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My #RSD13: An International Affair

Sometimes – in fact all of the time – attending Record Store Day can feel a bit like being a kid in a candy store. For Notion’s Coco Wong – who’s recently moved to the UK from Hong Kong – this is more true than ever. Here, she tells us about preparing to celebrate her first RSD in a country that actually honours it; finding herself rather giddy indeed about all the auditory delights on offer.

This year’s Record Store Day will be my first in a country where it is actually celebrated. Having previously been based in Hong Kong, it will be a heart-warming delight to see swarms of like-minded people – those who still support physical releases of music – go home with limited gems.

Before I came to London a few months ago, I used to look at the product list of Record Store Day and drool in front of the computer screen in envy. I remember trying to phone up the one-and-only participating store in Hong Kong to see if they would stock any of the limited edition products; unfortunately, it was to no avail.

Flash forward to the present, however, and here I am really looking forward to picking up Dutch Uncles’ 12” cover of Grace Jones’ ‘Slave to the Rhythm’ – suiting to the skewed nature of the Mancunian math rock quintet, their cover is called ‘Slave to the Atypical Rhythm’. The intriguing parody present in the single art makes it an eccentricity that’s even more worth buying. MGMT’s cassette release of their new single ‘Alien Days’ seems a very collectable item, too; surely an anticipation-builder for their forthcoming new album, due this summer.

In terms of re-releases, Metronomy and The Jesus and Mary Chain’s debut albums are well worth a look. Metronomy’s Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe) is probably the band’s least known – but still worthy of your ears – album, and this vinyl reissue will hopefully draw attention to the album again. The Jesus and Mary Chain’s iconic Psychocandy on red and black vinyl is surely unmissable as well.

Also featuring prominently on the product list this year is a deluxe edition of the Last Shop Standing DVD. Compounded by the HMV crisis earlier this year, it saddens me to think that in the future all music could just be digitally-released with little to no demand for physical releases. The joy and excitement of receiving a CD or LP in the post, or of going to the store and purchasing one, reading the enclosed booklet for every scrap of information about an artist can never, ever be replaced by a few .m4a files bought from iTunes. The Last Shop Standing DVD serves as a reminder that not only are the high street chain retailers struggling, but so are the independent stores too. It’s events like Record Store Day that offer them some sense of salvation, even if it’s only for one day.

Albeit being very worried about looking at my bank balance on April 21st, I’m immensely proud to be part of the physical music-buying community, and of course, to support the independent record stores that are left standing in this increasingly digital age.

- Coco Wong

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