Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Records in a bag from Pure Groove, London


Pure Groove is a pretty unique little record shop that reflects the upheavals of the UK music scene in the last five or six years perfectly in its somewhat zig-zagged evolution.

Firstly, its very much a local shop, sited near the tangle of bad planning and automotive chaos that blights the confluence of Holloway, Highgate and Archway. Just off the Holloway Road - south of Archway tube station - it's impossible to park outside without getting a ticket and hardly a casual stroll from Soho for the afternoon shopper. It shouldn't work. But it does.

The shop started out selling House music and made its name as a local 2-step outpost whilst its sister label, original home of The Streets - Locked On, was in the ascendant. Label historians will note that 679 Recordings, the label that now releases The Streets along with all manner of exciting fare from Secret Machines to DFA 1979 and The Futureheads, has its roots here. In fact, Pure Groove operates the publishing arm of 679 as well as its own label Marquis Cha Cha, the latter currently proving one of the most on-target sources for new UK talent.

Here are a few tunes recently fished from their shelves:

Shy Child - Technicrats (Good & Evil)

Released on producer Paul Epworth's Good & Evil imprint, Shy Child do synth and drums - no guitar - and bash out the kind of No Wave noise that ruled their hometown of New York in the 80s. "Technicrats" is their best dancefloor release to date with a fantastic squelching synth bass attack released dead on the 1 minute mark to wreak havoc. Here's their website

The Horrors - Jack The Ripper (Loog)

A cover of a song by Screaming Lord Sutch, apparently. The Horrors have built up a committed fanbase with the requisite trawl of London holes and this Garage-Surf announcement isn't likely to do that any harm. On former NME writer James Oldham's Loog label.

Good Books - Walk With Me (Transgressive)

A weird one, this. "Walk With Me" sounds like Portishead at the outset and then turns into a Rapture track before your very ears. Admittedly, that makes it sound truly awful, and in honesty this track is definitely teetering on the edge of a fairly preposterous place but it works really quite nicely in practice. Even features a singalong chorus.

Larrikin Love - Ed Would (Infectious)

A lot of fun, clearly, if you're a pissed-up 15-year-old in the Holloway Road area and Larrikin Love happen to be playing Nambucca. In truth, they rehash all of the most throwaway elements of The Libertines - cockneyisms and knees-up jauntiness - and, to date, exhibit none of their more endearing ear for romance and lyricism. It's still early days though.

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