Record Store Day tomorrow. You know – the special event shopping experience that’s hardly publicised, that no-one knows about, that’s never mentioned on blogs such as these, and when the day finally arrives, you’ll be able to waltz up to the doors of your local vinyl emporium at five past nine in the morning and help yourself to that highly limited Chas ‘N’ Dave picture disc (a genuine RSD release, by the way) without hassle, because several thousand of us aural fetishists definitely won’t have been queuing round the block since 3am, oh no.
By the time that I’m halfway through this chiller full of beer, I’ll no doubt have decided that standing in the rain near a shop in the wee small hours is a grand proposal. Because my life isn’t complete without McCartney’s 12” reissue of ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’. And when tomorrow morning flips over into afternoon, I’ll still be drunk in that ditch, or strung-out in some subterranean opium den with Rupert Everett and various alumni of The Go-Go’s – it’s the same every year.
The intention here was to craft a finely balanced critique of the whole Record Day hype, stressing the importance of a thriving indie store scene whilst muttering disquiet about the fact that, with such an increasingly high profile, having so many people hunting so few releases is somewhat self-defeating. There may be many rewards in life gained by a few hours of early morning queueing, followed by a mean ten minutes elbowing rivals over that remaining copy of whatever, but whilst I have my eye on a copy of The Cure’s ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’ on red vinyl, I’d rather take my chances when the flow of record geeks slows a little.
Only the words for that critique never arrived, so I’ll simply point you toward the track below the words. The principal ‘must-have’ for RSD – Clint Mansell’s remix of ‘Fragile’, by The Fauns. I first heard this mix a month or two back, and I remain as utterly bowled out now as I was back then. Swept up. Blown away. Enchanted. The original – from the band’s self-titled 2009 début album – is a refined, dreamy listen, yet Mansell has a canny habit of exposing the enchantment even further, pulling the grace and nuance to the fore. The result is a record backlit by hypnotic phrases, and an all-encompassing rush of subtle detail it’s difficult to relinquish. Stunningly beautiful – worth queuing up at stupid o’clock for.