EDM on RSD? Record Store Day’s Top 10 Dance Releases
You don't have to fight over indie-rock scraps anymore!
Record Store Day is great for indie fans, dad-rockers, and collectors of oddities. They’ve got their Beach House seven-inch, their vinyl reissue of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” their Jimmy Fallon novelty single. The annual celebration of independent record stores has never offered much to fans of electronic dance music, but this year there are some real treasures scattered in amongst the hipster lures and Boomer bait — assuming you can elbow your way around the speculators, who’ll be uploading their wares to eBay and Discogs before the day is done. To aid you in your quest, here are 10 essential Record Store Day releases for house heads, drone addicts, and beat freaks, encompassing everything from desert blues to an unusual tribute to asparagus. (Seriously.) Good hunting! Tinariwen, Tassili Remixes EP (V2/Coop)
Animal Collective, Portugal the Man, and Gypsyphonic all contribute remixes of songs off the Tuareg-Berber band’s 2011 album Tassili, but the real gem here is Four Tet’s rework of “Tenere Taqhim Tossam,” which stretches the band’s desert blues over a trim, percussive 4/4 framework and adds a rosy glow of synthesizers. Fittingly, the EP, limited to 500 copies, comes on colored wax.
Hot Chip, “Night and Day (Daphni Mix)” (Domino)
Caribou’s Dan Snaith has been on a tear lately — playing eight-hour sets in Berlin, remixing everyone from Carl Craig to Emeralds, and giving dance music a serious shove into left field via his excellent Jiaolong label. Somewhere in there, he also found time to turn Hot Chip’s “Night and Day,” the lead single from their forthcoming album In Our Heads, into one of his strangest, most potent club jams yet. So potent, in fact, that you won’t miss the B-side on this one-sided single. You can get a taste on Cosmo Vitelli’s recent Beats in Space mix; Daphni’s remix enters around the 56-minute mark.
Animal Collective, “Transverse Temporal Gyrus” (Domino)
Back in 2010, long before the Occupy movement had set its sights on the institutional art world, Animal Collective staged their own takeover of New York’s Guggenheim, working with the visual artist Danny Perez to turn the museum’s rotunda into a heavily psychedelic, site-specific performance piece. This four-track 12-inch EP is apparently “a collage consisting of the original tracks and live recordings made for and at” the Guggenheim installation; it comes with a 24 x 36-inch foldout poster. Time to replace the bulb in that black light in your bedroom?
John Cale, Extra Playful Remixes (Domino)
I can’t find this on the list of official RSD releases, and it may be U.K.-only, but it might be worth hitting up that ex-flatmate in London and calling in a long-promised favor. Songs from John Cale’s recent Extra Playful EP are given over to some of electronic music’s most exciting experimentalists: Actress, Alva Noto, Leyland Kirby, Tim Hecker, and the Estonian synth-pop savant Maria Minerva, who transports the downtown New York icon to Ibiza via her “Freaky Café Del Mar Remix.”
Zomby, Where Were U in ’92? (CVLT Music)
Where were you in ’08, when Zomby’s debut album dropped? No matter how down you were, you weren’t playing his tribute to the glory days of rave on your turntable, because it was never released on wax. Finally, the cantankerous dubstepper rectifies that situation with this vinyl edition on his own CVLT Music imprint. Let’s just hope he’s better about getting product to the distributor than he is about showing up for gigs.
Brackles, “Rinse Presents Brackles (12″ Number Two)” (Rinse)
I haven’t heard too much about Brackles’ upcoming album for London bass-music powerhouse Rinse Recordings, which is weird; Rinse artists like Katy B and Roska have had considerable success, and Brackles’ brand of deep, melodic U.K. funky is some of the most distinctive in the scene. There’s not much information on this one beyond that it’s a two-tracker “pressed in very limited numbers and immediately deleted,” according to Rough Trade; check out his SoundCloud page and a new mix for i-D magazine for a taste of his Spartan-but-sensual beats.
Pulse Emitter/Date Palms/Expo 70/Face Plant, 4 Way Split (Immune Recordings)
If you’re the type who routinely maxes out your credit card at sites like Mimaroglu, stocking up on hand-painted cassettes, lathe-cut acetates, and other odds and ends from the deepest corners of the DIY underground, you’re going to want this: Noise scenesters Pulse Emitter, Date Palms, Expo 70, and Face Plant each contribute one side on this double LP: that’s synth infinity times four.
Chuck Person (Oneohtrix Point Never), “A.D.D. Complete” (Software)
Speaking of the synth underground, here’s Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin in his Chuck Person guise with a seven-inch single limited to 360 copies. Similar in spirit to his Sunsetcorp project on YouTube, “A.D.D. Complete” finds Lopatin chopping and screwing 1980s soft rock into loopy narcotic bliss.
Gerry Read, “Rhino”/”All the Time” (Fourth Wave)
Just 19 years old, the U.K.’s Gerry Read burst upon the scene last year with a slew of releases for labels like Delsin, 2nd Drop, and the Ramp Recordings offshot Fourth Wave, showcasing a moody, murky strain of house with a clear debt to artists like Moodymann, Farben, and the Mole. This hand-stamped, clear 12-inch is his fifth single for Fourth Wave, and it sounds just as essential as his previous releases.
Various, Spargel Trax Vol. 1 & 2 (Don’t Be Afraid)
If all that record shopping has made you hungry, Semtek’s Don’t Be Afraid label has just the thing for you: Spargel Trax, a two-part set of EPs dedicated to that European seasonal delicacy — asparagus. (British asparagus season also begins on April 21.) They’ve gone so far as to press up one record on green wax, for British tastes, and the other on purplish white vinyl, in honor of the Germans’ favored weißer Spargel. Along with eight cuts of heavenly analog house, there’s also a bilingual pair of recipes included. You can listen to your RSD haul later. Mahlzeit!