Fidget, schranz, doom – what?

Folktronica not leftfield enough? Try this beginner's guide to obscure music genres

Saturday 17 April is international Record Store Day, that annual global celebration of our independent vinyl emporiums. Or what's left of them, anyway. Here in Britain, it's going to be a busy day. From Ulverston's The Vinyl Countdown to High Wycombe's Counter Culture ("an independent record store run by fanatics," they explain, as if there's any other kind), the nation's favourite indies will be hosting live bands, selling limited one-off releases and, generally, trying to lure punters back from the joyless sterility of iTunes. The specialist record shop, however, can be an intimidating place: all those weird genres, all those crazy names. Here's our blagger's guide to music's outer reaches ...

(Hard To Find Records, Birmingham)

Relentless, distorted hardstyle Euro techno. Sehr gut noise, ja? Could we interest you in Alex Kvitta's The Definition Of Bullshit? Or DJ Decksperado's ("brutal ... thrashing ... hi-octane") Scrapyard EP? Or perhaps a schranz bootleg of – yes! – New Model Army's 51st State? It's music best listened to on drugs. Specifically, Nurofen.

(Cob Records, Bangor)

In 1985, a young Gruff Rhys, later of Super Furry Animals, was playing drums with Machlud at Bethesda's annual Pesda Roc festival. Back then, this North Wales quarry town was the country's angry, politicised musical hub, producing bands like Chwarter i Un; the Jecsyn Ffeif (think about it); and Pesda Roc legends Maffia Mr Huws, whose reissues – among other Welsh language CDs – are stocked at Cob.

(Rough Trade, London)

Pioneer John Oswald called it "plunderphonics" (music constructed from unauthorised samples), later we called them mash-ups, but, down at Rough Trade, it's just bastard pop. This ranges from relatively innocuous re-edits of old disco tunes to The Gaslamp Killer's, "savage, psychedelic, WTF-beats". Who could resist?

(Beatdown, Newcastle)

Three raw, rambunctious dance music genres – Baltimore Club; Hervé-style fidget house; and Brazilian baile funk – that are regularly combined in record shops where they're struggling to decide on a one-word, catch-all title for all that hyperactive club tackle pushed by Diplo and Annie Mac.

(Ben's Collectors Records, Guildford)

If you ever needed proof that DJ Shadow-style crate digging is encoded in the male DNA, consider this. For decades now, classical connoisseurs have been paying up to £300 a pop for so-called Decca "wide band" (it refers to the label design) releases from the 1950s and 60s. Collectors insist that these pressings (mastered on valve equipment, pressed on hand-operated machinery, using thicker "pre-1970s oil crisis" vinyl) sound markedly better.

(Piccadilly Records, Manchester)

In a shop that also contains music sections labelled "drone", "wonky-hop" and one tagged, simply, "weird shit", "doom" – home to Sun O))), Earth and similar merciless, monolithic experimental rock – has to be The Guide's favourite. We may not listen to "doom" every day but we're sort of glad it exists.

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Tony Naylor

The GuardianTramp

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