Family owned and operated, Drift Records is the (not) award-winning independent record shop in Totnes, Devon.
So how long have we been a record shop, exactly? Well, without being vague that’s a little hard to answer.
Drift these days is the latest iteration of what started out as a VHS video rental library. Back around 1994, the business was first opened a hundred yards down the road at number 91 High Street under the name 'World Video & Music' by two great guys called Niall and Tom. They really caught the wave of the interest in arthouse cinema and we had a pretty amazing collection of Tartan, Artificial Eye and other bonkers cult film libraries on video tape to rent. Around 1997 we moved the majority of the collection over to DVD (the very first disc was ‘Bullitt’) and, in no small part thanks to the release of the Buena Vista Social Club soundtrack, we gradually started introducing more and more music to what the shop had to offer. Although the film side of the business slowly shrunk (everyone said that it would be LoveFilm™ that killed us off), the physical music side grew with the CD, cassette and vinyl stock expanding each year. Selling Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty, The Strokes’ Is This It and Mr. Scruff’s Keep It Unreal in droves made us firm in our convictions that our true calling was as an indie record shop, so we put everything we had behind it as Drift Records.
In 2012 we moved to our home at No.103, a light and airy double shop at the top of Totnes High Street. We proudly stock new and not-new music across a wide range of genres, focusing on contemporary music that excites us across; jazz, post-punk, house, techno, country, ambient, psychedelia, rap, funk, rock, noise, experimental and pretty much anything else. Visiting the shop is supposed to be totally invigorating; a place of discovery and escapism, also stocking books and magazines that we like, great ceramics, fine coffee, beautiful stationery, clothing and excellent printed goods. We hope that you’ll find it to be a great place to spend some time.
We have a refurbished Fiorenzato Ducale coffee machine that pulls a pretty good espresso. Pre pandemic, we’d stay open late (we’re fully licensed) at the end of the week and serve cocktails. Not surprisingly it lowers your inhibitions and people really love to buy records whilst they drink. As we said, we’re not planning on going anywhere and when the time is right, we’ll open the bar again.
Over the last decade driftrecords.com has also grown and grown, shipping hundreds of thousands of records all around the world every year. Although it’s not the same experience as coming to see us in person, we’ve tried to create an online space where you can shop easily (24/7) and still enjoy that sense of discovery. Although we take it all pretty seriously, we also recognise that Drift has to remain really good fun.
You're going to want to come and see us, or at least have us ship you something in the post.
Drift was nominated as 'Best Independent Retailer' at the Music Week Award in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Drift was nominated "Indie Champions" at the 2015 AIM Awards.
Drift, is mind-bogglingly great: the kind of place that you'd think was amazing if you found it in New York."
"The displays of current staff favorites are refreshed on an almost-fanatical basis. row upon row of expertly selected discs and long-sold-out collector's items."
"Hugely respected by anyone who knows record shops and massively important to their native Devon."
We also produce a quarterly(ish) newspaper called Deluxe, a free magazine entirely focused on record shops, the people that run them and the people who shop there. We have all always been hugely immersed in record shop culture and it absolutely fascinates us. Over the last 25 issues we’ve spoken to hundreds of artists, writers, broadcasters and avid shoppers about shop culture. When we have an edition in stock, we put copies free into all mail orders.
You can read full articles on the Deluxe website.
In 2018, we co-founded Dinked Edition. A collective of like-minded, independent record shops from all over the UK working together to promote music we love through limited vinyl releases. At the start of 2022, we’re about to announce our 166th, 167th and 168th releases, having previously worked with artists as diverse as; Cate Le Bon, Dry Cleaning, Metronomy, caroline, Crack Cloud, Gruff Rhys, Moses Boyd, Field Music, Kurt Vile, Villagers, Johnny Flynn & Robert Macfarlane, Lonelady, Natalie Bergman, William Doyle, The Coral, The Weather Station, JOHN, Stealing Sheep and the Radiophonic Workshop, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Hannah Peel, Spoon, Teenage Fanclub, Tricky, Lambchop, Mary Lattimore, Kelly Lee Owens, Holy Other, Snail Mail, Gnod, Bodega, Juniore, Lambchop, Claud, Iceage, White Flowers, Snapped Ankles, Portico Quartet, Moon Duo, Erland Cooper, Weyes Blood and more.
We work closely with Resident Music in Brighton to coordinate the releases.
One hot, sleep deprived night back in 2015, we decided that we'd had enough of feeling like the train station past the end of the line... We wanted to see music, art and magic in our town. So we put on our own festival. Ever evolving (especially in these strange times for live art), Sea Change Presents new and exciting events in music, art, film, literature, conversation and culture. Previously inhabiting a 16th-century historic guildhall, the 550 year old “blood-red” St Mary’s Church, a Civic Hall, a grade II listed modernist Lescaze masterpiece, an unoccupied 1950’s gymnasium, the 15th century Dartington Great Hall and a bucolic set of fields. Sea Change is always intimate, always different, always special, always rare.