Following on from our recent trip to the States here are two more record stores that we managed to spend some time in.
For the vinyl junkies the first store really needs no introduction, but for those who don’t spend their afternoons day dreaming of trawling through piles and piles of records in a dank basement we’ll fill you in.
The Thing is a legendary thrift store located in Green Point, Brooklyn NY. The shop itself is packed with second hand delights from old electronics to the latest in trendy vintage clothing. Head towards the back of the store and you start to see a why this place is so famous amongst record collectors. Stacks and stacks of records piled from floor to ceiling dominate the back of the shop. The guy in the shop was showing us around and said that all of the records at the back of the shop were freshly bought collections, he then pointed around the corner and asked us how much time we had on our hands. We promptly answered that we had a few hours to kill, so we followed him down a set of stairs. The Thing has a huge basement with the most mind boggling amount of records we have ever seen!
This labyrinth is as chaotic as it looks, the records are in no particular order. The shop clerks question makes sense now.
Here’s some advice if you do ever find yourself at The Thing;
- Know what you want to find: Go there with a clear sense of what you want to find as there are so many records to go through that you can get side tracked. It’s very easy to pick up a load of records that you think could be cool but turn out to be pretty bad! They do have a turntable so you can listen to the records before you buy them but the needle was shot so we could barely hear the ones that we picked out.
- Take a dust mask: We spent about five hours in the basement and by the end of it we couldn’t wait to get out of there. The dust is so intrusive that after a while down there you feel like you can’t breathe.
For the five hours we spent in the basement (only going through about 1% of the records down there) we barely got much to show from it, we only managed to pick out four records. This place is hard work but there are definitely untouched treasures down there, and at $2 a record if you do find that special disc then getting caked in dust doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
Here are a couple of records we got from the basement.
CO-OP 87 Records & Tapes
The second stop of the day took us to CO-OP 87 which was only a short walk from The Thing. This small shop was our favourite of the trip in New York, with a well curated collection and the friendliest staff.
This shop is great if you looking for that classic ‘New York’ sound. With boxes of some of the greatest disco labels to come out of New York, we were like kids in a candy shop. They also sell new records showcasing some of NYC’s newest labels. We managed to find some records that have been sitting in our wishlist on Discogs for a while.
Here’s what we picked up.
The mysterious Cruë records come at it for the first time since 2012 with a 4th edition in their sporadic series.
One Discogs user commented that this was a bit more down the disco line than they usually go. So taking that comment, combining it with the influence of their previous releases, means you know what to expect: bangers.
When I spoke to the BLBC lads about this track, they all had it in their sights. Luckily I copped it first so they will forever be flapping at me as I play both it’s purple cuts in the club. Sorry boys.
Side A you are looking at a soulful grooving cut, something like MCDE would play peak time. 4.40 you are getting the full thrust of the anthem…
Side B is a bit more bouncey, along the same lines, looping samples & a wicked thumping bassline. Summer… Great record to revive the old A or B predicament.
Phonica Records have just premiered a brand new track from a new 12″ on Soundway Records. Known for digging the depths of countries as wide ranging as Colombia, Kenya and Thailand for forgotten and previously unknown musical gems, the label has turned it’s attention to Guinee, West Africa, for this slab of 1980s Afro-disco from the International Soleil Band.
Composed by Gnamakoron Sidi Diabaté, the track was originally featured on an album released in 1983 by French Warners offshoot WAM (West African Music) – a short lived label that recorded about 20 releases of West African music released in France. Soundway label boss Miles Cleret and Sofrito’s Frankie Francis turn in an edit of the original track, under their Hide & Smile moniker, which sees them tease out a thumping, rolling bass-line intro interspersed with machine-gun drumming and 80s synth before the track drops into a more recognisable West African groove. This one is in the shops now and we guarantee you’ll be hearing it out and about over the summer.
Jun Kamoda is the latest addition to the Mr. Saturday Night roster. The Tokyo MC, DJ and producer spent some time with the guys after one of their famous parties in New York back in 2015. And here we are a few months down the line with The Clay EP. A diverse three track selection ripe for slaying the dancefloor.
First we have Physical Graffiti, a stripped back and chopped up disco track that will really trip everyone out.
Next up is the title track The Clay. A thumping percussion led afro beat track. A track Auntie Flo would be proud of.
And lastly we have Exitus. With a haunting vocal loop and 90’s house sounds.
The Clay EP really showcases Mr. Kamoda’s talents and eclectic taste. We can’t wait to test this one out for ourselves.
