Held every third Saturday in April is Record Store Day (taking place on Saturday 16th April this year). Physical formats are very important to us, and with RSD approaching, we wanted to properly celebrate the all mighty vinyl record. So in the lead up, we decided to catch up with a few of our favourite record labels to discuss their cherished memories with the medium, and the RSD release that catches their eye the most. Today’s label in focus is Famous Friends.
Written by Lucas Whitworth, Famous Friends Co-Founder.
Famous Friends Recs is still under a year old. It’s run by and for friends of ours, mostly around London. This city is so full of scenes and sub-scenes, and we’re lucky to know some excellent people making extraordinary music. We started by releasing a Liu Bei double-A 7″, then threw gigs and parties across the capital. Our second release was a split EP on hand-printed cassette for Waylor and Burkini Beach. We want the label to act as part of a strong and open community. It’s all about the artists; we just want to support them in whatever they do. We host regular club nights and are lining up our next releases now.
The record that first turned me on to vinyl is Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’s one of those records that when you’re young can just completely bowl you over. I know I’m not the only one. It had been sitting there in my mum and dad’s house, and I’d definitely heard it being played before, but one afternoon on my own I had the impulse to play it and just sit and listen. And there’s a richness and vitality that lives in those grooves, the kaleidoscopic George Martin production drawn into the wax. And the bombastic artwork, on a scale that my cassettes couldn’t begin to replicate. It’s still what I first think of when I think “vinyl”, when I think “album”.
This year’s Record Store Day line-up is ridiculously strong. There’s something for everyone. I can imagine kids starting their record collection right now. It blows my mind to think that they’re making Justin Bieber vinyl now. My pick would be the Mark Pritchard / Bibio / Clark 12″ from Warp. Not only are they all creative and brilliant producers, and I always want to hear what they are doing, but I also like the idea of buying something new, something I’ve not heard before. There’s a nostalgia to picking up a record and taking it home to play it for the first time. I don’t do that any more, not nearly enough.
For more on Record Store Day, visit their website here.