Author Archives: Gabriela Helfet

This week’s VF HQ playlist

A rotating selection of our favourite music.

From new releases to beloved classics, our VF HQ playlist features the records we’ve been listening to.

This week’s instalment features tracks by Nimco Happy, Soichi Terada, 96 Back, SHERELLE, Pigeon, and more.

Selected by VF’s Gabriela Helfet and updated regularly, check out the latest incarnation below and follow us here.

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Idle Moments: Inside Brilliant Corners’ audiophile and wine haven

Analog hi-fi, Japanese vinyl, and wine – united in harmony.

Since its inception, Brilliant Corners has existed as something of a rarity in London: a music fanatic’s dream with meticulous attention to every sonic detail, that remains unpretentious and welcoming to all. Combining top-tier audio – those floor-to-ceiling Klipsch speakers! That glowing Bozak mixer! – in a setting with an abundance of wine and Japanese food, the Dalston spot feels like a neighbourhood haunt and a treat at the same time.

BC also operates a summer outpost, called GIANT STEPS, with a similar ethos — as well as a sound system that has graced festival seasons with its BBC turntable console.

But when Covid hit, BC’s founders, brothers Aneesh and Amit Patel, had to think differently. They transformed what was once a physical hub for audio-, oeno-, and Nippon-ophiles into a website — and the highlights of Brilliant Corners inspired its new platform, Idle Moments.

Since that time, the Patels have adapted further still, opening up an Idle Moments location on Columbia Road in East London, with vinyl curated by Tokyo’s Vinyl Delivery Service, alongside the best hi-fi and wine that BC has to offer.

Eager to visit this new sonic oasis, we took a trip to BC and spoke with Aneesh to find out more.

Idle Moments began as an online store – what lead you to start that?

After a couple of months of lockdown, not quite knowing how long Brilliant Corners would have to be closed for, we realised that we needed to find a way to pay for all our bills that we weren’t able to put on pause. We had a lot of audio equipment in storage that we had collected over the years, plus plenty of good wine sitting in the cellar at Brilliant Corners.

We chucked some records from our personal collections into the mix, and started selling everything on Instagram. We had a lot of people contacting us after that, so we decided to build a web store. More than just paying the bills though, it also gave us a way to connect with the communities that we were missing whilst everything was closed down.

How did the physical Idle Moments outpost come about?

The online operation was chaotically spread across the floor space of Brilliant Corners and our respective home apartments. There were vintage speakers, amplifiers, records, and bottles of wine all over the place. We needed a place for making and receiving deliveries, so we started looking for a retail unit.

The selection at the shop and on the website should broadly be the same. We’ve shipped everything from cases of wine to entire sound systems all over the world. However, we still prefer to engage with people in the physical shop if possible. At the shop itself, it’s easier to give proper advice on what we’re selling.

We’ve also enjoyed getting to know our local customers, and in terms of wine, figuring out what they like and don’t like, introducing them to new styles and unfamiliar grape varietals. Similarly it’s nice to be able to give more context to the records and equipment we are selling.

In the future, we’ll be planning more in-store events which celebrate certain winemakers, record releases, and generally look to build a community around the shop.

Does the area have particular significance to you?

It’s close to plenty of other great record shops like World of Echo, Yo-Yo Records, Flashback, and Atlantis Records. Plus we get to be neighbours with Brawn!

What do you stock at Idle Moments?

We stock wine, records, and hi-fi equipment that we know and love.

Good sound, music, and wine are some of the essentials of what we do at Brilliant Corners and GIANT STEPS. The products we offer at Idle Moments are borne out of that experience.

The shop is filled with wines from our favourite producers. These are either pioneers of the natural wine movement, or their most accomplished disciples. We try to make sure that every bottle on our shelves, regardless of its price point, has an enduring appeal. We also have a select range of other favourites of ours – from beer and cider to mezcal, rhum agricole, and Spanish brandy.

The new release records are a focused selection of deep listening and spiritually engaging music. We wanted to create a space dedicated to the style of more contemplative music that we were often listening to during lockdown. The selection is currently curated by Cedric Woo from Beauty & the Beat, and all of the records are essential listening.

All of the second-hand records are managed by Vinyl Delivery Service, a Tokyo-based record dealer that brings over thousands of records curated by their team in Japan. Scott from VDS has the knowledge of all the secondhand stock in the shop, and is there to provide recommendations alongside full in-store service.

