We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume that you know the struggle. The one where most of your free time gets swallowed up by an obsession with constantly building your music collection. Oh yeah, it’s a feeling that we know all too well (you should see the crazy list of releases we have bookmarked). The problem is, there’s just too much tuneage out there waiting to be had.
We did you a favor and rounded up the next 20 purchases you should most definitely jump on. It’s all here: everything from rare vinyl presses to classic reissues to dope af box sets. These are the music items currently blowing up our wish list.
What it is: A music subscription service with the right intention. Drip is a space where fans can connect directly with legit imprints such as dirtybird, Fool’s Gold, Mad Decent, OWSLA, Ninja Tune, Ghostly International, Hospital, RAM Records and more. Members are offered a minimum of two DJ-quality, full-length releases each month, carefully curated by the labels they subscribe to. The main focus here is to reward label loyalty with advance releases, access to back catalogs, discounts on merch, and other cool exclusives.
Who it’s for: The digital digger who wants to stay on top of the game while avoiding the clutter of physical releases.
Affordability: It depends on how music-hungry you fancy yourself. Users pay a monthly fee for each subscription of their choice, averaging $10–15 per label.
Where to buy: Sign up via the Drip.FM website.
Daft Punk Alive 1997 + Alive 2007 box set
What it is: Daft Punk are releasing their two groundbreaking live albums, Alive 1997 and Alive 2007, in rare vinyl form, marking the first time the former will be available in vinyl format. Both releases will be available individually as well as in a box set, which includes both albums in vinyl, a 52-page photo booklet, a replica VIP pass from the Alive 2007 tour, and many more goodies.
Who it’s for: Robots at heart who are looking to up their Daft Punk memorabilia status.
Affordability: It’s priced at $109.97, and it’s worth every penny.
Where to buy: Available December 23 through Bull Moose.
Armin van Buuren A State of Trance: Year Mix 2004–2013 box set
What it is: This is the holy grail of box sets for the avid trance listener. Armin’s annual end-of-year A State of Trance mix series is now available in one place. Spanning a decade, this 20-CD release (that’s 1,000 tested and trusted tracks) contains the most influential tunes played on his ASOT radio show each year. Signed personally by the main man himself, only 750 copies of these must-haves will see the light of day.
Who it’s for: Any member of the trance family who tunes in to ASOT religiously.
Affordability: It’s probably the best $93 you’ve spent all year.
Where to buy: Armada
Above & Beyond We Are All We Need limited-edition box set
What it is: The moment we’ve all been waiting for: The power trio is set to release their third studio LP (not counting the all-acoustic album they wowed us with most recently). The 16-track effort will feature collabs with vocalists and close friends Alex Vargas, Zoë Johnston and Justine Suissa. The primo package will get you the album on both CD and vinyl formats, a CD gift-wrapped for a loved one, and two friendship bracelets. Because Above & Beyond totally gets it.
Who it’s for: The A&B fanatic with equally invested friends.
Affordability: $89 is all you need.
Where to buy: Available January 20 through Anjunabeats.
deadmau5 while(1<2) Vinyl Package
What it is: The mau5 has pressed his seventh LP onto a special three-piece vinyl set. You should give a damn because it’s his proudest collection of productions—which he contends makes up his first “true artist album”—available as part of a cool triple package. You’ll get extra brownie points for also grabbing his 5 years of mau5 release.
Who it’s for: The deadmau5 freak who’s itching to get their hands on a soon-to-be collector’s item.
Affordability: It’s yours for <$40.
Where to buy: deadmau5’s online store.
What it is: A merch and mixtape combo from the leading label in drum & bass. The 38-track album is stacked with the freshest rollers from the most respected dudes in the game right now. They even threw in a cassette mixtape for those who want to impress their baes with some cassette tape scratching.
Who it’s for: The bundle-loving basshead who’s all about that RAM life.
Affordability: You won’t think twice about handing over your $45.
