Record Store Day 2012


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Veronika Moore, Tom McShane
15 Sunday 15th April 2012

With over 400 special releases due out this Saturday, April 21st we're going to sum up the best of the special releases and gigs so you don't end up pulling out your hair and collapsing in a stress heap when you could be calmly browsing (and/or queueing) at the end of the week.

The calm after the queueing storm in Rough Trade East, RSD 2009

For some background info, Record Store Day came to life in America in 2007 as the brainchild of Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner. A year later it was launched on UK soil and now in its fourth British year has over 200 participating stores across the country. Each year a growing list of bands and acts put together special releases that can only be bought and sold in shops on that one day - 2012 is no different.

Fans of expansive Canadian collectives will be happy to hear that Arcade Fire are bringing out a 12" pressing of 'Sprawl II' and 'Ready To Start' remixes. In a rare Record Store Day display, they're releasing just 1000 copies so chances are most stores will be stocking this one. Pop-soul newcomer Lianne La Havas (one of BBC's 'Sound of 2012' picks) is releasing 500 copies of her single 'Lost & Found', while we're also excited about disco fiends Azari & III dropping 300 pressings of a 'Lost In Time' 12" on Loose Lips Records.

Math rockers Battles, chillwave pretty boy Neon Indian and euphoric synth chorus master M83 will no doubt get music geeks hot under the collar with their planned releases too: a 'Dross Glop 4' remix 12", 'Hex Girlfriend' Twin Shadow remix 7" and 'Mirror' 7", respectively. Lovers of tunes from days gone by can also get their fixes: from T-Rex, Abba, The Beatles and The Velvet Underground to heart-shaped ‘Baby Love’ vinyl by The Supremes, this isn’t exclusively a day focused on new super-niche bands.

RSD 2011 8am shoppers in Resident, Brighton

Record Store Day's a great time for labels to pool together a bunch of releases too. Bella Union are bringing out limited edition coloured vinyl from dream poppers Beach House, melancholy alt stars Xiu Xiu, singer-songwriter Andrew Bird and M Ward (of She & Him with Zooey Deschanel). Domino Records are also pulling out all the stops, with special releases coming from Hot Chip, indie boys Arctic Monkeys, the aforementioned twee poppers She & Him, Nashville songstress Caitlin Rose (who's incidentally covering Arctic Monkeys on one side of the 7") and the experimental psychedelic synth wobblers Animal Collective. Check out their track sampler below.

Domino Record Store Day 2012 Sampler

There are hundreds more releases all listed here, which will be available in most (but not all) of the participating stores. For Londoners that list includes both Rough Trade shops, Rat Records in Camberwell, Flashback on Essex Road, Chelsea’s Vinyl Factory, Sister Ray in Soho and Kristina Records on the Dalston/Stokey border amongst others.

The folks at both Rough Trade stores are hosting in-store gigs on the day from acts like dark dubstep beatmaker Becoming Real, synth-pop singer Little Boots and folk-blues outfit Smoke Fairies while Flashback will be handing over their space to Fair Ohs for a spot of East African-tinged garage punk.

You can head to Intoxica in Notting Hill to catch The Wolfhounds, to Rat Records for sets from Serafina Steer and Julia Finnimore and to Sister Ray for Billy Bragg live plus Simple Minds doing a signing. There’ll be free coffee for the first 200 in the queue at Ray (it’s a good idea to bring your own refreshments in general if you’ll be an early bird), as well as a raffle to win a white vinyl copy of Jack White’s new solo album for everyone who buys RSD goods. Bring on Saturday morning, people!


And this is just what’s happening in London. Click here for events in all the other cities, and here for the full list of releases. Let us know which gems you pick up, here or on our Facebook page on Saturday.

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