*First published on my personal blog yesterday evening.
What started out as something I believed to be a minor experience exploded into a full on thing, which tends to happen when I latch on to a new passion.
And it's not that putting a record collection together is a new thing for me; I sold (most of) my entire collection of nearly 5,000 records back in 2009 in order to move to San Francisco for grad school. And I gotta tell ya, that was the dumbest thing I ever did. Not because of how much some of those records are worth now, but because of how much it would cost me to put some of those records back into my collection. Some of my favorite albums (particularly those by the People Under the Stairs and Massive Attack's "100th Window") are now very nearly cost-prohibitive as to be almost unattainable.
So I've started over. Not quite from scratch as I kept about 50 or 60 records back; the important ones I didn't want to part with for one reason or another. But my approach to buying is different than it used to be. Now, I approach the building of my collection from a listening standpoint whereas before, I wouldn't flinch at buying a record with only 2 or 3 tracks on it purely with the dancefloor in mind. If I have no interest in the whole album, I don't buy any part of it. I'm more judicious with my choices, though I'm giving more up-and-coming producers a chance.
Part of this stems from having been a DJ for nearly 20 years. At this point, I've listened to and loved so many different artists and genres that it's easy for me to know what I like or what I'll latch on to. There are record labels in Budapest and Germany and Portugal and Russia, all pumping out great instrumental hip hop from producers who, while not necessarily breaking the mold of the genre, are creating really great albums full of great material worth listening to repeatedly. Artists like B-Side, Philanthrope, SicknessMP, Figub Brazlevic, Thelonious Coltrane, Birocratic, Emapea, and Flitz & Suppe line my shelves because they are quality producers creating quality music on labels that care about creating quality.
And much of that new stuff has to be bought online as it's made in small batches or doesn't get the same kind of exposure in the states as it does in Europe. That's one of the great things about music and the internet - how easily you can find one via the other and really find out what other countries are making, music-wise. It's fantastic.
Overwhelmingly, however, I still prefer the dig. I prefer walking into a record store and flipping through thousands of records over the course of several hours. It's a kind of therapy for me. This method also allows me the element of surprise when I come across something I'd never even thought to buy, but which I cannot leave buried in the stacks when it's time to check out and leave. It takes another vinyl or music lover to go record shopping with as they can appreciate that time moves differently when you shop for music at this level. Record shopping days aren't about popping right in and out quickly, they're about marinating in the environment and letting the records find you...
You can read the rest of the full post at the link below: