The Independent Label Market started a couple of years ago in response to Record Store Day, as a chance for labels to gather together and sell their own wares direct to their customers - a bit like a hipsters' farmers market but without the mud and faint whiff of cow shit. It's now settled in at Spitalfields Old Market in London where twice a year you can find enthusiastic label bosses old and young emerging from dank offices and dark venues to engage with enthusiastic punters.
On balance I think I probably preferred this to Record Store Day this year - you don't have to get up ridiculously early, it's less busy, there's not as many pointless re-issues to buy, and it's great to get a chance to talk to the label owners and even some of the acts themselves. This year it had the added bonus of a brewers market as well, so you could sample the brews of various London breweries as you wandered round - I had a nice Christmassy ale from the Windsor & Eton Brewery to quench my thirst.
So who did I visit and what did I buy? Here's are the highlights:
- First stop was Stolen Records where I bought the new East India Youth 10" from the man himself
- Then round to Modular for Erol Alkan's Rework of Tame Impala's 'Be Above It'
- To Bella Union for the 'Peace Sword' EP by The Flaming Lips
- A chat with Darren Hayman before handing him a fiver for his 'Blue House' EP
- A brilliant sales job by the guy on the Because / Phantasy stall, who talked me into buying 'Cosmic Machine - A voyage across French cosmic & electronic avantgarde (1970-1980)', which meant that I got a free copy of the handprinted new Metronomy 12"
- 3 cds for £20 from Late Night Tales, including the new Bonobo mix and Late Night Tales At The Movies, which is the first cd for a long time that Mrs Cull has asked me to turn up rather than down. These came with a free mix cd of most of the cover versions that have appeared on the Late Night Tales cds.
So overall it was a great trip - put it in your diaries for next year!