Record store basements are like the pre cursor to your first time going out, to party in somewhat the same environment. The training and getting used to these sometimes questionable retail environments but somehow feel warm, welcoming and full of like minded people. Our whole obsession, fascination and love for club music and the associated world began collecting flyers in record shops, that was the gateway drug – silmutaneously listening to tape packs.
Visual Pref [below]: Catapult Records, Cardiff[RIP]. Dreamscape II
Just a few years in and the collecting progressed into buying vinyl and starting to DJ. The record buying, digging, hunting and collecting was next level and the thirst for new tunes was real, still is, and knowing that new music was coming out every week and discovering new artists – that excitement still hasn’t changed. The local hero DJs that would work in the stores were fountains of knowledge and an opportunity to get a glimpse of what was popping in their world, an insight. Chatting with Lincoln [High Contrast] when he was still playing US garage and getting all his recommendations was pure gold as an eager young sprite on the hunt for the fresh fresh. There’s one part of this which in someways has been a little lost for us through the digitalisation of music and that’s the promo record aka the white label aka the dubplate.
Visual Pref [below] : HOT001
This is why we started Trax Couture the way we did, and the way in which we did it. Vinyl only, hand stamped white label vinyl, photocopied insert, hand numbered – special products, handled with care! This aesthetic always seems to make you feel good, not better, but different in a good way to a full glossy high-art cover album, for example. Limited availability. Scarcity. Only available in one format, not 5, and they would be gone in a few days. Despite the gamble, the thrill of finding a completely blank white label record and trying to get a clue by reading the etchings in the run out was always a special moment.
We’re not saying white label culture is lost, but it might be for us a little bit. We are predominantly a digital label, haven’t put any wax out for a while but the return to these core ways in which we released our first music is where we have found ourselves once again and are looking to redefine it, in a way that’s right for us now. Not just a replica of the same but bringing a new twist to a way that we love to release music in physical and digital formats.
We’re launching something new this week, which we hope you’ll like. We’re excited, and hope you are too!
Share the wealth with the fam, let your mates know if they don’t. You know what to do.