Collector Interview: Randy

Posted on July 30 2015

We love a well-organized collection, which is why it is always a thrill to investigate the collecting and organizing preferences of clients, like Randy A. of Sacramento, California. Randy has been collecting vinyl for the past few years and organizes his collection with a set of Vertical A-Z Mrs Eaves Record Dividers, and recently added a pair of genre record dividers to straighten out his new arrivals. Read on for Randy's interview!
Randy writes, "My turntable set up is fairly modest. I use a Technics 1200MK2 with a Marantz 2220B receiver connected to Mordaunt bookshelf speakers. I use Carver HR-752 receivers as backup and for CDs. I think I'm running out of room to store all my records, so I may purchase another bin. Since I have a lot of Japanese artists mixed in there, I would like to separate the bins by language then alphabetize them within that language. There's also a peach crate in storage that I use to store "dollar" records. The albums are organized alphabetically by last name of the artist or band name. New arrivals within the last month are separated in different section. I like to store the records in large bins so I can flip through them easier. I'm used to quickly flipping through albums by their front covers from years of digging so I replicated that setting at home. It helps to have a New Arrivals section so I can focus on listening to each album all the way through before filing them accordingly- otherwise I'd forget to listen to them."
Top 3 albums: (Artist, Album title, year)
1) Dolly Mixture - Demonstration Tapes (1983)
For me, this is the twee pop bible. 
2) Yura Yura Teikoku - Yura Yura Teikoku no Memai (2003)
This is an album by a now disbanded Japanese psychedelic rock band. It's a perfect balance of experimentation and groove that should transcend language barriers.
3) Weezer - Pinkerton (1996)
I was very attached to this album throughout high school. The mobile fidelity release on vinyl is a real banger.
Favorite music genre:
Funk (Brazilian and Japanese funk, mainly).
Best party album: (dinner party, house party, summer party, whatever suits)
‎Chico Science & Nacao Zumbi– Da Lama Ao Caos  (1994)
A great, Brazilian funk rock album driven by fantastic drumming. It'll get anyone moving.
Best album to listen to alone:
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock (1991)
Last record you purchased:
Nara Leao - Dez anos depois (1971)
This is a landmark bossa nova album that I have been searching for years. Nara's voice is the living embodiment of the genre.
Hard to find album you're in search of:
Stark Reality - Discovers Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop (1970)
I've gotten into collecting funk and soul records in the last 2 years and this is the holy grail.
Size of your collection:
Roughly 750.
Give us a breakdown of your collection: how much is used vs how much is new?
About 75% is used. This is mainly because I am interested in albums that are no longer in print or are original, first presses. I'm obsessed with getting the original copies because there's history behind them. Naturally, this can become pretty costly but when I hold the real thing in my hands it's all worth it. 
Also, maybe half my collection consist of obscure Japanese artists.
How long have you been collecting records? How did you get into it?
I started fairly recently, about 4 years ago. I used to be a huge CD collector and became a bit of an audiophile along the way. Along the way, I realized I was missing out on a more intimate musical experience and bought a few records just for the pretty covers before even owning a turntable. Once I dropped the needle for the first time I was hooked.
Why vinyl?
I collect vinyl because I can find obscure albums that weren't deemed important enough to make it onto CD, much less online.
Where do you hunt for vinyl? (one or two physical places would be great if you have spots to share)
I go to Tokyo, Japan to do a lot of record shopping. They have a chain of record shops called Disk Union which are some of the best organized stores I have ever been to. In the USA, I really like Record Surplus in Los Angeles, CA. 


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