Chikyu-u Records

Taking a break from the turntable today and have been listening to some excellent, groovy house music on Bandcamp. Don’t know much about this label, other than they are based in Switzerland, but they are producing some great stuff at the moment. No vinyl unfortunately, but if they do release some I’m certainly going to be interested. Might be one for keepers this time. Tracks I’ve been listening to are Unknown Artist – Untitled 02, and a track called Maboroshi on Unknown Artist – Unknown 04. Really fancy some sushi now…

Unknown Artist - Untitled 02

11 Million Releases on Discogs

Had a message recently that Discogs now have over 11 million releases on their database, and it’s growing rapidly. Mine is also growing too, although not quite as fast as theirs. I’ve added the odd release to their database too, so like to do my bit. It’s impressive how the whole site came together, all from a passion for music and collecting stuff. There is debate as to whether MP3 files should be included, as after all anybody can put together a basic tune on their PC and submit it. If your track has been listed on sites, such as Spotify or Bandcamp, then I do not see it being a problem. Long may it continue! Busy digging out some 7″ singles, as I have been concentrating on 12″‘s and LP’s mostly, but at least they are quicker to load up. Enjoy the tunes!

Top 30 Most Expensive Items Sold on Discogs in Dec 18

It’s been a while since I have posted, but I have been busy cleaning my records and getting them ready for uploading. Still got plenty to do.. Anyway, just had a browse through the top 30 records sold on Discogs in Dec 18. Lots of the usual names in there, such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Joy Division, plus some other more obscure ones. Good to see that the database is still growing steadily, and vinyl sales are ticking over nicely.

It was also good to see that the music store HMV have been saved and will be apparently taken over by Sunrise Records. The new owners seem keen to increase the amount of vinyl in the shops, which sounds like a good thing. I have fond memories of my time at University browsing the rows of vinyl in my local HMV. Long may it survive…

Trip Back In Time

I found a box of 78’s the other day, among a job lot of records I bought a while ago. Some interesting ones in there, from artists such as Bing Crosby, Norman Wisdom, Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole and Fats Domino. Only snag is I don’t have a way of playing them! Interesting how times have changed, as  I think most of them are from the 1950’s and have never been near a DJ.  Very easy to damage them though, so I can imagine some people bought several copies of the same record, as they kept dropping them. I decided to sell them on, as I have no space to keep them and I would need to invest in an old turntable. Not sure if there is a huge market for 78’s now, but you never know…

Back in the House

Getting back into the swing of things, after a busy summer. I’m getting more enquiries from discogs now, so the cooler evenings seem to be encouraging everybody to retreat indoors and listen to more vinyl.

There’s an interesting documentary on BBC4 at the moment about the rave scene, “Can You Feel It – How Dance Music Conquered the World”. Well worth a watch, as it brought back some good memories for me. Some talented guys on there too – Frankie Knuckles, Gerald, Juan Atkins, Reese, MayDay, Moby, Pete Tong…   Interesting history of Earl Young’s beat, four-on-the-floor, from the early 70’s, which inspired Disco and later the electronic scene. It also raised the importance of radio on the music scene at the time, from The Electrifying Mojo to the mass burning at the Disco Demolition Rally in Chicago. Modern radio seems rather dull in comparison, although more acts seem to come from reality TV shows these days, such as X Factor, than anywhere else.

Top 30 Items Sold on Discogs for June

Getting back into the swing of things after a summer break, plus the weather has been really hot here in the UK for the past few weeks. Not really the weather for digging out the vinyl, as I’d be a bit worried that it would start to warp. Not sure what sort of temperatures would cause this to happen, so that may be something for another post.

I’ve been browsing today through the top 30 records sold on discogs in June. Nothing that I have in my collection unfortunately, but there’s an interesting story about a copy of The Black Album by Prince that holds the top spot. It was sold for $27,500 by  a guy who was a pressing plant employee in Canada, and saved a copy from being destroyed. Nice! Still hoping that Jim Reeves might enter the list, but you can see the full article here.

Making the Grade

I’ve been having a good look at my grading today, as when I started selling on discogs I was concerned about over exaggerating the condition of my records. The last thing I wanted to do was to get some negative feedback early on and not have the 100% score. I’ve still got it, both on my ebay and discogs accounts, so I must be doing something right!

I was pondering whether to rate some of my records, which fit the bill,  as Near Mint (NM-) rather than Very Good (VG+). The only time I have done this so far is when I bought the records brand new and know the full history of them (i.e. how often they have been played). Without this history, things get a bit more tricky.

I guess it’s like buying a car – if you buy one straight from the showroom brand new, you know it’s going to be spotless and run like a dream (in theory anyway). If you buy a car from a second hand dealer, who does not have a logbook or service history for it, you know there is a risk it could have been owned by a boy racer who thrashed it, or an old dear who used it to pop down the shops. The price you pay in the first place is a good indicator, of course.

I play most of my records before listing anyway, as well as giving them a good clean, and also do a visual inspection to cover all of the angles. It takes time, but I’m sure by doing this I can reasonably sell at a higher grade (mostly moving up from VG to VG+). Whether I can move up to quoting Near Mint will depend on the record, so I’ll have to come back to this when I go through my records again. I’m sure that a lot of other sellers are quoting Near Mint when they are not, but I don’t not want to go down that route. A sale is a sale, but I’m looking at the long term here.

For now, I’ll continue loading my records up to VG+ as the highest grade, and see what happens.

I’ve listed the Goldmine Standards for some of the grades below, in case you are not aware of how it works:

Mint (M)

Absolutely perfect in every way. Certainly never been played, possibly even still sealed. Should be used sparingly as a grade, if at all.

Near Mint (NM or M-)

A nearly perfect record. A NM- record has more than likely never been played, and the vinyl will play perfectly, with no imperfections during playback. Many dealers won’t give a grade higher than this implying (perhaps correctly) that no record is ever truly perfect. The record should show no obvious signs of wear. A 45 RPM or EP sleeve should have no more than the most minor defects, such as any sign of slight handling. An LP cover should have no creases, folds, seam splits, cut-out holes, or other noticeable similar defects. The same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, lyric sleeves, etc.

Very Good Plus (VG+) 

Generally worth 50% of the Near Mint value. A Very Good Plus record will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it. Defects should be more of a cosmetic nature, not affecting the actual playback as a whole. Record surfaces may show some signs of wear and may have slight scuffs or very light scratches that don’t affect one’s listening experiences. Slight warps that do not affect the sound are “OK”. The label may have some ring wear or discoloration, but it should be barely noticeable. Spindle marks may be present. Picture sleeves and inner sleeves will have some slight wear, slightly turned-up corners, or a slight seam split. An LP cover may have slight signs of wear, and may be marred by a cut-out hole, indentation, or cut corner. In general, if not for a couple of minor things wrong with it, this would be Near Mint.

Very Good (VG) 

Generally worth 25% of Near Mint value. Many of the defects found in a VG+ record will be more pronounced in a VG disc. Surface noise will be evident upon playing, especially in soft passages and during a song’s intro and fade, but will not overpower the music otherwise. Groove wear will start to be noticeable, as with light scratches (deep enough to feel with a fingernail) that will affect the sound. Labels may be marred by writing, or have tape or stickers (or their residue) attached. The same will be true of picture sleeves or LP covers. However, it will not have all of these problems at the same time. Goldmine price guides with more than one price will list Very Good as the lowest price.

I am planning to list some CD’s and cassettes at some point in the future, so I’ll have to go through all this with these too. At least CD’s have less that can go wrong with them.

For more information on the Goldmine Standard and gradings, please click here