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'Oldest Record Label In The world', Topic Records, to release more from the vaults this summer | FESTIVALPHOTO
 

'Oldest Record Label In The world', Topic Records, to release more from the vaults this summer

Topic Records, widely regarded as the oldest record label in the world, have this year been embarking on a project to digitize their entire catalogue (complete with in depth pdfs, artwork and images) – a huge task. Topic has always had the underlying philosophy of making traditional based music as widely available as possible. The ambition of the label is now to make as much of its vast historical catalogue available using the current format – digital. What makes this project distinctive is that at the moment, digital delivery all too often divorces the audio recording from all artwork, documentation and sleeve-notes. The plan at Topic is to restore and include all of the information that accompanied the original releases of the past.

The project has already achieved notable national press coverage from the likes of Uncut, Music Week, Mojo, Wire, Record Collector, as well as spotlights on BBC Radio 2 and 3.

The first tranche of 84 digital releases included albums originally released on vinyl LP in the late 1950s, the 60s, 70s and 80s. Many have been out of print for twenty years or more and include titles which were championed by John Peel and other influential broadcasters. Much of the repertoire on the field recordings included in the Topic archive has fed into the latest British folk revival, whilst many recordings of Irish traditional music are of cultural and political significance and date from a period when there were few domestic labels in Ireland releasing such music.

The label have just announced the following for the summer:
JUNE

Topic will publish digital booklets for all of June Tabor's Topic back catalogue:

TSDL298 JUNE TABOR Airs & Graces
TSDL360 JUNE TABOR Ashes & Diamonds
TSDL410 JUNE TABOR & MARTIN SIMPSON A Cut Above
TSDL432 JUNE TABOR Abyssinians
TSDL449 JUNE TABOR Aqaba
TSDL490 JUNE TABOR Aleyn
TSDL510 JUNE TABOR A Quiet Eye
TSDL532 JUNE TABOR Rosa Mundi
TSDL543 JUNE TABOR An Echo Of Hooves
TSDL557 JUNE TABOR At The Wood's Heart
TSDL568 JUNE TABOR Apples

JULY
Martin Simpson will have his new album TSCD589 Vagrant Stanzas released at Cambridge Festival on July 28th – Topic will publish digital booklets for all of his Topic back catalogue:

TSDL513 MARTIN SIMPSON The Bramble Briar TSDL540 MARTIN SIMPSON Righteousness & Humidity
TSDL553 MARTIN SIMPSON Kind Letters
TSDL567 MARTIN SIMPSON Prodigal Son
TSDL578 MARTIN SIMPSON True Stories

Continuing monthly throughout 2013, further archive titles will be released

Writer: Anthony May
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