Where to buy: RAM Records
Flying Lotus You’re Dead box set
What it is: FlyLo’s latest LP comes in a killer box set. It not only contains the dopest of dope beats in both original album and instrumental versions, but some of the illest album art you’ll see in this lifetime. Oh, and you also get a digital download of it all, because that’s just a fair deal.
Who it’s for: The beat enthusiast on the Brainfeeder tip who may, or may not, have Cotard’s Syndrome.
Affordability: It’s tagged at $70. It’s not cheap, but you can bet your life it will be worth it.
Where to buy: Warp Records
Aphex Twin Syro Limited Edition
What it is: Syro is the most hyped-up (and with good reason) comeback of the decade. After a 13-year hiatus, Aphex Twin returns with an LP that will now forever be etched in our minds for having one of the craziest limited-edition pressings we’ve ever seen. This handcrafted, three-LP release, boasting the handy work of the Designers Republic, has taken packaging and production to the next level.
Who it’s for: The diehard Aphex fan with tremendously deep pockets.
Affordability: It was originally valued at a whopping $400, but all 200 copies were allocated on a strict ballot basis (which has already expired). Now, one of these will run you a cool $1,325 from a third-party vendor.
Where to buy: eBay
What it is: It’s been a decade since Mad Decent’s head honcho Diplo got his big break with Florida. The 10-year reissue takes us all the way back to the beginning of Wesley Pentz’s career and the raw, 11-track LP to which he owes his globe-trotting start. This three-piece vinyl release includes the original album, five unreleased productions recorded during the record’s studio sessions, and a copy of the emails documenting the deal-making conversation between Diplo and signing label Big Dada.
Who it’s for: The Diplo supporter from day one, or the new kid who can appreciate a good throwback.
Affordability: Shelling out $32 isn’t too much to ask.
Where to buy: Available December 1 through Big Dada.
Fool’s Gold Loosies box set
What it is: The FG crew comes correct with a rap compilation that’s hollering your name. The first of its kind from the label, the release is jumpin’ off with 22 tracks, all stacked with lyrical luster, that are rolled into a cigarette-shaped USB. On top of individual works from Flosstradamus, Danny Brown and more, label heads A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs throw down a continuous mix as they rep hard af for Fool’s Gold and their homies.
Who it’s for: The hip-hop head who likes to keep their musical gold on USB sticks.
Affordability: If you can collect enough “loosie” change to add up to $35, then it’s a done deal.
Where to buy: Fool’s Gold
Nightmares on Wax Six Vinyl Reissues
What it is: We’ll tell you what it isn’t: an achievement to be taken lightly. In honor of reaching 25 years of being in the game, the first six Nightmares on Wax albums are being reissued on double-gatefold vinyl, including classics from Smokers Delight to A Word of Science: The 1st and Final Chapter. We need all six of these in our lives.
Who it’s for: The person living in the NOW with an appreciation for the then.
Affordability: If you purchase three or more at once, each one will cost you $25. That’s definitely more of a dream than it is a nightmare.
Where to buy: Warp Records
What it is: We’re all about this one. It’s the final installment of the Touched compilation series, which was conceived as a charitable effort back in December 2013. The 253-track compilation album sees some of the best electronic, ambient and modern classical musicians contribute their musical offerings to the greater good; all the album’s proceeds are donated to Macmillan Cancer Support. Talk about an extremely touching release.
Who it’s for: The person with an ear for quality tunes and a heart for helping.
Affordability: $18.75 is all they’re asking, but it won’t hurt to give a little more.
Where to buy: Touched Music
Ninja Tune XX box set
What it is: To commemorate their 20th anniversary, the England-based record label went all out with a limited-edition box set we’d kill to get our hands on. It includes six CDs jam-packed with exclusives, six 7-inch singles, a collectible poster, and a NINJA TUNE: 20 Years of Beats & Pieces hardback book. Even though it saw its release four years ago, we still think scoring this one would be a major come-up.
Who it’s for: The person who slept on this release in 2010 and is still suffering from major FOMO.
Affordability: One reseller is willing to let go of a mint condition copy for the ridiculous reasonable price of $1,161.
