Rarely venturing from the aisles of their local independent during daylight hours and generally intimidated by chat beyond catalogue numbers and categorisation preferences the vinyl junkie is a creature shrouded in mystery. But with Record Store Day just around the corner, we thought we'd put on our Louis Theroux hats, track one down and get them to spill the beans on the habits that dictate their lives.
Growing up saving your lunch money as well as sneaking other school kids back to your house to sell them food from your mum’s cupboards - then spending the proceeds on sweet, sweet house music.
Buying a jumbo roll of sticky labels specifically to prevent prying eyes clocking the artist and title of your secret weapons. Then sticking about fifteen of them on the middle of each record until you’ve built a solid opaque barrier and scrawling FUCK OFF on it in thick black marker. Scratch off the catalogue number in the run-out groove with a needle, just in case.
Buying "one for the box" and "one for best".
Having an overwhelming sense of familiarity with the story of Paul Oakenfold getting his tunes wet and drying them individually with a hairdryer on a gentle blow.
Going on a crate-digging expedition wearing skateboard-style geriatric ‘gardener’s knee’ kneeling pads, because you want optimum comfort for eight hours of crawling round the floor in a record shop.
Assessing at a glance whether a second hand record is a ‘mint minus’ or a ‘V Good ++’ on the official Pinkerton scale of wear and tear.
Knowing that on Pinkerton, ‘Good Condition’ means ‘Totally Wrecked’ - it won’t jump, but it’ll look like two funky pigeons have been having a dance-off on it.
Losing hours to whosampled.com, in slack-jawed awe at the creative fruits of crate-digging hip-hop - then losing hours more pricing up 200 rare funk tracks on Discogs.
Staying up all night at a club - then going straight down a car boot sale at 6am, praying it’s your lucky day and somebody is selling all their old 7 inches for 50p each.
Owning a gargantuan bottle of isopropanol ‘rubbing alcohol’ because you hate fingerprints on your wax - and finding it has other uses, like cleaning stubborn club sludge off your best dancing boots.
Being totally unable to walk past a charity shop.
Making friends with the old dears in said charity shop, so they can keep an eye out for your vinyl wishlist.
Coaching the old dears in the charity shop to know a repress from an original.
Paying ten times more for a faded and worn out version of something you already own - because you were never really happy with having the repress, and you can’t hide from yourself.
A veritable selection
Buying a track not because you want the music, but because you want to collect every different version of the picture sleeve that was ever released in every territory across the world.
Never having to worry about losing your seat at a party, coz your chair is your record box - and no-one else is allowed to sit on it.
Getting a job in a record shop, primarily to get cheap records, then buying so many that you net literally nothing.
Dreaming about spending all night putting 12”s back in alphabetical / genre / BPM order, but every time you think you’re done a new pile appears.
Dreaming that a spinning record is going right down to the final groove as you frantically hunt through your box for something to play…
Dreaming that Pete Tong is throwing tune after tune out of your box, and denouncing all your best beats as "non- essential".
Hunting for a tune for months, before finally slipping it onto the decks and finding out it really wasn't worth all the stress.
Trying to chat up girls by bragging about your latest conquest - a Frankie Knuckles "Tears" original you found in a little backwater record shop for £20.
Knowing the Strictly Rhythm catalogue by rote, finding it easier to recite than your 12 times table.
Fact-correcting someone who refers to a ‘double A side’ as the ‘B side.’
Knowing that the only way to open a shrink wrapped import is by vigorously rubbing the opening edge on your jeans.
Words by Glenn Hickling, Global Groove Records
31 Mar 2015