In rotation: 9/24/20

UK | Vinyl sales continue to rise in UK despite coronavirus crisis: The increase has been attributed to the first Record Store Day 2020 event. Vinyl sales have continued to rise in the UK despite the coronavirus crisis causing significant problems for other areas of the music industry. According to the Official Charts Company, last month’s Record Store Day – the first of three socially distanced events scheduled for 2020 – resulted in a 3% rise in vinyl sales, with 2.7 million units sold so far this year. The new figures come from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), who manage Record Store Day in the UK. This continuing rise comes in spite of UK music retailers and record shops being forced to close their doors in March until June as a result of the national lockdown. During the intervening period, however, many stores set up delivery services or a click-and-collect option in a bid to survive. Last month, Discogs’ mid-year report revealed that physical sales (vinyl, CD and cassette) rose by 29.69 per cent – 4,228,270 orders – on their website between January and June this year, compared to the same period in 2019.

Here are the best releases you can buy on Record Store Day (Drop Day 2): This weekend sees the second Record Store Day of 2020 – and we’ve picked our 20 favourite releases. With everything that’s been going on in the world, this year’s Record Store Day has an altogether different feel. The main day itself was originally scheduled to take place back in April, but it was postponed and split into three separate days in order to maintain social distancing directives. This year’s first Record Store Day took place on August 29, with part two coming up this Saturday (September 26) – and while there won’t be quite as much music available as last month, there’s still plenty of choice cuts to get stuck into. We’ve gone through the list and hand-picked our 20 favourite Record Store Day releases that’ll be available on Saturday.

MN | Record Store Day 2020’s next drop date is Saturday, Sept. 26: This Saturday marks the second (of three) official Record Store Day drops of 2020. As we did during August’s Record Store Day iteration, The Current will spend the day celebrating vinyl and the culture of record collecting. From 8 to 10 a.m. (CDT), Jim McGuinn will host another very special Teenage Kicks, spinning nothing but vinyl from his own collection, digging out some of his 45s and albums from the Teenage Kicks era to share with you. “Last time, I only had one glaring skip, thanks to a Blondie 45,” Jim says. “We’ll see what happens this week when I bring in another crate of vinyl from home, crafting the show on the fly.” For those heading out to record stores (whether actually or virtually), the people at Record Store Day have provided a list of new RSD drops coming this Saturday. Meanwhile, listen to The Current from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT as Bill DeVille and Mac Wilson debut some of these exclusives and spin crate-digger classics.

Record Store Day 2020: the best turntable, speaker, and headphone deals: Record Store Day round two is coming soon. …Following two Covid-19-related delays, Record Store Day 2020 has been split over three dates – and the second ‘drop’ is coming up on September 26, bringing tons of exclusive vinyls to turntable enthusiasts around the world. The first drop landed on August 29, and we have two more to look forward to on September 26, and October 24. …The best turntables in 2020 are drastically improved compared to the clunky old systems you might find gathering dust in your attic. The top record players today come in a wide range of styles and sizes – whether you like the classic look of record players from the past or you’re only interested in the most modern aesthetic. Many of these devices also come with modern features, such as Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports. With a USB output you can record all of the LPs you already own directly to your computer. This brings an added bonus of allowing you to listen to your vinyl wherever you are.

There’s nothing quite like the exploration of a new album: Way back in 1980 The Buggles proclaimed that ‘video killed the radio star’. Forty years on, is it time for another one-hit wonder to melodically declare that streaming has done the same to the full-length studio album? For me, there’s nothing quite like the exploration of a new album, from beginning to end. The anticipation. The journey. The sense of wonder upon that first play and then the beauty of playing it over and over once it’s all too familiar. Great albums are thematic, instrumental roller coasters – an awesome ride, start to finish. Something akin to a relationship is developed with such albums – they very clearly define certain aspects of your life or people you were hanging out with at the time. They create emotive responses and have a very strong romance about them. Certain albums and songs even make your stomach turn with nostalgia when you hear the first familiar intro riffs.

Legendary hip-hop record sells for $126K at Sotheby’s: A legendary hip-hop record has sold for $126k at auction. In a recent auction at Sotheby’s, ‘Beat Bop’, a record which has long been sought after as the “holy grail” of hip-hop vinyl, sold for $126,000 after an estimated sale price of $2,500 – $3,5000. The record, one of 500 copies worldwide, was released in 1983. Gray co-founder Jean-Michel Basquiat, who produced, directed, and issued the Rammellzee vs. K-Rob ‘Beat Bop’ 12” on his own Tartown label, also designed the cover and label artwork. You can read about the story of the record via the Sotheby’s website, which also reveals that the seller of the lot is donating 100% of their sales proceeds to The Archive of Contemporary Music. The Notorious B.I.G’s iconic plastic crown sold for almost $600,000 at a Sotheby’s hip-hop memorabilia auction in New York last week.

South Africa: New Horizons Is an Ode to Fresh Sounds: The first of its kind to be released on vinyl, the 12-track double LP compilation features contemporary jazz artists from South Africa, securing an international distribution deal to ensure the further reach of the music. The upcoming New Horizons album breaks ground, as the first compilation of contemporary South African jazz artists to be released on vinyl. In many ways, this record is long overdue and stands as an ode to a generation of musicians whose roots go back well over a decade. It is the much-needed documentation of a music scene that has been thriving despite the battles to keep it afloat. The album is the brainchild of Afrosynth label owner Dave Durbach. He collaborated with jazz bassist Shane Cooper to release the compilation. Durbach founded the Afrosynth record store in Maboneng in 2016, which was forced to close its doors in May as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. He doubles as DJ Okapi and his website documents a plethora of hard-to-find South African music. Durbach’s label of the same name has released various albums over the years, including a slew of South African disco and kwaito reissues.

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