There’s a fire brewing along the edge of the Arctic Circle. And if gets any hotter it may just begin to melt the icecaps. This week sees the return of the raw talent that is Nicole Willis. Brooklyn-born and now Helsinki-based, her first two albums with the Soul Investigators (Keep Reachin’ Up (2005) and Tortured Soul (2013)) are marvels of original, sensational soul music – they’re more than 60s “throwbacks”.
Stax Records, 1965
Had Otis Redding and his band not been tragically killed in 1967, we can only imagine what head-spinning music they would have made. It’s been said that if Otis and company had let go of their ethos for playing every single show they were booked for, they might have kept their feet on the ground, instead of boarding a plane bound for the storm that claimed their lives. We can’t know that. Their tireless work ethic and commitment to audiences brought about stacks of stirring soul that’s among the greatest examples of music full stop, as this week’s Choice Cut makes clear.
This year’s spate of Record Store Day releases were announced yesterday to the delight of ever-eager vinyl-buyers. Some 592 exclusives will be available in independent record stores on Saturday, April 18, 2015.
Vinyl is the most beautiful physical music format there has ever been, in my opinion. But it can very quickly become an expensive vice for the music aficionado who craves every limited release from the dozens of bands in his/her ever-expanding library. That was me for a time. But as well as space issues forcing me to reflect more seriously on all the possessions in my keeping, after realising that certain so-called ‘limited editions’ I’d forked out for at full-price on previous RSDs were still available for half that months later, I’ve wised up. (Lord knows I love Disclosure, but first their label, PMR Records, offers us a mispress, then a single-sided 12” that is in no way ‘limited’.)
The line didn’t seem so long at first. It was only when I had cleared the greying industry buildings that blocked the record shop from view that I realised I my trip may have been in vain. And the worst part was it was only 7:30am in the morning.
It was Record Store Day 2012, and I was heading to Rough Trade East to try and get my hands on the some of the hot exclusive releases that were out specially for the day.
So it was back to eBay were I’ve already been seeking out the best deal I can from the 40+ copies of The Fall that have been listed there in the past two days. And much to my delight I was able to snap up a copy this evening for just over £25 (the original sale price being £15). Ah, Gorillaz complex over, I can back to work… or at least gaze out of my window and daydream about little pink plastic bags floating on a highway.
Here’s something for all you collectors out there: one-of-a-kind Ratchet & Clank vinyl sculpts created by Jason Freeny and approved by Insomniac Games themselves.