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Our Record Store: Rough Trade

I had the privilege of visiting one of the many great independent purveyors of great music today – Rough Trade.

Located across four stretches of UK life in Bristol, London, Nottingham – and even a managing to branch itself across the pond in NYC – Rough Trade has been an integral staple in the discovery of modern music mania here on our doorstep in the UK and in the US.

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A somewhat fanciful term for such a warehouse-etiquette but, their ‘headquarters’ are situated in the west of London. They first opened in 1976, right on the doorstep of punk. Now, in their 45th year of trading, they have become a global constituency in the world of music and its industry. Still to this day – as they did in the 70s strife with the punk mania that came before it – they’re celebrating the most exciting new music.

Situated in the most stylistic and cultural pockets of stark cities, their chosen locations were by no means accidental. Diving off main roads into kernels of art graffiti, tapestry and masterful architecture to independent bistro bars, awash with international food stalls and eventually into the crowds who are ready to spring into the new groove of life. Often situated in the most vibrant, culturally contrasting communities in the UK – as well as in the US – they are flagships to the strength of the accompanying cities’ music scenes.

From Portobello Road, Old Truman Brewery to Rockefeller Center itself, it really paints a story.

“As far as we’re concerned, our stores are where the magic happens. 

Sure, we sell great music, but the bigger picture is bringing together artists and audiences within a celebratory, inspiring environment, one that welcomes all ages and taste under one roof.”

Oldest and most iconic, Rough Trade East (of London)

It’s important to note that they are not merely just record stores, oh no no no. They have also become some of the most celebrated music venues, playing host to some iconic acts in past years that put on simply fantastic, immersive and illusory performances surrounded by an arching wave of artist vinyls and band merchandise.

For me today, I was able to notch off another on the list of all four venues as I visited Nottingham’s store in the area of Hockley. With only one UK venue to go in Bristol, (as well as the obvious one in NYC) I’m holding out hope that I can provide myself an opportunity to visit this one too.

With these being such iconic stores within our music retail, purchasing and general perusers of music, I just had to buy something.

With its fitting home of a tote bag to take home in, I managed to pick up The Cinematic Orchestra’s beautiful story of Ma Fleur, pressed on a clear vinyl with a rarity of exclusive art work present – it was certainly one of the more fitting vinyls to purchase.

Fantastic day.

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Artist Spotlight: Burna Boy

Cultivated by a fusion of dancehall, Afro-beat reggae, Burna Boy has since become one of Nigeria’s fast rising-stars.

Inspired by the affluence of Afro-beat bops from his native country and the dancehall beats from the shores of Sandy America, a genre would converge that would soon become his signature sound. Simply sultry and effortless, Burna Boy has acclimatised to global stardom since the early 2010s.

After catching his performance in New York’s Central Park live on television a few weeks back, we instantly fell for his funky Afro-beats, enjoyable stage presence and have been enjoying his music since.

Whether it’s your particular style or not, I would recommend to give his music a try. Maybe if it’s just the one time.

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GLASTONBURY 2022: First Headliner CONFIRMED

Normality resumes when we talk about Glastonbury and their headliners! In an exciting turn of developments, Billie Eilish has been confirmed as the first headliner of the Worthy Farm festival in July next year. This will make Billie’s return to the UK twice in two successive years after her Happier Than Ever world tour finishes this year in December.

At 19 years old, this will also make the youngest solo headliner to grace the main stage.

Live music thriving, excitement leaving the festivities of the industry. It seems we are returning to normality with our entertainment. Question is, will YOU be putting your name in the hat for tickets?

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Lose Yourself to Dance: A Tribute to Daft Punk

As it nears the first initial anniversary since the French dance powerhouses announced their split this year in February, I thought it be good to have a glance back at their influential chaos on the world of dance music.

Simply put as house pioneers to the eclectic halls of dance floors, Daft Punk were by-and-large the greatest acts to emerge as tastemakers in the 2000s and established creditors of mainstream by the 2010s.

As chique and shiny as their exterior costumes, their catalogue is awash with fanciful dancefloor grooves that is fitting for any celebration playlist. From progressive house rock of Da Funk from 1997 debut of Homework to coming-of-age Discovery in 2001 with venturings of acid-techno, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger to anthemic funk of Random Access Memories in 2013 which really put the duo on the map frontier. Undoubtedly Insant Crush and Get Lucky pushed the boundaries of mainstream dance-funk collaborations with Pharrell Williams and was their most successful release ever.

Random Access Memories reaped the rewards of scooping up 5 Grammys for Best Dance/Electronica Album and Album of the Year to name a few. The devilishly hook-and-sinker of Get Lucky caused a fetish heatwave to streak across the industry, having sold 4 million copies in the first quarter, in US alone.

After establishing themselves as the creditors to the business of dance, they finally hang their helmets after 28 years in the music industry. To both Guy-Manuel Homem Christo and Thomas Bangalter — many thanks for the (random access) memories. Every moment on the dance floor was worth remembering when your tracks were spinning.

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Artist Spotlight: Black Honey

Similar to that of Black Honey, this indie-grudge grunge quartet are as viscous in their bold music-beatings as they are as sweet in their intriguing delivery.

Tough acts of “Beaches”, “All My Pride”, “Corrine” and “I Like The Way You Die,” are what makes this Brighton collective so unique and wild in their coming-of-age industry story. Love, lust, hate and all-between.

Another band is rising into the limelight showcasing a boss bitch frontman and a no-nonsense attitude knowing exactly what they want.