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Rough Trade Magazine / Issue 1

Test Pressing, Dr Rob, Read, Rough Trade, Magazine, Issue 1. Bruce Usher, Liv Siddall

Rough Trade are obviously an institution. From a shop (and collective) on Kensington Park Road in 1976, to distribution, to label, to stores in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo and Paris. Dented by the internet they maintain a presence in London, Nottingham and NYC and they must be seen as a bastion of “independent” and in these days of ether, a bastion of “physical”.

I`ve been shopping there for over twenty years and 130 Talbot Road in Ladbroke Grove remains (thank goodness) a rendezvous destination for old friends whenever I am back in London. One of the few unchanged landmarks of “our” city, in which I am now often lost. I was in the store under Slam City Skates everyday when I worked on Riding House Street. The Middlesex Hospital since demolished. Case in point.

Test Pressing, Dr Rob, Read, Rough Trade, Magazine, Issue 1. Bruce Usher, Liv Siddall

This week, increasing their physicality, Rough Trade launched a monthly publication. Designed by Bruce Usher and edited by Liv Siddall with the aim of avoiding “glossy” cliche and achieving the breathless enthusiasm of a fanzine (is the “hard” `zine making a come back?), the first issue includes interviews with Charles Bradley (Daptone powerhouse), Black Mountain (responsible for Rough Trade`s album of the month), a feature on J.G. Ballard`s influence on music and musicians (to tie in with Ben Wheatley`s film of Ballard`s “High Rise”), and pieces penned by Mica Levi and Andrew Weatherall. Its sixty-four pages are free if you spend over 15GBP (What`s that? Two 12s or one LP?) or 4GBP otherwise.

You can learn more (with some great quotes from Usher and Siddall about “toilets” and “smiles”, respectively) over at ”It`s Nice That” and Rough Trade.

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