Nick The Record’s rich history in music and record collecting over the past twenty five years has led him to become one of the most respected underground figures in the business. A founding member and resident DJ of the legendary Lifeforce party in Japan, Nick’s knowledge and selections have spread his journey far and wide, sharing stages alongside artists such as Madlib, Rhythm & Sound, DJ Harvey and Pépé Bradock throughout his career.
Now based in Brighton, Nick is a very established record dealer and the owner of DJ Friendly Records. He continues to host parties via the Tangent event series in London that he runs with fellow digger John Gomez and also releases the odd killer re-edit via his label Record Mission.
Ahead of his performance at Secretsundaze’ birthday party this weekend, we asked the disco connoisseur to dig deep and share some of his favourite finds from the many record shops he’s visited across the globe. Check below!
1/ France. Three Points – ‘Domele Matongo’
I played in Paris earlier this year with Reg Greg for the Le Mamie’s crew at a great club called DJOON. France is always good for African records & my favourite spot to visit is Superfly Records as they always have a strong selection. It’s funny how things change as I am a regular customer of theirs now but one of the owners Paulo bought records regularly from me when he lived in London in the late nineties. Since then this tune has featured in my sets pretty regularly.
2/ South Africa. Michael Naura Quintet – ‘Down In The Village’
In the late nineties I went play in a tiny country called Lesotho which is landlocked inside South Africa where there was a commune called Rustlers Valley which had a yearly festival. Afterwards I went down to Cape Town and I had a look around for records. It’s one of those common cases of if only I had the knowledge then that I have now as so much great South African music has come to light in the last few years.
At the time I was looking for Hugh Masekela & Letta Mbulu records with no luck but I was surprised to find some extremely rare German Jazz records from the sixties like Deiter Reith Trio on Saba & this cover of Tubby Hayes by Michael Naura.
3/ Netherlands. Sabu Martinez – My Christina
I sell records twice a year at the biggest record fair in the world in Utrecht. It’s in Holland so it is possible to drive from just about anywhere in Europe so there are dealers and records from all over Europe & people fly in from further afield. It used to be great for finding bargains, but as times change, and it is very easy to find the value of records online I find I buy less and less now. But the last great bargain I found, almost unheard of since the dawn of Discogs & popsike was this killer record from Sabu Martinez for 2 Euros.
The record itself has legendary status & was huge when It was first rediscovered in the early nineties. Sabu moved from Spanish Harlem / New York to Sweden & in 1973 recorded his Funkiest LP with a bunch of Swedish musicians. I also found a copy in London in 1993 for £5 but that’s another story.
4/ USA. Ahzz – New York’s Movin’
Hard to choose a record to mention finding in the USA as I have been going there at least twice a year since the mid nineties and bringing back at least a thousand records each time, often several thousand. I must have imported more than 100,000 records from the USA over the years. Of course lots of US records but I’ve also found Brazilian stuff, African stuff, European Jazz & the US is the only place I can find Italo Disco records in good condition.
I have bought records from first generation DJs, promotions people, a radio station librarian & a secretary at Capitol records. Artists & producers. I’ve bought stuff from Garages, Houses, Warehouses & Barns. Record shops & Record Shows, as they call them in America. This one sticks out because I actually found about 70 copies in a Gospel shop.
5/ UK. Mandré – Solar Flight (Opus I)
Before I started dealing records in the early nineties I worked in quite a few record shops. Red Records which later became Unity in Soho, Quaff Records in Ladbroke Grove when it was a Rare Groove & Jazz specialist & before that in a little shop in St. Albans which is where I grew up. I have also bought many record collections in the UK & also frequented a lot of record fairs for buying & selling. I was lucky enough to buy up lots of Disco in the late eighties when it was really out of fashion & it seemed only a handful of people were interested in it.
This one was always rare as it was only released on 12” in the UK & only as a promo so was very limited & always in demand.
Nick The Record plays at Secretsundaze Birthday Party with Marcellus Pittman and Sadar Bahar on August 26. More info and tickets available here.