A year ago I wrote about City Road Records’ debut release, “Big Up.” The imprint was the house label for Idle Hands, a record shop in Bristol located on City Road and “aimed squarely at DJs and the dancefloor.” Every record store should do this if they’re able — the idea of some dope secret weapons available primarily from and maybe exclusively at one specific place seems like an idea that would work for this era of small market bespoke arts.

The debut City Road release was a UKG-oriented record from SPEKTRALSOUND; a year later they deployed some promo support for a four track V/A that goes by the catalog number and a title only a record buyer could love: 32A003. With it is a sad postscript: the label has officially outlived the record store, at least on City Road, with a message stating that they are suspending website sales while they “plan our next move.” 32A003 is a tribute to the shop and where it stood, with all artists having “close ties to the city” and the sound continuing with a decidedly UK-tilt.

Leading off is a sweet and energetic work-out from UK Garage and garage house producer Wilfy D who has released like a dozen records on vinyl in the last two years including the sensational Garage Tools EP on Shall Not Fade affiliate Timeisnow. Grime producer OH91 contributes “Mojito,” which appeared on his Talkin’ About EP but in a different mix. This one cuts out the strings in a short, raw and intense mix. The closer is “Diver” by dubstep and grime producer Sir Hiss. Most if not all of these producers probably have had limited exposure in the US, which would be another mitzvah from Idle Hands and City Road. Hopefully they both stick around.

V/A: 32A003 (City Road Records / 12″ Vinyl / March 3 2023)
A1. Wilfy D – “When U Needed” (5:55)
A2. OH91 – “Flavours” (3:33)
B1. DJ Polo – “RMV TH VWLS” (4:35)
B2. Sir Hiss – “Diver” (4:02)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo.


The High Life: This was originally published in 5 Mag Issue #205 featuring Orlando Voorn, Mira Ló, Victor Simonelli, Carly Wilford, Maxime Dangles, Turbojazz and more. Help keep our vibe alive and our shine bright by becoming a member for $2/month and get every issue in your inbox right away!



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