Ever since 2003, one yearly treat I look forward to is the annual Rough Trade Shops compilation. To date this is a double album which has some highlights from major albums released during the year and some surprise hits for the upcoming one. The best ones usually contain a lot of hidden gems that were overlooked.
In previous years the Counter Culture albums would have one disc dedicated to folk, accessible dance music and indie pop and a second disc dedicated to the loud, weird and off kilter tracks. I was always worried that a sign of old age would be when I preferred the quiet disc to the loud one but never happened. Anyway last year they did away with that and now we listeners get a well sequenced set of tracks that alternate between all the genres I mentioned above.
I could be biased but I barely can find anything wrong with these compilations (well if you force me to dis a Counter Culture compilation I would say disc one of CC 11 – I have heard all the tracks before) so this years is no exception: I think it is awesome and exciting. I think there’s a certain magic listening to a lot of aural treasures.
My personal highlights at the moment are the following:
Chastity Belt – Different Now
Flat Worms – Motorbike
Rolling Black Outs Coastal Fever – French Press
Superorganism – It’s All Good
Michele Mininni – Rave Oscillations
Honestly I could chuck some more links but i’ll leave it at that.
For 42 years Rough Trade Shops have been at the forefront of taste making and, trust me, with a compilation as strong as this one, they are still ahead of everyone.