The hi-fi section is made up of classic speakers, turntables, and amplifiers, all of which, for differing reasons, have a timeless quality, and above all look and sound great. It’s the kind of equipment we have always recommended to friends over the years, which has been tried and tested in various different settings and has always done a great job.

How did the collaboration with VDS come about?

Kay Suzuki (boss of Time Capsule records, former Head Chef at Brilliant Corners) knew we were looking for a permanent site for Idle Moments. He also knew that Rintaro Sekizuka, from VDS, was planning to start importing a lot of records from Japan to launch a VDS presence in London. Then Scott, who was already a friend of ours, started working with Rintaro for that same purpose. When we found the site on Columbia Road, it made perfect sense for us to work together, and share some of the retail space with VDS.

VDS’ selection of records is unlike any other stock in London. Lots of rare Japanese pressings, all in amazing condition across a range of genres, from jazz to electronic to obscure Japanese sounds. Their offering perfectly complemented everything else we were doing at Idle Moments, and it became even more exciting to be working with friends on a new project.

What’s the story behind the BBC console?

We were tipped off about the console by our friend David Hill. We bought it from a guy who acquired it from the widow of an ex-BBC producer.

It has two Technics SP10s mounted with BBC tonearms, built-in preamps, and pleasingly looks like something out of 2001 Space Odyssey. We took it to Farr festival and Houghton, as part of the GIANT STEPS sound system in 2017.

Looking back, that was an absurd thing to do. It weighs a ton, and is too precious to be bashed around in a van. For a while, it lived in the side room at Brilliant Corners, but it’s now found its rightful home at the shop.

What else have you got in the works?

We’re working on getting the GIANT STEPS sound system out of storage and back into the field in 2022! Plus an exciting and completely new project that you’ll hear more about very soon…

Photos by: Silvia Gin

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

VF Live: Kirollus #9

An eighties Cali funk special.

In VF Live, DJs take you inside their homes, record stores, and studios for intimate selects and mixes.

Brighton-based DJ Kirollus has been working at his local specialist record store Uptight Records for the past eight years, amassing a mighty collection along the way. He also hosts a bi-weekly mix series called Forty Minutes of Funk, to help push boogie, funk, soul, and the talented DJs within the scene forward.

Kirollus dedicates his 9th Vinyl Factory Live “to the people of California who continue to inspire me, and show me love since the early days of my career,” he shares.

“This mix goes out to Orange County, Riverside, and the surrounding areas in Cali – where funk is a way of life for many. Kids grow up singing along to private press funk and you’ll find the majority of the world’s rare funk records exchanging hands for eye-watering amounts of money”

The bass-heavy 12″ selection showcases the’Cali funk’ sound, alongside a few classics includes an ultra rare and virtually unknown record from the same team behind one of the greatest boogie tunes, ‘New Jersey Connection – Love Don’t Come Easy'”.

Tracklist:

1. Yvonne Gage – Lover Of My Dreams (Pinnacle Records)
2. Cookie – Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover (Le Jazz)
3. Legacy ‎– Word Up (Brunswick)
4. Joy ‎– I Need Your Love (Instrumental) (Eastern Records)
5. The Hudsons – You Keep Me Up (Epic)
6. The Pretty Boys ‎– I’ve Got My Eyes On You (Downtown Recordss & Filmworks)
7. Cotton Candy featuring Donna Trollinger ‎– Havin’ Fun (Tommy Boy)
8. Lady Jane – I’m Your Lover (Edited Remix) (Kat Family Records)
9. Brenton Wood – $$Cold Cash$$ (Golden Oldies Records)
10. Charisma Featuring Brenda Watts – Love Treatment (A & B Records)
11. The House Of Joy – It’s A Hold up (For Your Love) (Carnival Records)

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

FACT unveils second issue of its bi-annual magazine

With five covers featuring Object Blue, anaiis, Mica Levi, a’strict, and Gabriel Moses.

FACT is releasing the second issue of its print magazine – a bi-annual publication charting art’s new frontier.

Available in five different covers, it features Object Blue, Gabriel Moses, anaiis, immersive art collective a’strict, and Mica Levi’s CURL – each of whom have contributed original work and photography to the issue.

A celebration of creative collaborations, the 200-page publication includes exclusive features with: multi-hyphenate artist Es Devlin interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist; audiovisual duo Nonotak; dancer / choreographer Holly Blakey; electronic visionaries Carsten Nicolai and Caterina Barbieri.

