Godfather of the Chinese record store DJ Sacco talks us through Uptown Records' International Record Store Day this Saturday, chats about his vinyls and gives us a heads up about his Roller Disco, too!
First up, how's business?
Business is super. Vinyl's practically black gold in Shanghai. Ahhh, OK, maybe that's not so true. Business has been slowly progressing since we opened last summer; however, we've been selling a lot of record players lately, so that helps a lot. The main problem with having a vinyl record store in China is: no one owns a record player!
What kind of people are you getting through the door? Any high-rollers?
Our customer base is actually really widespread. High school kids looking to experience different types of music, DJs looking for songs a little on the rare side, middle-aged folks looking for nostalgia records, and we get a fair amount of tourists just blowing through.
Since the turn of the century vinyl seems to have been making a comeback to some extent - would you agree with that?
Well, vinyl never left, but yes, right now the resurgence seems to be continuing. This is probably due to the fact that CDs are on their way out and there will always be a certain population of music lovers who want a physical representation of their favourite albums. With vinyl, you cannot copy it like a CD, so records keep their value, plus the cover art and liner notes add to the fun.
Do you think more local bands would put their music out on vinyl if it were cheaper and more accessible?
Local bands are starting to release records, like the Duck Fight Goose 7" that came out earlier this month. It's about 5 times as expensive to make a record than a CD, but if bands throw a release show where, when you pay to get in you get a free record, that helps with the pressing cost a lot.
Can you tell us about any amazing finds you've made recently?
Ha, just this week I found perfect condition Rage Against the Machine - Evil Empire 12", Misfits - Wolf's Blood 12", along with some other good finds like the High Fidelity double 12" soundtrack.
And what's your most treasured piece in your personal collection?
Umm, probably Crass - Feeding of the 500, since it was an influential record of my punk rock upbringing.
Could you talk us through some of the labels that will be taking part on Saturday?
Sure. There are some heavy hitters like Beijing Label Maybe Mars, one the biggest independent rock labels in China, also from Beijing is Genjing Records, who are doing vinyl only releases of Chinese bands. Then we have some local players like the Shanghai electronic label Pause:Music and local Shanghai metal label Playful Warrior, in total we have about 14 labels participating.
And what's the band line-up?
Pairs - A girl / boy, Chinese / Aussie band that have a strong DIY ethic and put out a 7" last year on Hong Kong label Metal Postcard.
Little Punk - Front girl of Boys Climbing Ropes she will be playing some of her solo stuff backed up by Nevin and Devin of BCR.
GOOOOSE - The solo project of HanHan who is the front man of Duck Fight Goose. Expect a lot of knob twisting and space effects.
Reykjavictim - This project is crazy, straps keyboard to guitar and throws in crazy beats on top. Have to see to believe.
Rough Diamonds - This is a local high school band who don't mind giving it to you hard.
Anything you want to add?
Sure. On Saturday, April 21st for a Record Day promotion we are giving away a free Duck Fight Goose 7" record with the purchase of any record player.
And finally, kicking-off a busy weekend for you, what's gonna go down at Roller Disco this Friday?
The roller disco is pure retro debauchery. On one side of the building is the roller rink, on the other side is straight up 80's disco with lighted floor and everything, plus it's pretty run down so it's pretty much untouched since being build in the 80's.