Quantic & co. list up their 20 favorite Colombian records for FACT magazine.
There’s a long, evolving conversation we need to have, about record collectors, libraries (public access vs. collector hoarding), archives, and all that stuff. Sonido Martines & I talk about these things, but its a huge world, and complicated. Money, cultural heritage, a DJ’s weaponry, value’s slow dance with scarcity. Scorpions.
One way to begin this conversation is to compare the storied, historical micro-universe of the vinyl hunter-collector with the poorly-xeroxed digital multiverse of our current CD-r/MP3 economy. What do the diggers do with ill cumbia and salsa dura LPs when they find them? How to they fill them with value? And what about the diggers of champeta or Colombian rap CD-rs?
Is the lifespan/usefulness of the latter based primarily on (dwindling) newness (novedad so close to ‘novelty’), while the lifespan/economic importance of the former increases over time? Or, how deeply is meaning tied to medium — new Colombian music won’t attract hardcore collectors because its CD-rs and V-CDs and ZIP files simply aren’t durable (not too mention less than hi-fi sound quality for the audiophile crowd)? Or it is less material: does all pop date itself faster than before?
I’m quite interested in the stories record diggers tell about finding their records; the FACT piece contains a few:
“I have this image of sitting in a hotel room with Will listening to the records we found, our jaws hitting the floor as the notes leapt out of the portable turntable, just shaking our heads in disbelief, wondering how on earth these musicians got to be so funky.”
These stories fix or add meaning to music, by mapping out the Xs where one found gold. Finding is the first triumph. It’s a pre-Google pleasure. So what about the CD-r world, where the hunt is stripped of any myths (or realities) of rareness, uniqueness, and rescue? “I have this image of sitting in front of my laptop listening to the champeta I downloaded from some crappy site filled with ads, just like 14,734 kids before me…”
Enough questions for now, I’ll leave you with some of the article’s images, the lite n sleazy kitsch of classic Discos Fuentes album artwork: