Saturday 21st April, at a record shop near you!
It's come round to our favourite time of year again. It's the time when vinyl lovers from across the UK take to the streets and record shops of the nation for one day only to celebrate our communal love for the vinyl record in all its glory. On this fine day in April each year, independent labels come together to bring us some of their biggest and best releases from across the musical spectrum. They all come out on this particular day, and are exclusively available from independent physical record shops.
As you well know, the vinyl scene has had something of a renaissance in recent years, and there's no doubt in my mind that Record Store Day has played a key part in this revival. So whether it's an obscure Brazilian reissue you're after, or the latest in wonky electronics, you'll find something to peak your interest on Saturday 21st April in a record shop near you!
We don't stock these releases, as we only operate online and so are forbidden! However, this has the benefit of meaning we can go back to being strictly collectors for the day. So with this in mind here's our top 10 picks of the releases for RSD18, in no particular order...
1) Pat Thomas Introduces Marijata (Mr. Bongo)
Pat Thomas embodies Highlife music, so when he champions a band you pay attention if you know what's good for you. In 1976, at the height of the afrobeat movement in West Africa, he teamed up with up and coming afro-funk outfit, Marijata, to bring us one of the finest Ghanaian albums ever created. The LP fuses rugged afro-funk with a reggae feel imported straight from the Caribbean islands, to produce a truly unique masterpiece. And Brighton-based imprint Mr. Bongo have kindly brought out a high quality reissue to allow modern audiences to enjoy this rare gem in it's original form.
2) Snarky Puppy - Shark Tank (GroundUp Music)
Snarky Puppy is a fusion-based jazz band, compiled of some of the finest musicians Brooklyn has to offer. If you're used to looking towards Robert Glasper and his gang for inspiration in musicianship, then you're no doubt aware of this band of NY virtuosos. Shark Tank is a previously unreleased jazz-funk gem, available until now only via their live performances. So grab your copy of this excellent 12" from your favourite record shop at RSD18.
3) Robert Glasper Experiment - The ArtScience Remixes (Blue Note)
If you had asked me for a wish-list of potential collaborations in recent years, Robert Glasper and Kaytranda would have been somewhere right near the top. And here we are in 2018, courtesy of Blue Note Records, getting just what we wanted. Robert Glasper is the go-to keyboard master for any fan of contemporary Jazz and Neo-Soul. His talent and musicianship is rivalled only by his exceptional taste and originality, and this has led to some of the most-notable releases in the genre in recent years. Kaytranada takes the word originality to a whole new level, single handedly defining a sound thanks to his genre-bending remixes of classic R'n'B artists such as Janet Jackson and Amerie. Blue Note have now answered our prayers, and have provided us with a Kaytra remix EP of Glapser's 2016 'The ArtScience' album.
4) Dave Grusin - The Friends of Eddie Coyle (Wewantsounds)
Oscar-nominated composer and jazz pianist, Dave Grusin, has been responsible for some of the greatest fusion soundtracks ever created. His tracks have been sampled by artists from across the board, from J Dilla to Notorious B.I.G, and that is just a testament to the quality and versatility of his music. This is the first ever release of the soundtrack to the 1973 classic cult film by Peter Yates, and what a soundtrack it is!
5) Beginning of The End - Fishman (Strut Records)
The Beginning of The End was a funk band from the heart of the Bahamas, fronted by three brothers born in Nassau. The group formed in 1969 and achieved a US chart hit in 1971 with their latin-funk masterpiece 'Funky Nassau'. Originally the B-side to 'Doin' The Funk Do', 'Fishman' is dusty soul groove, brought to life by Munnings powerfully raw vocal and a bluesy guitar lick that cuts right through the mix. Strut Records have decided to give this B-side a new lease of life by making it the main event of a brand new 45, with a nice printed sleeve to match.
6) Jkriv - Férias '77 Reworks (Razor-N-Tape)
Razor 'N' Tape co-head steps up to the plate for this latest release from the New York house label. This is a compilation of edits and remixes produced over the last decade by Jkriv, and cuts through vast swathes of Brazilian music from the almost Balearic sounds of Dotô to the tropical funk of Rainha. Expect summertime dance floor bangers throughout!
7) Oumou Sangaré - Mogoya Remixed (No Format)
The LP, 'Mogoya', from Malian singer Oumou Sangare was released last year to great critical acclaim. And one of our favourite things about the release of such a great album, is the remix EP that inevitably follows. This release is no exception, with a stomping bunch of edits from such masters of modern electronics as Auntie Flo, Sampha and Flako. It even includes a classic soulful afro-house cut from none other than St. Germain!
8) Chain Reaction - Search For Tomorrow (Rain & Shine)
We had to include a true collectors delight in our top 10, so here it is. This funk masterpiece was originally released on Blue Wave Records in 1979 and has been causing a stir among fans of rare funk ever since. The original now changes hands for upwards of £500, so Rain & Shine have kindly provided us with this reissue for RSD18.
9) Shaun Escoffery - Days Like This [DJ Spinna Mix] (Oyster Music)
Anyone that spent the early 2000's raving to soulful house will be more than familiar with this one, and we've chucked it in for exactly that reason. This is vocal, deep house at it's finest and is the perfect anthem to usher in the Summer. First time reissued on vinyl in 15 years.
10) Djavan - A Voz O Violão A Música De.. (Vinilisssimo)
Last, but most certainly not least, we've got a long-awaited Latin reissue from Vinilisssimo. Originally released in 1976 on the legendary Som Livre label, this album from singer Djavan explores the depths of Brazilian music and has become something of a must-have for fans of the MPB genre. It hasn't been reissued on vinyl for over 30 years, so you can grab your copy now thanks to RSD18.
So there you have it, our picks of the bunch. But that's not to say there isn't a wealth of other great releases coming out as well. You can check out the full list here.
Support your local record shop and the vinyl industry in general by getting out and about and picking up some of these fine releases. What's more, you might even catch your favourite DJ popping up at a variety of free in-stores taking place throughout the UK!
The Rook Records Team.
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