The issue also presents a 32-page feature on LUX – a new, immersive art exhibition curated by Fact at 180 Studios, 180 The Strand, with artists including: Refik Anadol, Hito Steyerl, Cecilia Bengolea, Julian Knxx, and Universal Everything.

Order a copy here.

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

VF Live x Phonica Records: Demi Riquísimo

Italo, house, acid, and proto-disco at the London institution.

In VF Live, our favourite DJs take you inside their homes, record stores, studios, and radio stations, for intimate mixes and performances.

Raised in Detroit, producer, DJ, and label head Demi Riquísimo now resides in London, where he cultivates his acid, Italo, house, and disco-inspired sonic palette. In addition to his own production work and remixes for Alfresco Disco, Ninja Tune, Wolf Tone, Shall Not Fade and HOMAGE, Riquísimo is the founder of vinyl-only imprint Semi Delicious imprint.

Ahead of the release of Semi Delicious’ Peripheral Visions EP, featuring tracks by Demi, Baby Rollen, Harry Oscillate, Gallegos and Tech Support, he makes his VF Live debut:

“Phonica has become of great importance to me since moving to London. It’s the first record store I felt comfortable going in and having vinyl recommended to me by the staff. I do much of the distribution for Semi Delicious myself. Hand delivering the releases to the store is always a highlight for me.

For this set, I wanted to share the vinyl that I collected over the lockdown period, to portray the moods and sounds I was feeling during that time. There’s Italo, proto-disco, acid, house, and breaks, as well as a few older favourites. I also play a new, unreleased test pressing of the forthcoming record on Semi Delicious. Two tracks from the test pressing are included in the mix as exclusives:’Sanitise’ by Demi Riquísimo and ‘Peripheral Visions’ by Baby Rollen.

Head here for more from Semi Delicious.

Photos by: Dan Medhurst

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Digging for records in London – at Rough Trade with Aziya

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Aziya makes an essential visit to Rough Trade’s Brick Lane HQ. Step inside with Aziya as she shares some of her favourite records from the racks – following the release of her stellar debut EP, We Speak Of Tides.

“In 2012, I was twelve-years-old, completely naive and unsure about a lot, but certain in what I liked to listen to. This was also how old I was when I visited Rough Trade for the first time. When you’re twelve, everyone knows you go there for one of two things: the tote bags or the photo booth. In hindsight, it’s a feeble introduction to one of the biggest record stores in London, which not only has strong ties to the city’s music culture, but also, if we’re talking dramatically, played a hugely important part in the birth of indie music. I was soon to learn that…

For the uninitiated, as you walk into Rough Trade you’re enveloped by a space ship-like building. Filled with recruits, aka staff, these people are experts in all kinds of genres, and even more qualified in firing judgmental stares at you as you flick through the records.

For me, that adds to the excitement, while I am hunting for the most obscure and necessary vinyl, of course. That said, Prince’s Purple Rain was the first ever record I bought, and it was in Rough Trade. Sometimes you just have to think, ‘fuck judgmental people!’ Or, get your friends to work there, and then they ‘understand’ when you buy the classics.

Being back in this spaceship, now aged 21, makes me me realise how lucky I am to come from London, where I had the freedom to discover so many different genres, all under one roof. Equally, I was able to fully be a prepubescent 12-year-old, working out what made me tick, and deciding to go to one of the world’s most iconic record stores for a piece of fabric.”


CAN
Ege Bamyasi
(United Artists, 1972)

“I heard CAN’s Ege Bamyasi for the first time when I was 18, and it was one of the first albums to trigger my love of psych rock. Many of the guitar tones are inspirational, particularly on the track ‘Paperhouse’ – the fuzz is so sick on that tune. Damo Suzuki, one of the seven frontmen they had, is mad in the best way… From the way he looks to his performance, the ‘Vitamin C’ video was what really struck me at the time. He’s an iconic frontman. If you want a track to get you into CAN, listen to ‘Moonshine’.”

St. Vincent
Daddy’s Home
(Loma Vista, 2021)

“This record is super exciting to me, both lyrically and sonically. St. Vincent wrote this about her father’s return from prison, but stylistically this was realised in quite a distorted and dream-like way. Also, as a musician and producer myself, the fact that St. Vincent was such a massive part of the production too is so exciting.”

