The joy of bargain diggin'
I have been a vinyl collector my whole life but the small flats in London with no storage space and the pain of having to carry around crates and crates full of heavy vinyl stopped me to keep expanding my collection.
Another issue for me is the price of vinyl: Spending around £100 just to get 10 fresh new tracks into my DJ bag when I spin just makes no sense, at least not to me. I rather burn CDs with some new bangers I purchased digitally for 99p a song or even downloaded for free from Soundcloud... sorry, purists!
I still have a passion for vinyl though! It's actually very remarkable that vinyl, a very much antique analogue format, still flourishes amongst the digital revolution. I believe it's the haptic quality, the great cover artwork and just the pure joy of holding your favorite track in your hand.
So although I rather buy digital music now, I do make the the odd exception and pay full price for a new slice of vinyl. Actually there are only three reasons I buy the odd full price vinyl record here and there:
1) It's just too amazing
There is only so much temptation a man can withstand: Star Wars plus 7Inch plus Rave Beats plus an original vintage toy? All for £5? HELL YES! Balkan Recordings just killed it with this one!
2) Recordstore Day suckered me into it
Ahhh the day that appeals to the nerdy, hoard-y side of every Vinyl nerd: Must get the exclusive for the collection! Oh look it's so special can't miss out! OMG this looks like a star!!! With it's high price points and limited pressings it aims straight at the wallet of middle aged collectors like me, d'oh!
3) It's connected to UNKLE and Futura 2000
If there ever was a record label that made me catch the vinyl collecting bug it must have been MoWax and it's artist in residency, Futura 2000. With it's endless special editions, fold out covers, Japan exclusives and rare promos, MoWax made it's releases insanely collectable. So whenever I see a MoWax record that I don't own yet it itches me to get it.
Ok, let's be honest. There is a fourth reason I still buy vinyl from time to time. The reason being when it's dead cheap!
Music Exchange in Notting Hill was the first amazing bargain paradise with a basement with thousands of records for £0.50 or less I discovered after moving to London. The place was/is perfect for discovering cheap promos of your favorite label, a forgotten classic on 12" or an overlooked gem. Nothing feels more satisfying than leaving a record store with a bag full of great music that cost you next to nothing!
So when I saw that my local record store Love Vinyl had a 20p bargain basement I just had to get involved, being the vinyl cheapskate that I am. The joy bargain digging brings me by far excels buying a rare copy of an overpriced album on Records Store Day.
Because you can just enjoy yourself without the guilty conscience of spending too much money on things you don't actually need. You can be experimental as it doesn't matter if you purchase some duds and you can indulge by buying some records for the album cover alone!
It's a bit like eating low fat Nutella if there were such a thing: All of the pleasure, none of the pain!
With me having had an amazing bargain run this month, I thought I'd share some of my finds for your viewing pleasure...
Category: Who cares about the music, great cover!
Never heard of that Madonna song but I am digging ( pun intended ) the Warhol-esque 7" cover. Next: Lime green, Apple logo and some vintage printer styles on Ninja Tune, how can I not bag this.
Straight up 80ties rave amazingness next, gotta love that Benz star too: KRUSHing it. Last but not least: Force MD's. Can we please bring back synchronized dressing?
The one that got away: I still can't believe I left this one in the shop...
Category: This actually might be good!
The name Spyder D rang a bell so I just went for it. Turns out the track samples Nu Shooz 1984 Hit "I can't wait" and is a total oldskool HipHop party rocker!
Next, the XL sleeve and the artist name "Hardcore" gave me an instant Rave vibe and I do enjoy my vintage rave music so this one went into the bag. Another winner as it turned out indeed to be some good old rave tune in the tradition of early Prodigy. WIKKKIT!
Next up good old Tony Touch. The title had me loop "He is the greatest dancer" by Sister Sledge in my brain straight away. Turns out, that's exactly the song Tony messed with so another party track for the DJ bag.
Last but not least a record I found at Oxfam, fam! Priced at £0.99 DEFINITELY upper price range but AV8 from New York are known for their party Hip Hop mashups.
Championing the style long before Insane Bangers, Hot Cakes and other Party Breaks labels, they can be hit and miss but the 12" turned out well with 6 playable tracks! Yes Yo!
Biggest surprise: Bob Sinclar! I loved his first album back in 1995 but he since walked the dark path of commercial house music and looks today like David Guettas evil twin brother after a night of shagging models in a New York penthouse. But the lovely lady on the cover, the retro vibe and the happy price of 20p convinced me to give it a shot.
Truth be told, the original mix is horrible. Good I checked the flip as a dude called Tommy Musto Aquavela managed to craft a remix that is actually pretty damn enjoyable. Well done!
Last but not least...
Category: This is a certified hit! Go on, judge me!
It's always fun to find guilty pleasures and childhood hits on 7", especially abandoned in the bargain bin! This is barely the tip of the iceberg of my finds, other highlights include "Working 9-5" by Dolly Parton and "Magic Fly" from Space...
Standout find: This crappy plastic bag. When I asked for bargain records in my local record store in Dalston the record dealer fished out this scruffy looking bag of scruffy looking 7" from a hook in the back room.
I walked away with 10 records costing me £2 total. Songs purchased: "In the ghetto" by Elvis, "It's not unusual" by Tom Jones ( banger! ), "Downtown" by Petula Clark , "Da Ya Think I'm sexy" by The Rodster. Just to mention a few of the oldies but goldies acquired. Now all I need is a drunken house party with a record player and it's ON!
So as you see, there is no shame in the bargain digging game! By the way... did you know you can replace scruffy looking vintage sleeves quite easily? Me not either. Check this out...
Ok I am off to collect a free 7" from my local pub which they placed next to the beer tabs for decoration.: Jefferson Airplane "White Rabbit" with "Someone to love" on the flip. OH YES!
Music and Video Exchange | 38 Notting Hill Gate | Notting Hill
Love Vinyl | 5 Pearson St | Hoxton
Eldica Records | 8 Bradbury St | Dalston