Peckham-based record label Rye Wax is on the hunt for a new store location after revealing that it will no longer be operating from its current home at Bussey Building.
The store’s inventory has been removed from Rye Wax’s Discogs following issues at its current location, the store’s creative directors have explained, and will remain “temporarily closed” until stock issues are ironed out.
“While it’s true that it seems very unlikely we’ll be getting back to the basement anytime soon, it doesn’t mean we’re done,” Rye Wax’s Creative Director, Chris Watson, tells Mixmag.
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At the start of the pandemic, Rye Wax’s outlet situated inside Bussey Building’s CLF Art Cafe closed temporarily to prevent the spread of COVID and has remained shut in the years since. Now, Rye Wax is on the search for a new location, with hopes to set something up on Rye Lane.
“We just had our ninth birthday on August 5,” says Watson, who is one half of duo FYI Chris. “We may be running on reserve power, but we reckon there’s still a lot we can do. While we can’t go into any specifics, just know we’re in the process of moving on the lane – we’ll need help to do it right, but it could be really special.”
Rye Wax first opened in 2014 as a grassroots record store by and for the people of Peckham. Claire Smith Cullum, the store’s manager, explained in a 2018 interview that Rye Wax provides a “stable space for the more leftfield, DIY music and arts communities”.
Despite its temporary closure, Rye Wax continues to run radio shows on Noods, and recently hosted the Rye Wax Music Access mentorship programme for aspiring musicians and artists featuring workshops and masterclasses.
“We’ve been working on becoming a C.I.C. [community interest company], we reckon this more aligns with what made the basement great in the first place and hopefully can enable us to concentrate on giving affordable event, independent retail, and collaborative space to the musical community of SE15 and beyond,” Watson explains.
“With that said, we know that a lot of people still have fond (or at the very least hazy) memories of the basement and a lot of regulars miss it,” he says. “We’ve set up an email and have plans for any memories we receive – all as anonymous as you want them to be.”
You can submit your Rye Wax basement memories to [email protected].
Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins