Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Confessions of a vinyl addict

Apa Chappel pulls a Tall Dwarves record from his collection. He particularly likes Chris Knox's cover art.

Written By By REBECCA THOMSON - The Wellingtonian

Cassettes have long gone, CDs are on their way out, but records are here to stay, according to collector and DJ Apa Chappel.

Last year, the Mt Cook resident formed the Wellington Vinyl Club, which holds bring-and-buys at the Southern Cross.

Chappel has boxed up about 800 records to take to the next meeting, but still up to 4000 lining his living walls.

"That's a small number compared to some collectors, he said. "There are guys out there who have 10,000 to 20,000 records. One guy I know claims to have 100,000."

Chappel bought his first record, by hip hop artist Pharoahe Monch, about 10 years ago, but started collecting seriously about three years ago.

"It all started with DJing and it's turned into a collection. I spend $100 to $400 a week it's an addiction."

His collection is shelved according to genre. There's everything from Kiwi classics The Datsuns, Dragon and Tall Dwarves and hip hop to movie soundtracks and Neil Diamond.

It's too hard to pick a favourite, but Chappel's gems include an audio recording of Lady Diana and Prince Charles' wedding, a number of old radio shows and self-help piece Relax with Self Hypnosis.

"You just can't get that sort of stuff on CD," he said.

Real Groovy and Slowboat Records are Chappel's favourite haunts, but he also searches online, in second-hand shops and at fairs.

"Last year it was Trade Me, and it still is a bit. Before that is was garage sales, school galas and town fairs, but you have to beat other people off at those. They're popular."

He buys only music available on record, and hasn't bought CDs for years now.

"Everything is on vinyl, even new stuff. What I've noticed about Real Groovy is that 60 to 70 per cent of records are new recordings by new bands.

"Records are fashionable, they're re making a comeback. People like the cover art, and the sound of vinyl is so much better than CD, because CD sound is compressed, vinyl sound isn't."


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