In celebration of Record Store Day 2020, we shine a spotlight on the devoted vinyl communities of South East Asia.
I’m a long-time lover of ‘60s northern soul, jazz and R n B music and an avid record collector with experience spinning in Australia, UK, US and Asia as well as hosting the monthly ‘Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang!’ on Mixcloud, plus ‘Girls in The Groove’ for London’s Soho Radio promoting girl power - the rule breakers and hip shakers of the mini skirt revolution.
I started out collecting records to simply enjoy privately. Most record collectors agree the tangible format of vinyl is what lures us in. The ritual of physically selecting a record, the care involved and the ability to read over the liner notes as the record crackles away... there’s a certain kind of magic to vinyl. It was only natural I’d go on to DJ with vinyl.
Also, a lot of the obscure ‘60s songs aren’t available on Spotify or iTunes, so the only option we have is to dig the crates and discover them!
Judith Ho - Unchain My Heart
La Lupe - Fever
Nichelle Nichols - Know What I Mean
It took me 12 years to eventually find/afford/own a copy of Linda Jones - I Just Can’t Live My Life (Without You). I get tingles down my spine every time I play it. Jones seemed like a woman who loved with her entire soul no matter the pain she’d endure and I admire her for that.
Nick: I’m Nick, I DJ and work at The Analog Vault record store in Singapore.
Leon: Hi I’m Leon, I've been with The Analog Vault for about 2 years now.
Nick: Actually it was this job here at the vault! I do more of a selector style thing with Leon as The Analog Vault Selectors, representing the shop at events.
Leon: It really depends on the gig but recent grabs would be: Potatoheadz Vol. 3, Takayuki Shiraishi - Missing Link, and Boards of Canada - Peel Sessions.
Nick: I like them all for different reasons. HQ is great for exploring club sounds. Outdoor venues like Kult Café or Deck are fun for playing more funky material, especially in the daytime. Record stores like ours are great for a more intimate setting. I like playing one-off events though, at places that aren’t usually venues!
Nick: A friend gave me a Tribe Called Quest – People’s Instinctive Travels. I think I went to one of those pop-up market things the next day and picked up a copy of Ahmad Jamal – Chamber Music of the New Jazz.
Leon: My first few records were given to me by my Dad with his classic rock collection - Led Zeppelin was probably the first.
My name is Athirah and I’m from Batu Caves, Selangor. My DJ name is Orcheed, and I’m one of the members of the Klang Valley Floorshakers. I only play vinyl because of the quality of the music. You can’t get the same sound with cassettes or CDs. You can hear clearly the drums, the bass and the instruments. I started getting into records when I was seven years old. It looked really fun and my grandpa really loves collecting records as well. He always showed me his collection when I was growing up. Initially, I didn’t believe that Malaysia still had a vinyl community with young people. I started organizing events for the Klang Valley Floorshakers and then one day some of the members suggested that I DJ as there were few women involved with vinyl DJing. I exclusively play ‘60s music as the sounds of agogo, garage, pop rock and jazz are really perfect for dancing.
Jangan Marah Lili by Ismail Haron
Katakan Padaku by A.romzi and The Hook
Si Penjual Ubat by M.Said
Love and appreciate the music first, only then will you love whatever you do for music.
My full stage name is Xes Xes Loveseat. I DJ, that is I play other people’s music mostly for people to dance to. I usually play small venues full of randoms, but those are the best places.
At some point in my life I decided to start collecting tokens or physical manifestations of memories of the best times of my life. In a way, records preserve my experiences.
You must like records, that is obvious. See yourself as a collector first before a DJ. Never ever buy records to please other people, or if it’s a big hit or whatever. Buy records for yourself and how you want to present yourself. If you do this, the magic and personality of your music will shine through.
DJ Rolando – Knights of The Jaguar. Probably the greatest techno track ever created. Somebody stole that record.
One record? No such thing. I will keep them all, and the collection will be part of my will.
Misteri Rekods started because we wanted to introduce vinyl records to those who have just started their collection. The idea was to curate a set of vinyl records, fully concealed with the title unknown to people, so that they can only guess what’s inside each package. It’s like buying a cat in a sack, and that was why we named it Misteri Rekods.
Never be afraid to pick up unfamiliar records. During your first listen, you may not be ready to appreciate it, but eventually you could be grateful to have it. And, better to regret what you have bought than regret not purchasing it at all.
We bought a big box of old Indonesian records, with most songs totally unfamiliar to us.
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
My name is Samson, AKA Uda Sjam. I’m a record collector, DJ, and I own two record shops in Jakarta.
I’ve been collecting vinyl records for a while… and then one time during a party, I was asked to spin some records from my vinyl collection, and it eventually became a regular thing.
Too Slow to Disco Brazil compiled by Ed Motta
The Coconut Band, 1 + 1 = 3
Yoshinori Sunahara - Pan Am: the Sounds of the ‘70s
I would say Grease at Sukhumvit 51 in Bangkok - that would be my first international gig, organized by Maft Sai from ZudRangMa Records. They invited me to play at their gig series called Isan Dancehall, to introduce the crowd to Indonesian grooves. It was probably the first time most of them heard Indonesian music, and they danced like crazy. It was also my first time meeting Soi48 there, which opened up my connection to Japan.
Lee Scratch Perry - Disco Devil