Articles by RussRyan

Crate Minds: An Interview With Julian Gascoigne of Rook Records

Rook Records opened its online doors in 2016 and has since had a meteoric rise through the Discogs seller charts. Specialising in Soul to Afro and Disco to Techno, Julian’s taste was founded & refined in over a decade of digging and now, luckily for us, shared with the world! We paid a visit to […]

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Crate Minds: An Interview With Ewan Of Rarekind Records

Rarekind is a Brighton community pillar and has been for well over a decade, diversifying through trends & generations to meet ever-changing demands whilst staying true to its roots of pushing fantastic soul-drenched records across a cross-section of genres. An OG Art Gallery turned Record Shop, Owner and Manager Ewan has been behind the counter […]

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Retracing Reggae: In Conversation With “Covers” Author, Alex Bartsch


South London photographer Alex Bartsch spent years researching and documenting Reggae album covers, resulting in his time capsule hardback Covers, now available for anyone to time travel through reggae on their own! Focusing on Reggae record sleeves between 1967-1988, Alex worked in close collaboration with Al Newman, scouting the location of 50+ sleeves whilst tracing […]

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In Conversation With VIP Record Fairs’ Director, Rob Lythall


Since its humble beginnings in the early 1980s, VIP Record Fairs have grown from strength to strength, now drawing dealers from across the world and running 50+ events across the UK annually. With the ever-growing trend of online delivery, record fairs like VIP reinforce the value of community amongst the record industry whilst offering serious […]

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Top 5 Listening Bars In The UK


Long gone are the days where club sound systems reign supreme. In recent years we’ve seen a wave of obsession-fuelled, hi-fidelity sound installed in cafés and bars across the UK. Paving the way for sound and music conscious diggers to enjoy records in more comfortable surrounds. Since their infamous inception in Japan, listening bars’ primary […]

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Unearthing OG Boogie, Melodies Meets Don Blackman


Queens native, pianist, singer, songwriter and 80s soul hero Don Blackman created arguably one of the greatest soul LPs of his generation in the self-titled, Blackman. 2019 has thankfully seen, by a domino of chance, his slept on 2002 boogie cut “Just Can’t Stay Away” re-emerge via London reissuers Melodies International. Cutting his teeth as […]

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A Crate Digger’s Guide To Edinburgh Record Shops

The Scottish capital is simply stunning, from medieval lanes to mountainous surrounds shadowed by the beautiful Edinburgh Castle. Beneath Edinburgh’s historically drenched touristic wow-factor lies a diggers treasure trove, with a plethora of record shops scattered across the city that will keep all types of collectors busy. Last week we went on an Irn-Bru powered […]

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First Word Records’ Aly Gillani: “Our Beats Got Soul”

First Word Records Aly Gillani

Since its conception in 2003, First Word Records has grown immensely as a platform for some fantastic artists and projects, culminating in their selection as Gilles Peterson and Worldwide’s Label Of The Year award in 2019. The London imprint turned 15 this year and arguably had its biggest year to date: The Children Of Zeus […]

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Independent Label Market: A Farmer’s Market For Music Lovers

Independent Label Market - London

Since its inception on Berewick Street in 2011, the Independent Label Market has hosted over 50 fairs globally, bringing together over 400 of the world’s independent record labels from London to LA, and from Berlin to Barcelona.  In a world of online delivery and streaming services, the ILM has helped reinforce the value of community […]

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Crate Minds: Gary Dennis Of Crazy Beat Records

Crazy Beat’s doors have been open for many moons and have seen firsthand the record buying evolution, with Gary Dennis at the helm since day one. Crazy Beat is on the surface a brick and mortar record shop, bursting at the seams with vinyl — but a step into the back room opens up to […]

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