London’s Independent Label Market returned to Spitalfields for a two-day special Christmas event this weekend. With stock high, prices low and special releases and baked treats up for grabs, there was plenty to ponder ones bank balance over.
Best Fit headed over to East London to have a bit of a natter with some of the fair-goers about what they’ve managed to get themselves, ahem, I mean a loved one for the big day.
“The Rough Trade stall just about cleaned me out. I got this POP ETC record that I’ve been looking for all summer, but they don’t have it anywhere in the States. They also threw in a SXSW 2010 mixtape for free, which was a show I was meaning to go to while I was at the festival but now I can pretend I did. Two years too late, but that’s fine.
I also have this new Swim Deep single. I haven’t listened to the band before, but the guy sold me on it. I also bought a fanzine from This Many Boyfriends, because there’s a drawing by Edwyn Collins that I love.”
“My day’s going pretty well. Although I’m cold and keep drinking too much coffee, which is not a good mix. I’ve actually not had the chance to properly look around because I have a stall here for my label, but I’m actually quite uncomfortable with the act of selling. I don’t have the art of being a good market stall trader. Last time I had a fun game of selling a record then buying a record, and we were opposite Soul Jazz, which was not good for my bank balance. But I’m glad this time we’re a couple of rows away, so I’m not so tempted to buy all of their records.”
“I wanted to buy the new Flying Lotus record, because it’s one of the only things from this year that I’ve really wanted but haven’t bought yet. But sadly Warp aren’t here this time. Neither are XL or Wichita, but it’s actually quite nice because there’s some of the smaller labels here which is good. I’m sure I’ll find something to buy though because Gareth and Peter from Fear & Records make excellent market wheelers and dealers. I also saw a Lemonade vinyl that looked like a giant CD, which is cool as hell.”
“I’ve managed to buy a couple of things so far: The Violence by Darren Hayman, which my friend appears on so I’m showing my support for it, and this split EP with a few bands that I haven’t heard yet – Paws, Dolfinz, Sex Hands and Waiters – but the description was just the kind of thing I like, so I thought I’d give it a try.”
“I bought the Slime album on the off-chance. I hadn’t had the opportunity to get it in a store yet. It was right on the stall behind me and only five pounds, so I thought I’d get it. He played Nail The Cross festival recently and it was amazing. It’s not just electronic stuff, there’s more going on than that. Especially live, there’s so many instruments being used.”
Photos by Howard Melnyczuk.
“I bought the James Blake – CMYK vinyl from R&S Records, mainly because the guy behind the stall told me there were only two left. So I thought I’d get it while I still could. I also bought 2 Many DJs, which I can’t wait to listen to later.”
“I got James Blake as well, it’s nice to see that transition he made from his early stuff to his album. I kinda prefer his older stuff, it’s a lot more erratic. I also like his newer stuff as Harmonimix too. I also bought some Offshore, who played this little festival I put on down in Cornwall. So I feel indebted to buy all of his stuff now.”
“I’m an all-round music love, I get sent loads of records but I also love buying them as well. So today I came here to buy Darren Hayman’s Lido album, a concept album of London’s lidos, partly because I’m a bit obsessed with lidos. I’ve been meaning to get a vinyl copy of this for a while, and it’s rather beautiful.
I’ve also been talking to the guys at Lojinx, who put out a lot of college rock records, which I’m really into. They turned me onto this album by Mike Viola, which I’ve never heard before but I’m looking forward to listening to.
“I’ve bought a load of stuff from Ninja Tune, Planet Mu, Soundway, basically I spent way too much money. I haven’t listened to them all the entire way through yet, so I can’t possibly comment on a favourite, but I’d been really excited to pick up the Bangs & Works Vol. 2 compilation. So I’m happy I was able to get that.”
“I also bought some stuff from Planet Mu and Soundway, as well things on Civil Music and Lex Records. I’m pretty pleased to be able to pick up Remark on Planet Mu, because I haven’t seen that around for a while. It’s one of those ones I’d kind of forgotten but remembered when I saw it. I also got this free cupcake, which is nice.”
“I have just arrived and straight away bought this Gnarwolves single, because the vinyl looks really ace. It’s colourful, has a wolf puking on it and is generally all kinds of awesome.”
Photos by Howard Melnyczuk.
“I’ve picked up this free CD from a band called The Divers, which should be a nice surprise. I’ve also gone for Forest Swords, which I’ve been after for a while. I’m looking forward to whacking that on lateer. Sadly I couldn’t find it here on vinyl, though, as I’m a massive vinyl geek. I’ve also bought a cheeky Bjork boxset, which includes the first four albums live. Also adding to my HEALTH collection with one more thing, as well as Electricity In Our Homes, who I love. I’m open for having a bit more of a browse and getting myself a few more Christmas presents.”
“I don’t have a record player yet, but I’ve been meaning to. So these are more of an investment. I bought a lucky dip, hoping that the Banjo Or Freakout album would be in there but it wasn’t, so I purchased that afterwards as well. I even got a discount on it.
I also bought the Connan Mockasin album, which I really like. Someone just called a “future classic” that will have BBC Four documentaries about it in years to come. I’m not so sure about that much though.
The lucky dips included Victory Shorts – Absentee, Blue States – Nothing Change Under The Sun and Hooray For Earth.”
“I bought James Blake and a signed Mr Scruff album. But they’re actually for my sister.”
“I’ve bought two 7” singles, one by The Yummy Fur from Rocket Girl, a label I hadn’t actually heard of but she has loads of great rare items. It was good to see loads of old Guided Missiles stuff. I also got ‘Playboy’ by Hot Chip, which is on their first album. I noticed the b-side was a remix by Four Tet, so I grabbed that as well.”
“I bought a 65daysofstatic album that I already have on CD, but this time on vinyl. I’m a bit of a vinyl fan when it comes to new music. I don’t normally buy vinyl when it comes to going back and getting older stuff, but if there’s a new release then I tried to pick out the vinyl copy. Now I’m just off to the No Pain In Pop stall, as I think they’re really good.”
Photos by Howard Melnyczuk.