, ace London quartet Virginia Wing tease you a couple of new tracks from what will be their brand new record in due course. If it's anything like the last one it will appeal to fans of Broadcast, Stereolab and fans of all things kraut and pop.