William Onyeabor
Who is William Onyeabor
(Luaka Bop, 2013)

“I had to perform William Onyeabor songs at college, and I remember being so excited by the fusion of synths, polyrhythms and the edge that this album brought to ’70s psychedelic funk music. His own personal story is insane too. An elusive man in government who went on to make his own record label, release some fire tunes, then was never to be seen again, or so it seemed.”

Blondie
‘Denis’
(Rust Records/Stateside, 1963)

“Debbie Harry has been a massive inspiration on my music. I’m obsessed with the new wave era, and how abrasive it was. For me, Debbie Harry is at the forefront of that movement, as well as an icon of mine – both stylistically, and of course, musically. ‘Denis’, although more pop-y sonically, highlights how she transformed a ’50s rock’n’roll sound, and modernised it via the culture, and experiences Blondie were living through. Another song that achieves a similar feel is from their Parallel Lines album, called ‘Just Go Away’. Ughh! The guitar lines in this song get me. It has a similar energy to ‘Denis’, sounding like a distinctly ‘modernised’ rock’n’roll song thanks to Debbie’s voice and lyrics. Parallel Lines is one of the most played records in my collection.”

Ebo Taylor
Twer Nyame
(Philips-West African-Records, 1978)

“Discovering Ebo Taylor was so important for me as an artist, with his singular mix of psychedelic rock, funk, and West African sonics. Twer Nyame is a record whose sound encapsulates the excitement I had hearing Ebo’s music for the first time. The whole Afrobeat scene back then was almost like a last nod to western rock. The way that pioneers like Ebo took those rock influences, made them their own, and birthed new sounds – thanks to polyrhythms, driven bass lines, and a lot of brass – has shaped my own music in the best way.”


Aziya’s We Speak Of Tides is out now.

Photos by: Dan Medhurst

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

VF Live: Scarlett O’Malley #2

A soul 45s special from her London HQ.

In VF Live, DJs take you inside their homes, record stores, and studios for intimate selects and mixes.

London DJ Scarlett O’Malley returns for her monthly VF Live residency with a 100% soul 45s special.

“Now that I am with y’all every month for my new residency, I decided that my second VF Live would have to be a straight soul 45s special!

Soul music is the first genre I started obsessively collecting, and was the first genre to truly capture my heart, so I wanted to go through tunes that really mean something to me.

This set is very much a display of my tastes, as well as how my tastes have grown. Many of these records were the first ones that I acquired when I really got into buying and collecting. They also hold a special place in my heart from when I first started to DJ.

I start with an ode to the 100 Club 6Ts Rhythm and Soul all-nighter party that I have been going to for years, and I drop their most recent anniversary release. Next, I go on to play some of my favourite Northern Soul tracks, followed by some of my most-loved women of soul. From there, it wouldn’t be a soul special without some crossover. Finally, I end with super deep, slow, low-rider, tear-jerker weepy records.

I’ve sprinkled lots of little anecdotes along the way, which also made me realise how much emotion I attach to records, and soul music.

Nearly 90 minutes of tunes, with so much more to play… I am glad, grateful, and blessed to be able to do a set for you every month.”

Watch and listen to Scarlett’s latest VF Live show above, and check out the tracklist below.

Tracklist:

1. Darrow Fletcher – (Love Is My) Secret Weapon
2. Bobby Kline – Say Something Nice To Me
3. The Classic Example – Right On
4. Ace Spectrum – Don’t Send Nobody Else
5. Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes – Get Out (And Let Me Cry)
6. The Artistics – It’s Those Little Things That Count
7. Smokey Robinson and The Miracles – Whatever Makes You Happy
8. Patty and The Emblems – Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl
9. The Hesitations – Is This The Way To Treat A Girl (You Bet It Is)
10. Harold Jackson and The Jackson Brothers – Freedom Riders
11. Arnold Blair – Trying To Get To Next To You
12. Alice Clark – Never Did I Stop Loving You
13. Aretha Franklin – Day Dreaming
14. Margie Joseph – I Can’t Move No Mountain
15. Big John Hamilton – Just Seeing You Again
16. The Philly Devotions – I Just Can’t Say Goodbye
17. The Fantastic Puzzles – Come Back
18. Dee Dee Warwick – You Tore My Wall Down
19. The Decisions – We’re In Love
20. Sonji Clay – Nobody
21. The Lovelites – My Conscience
23. Joy Tones – This Love
24. Jackie Wilson – The Tear Of The Year
25. Eddie Holman – This Can’t Be True
26. The Intrigues – The Language of Love
27. The Five Stairsteps – Come Back
28. William Bell – I Forgot To Be Your Lover

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

Listen to a Lee “Scratch” Perry tribute mix by Dennis Bovell

Featuring previously unheard collaborations between the two artists, and music from Scratch’s back catalogue.

