Collecting Physical Records

Theres this record store in Jemursari Plasa , Surabaya where everytime my parents take me there i will spent time checking wall of album covers. After several times admiring the cover, i decided to spend 21k to buy my first casette. This moment kick started my interest in music and it was also the starting point of my fascination with physical records.

It was Slipknot – Iowa, 21k rupiah worth casette tape. Not the most morally sound choice for a 7th grader, but in my defense its either that or Cannibal Corpse’s Butchered at Birth. The later one i considered to buy just solely by the album covers only,  never heard CC or any grindcore bands before. Id surely get a lot of trouble when my parents look at the CC album, so Slipknot was a safe choice. A great one i guess, because i still cant enjoy CC until now.

Slipknot - Iowa
Slipknot – Iowa


At those early internet pre-ipod time, the holy place for music enthusiast like me is Aquarius Record Store. In Surabaya, it was located in jalan polisi istimewa. I cannot count how i spent hours and hours just to stroll around looking at album covers, listen to the CD samples and going home not buying anything. My pocket money was not that much but hey its still a good way to spend time.

Like everything else, this too shall pass. The internet is dawning and mp3’s are going masses. People can get music for free, illegal yet so easy. Spending 75k for a CD to listen to one hit song youve caught in the radio doesnt really make sense anymore. Ipod introduction put the seal in the coffin, suddenly all of your music can fit in your palm. CD’s become really cumbersome and in a lot fo ways, outdated.

Ive somehow moved on also from record collecting . My casette collection were thrashed when i left my house for Jakarta. For years and years, i was satisfied with gigabytes of mp3s.

Fascination with physical records came back to me when i bought Seringai’s documentary DVD Generasi Menolak Tua in a distro in Tebet just solely by curiosity. I know about Seringai before but never seriously into their music. It was so well produced and entertaining which makes bought Seringai CD’s. The CD is great as well in terms of design and sound quality. Thats when i dig more and more about their record labels, Demajors. They have rosters of  indie bands with characters, great record packaging and quality artwork which makes me buy from Demajors again and again. I can say  that they are the best label in Indonesia.

Records at my working desk at home
Records at my working desk at home


Another factor which fuels my record is Blok M Square. The basement 1 level , entrance near motorcycle parking lot,  is a second hand record heaven. From casettes, CD’s to vinyl. From 1960’s early melayu recordings up until the newest top 40 hip hop. All are there, you just have look and stroll around from several vendors. The price put the cherry on top. Average price for CDs is 40k per album. Could get higher for rare ones but you also could haggle if you buy a lot. Like the old Aquarius record store, Blok M Square is a time sucker which i can get lost for hours and hours.

Eventhough vinyl collecting is on the rise in Indonesia, currently im still sticking to CD’s. 300-400k for a piece of wax is just too expensive man.

In conclusion, collecting physical record become a hobby again for me. Theres this great feeling when i touch the CD case, reading the sleeve and then play it on my sound system. It makes me appreciate the music. Also by buying physical records especially for local releases, it helps the musician to keep creating great music. To contribute a little bit to local Indonesian music scene and also utilizing my CD collection, i wrote review of some of it in Indonesian Sounds.

So do you guys collect record as well ? lets talk about it



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