As Robin Richards of Dutch Uncles announces the release of his new EP in doughnut form, Frances Salter revisits VultureHound’s favourite and/or most gimmicky release formats, but can’t get the sugar out of her record player.
1. Have you ever spent circa 20 minutes listening to a new EP and then wished you’d spent that time eating a doughnut instead? Now you don’t have to choose, because Robin Richards has announced that he’s releasing a doughnut. Oh yes! He’s commissioned a cafe in Manchester to create a doughnut in response to his new solo EP, Castel. And to be fair, it sounds absolutely delicious: it’s got a coffee and cardamom filling (the doughnut that is: the EP has a These New Puritans flavour filling). My record player is still sticky, though, and I don’t see RR offering to come and clean it.
2. I’m a vegetarian, so I had to look away while I wrote this one. Who among us can forget when Matthew Herbet released ‘One Pig’, in which he sampled and remixed recordings of a pig’s life from birth to death to food product? Herbert didn’t stop at eating parts of the pig, either: he used its skin to make instruments and used the blood in the cover art. This is either an immersive artwork that forces us to confront the suffering and alienation that comes with industrial-scale capitalist food production, or just really unpleasant.
3. It would be impossible to write this listicle without raising a glass to Oxford indie Alcopop Records, whose commitment to the novelty release format is as strong as a limpet. They’ve released songs as frisbees, scarves, and a watch – my favourite because it not only served as the release format for Gunning for Tamar’s EP Time Trophies, it’s also a pleasing tangerine colour and gummy-ish texture.
4. And lastly, it’s possibly the most-loved song that nobody knows more than 50% of the words to. In 2017, Toto released a special edition vinyl of their hit single ‘Africa’, which was shaped like the continent and looked kinda cool. It was very much limited edition, functioned as a pretty accurate map, and was guaranteed to make you say, “Hmm, I’ve never seen a record shaped like the continent of Africa before.”
Castel is out today (Dec 6th). Listen to ‘Cofi’ below: