Record Store Day – Saturday 22nd April 2017
What should you look out for as a reggae lover?
Here we go again; the annual vinyl jamboree that is Record Store Day. It is an event that divides opinion, on one hand it is a good way of promoting smaller labels and independent record stores; it is a reminder to the general public that record shops do still exist! On the downside I have heard stories of delays in the pressing of smaller runs of records, because of the majors clogging up the system with their Record Store Day releases. How much of that is valid I am not sure, although as the shortage of pressing plants is well documented, there could be some truth in that.
Looking at the list there seems to be the usual good, bad and obscure. Highlights (depending upon your taste!) include a couple of David Bowie albums, singles from The Smiths and Pink Floyd and plenty of interesting live LPs from the likes of Bill Evans and Peter Hook. But unfortunately we do get the bad; do we really need Barbie Girl from Aqua rearing its ugly head again? But on the whole this year’s line up is looking pretty promising.
So what is on offer for the reggae lover? I have listed all the reggae related releases that I can see below and picked out a couple of highlights that I will be trying to get hold of.
Lion Vibes Records
The LP that I am most excited about is being released by Brixton based record shop ‘Lion Vibes’. The shop is based in the Granville Arcade and is an oasis of new releases and original JA stock (where Matt ‘Lion Vibes’ Downs digs this stuff up from I don’t know, it would be a dream to follow him on one of his Jamaican digging trips!). This limited Record Store Day release is called ‘Use Your Loaf Dub’ and comes out on the Lion Vibes Records imprint. It was recorded over a three month period by producer Matt and was mixed live by Colin ‘Bulby’ York at Mixing Lab in Kingston JA. Add in the cover artwork by respected artist Gavin Turk and you have an album that is both original and will be highly sought after. Check out the video below to get an idea of what to expect musically.
The second release from Lion Vibes is also a must have, it is an exclusive EP from Kiko Bun called ‘Shy Man’. Below is another video for you to watch. It sounds like a decent slice of heavy roots and the dub is sounding very interesting. Just the fact that it is an original release rather than a reissue gives it five stars from me. Record Store Day shouldn’t all be about re-cycling music with live albums and dodgy picture discs!
So what do you think? I can see that Record Store Day appeals to indie kids and rock fans, but this year the reggae list looks pretty strong, if not a little short. Anything to promote independent shops and smaller labels and bands has got to be a good thing, surely?
Let me know in the comments if you will be queuing up anywhere and joining in the fun. I hopefully will be heading to Lion Vibes that morning so may well see you there.