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Collector Interview: Kuren G.

Posted on March 06 2017

Kuren shared a great photo on Facebook, so we knew we needed to check out the full collection! He vividly describes his first experience with vinyl, "from smelling the old vinyl as I dug through the bins not knowing what I would find, to opening gatefolds, looking at the artwork, and checking an LP's grooves for scratches or dust, to hearing the initial crackle when I dropped the needle at his apartment, had me hooked." Read on if you'd like to take a peek inside Kuren's collection!


I currently live in Brooklyn, but am originally from the East Bay Area (Go Warriors!) and attended UCLA (Go Bruins!).  I've played guitar since I was 12 years old (currently 28) and music has always been an important part of my life!

Size of your collection:
300-350
 
Current top 3 albums:
Radiohead - In Rainbows (2008)
Metallica - Master Of Puppets (1987)
The Beatles - Revolver (1966)...Picking just one Beatles record was difficult, but I went with Revolver for nostalgia purposes as it was the 1st Beatles album I heard and possibly the 1st album I owned (my Kindergarten class was performing "Yellow Submarine" and my mom bought me the CD to practice!).

Favorite or biggest music genre in your collection:
Rock/Alternative/Heavy Metal

Best party album:
My birthday was a few weeks ago and I believe I put on The Black Keys' Brothers (2010) and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication (1999), real original I know, haha.  What gets played usually depends on the mood, type of party, who's over etc.  I typically encourage my guests to pick what to play as it's fun to watch what people grab from the shelf; I often get surprised too, "Hey, I didn't know you like José González!" 

Off the top of my head, I'd choose:

Dinner Party:  Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane (2002)
House Party: Weezer - Blue Album (1994)
Cocktail Party:  Prince - Purple Rain (1984)

Best album to listen to alone:
Radiohead - Kid A (2000)

Last record you purchased:
Freddie King - Burglar (1974)

Album you're in search of:
Tool - Aenima (1996), A.F.I. - Sing the Sorrow (2003), Slipknot - Vol 3.: The Subliminal Verses (2004), George Harrison - All Things Must Pass (1970), Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003), John Butler Trio - Grand National (2007), the list is never ending...


Give us a breakdown of your collection: 
When I started off I only bought used, but with the resurrection of vinyl and subsequent online availability I've been buying a lot more new vinyl. These days I'd say it's about 65% new and 35% used.

How long have you been collecting records? How did you get into it?
About 7 years.  I was visiting one of my best friends in New York and he had just got a Crosley record player from Urban Outfitters.  I remember sneaking off to a few record stores in Greenwich Village to see if there were any LPs I could gift him.  That experience, from smelling the old vinyl as I dug through the bins not knowing what I would find, to opening gatefolds, looking at the artwork, and checking an LP's grooves for scratches or dust, to hearing the initial crackle when I dropped the needle at his apartment, had me hooked.  I was intrigued by how music's evolution as a medium, from vinyl to digital, has changed not only how music is created, but how we listen to it too...and I realized there was so much music that I'd never really listened to as it was originally intended (i.e. having no ability to skip, pause, playlists, etc.)!  A few months later I bought a 1200 and got my first records (The Police - Ghost In The Machine (1981), Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon (1973), Aerosmith - Rocks (1976), and Eric Clapton - Slowhand (1977)) from the Rasputin Records in San Lorenzo and the rest is history!

Where do you hunt for vinyl?
Back in California, Amoeba & Rasputin's are still my staples hands down.  Here in Brooklyn, I like going to a lot of the different record fairs; not only are they great for rare finds at a good price, but you also meet other vinyl enthusiasts who you can learning something new from!  Outside of my home(s), I have family in Seattle, which also has two of my favorite record stores, Neptune Music Co and Jive Time Records.

Where do you listen to vinyl? How do you organize your collection? 
Alphabetical; if I own multiple albums by a single artist, then I sort them chronologically....listening in my studio in Williamsburg or at my family's home in Northern California.  [Note: Kuren uses our 6 panel set of A-Z stencil dividers to stay organized]

Anything extra you want to share about your collection, set up, turntable, your equipment, listening room, plans for the future, etc?
In Brooklyn, I have a Rega RP3 going through a Lounge Audio LCR MKIII Preamp and out a pair of Audioengine A5+ speakers.  At home in California, I have a Pro-Ject Debut III with an Acryl it Platter and Speed Box going through a Marantz PM5003 and out a pair of NHT SB3 speakers.



Follow Kuren G. on social media: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

To see more home collections, check out our full series of collector interviews.

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