Blog Post Number Two
Blog Post # 2
Summer '18 was the hottest on record in the UK apparently, it was definitely the best one I can remember. It flies so quickly and it's scary that people are already discussing plans for year end, but first it's important to reflect..
Microdosing in Berlin
The start of July saw a trip to Berlin for an invitation to play (along with Seb SMS) at the small but perfectly formed Farbfernseher club as part of the 'It's Another Edition Of Hot Concept, Presenting...' series along with JT aka DJ 100%. Any notions of sedate ambient music were to be pushed aside in favour of an extended B2B across the full dance music spectrum.
Excited at the prospect of playing records for 8 hours, Seb & I grossly overpack and exceed our measly joint baggage of allowance of 23kg by a cool 18kg (not including carry on), and end up lay sweating in a pile of early Workshop and Dial 12"s at Manchester Terminal One departures trying to work out how to get such an unnecessary amount of records to Berlin. A lot of rejigging takes place and emergency tote bags are deployed. Despite systemic failure at every stage of check-in and security, we manage to slip in an overpriced pint of Amstel and make the flight with 10 minutes to spare.
We arrive safely (as do the records miraculously) and decide to capitalise on a reliable tip off about a great store out west to kill time before the show.
Platten Pedro had cropped up on blogs a few times before, so it's by no means a secret spot, however out this way it feels slightly removed from the weekend trippers you'd usually have to contend with in the trendier Kreuzberg and Neukolln neighbourhoods.
From the start its clear that this isn't going to be a ten minute job as its floor to ceiling full, front to back. Initial impressions of Pedro are that he's that typical grouchy older record store owner that's seen our type before. He lets us get on with it gets back to his game of Windows 95 Solitaire on the PC.
A few enquiries are made and Pedro is up on his ladder, reluctantly pulling a few bits out for us whilst I raid the hefty ECM shelf in the backroom. With time slipping away, I become anxious and start to ask Pedro if he might have certain artists and labels (mostly electronic) that seem would be a home in his store.
The tension in his face is visibly building and Pedro raises his hands in the air and declares 'I'm a rocker!!!!'. A mutual understanding is formed and everyone seems more relaxed. We spend some more time digging through his shelves and everyone comes away happy. Pedro is a really interesting guy and I'd highly recommend seeking out his store if you're in Berlin, just don't ask him where he keeps all the Innovative Communication releases because he hates that stuff!
We brave the dense cigarette smoke haze for a post-dig debrief at Oase. Cheap prices, fresh Warsteiner, friendly locals and the world's most generous fruit machine have made this a long standing favourite in the German capital. Watch out for the bonus rounds of Schnapps.
Later, the party goes well and that dark room is thoroughly shelled until just after 7am. No photos exist from this time because this is Berlin remember! Big shouts to JT for inviting us over, Sam & Sandra for their generous hospitality, Mana & Masa for making the trip out there, Zip for playing well into Saturday morning at P-Bar and everyone who came to Farbfernseher and danced it out until the morning. Hopefully they'll be another in 2019?
A Postcard from Bishkek
Facing the final days of my twenties, I decided to realise a long-standing dream and take the train to Kyrgyzstan - a country far off most people's radars. Yet an interesting culture shaped by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the proximity to ancient silk road routes and an abundance of high, rugged mountains has put this one high on my agenda.
Arrive into Moscow late in the evening and end up playing a small show with Sacha aka Shiny Boots at the quite strange Denis Simachev bar. Sasha lays out some notable Russian hospitality.
Moscow's cool and not too different from most European cities.
Heading out of the city to one of the most intense record places I've ever seen before..
I'm completely out of my depth here and I'm handed record after record of things I've never seen before.
Easily a weeks job!
Dimitri & Sacha @ Nice Club!
I sweat it out in a local Banya which Sasha says 'only criminals go to' and head to Moscow Kazansky railway station to board the 3-night 'Kirgizia' train to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Train pretty quiet, up until the Russian border with Kazakhstan.
Young Russian lad with cat.
The train's great, and despite being the only English speaker, or westerner for that matter, everyone is friendly and sharing food, tea, jokes etc.
Banya in Bishkek.
Bishkek's an interesting city with a sleepy, very ex-soviet feel. Seems there's more parks than anything. No record shops to speak of but some flea markets where ex-USSR curios can be found.
Despite enjoying the city - most people come to Kyrgyzstan for the countryside.
Braved the altitude and headed into the mountains living off packets of Ainsley Harriott couscous.
Its all really beautiful, completely untouched and very sparsely populated.
Lake Issyk-Kul, apparently the birth place of the plague.
Crazy horse game
Local in Tamga.
Acutely aware that I'm providing no context to these photos whatsoever, nor do they relate to record buying, but its important to share pictures of a country that needs and deserves more tourism.
So I think thats about all the uploads my computer laptop can handle for one evening. I hope you've enjoyed. Be on the look out for next weeks newsletter with a series of upcoming and related events, records and record fairs. Thanks for reading and that's all for now!