Snapshot: A look Into Our Collections (Travis)
Here at Waxy, in addition to posting important pre-order information and interesting things happening in the world of vinyl, we also like to give you guys a little peek into our ever-growing collections.
As you can immediately tell, mild OCD has found its way onto my shelves of records, as everything is meticulously stored in alphabetical order. I decided to start near the beginning for the inaugural “Snapshot.”
Apparat – Walls / The Devil’s Walk
I was only recently exposed to Apparat, stage name for Sascha Ring, Berlin-based producer and composer. He seamlessly blends electronic beats with classical instruments, such as violins and xylophones. These are by far my two favorite albums by the German musician, and they've been in constant rotation since I picked them up. And just in case you're wondering, they're both clean presses from the EU that sound fantastic.
Arcade Fire – Reflektor / Funeral / Neon Bible
There's not much else to say about Arcade Fire that hasn't already been written, which is why their first two indie-rock classics, Funeral and Neon Bible, are staples of many collections. I suppose I should be on the lookout for The Suburbs to complete their discography, but that one hasn't quite grabbed me like their three other studio releases.
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
Winning the UK's Mercury Prize in 2006, Arctic Monkeys crafted one of the most exciting debuts in recent memory. The hype from across the pond was real, and this LP remains one of the most raw, hard-hitting albums I've ever listened to.
Jóhann Jóhannsson – Arrival OST
Arrival was one of the best movies I saw last year, and the original score by Jóhann Jóhannsson is a big reason why. Throughout the entire film, I couldn't help but become completely engrossed by the music and was amazed by how well it complimented what was happening. While walking out of the theater, I knew I would be on the hunt for the vinyl release, if and when it happened.
Luckily, classical music label Deutsche Grammophon put together a beautiful gatefold record package, complete with an embossed logogram on the cover.
As Tall As Lions – As Tall As Lions
Always being on a vinyl budget, I usually don't gamble on unknown music, however, this is one of the rare occasions I purchased a record based off looks alone. While flipping through the new arrivals section at my local shop, the colorful polka dot, die-cut sleeve caught my full attention. I had never heard of As Tall As Lions before, but judging from the cover art, it had to be some kind of indie-rock outfit. I needed to hear what this band was about, so I brought it over to the listening station. When I slipped the record out, I was pleasantly surprised when a "clear with pink splash" vinyl disc appeared. A quick search on Discogs showed this variant fetching over $40, so with a $15 price tag, I was almost sold before I dropped the needle.
After the first two tracks, they reminded me of Doves, the alt-rock trio from Manchester, which was enough of a compliment for me to pull the trigger.
The Avalanches – Wildflower / Since I Left You
With original copies commanding north of $300 just a couple years ago and having over 3,500 samples, Since I Left You was an LP I thought I may never own. So when XL Recordings finally reissued it last year, I couldn't order a copy fast enough, even if a couple songs had to be rearranged due to clearance issues. And while Wildflower, their loooong-awaited follow-up, isn't quite as impressive, it still puts most sample-laden electronic acts to shame.
This Canadian jazz group puts a modern twist on the age-old genre, implementing hip-hop, R&B and rock with surprising fluidity and infectious production. I'd have to say III is BBNG's most focused, cohesive effort, but IV's experimental vibe keeps their sound fun and fresh. If you're a fan of modern jazz at all, you'll find plenty to like from their impressive back catalog.
Bad Weather California – Demos And Live Takes For The Fans / Sunkissed
Not as their name suggests, Bad Weather California is actually from Colorado - their island feel and laid back tunes could've fooled me. Both records are easy to find in used bins around Denver, but you'd probably have to grab these online if you live anywhere else. According to Discogs, DALTFTF is a "limited edition of 267 copies in handmade bi-fold covers with 10 of 267 containing blood splatters from the band," and there is most definitely red splatter all over my sleeve that sure looks like it has the viscosity of blood... so I guess that's cool, right?
I find myself breaking these out as a perfect soundtrack for when the windows are open during hot summer months.