Yes, we’ve entered the month every record collector drools over and every brick and mortar both loves and gets great anxiety over. With the entrance of April comes Record Store Day. That day when exclusive content is released for music lovers everywhere on the only true music format that counts: vinyl. CDs are still alright and cassettes have their place here as well, but vinyl is the format that started it all and remains, in my eyes and ears, where music truly comes alive. Music retains its own very specific personality when grooves are dug into acetate. A world is formed in the cuts and valleys of these black circles that you just don’t quite get from any other musical format. Throw in the beautiful artwork displayed on the sleeve(and sometimes gatefold sleeve) and it’s as if you’re a little kid again following along to a story on record, waiting for the beep so you can turn the page. As adults those stories become songs; turning the page consists of following along with the lyric sheet and gazing upon the detailed album art.
I may be fetishizing vinyl, and that’s okay.
There are certain labels that come along that truly understand that ritual of vinyl. It’s not just laying a disc on the platter and dropping a needle. It’s a process of love and dedication. Cleaning the fuzz from the disc, gently wiping any debris from the needle, and meticulously dropping that arm down so the needle locks in at just the right spot. Pops, crackles,…then magic. One of those labels that understand this love to attention and savoring music on a record is Burning Witches Records.
Burning Witches has been releasing music since 2016. In two years time they have built up an incredibly impressive roster of musical talent(many of which have become favorites of mine.) From Maine to All of Them Witches to Espectrostatic to Brass Hearse to Hex Void to Isvisible Isinvisible to Burning Tapes to so much more, this UK-based label has been putting out impressive records at an alarming rate. Late last summer Burning Witches released a Halloween compilation called Witches’ Halloween Brew. It was a cassette release with a who’s who of some of the most talented synth artists working today. An incredible set, the cassette sold out quickly, as did all of the successive reissues in various colors(Argento Blood Red, Pumpkin Orange, and Trick Or Treat.)
So with Record Store Day just on the horizon, Burning Witches Records have announced they have their own RSD 2018 exclusive release. It’s titled Communion and it’s about as banging a set as you’ll hear. It’s a compilation filled with some of Burning Witches’ finest, as well as artists you will have likely heard(or need to hear.) This is definitely my most anticipated RSD release, and as quickly as this will sell out you should make it yours, too.
Who’s on it? Here’s the tracklisting:
Deadly Avenger – “Nightcrawler”
Alone In The Woods – “I Never Came Up For Air”
Graham Reznick – “Faking Point”
Isvisible Isinvisible – “The Level Crossing”
Espectrostatic – “The Locust Accord”
Cory Kilduff – “LV426”
Timothy Fife – “Erotic Rites”
Ian Alex Mac – “Winona ’88”
Harglow – “Candle Wax”
worriedaboutsatan – “Figures, Data”
So that’s pretty much an unstoppable crew of talent right there. The Voltron of heavy synth, getting weird and beautiful for your ears. I’m not going to go into detail regarding each track. That’s the beauty of these RSD releases; that bit of the unknown. Dropping money on a mystery and rushing home to throw it on the TT and letting it hit your ears over a cup of dark roast. I can say that Burning Witches Records have put together one of the most exciting RSD exclusives I’ve heard in a very long time. From the electro-strut of Deadly Avenger’s “Nightcrawler” to the bubbly analog dreams of Isvisible Isinvisible’s “The Level Crossing” to the Giallo wet dreams of Timothy Fife’s “Erotic Rites” to the 80s Tangerine Dream vibes of Ian Alex Mac’s “Winona ’88” and the psychedelic ambient comedown of worriedaboutsatan’s “Figures, Data”, Communion delivers. But not like a varied selection of songs strung together randomly with no rhyme or reason. It’s a compilation that plays like some lost score to an 80s flick you vaguely remember seeing late one night on a Jolt cola buzz and one too many pizza rolls. It’s a beautifully curated selection of songs from like-minded artists. Each song comes at electronic music with a different approach, yet all of them feel compiled at the same time and set in the same time capsule for us to discover. The tracks seem to contour to the differences between them, which makes the listening experience that much more engaging. You don’t want to miss out on this one.
Burning Witches Records wants you to take Communion, so my advice is to take it.