London riots: ten albums we'd have saved from the PIAS fire

The riots in the U.K. destroyed a lot of things, but one dear to our hearts is the Sony distribution center that housed the bulk of one of the largest distro's in Europe, PIAS. On the August 9, looters torched the entire facility, destroying the inventory of over 150 labels, including the likes of Beggar's Banquet, Warp, Ninja Tune and many others. Given the chance, here's the albums we would have saved from the fire. 10. Black Dice - Beaches & Canyons (Fat Cat) While divergent reviews will always exist about Black Dice, Beaches & Canyons is one of those albums so layered in different sounds and ideas, it feels like it could hold a clue as to what was happening in New York in the early '00s more than other records of the same era. It's also a great background to put on when you just want to zone out and stare at a spinning platter. 9. Boris with Michio Kurihara - Rainbow (Drag City) While a lot of people would probably argue that a crazy experimental drone album featuring a psychedelic guitarist isn't as important as, say, everything else in the world, this record is one of the finest in the genre. It also represents a lot of what Drag City as a label stands for, outward reaching music that occasionally bothers to have a hook, but is more interested in creating a idea. 8. Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil (PolyVinyl) We'd be willing to venture into a fire for most of Deerhoof's output, but since this is the most recent release, we'd guess it'd be the closest to the top of the pile. Plus, we're super into "The Merry Barracks" in a slightly unhealthy way. 7. Amon Tobin - ISAM (Ninja Tune) Picking one album from Ninja Tune was almost impossible, as the labels output is so consistently remarkable. That said, few releases define the idea of the Ninja Tune sound better than Amon Tobin, and ISAM is one of his finest records to date. It does that thing that most Ninja Tune albums do, which is be engaging and smart, but also relaxing. 6. King Geedorah - Take Me To Your Leader (Big Dada) Daniel Dumile (aka King Geedorah, aka MF Doom, aka Viktor Vaughn, aka Madvillian) is one of our favorite rappers because the dude knows when to have a little fun and when to be serious. He's also so prolific in so many different projects it's really hard not to love the guy. One of our favorite hip-hop records lost in the fire, easily.

5. Orange Juice - Coals to Newcastle (Domino) Do you have any idea how hard it already was to find music from Orange Juice? It wasn't easy, and the Scottish post-punk band went relatively unknown for the last few years until Domino re-issued the exhaustive box set Coals to Newcastle. It took such a huge effort to collect all this music together, we'd hate to see it disappear. 4. Yeasayer - Odd Blood (Secretly Canadian) While Yeasayer's output is by no means in danger of being lost in a fire (Odd Blood was leaked onto the internet months before the release), we know we'd take one glance at the record cover and know we had to grab it. It's one of the most solid pop albums in the last several years, and we'd have problems watching it burn. 3. Birthday Party - Prayers on Fire (4AD) Prayers on Fire was the first record to really introduce the world to Nick Cave, and it embodies everything that would consume him over the next twenty years. It's an important record to look at when talking about a ton of modern artists, and the thought of seeing it on fire, although oddly fitting, would probably make us tear up a little. 2. Mogwai - Young Team (Boom Kat) Look, let's be honest here: Mogwai has been making Young Team over and over again for the last fourteen years. The band has diverged slightly, but it has ultimately stayed in the same house ever since Young Team was released, changing out the wallpaper every so often. It's a classic album through and through, and it helped spawn a billion instrumental rock bands. 1. Boards of Canada - Geoghaddi (Warp) Picking a single album from the Warp catalog was an incredibly difficult task, and when it came down to Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada, we were forced to look deep into our souls to decide which record would look worse on fire. In the end, we figured Aphex Twin would actually look pretty amazing on fire, so we went with Geoghaddi, which also happens to be one of the greatest electronic albums of all time.
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Thorin Klosowski
Contact: Thorin Klosowski