“Next Door Records is the brainchild of Thom Parris, Louis Ray & Alfie Aukett. The three of us have different specialities in the music industry – myself DJing & record collecting, Alfie with production/writing & Louis production & engineering.”
“Starting out of lockdown in 2020 – the three of us flipped an unusable associated family restaurant into a pop up storage space for our records. We started to sell off the beers remaining and get to giving the restaurant a big makeover. A few months in and our landlord offered us the lease, to fully turn the space into something brand new. The offer had a one year end date and we were told the building was going to be sold. We took to work and for months the three of us hand built the shop on a very small crowdfunded budget. 3 years down the line and we’re still here! “
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🤔 Who should be on the next CC feature?
What is the most bizarre genre or sub-genre of music that you’ve encountered?
“It’s a tough battle between yacht rock & traincore. If I had to choose between the two, I wouldn’t. In fact, I would keep one in either pocket at all times – iPod shuffles playing only the trainiest core and the yachtiest rock. Consider them both as journey sounds: traincore was invented at NDR for those lonely long extended periods on transport. What makes a song traincore? They are long and subtle tunes that you need to be patient with. You can’t be distracted and they’re about the “journey”, man. Then we get to the polar opposite with yacht rock – songs to blow your hair in the wind to, 80’s rock songs that don’t work unless you’ve got an unbuttoned shirt and a cigar in hand – now that’s the sound of yacht rock 2023.”
What is the most expensive record you have ever sold, and what made it so valuable?
“One time, this lady brought in a box of around 300 records. Big name classic titles all collectively plastic wrapped by artist. The entire collection of original Rolling Stones records, tick. The entire discography of Led Zeppelin, tick. Tape notes and original interview scripts from Blondie, tick. The stuff in here was completely crazy and worth thousands upon thousands of pounds. After a hard bargain and having secured the goods, we noticed that there was a copy of the Rolling Stones debut album in there – which in itself was worth a whole lot of money. However, on the flip we realised it had signatures from every single band member. One quick google search and we realised it was worth north of £10,000… Sadly, after many phone calls and physical assessments – we lacked the correct paperwork to ever prove they were real. Its now locked away somewhere secret, with its authenticity being unprovable!”
How do you stay connected with the local music community and support emerging artists?
“We operate both as a record shop and a venue space. This allows us to bring in customers beyond just record shoppers. It allows people to understand the culture, be introduced to the format and experience the function of records by night too. We host daily events, with local artists, DJ collectives, label owners and more. This has been essential in growing our community and we’re lucky to have built a space that is now recognised for highlighting emerging artists. It’s a model being adopted more and more by record shops. Solely surviving off record sales in the modern market is incredibly difficult – by adding in more factors we have been able to support the shop financially as well as build an extended community.”
How do you curate your inventory? What factors do you consider when selecting new records to stock?
“Although the three of us have different interests, the shop stock exists in a vaguely similar sound palette. There are two main points of influence:
A lot of what we curate exists in the ‘crossover’ points of music. We’re especially interested in the grey area between electronic and live music forms. Whether that be percussive forms of techno, jazzy broken beat, modern dub and more we find great influence in bringing together those separated barriers.
Beyond that, a lot of the influence in the shop comes from West London heritage. We’re proud to be one of a handful of community focused music spots in west London. The influence of broken beat, sound system culture and the hardcore continuum definitely lives on!”