Following the news of Lee “Scratch” Perry’s death, Dennis Bovell has paid tribute to the late artist in his Dub On Air radio show.

Across two-hours, Bovell plays previously unheard collaborations between the two artists, as well as tracks from Perry’s prolific career.

Listen to the show in full above, and check out ten essential Lee “Scratch” Perry records here.

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

VF Live: Aloha Got Soul #7 with Roger Bong

Celebrating the sounds of Hawaii – with disco, island folk, rock, and AOR records.

In VF Live, our favourite DJs take you inside their homes, record stores, and studios, for intimate mixes and performances.

Aloha Got Soul’s latest set sees founder Roger Bong celebrating the sounds of Hawaii – direct from its record store in Honolulu.

“This is a mix of all things Hawaii: country, disco, Hawaiian, folk, rock, AOR, and ending with the all-time classic, ‘Naturally’ by Kalapana.

These selections come from a crate I was spinning every weekend at the Honolulu Museum of Art for a recurring event which centered around a relaxing evening of Hawaiian and local music. Recent government measures have cancelled or prohibited many types of events throughout Hawaii due to the pandemic, and this crate has sat unplayed since.

The records also remind me of my first VF Live set – songs that feel like home, songs that remind me of the islands.”

Watch and listen to the set above, and check out the tracklist below.

Tracklist

1. Gabe Kila – Jiro And Ichiro
2. Kona Blend – Meeting in Secret
3. Keli’i Tau’a – Roll It Maika
4. Makaha Sons of Niihau – Hale Aniani / Lani Ha‘aha‘a
5. Buddy Fo and his Group – Going Home
6. Henry Kaleialoha Allen – Naka Pueo
7. Na Kaholokula – Puhipuhi Osole Pipi
8. Haleakala – Jan Ken A Po
9. Loyal Garner – Kaaahi Kahului
10. Hawaiian Railroads – Kapoho (A Village In The Land Of Puna)
11. Kaleo O Kalani – Hanalei
12. Country Comfort – We Are The Children
13. Mike Kahikina – Who Came First?
14. Eddie Suzuki – Beauty Near Hanalei
15. Harry Sonoda – Waves
16. Moondance – Still On My Mind
17. Kalapana – Naturally


Head here to discover more about Aloha Got Soul

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory

VF Live: Jayson Wynters

Broken beat, house, and techno records from his Birmingham HQ.

In VF Live, our favourite DJs take you inside their homes, record stores, and studios, for intimate mixes and performances.

DJ, producer, and Cafe Artum founder Jayson Wynters makes his VF Live debut, playing Broken beat, house, and techno records from his Birmingham HQ.

First cutting his teeth in the garage scene as an MC in the late ’90s, Jayson has continued his musical journey weaving through different scenes in his hometown, as well as further afield – in the UK and across the globe.

“My inspiration behind the mix was paying homage to nights like Co-op at plastic people, Bruk up at the Hare n Hounds in Birmingham and Bruce Q’s Liquid Fusion at Zinc Bar. All in the name of Broken Beat/Nu Jazz and the people/usual suspects who are responsible for this sound.”

Watch and listen to the set above, and check out the tracklist below.

Tracklist

1. Yukiro Fukotumi – Is it Featuring Ion Fine
2. Kaidi Tatham – In search of hope pt 2
3. Dub Basement – Thrill Seeker
4. Cosmosis – The Land of the forgotten dreams of Zoo
5. Matt Wood – No Time (Neon Phusion Mix)
6. Ben Hauke – Simple Feat Jerome Thomas
7. Da One Away – Trash Da Junk (808 dub Version)
8. 2000& Black – Two way here one way go
9. Untitled
10. Bossa Tres Jazz – Easy in
11. DJ Rels – Eclipse Parts 1 & 2
12. Daniel Maunick – A Vicious Circle
13. Samrai – Khadi (JTC Remix)
14. Untitled
15. Sir Lord Commix – Motionvibe
16. 4Hero – We who are not as others (Jazzanova Remix)
17. Watching Windows (Roni Size Meets Nu Yorican Soul)

Listen to Jason Wynters’ forthcoming The Affect Heuristic EP on Delsin Records here.

Photo by: David Stanley

Original Resource is The Vinyl Factory