Where to buy: Amazon
Grand Theft Auto V box set
What it is: Video game soundtracks can be pretty dope, but the music from Grand Theft Auto V trumps them all. Rockstar has linked up with Mass Appeal Records to produce a 5,000-run box set that keeps you dialed into the awesomely curated GTA 5 tuneage. Together, they went ahead and pressed 59 featured tracks, as well as the game’s score mixed by DJ Shadow, onto six brightly colored vinyls.
Who it’s for: The hardcore gamer who also geeks out on vinyl records.
Affordability: We’re still waiting for more deets regarding a price, but whatever it is, this bad boy is coming home with us.
Where to buy: Available December 9 through Mass Appeal Records.
10 Years of Shogun Audio box set
What it is: Shogun Audio turns 10, and they are celebrating their annie by dropping a special album release that pays recognition to the imprint’s past and future. The drum & bass label spares no expense on giving their fans the premium treatment with a limited-edition box set that covers all the bases. Six 10-inch vinyls contain brand-new cuts. A three-CD pack offers 13 unreleased tracks, 15 classics from the vault, and a continuous mix from label boss Friction. There’s also the DVD documentary and a double-sided poster to round this complete collector’s choice.
Who it’s for: The D&B junkie with mad respect for a label that’s paid its dues.
Affordability: $95 is a steal fo sho.
Where to buy: Available December 1 through Shogun Audio.
Brian Eno Four 1990s Reissues
What it is: Good things may come in threes, but here you get four separate Brian Eno reissues from the ‘90s—Nerve Net, The Shutov Assembly, Neroli (Thinking Music Part IV) and The Drop—two of which are available in vinyl pressings. The selling point (aside from its sentimental value, of course) is the bonus, unreleased material featured on each release.
Who it’s for: The ambient aficionado with a soft spot for nostalgia.
Affordability: Individually? You’re looking at no more than $25 each.
Where to buy: Available December 2 through All Saints Records.
LateNightTales & AnotherLateNight – The Decade Box (2014 Bonus Edition)
What it is: The Decade Box is exactly what it sounds like: a limited-run box set marking 10 years of the brand’s super on-point compilation albums. This massive release will put in your possession 39 full-lengths with an eclectic range of styles that’s as wide as it will ever get. You’re going to need more late nights than we can count to be able to listen through all of the tracks here.
Who it’s for: The compilation collector who is looking to get the most bang for their buck.
Affordability: Yes, $454 is on the steep side of things, but you’re getting more music than you probably know what to do with.
Where to buy: Right here on their website.
Traxbox: The Trax Records box set
What it is: A house music history lesson of sorts, as this 16-disc set is loaded with the first 75 releases from Trax Records. The iconic Chicago house imprint has dusted off and remastered the earliest material from its catalog to present a box set of timeless tracks called, errr, Traxbox. This retrospective bundle of joy is boomin’ with A-sides, rare B-sides, old-school flyers and more.
Who it’s for: The Chicago house nut who still gets down with CDs.
Affordability: $93.64 is a small price to pay to add a little cool factor in your life.
Where to buy: Juno
27!K7 Vinyl Box Set
What it is: In 2012, !K7 celebrated their 27th anniversary by combining the old and the new. They accomplished this through a box set that matched vinyl with USB formats. Four 10-inch vinyl records containing exclusive material from the label are sitting up against a USB equipped with 41 DJ-Kicks mixes (that’s every DJ-Kicks mix in existence at the time of production). And just to add some swag, the records are gold-colored. Not too shabby.
Who it’s for: Anyone who hasn’t given up on the mix CD.
Affordability: You can try to haggle, but $86 seems more than fair to us.
Where to buy: Discogs
Basic Channel Phylyps Trak 12”
What it is: It’s a rarity in the 12-inch game. Berlin’s Hard Wax is sitting on a sealed, first pressing of Basic Channel’s three-track EP. This sucker is like a unicorn waiting to be caught.
Who it’s for: The crate-digging vinyl purist whose music collection costs more than a lifetime of festival tickets.
Affordability: It’s going to take $500 to earn yourself some serious bragging rights.
Where to buy: Hard Wax