We’re heading back to 2011 with this one and the first installment in the adventurous Nublu Records’ quality Istanbul 70 series – which sees native Istanbul DJ and producer Barış K editing some obscure selections of psych, disco and folk from the gateway between Europe and Asia: Turkey.
As Turkey entered an era of prosperity in the ’70s, musicians in the country began looking outwards, incorporating elements of Western music with Turkish styles and Istanbul was a cultural hotbed. Osman Ismen, a resident of the city, was one such musician and pulls no punches on track Ara Muzigi, seamlessly melding an intense 80s boogie streak with Anatolian melodies and instrumentation. And thankfully Barış K has provided us with an edit of this incredible, and what is otherwise a hard to come by record.
With the likes of Barış K’s other successful project, Disco Hamam, and with artists such as Omar Souleyman becoming firm favourites in the west, we can’t help but feel that the west is in turn starting to look back east for inspiration. We certainly can’t wait to hear what else the Middle East has to offer. You can hear some of the tunes we’ve been enjoying from the region with a mix that BLBC’s Yusif did here.
Rune Lindbaek has been spinning in & around Oslo since 1984. Nineteen Eighty Four. He’s also been putting out music under his own name, two aliases and as part of fourteen groups, bands or collectives. Whilst he’s not had the breakout success of say, Terje or Thomas, he’s been a slow burning member of the incredible Scandinavian Disco scene since day, who’s having a bit of a moment with recent remixes and releases on the likes of Smalltown Supersound, Lets Get Lost Japan, Aficionado & International Feel.
Released December 2015 with a catalog number of 001 on his own Norsk Tripping label, NT is a tidy showcase of dubby, funky edits from mr Lindbaek…. thanks Rune!
This one has become a bit of a secret weapon for us over the last two months. Taken from the third installment of Freestyle Records’ popular ‘Black Feeling’ series and available as a limited 7”, The Manuel Azevedo Quartet deliver a rolling melange of irresistible Brazilian jazz and rhythms that will leave even the most stiff-in-the-leg leaping about to it’s bloco beats. The beauty of this tune is it’s raw energy allowing it to sit comfortably during peak-time hours – an absolute gem.
The fact Golden Teacher share the name of a certain type of magic mushroom may go someway to explaining their raucous blend of disco, psych, post-punk, Afrobeat and numerous other genres of music. Hailing from Glasgow and with releases on the well respected Optimo Music label, the band have a firm DIY ethic born out of the city’s fertile music scene, often creating the artwork for the limited presses of records that showcase the band’s work. That the band are creating some of the most original sounds around hasn’t escaped the attention of those outside of Glasgow and the band were included on the incredibly curated Art + Sound LP that was released by one of our favourite London record shops – Sounds Of The Universe.
Taken from the band’s second EP, ‘Like A Hawk’ is described by the band as a “Fourth World freakout” and contains a slew of analogue synth-work over sparse dubbed-out dancehall drum rhythms that meander with the echoed chants of the band’s vocalists – Cassie Ojay and Charles Lavenac. This is spiritual dance music from the 22nd Century – welcome to the future.
The Very Polish Cut Outs crew are back for what is sadly their very last sampler – we don’t need to tell you to be quick on this one. It’s packed to the rafters with choice cuts from behind the Iron Curtain, carefully state-planned for your audible pleasure and firm proof that the Communist Party really was just that.
Our choice here, and it’s a tricky one, is the Daniel Drumz edit of Na Kolana Pastuszkowie by Laboratorium. No, we don’t know how to pronounce it either – something about shepherds according to Google translate. Anyway, it’s a bouncy balearic number replete with marimba and provides an overall sense that things perhaps weren’t as grey and drab out East as we were made to think.
Label: Secret Mixes Fixes
Long standing edit label Secret Mixes Fixes latest release is one to watch out for. The white label enterprise have been releasing DJ friendly cuts since 2003 and is run by the mysterious Ronaldo Mystique. Since its inception S.M.F have released numerous white labels with Gay Marvine, who now runs S.M.F’s sub label Bath House Etiquette ( a how to guide on gay discos ).
Vol.17 features four choice edits from The Fantasy with our favourites on the A side. A1 is an edit of Caroline Crawford’s ‘Coming on Strong’. ‘Strong Dub’ is a deep builder, perfect for that peak time rush. While A2 ‘Jerked Out’ is pure purple funkiness that will get everyone grooving to this rework of The Time’s classic ‘Jerk Out’.