KOPPS,
The TVD First Date

“Growing up in a mid-sized, rust-belt city produced an experience we can only imagine was matched by any other middle-class American city: angsty teenagers listening to punk and hardcore, going to shows and buying obscure 7” records from the band passing through on whatever night the local promoters decided to book a show.”

“Our story is no different; it’s how my collection started. Round up any and all of the records you could at every show. Every subsequent trip to the record store was unique and exciting. ‘What will I find today?’ As high school progressed so did my tastes, moving from hardcore and punk to more ‘refined’ things like indie rock. The smaller the label, the weirder the cover art (surely coming stock with sound to match,) the more it felt like I was in on some big secret, or in an exclusive club, but one I couldn’t wait to talk about or share with my friends. Or anyone else who would listen.

Fast forward to college when musical tastes begin to expand and blossom—the sounds became more experimental, more underground, harder to find, or maybe they were just the deeper cuts from favorite pop, R&B, hip hop, or rock artists. The internet could now lead you down a rabbit hole you would follow from your computer screen to the record store where you would dig into every crate until you found those bizarre and left of center records—the ones you know aren’t a dime a dozen or found in the dollar bin of your local thrift store. Your membership to the club you joined in high school was just renewed for life.

I remember finding an early pressing of Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde in my parents’ basement—the cover from ’66 with the picture of Claudia Cardinale that was removed in later pressing. This feeling, or something like it, was it. It made me want to search for the rare stuff.

Thinking back to those punk 7”s, 45s were a logical thing to gravitate toward—and you would always find alternate takes of your favorite ’60s soul or rock tunes. I loved finding different versions of the same songs—like “I’ll Try Something New” by The Miracles, or the version by the Supremes and the Temptations. I’m not sure I can even call to mind every version I own of “If This World Were Mine.” So many songs were remade and rerecorded but with a different swing or swagger. It’s a real treat to stumble into a version you haven’t heard before. I would relish finding these exciting sounds to share with friends, delivering the living room dance party soundtrack. Bonus points when anyone asked what it was.

Now, you can find any number of obscure records reproduced from old tape or other recordings, released on reissue labels. These people, like Numero Group or 4 Men with Beards, do the digging so we don’t have to. And they produce some of the weirdest, most eclectic finds—vanity label soul records that never touched the charts from Minneapolis or San Antonio. They even release more easily accessible artists like Funkadelic or Aretha Franklin, but mostly their lesser known or harder to find copies of classic albums.

Sitting on such a diverse mass of records naturally lends itself to crafting your own sound. Zapp and Roger—how can we channel some of their effortless funk? Listen to the atmospheric sounds of Alice Coltrane —how can we take notes, can we incorporate this into pop? Prince—how can we dive into the catchiness and eroticism that’s changed the game in mainstream pop? Anything ’80s new wave and synth, New Order, Depeche Mode—a cornerstone for thinking about how to approach some of the more early electronic sounds. I think all of these qualities find their way into KOPPS, even if only in some small way.”
Travis Johansen

KOPPS’ new single, “Virtual Reality” is in stores now.

KOPPS Official | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
PHOTO: HARRY EELMAN

This entry was posted in The TVD Storefront. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text