I’m one of these silly millennial retro fetishists. I love film cameras but never quite connected with the pixels. I use a computer every day to work, but my most interesting writing has always come out of the low thunk of a typewriter. And when it comes to playing music, I can f**k with CDJs and controllers, but I love playing records more than anything else. Digging for gems, making your collection fits together like Lego, and just generally getting your hands on the wax and feeling your music. I’m an analogue person in a digital world. And when I heard that there was a new company called Trax & Wax that would deliver solid house, techno and disco records to your door, I had to check it out.
Taking the increasingly popular curated delivery box format, Trax & Wax are looking to capitalize on the 18-30 year old’s insatiable yearn for vinyl and the current boom in underground dance music.
“I'm obsessed with music from the past and so is my co-founder,” says Manon Clayeux, who started Trax & Wax with co-founder Thomas Amundsen in March. “Although we've experienced a lot of retro things growing trendy recently, we've mostly paid attention to the music industry and the vinyl renaissance we've been subject to. Retro dance music has had a strong comeback over the last couple of years, with particularly the younger part of the millennial generation craving the classics they didn't get a chance to purchase when they came out.”
Taking the snooty, glass-penised record store clerk out of the equation and only giving you his suggestions is a fantastic idea, given that so many of us - myself firmly included - don’t really like talking to that pretentious wanker. He’s like an infuriating troll on a bridge protecting a stash of doubloons. Trax & Wax have five different boxes to choose from: Disco Box, Old Skool Box, Nu Skool Box, Techno Box, and Trax & Wax Box, which is a mixture of house and deep house. Each month you can either have two (£19.90 p/m) or four (£31.90 p/m) records delivered each month, and the company are distributing records they're sourcing from Rush Hour, Clone, Word & Sound and Syncrophone. So you can trust the selections month after month.
I gave them a vague outline of what I’m into at the moment (“I love that beefy, funky disco sound, bit of deep house, nothing cheesy, laidback smoke-out vibes...nahwhaamsayin’?”), and they duly picked up my gauntlet of aural ambiguity and threw out some doozies for me that fell neatly into the category I was looking for. And when the waxy bounty arrived on my door a week later, I wasn’t disappointed.
Awwwww yeeeahh. It’s like we’re being jettisoned back to Paradise Garage in 1979 with this classic from Gary’s Gang. Delightful bit of horizontal disco that works well in the early hours, and the Danny Krivit re-edit is tastefully done, really just quantized to eliminate those pesky human errors that plague the old disco cuts.
This funky little hip hoppy number from Brame Hamo was a nice departure from the four-to-the-floor standard fare of what I normally buy and play, and showed Trax & Wax’s scope for picking out some of the most esoteric stuff that the clerk might have forced upon you like a pushy sonic market dealer.
A classic cut of funky disco house chunk here from City People from back in 1996. I love the B-side “A Lil’ Tribute to the Moody Black Keys”, and it works nicely with the “Basement Jam” weapon as a groovy gear change.
This moody selection of broken-beat deep classic has a killer bassline and lovely warm percussion. I’m super partial to “About That” and really love the jazz influences that Paul Cut is bringing back into house.
“Feedback from our customers plays an integral role in the curation of our boxes,” Clayeux explains. “Each month our customers are asked to rate the records they receive in their boxes. This has helped us get a deeper understanding of what's working and what’s not. There are two others on the Trax & Wax team who are responsible for the import and deal directly with our distributors. They curate the boxes based on recommendations from these distributors. We want our customers to know that the records we select, come from already established brands. This helps us gain trust and credibility in the early stages while we still work to develop a prominent brand in the dance music scene.”
Paying thirty quid a month (with free delivery!) for four highly curated vinyl landing on your doorstep is a pretty solid deal for anyone that loves the format and perhaps doesn’t have the time or the geographical resources to get out for a good dig as much as they’d like. For some, the removal of the social aspect of record shopping might be a sore loss, but for us, ironing out the inevitable pretension and getting stuck right into the music is what it’s all about.
You can find out more about Trax & Wax here, and you can get 10% off your purchase by using the PULSERADIOWAX coupon code at the checkout!