Watch: We spoke to Mixed Up Records ahead of Record Day 2023

“I suppose I thought a day job didn’t suit me, and buying and selling records seemed to work.”

Halfway down Otago Lane in the city’s West End you will find Mixed Up Records, tucked between a tea house and book seller. Externally it’s unassuming, cottage-like even, a cobble stone path leading up to a baby blue-painted shopfront with mossy plants in concrete boxes crawling up the window. It doesn’t even have a sign to inform passersby of its existence.

Mixed Up opened in 1997 when the book seller’s nephew Peter Ashby, then aged 19, hoarded plastic boxes of second-hand records and began trading from the unit.

Quite a remarkable endeavour considering the shop is still there 26 years later, surviving through the noughties decline in vinyl sales and the subsequent emergence of streaming services whereby traditional music forms lost significant commercial value.

Peter catered for a small but enthusiastic market and it was the energy that secreted from this that strengthened his passion and kept the shop afloat.

While he didn’t make any money for the first ten years of operating, his work still served a purpose and became an integral thread sustaining Glasgow’s DIY music scene.

When I asked Peter how Mixed Up came to be, he said he “was always into music, and it sort of came naturally really.

“I suppose I thought a day job didn’t suit me, and buying and selling records seemed to work.

“I’ve just done that since.”

More recently, the shop has started trading new records alongside the old which has contributed to the business’s potential. Vinyl is cool again, revitalised by youth who have become exhausted with swanky technology and grown conscious of the detriment platforms like Spotify and Apple Music has on the ability of smaller artists to make a living.

Music has become almost too accessible and as a result it blends into background noise. Listening has become something we do passively, but analogue alters this experience and reminds us to appreciate music more, to savour it.

It’s west end premise locates it a stones throw away from Glasgow University, making it a hotspot for students looking for a new Taylor Swift release as well as the local punks searching for an album they heard way back when.

Record of the Week

For our Record of the Week Peter selected Alluvium, the latest work by Glaswegian composer and multi-instrumentalist C Duncan.

Released in 2022 it’s his fourth record - written, recorded, mixed and mastered in his home studio. Seeking a breath of fresh air, C moved out of the city during lockdown, taking a few steps east into the coastal town Helensburgh, and it was this transition that steered Alluvium.

Bedroom pop in its most sophisticated form. Through hypnotic sounds, electric kaleidoscopes fused with hauntingly tender vocals, it navigates themes of growth; how the evolving rhythms of our surroundings bleed into our emotions.

“It’s got nice mellow sounds to it and it’s well produced. Yeah, it’s a great album”, Peter said of his choice.