MARK DIX is one of the finest WAX HUNTERS in Barcelona. His collection is mainly based on second-hand gems and rarities.
Mark built a reputation in the catalan city mostly for organizing Flea Markets and Record festivals. Originally from Southport, a seaside town north of Liverpool, in the UK, he spent time in Hong Kong as a nipper and ended up going to university in Sheffield, a city with a rich history of pop, rock and electronic music production.
He has been living in Barcelona since 2005, but his hobbies today are the same as they were twenty years ago: second-hand shopping, playing records, putting on events, following football, playing basketball, traveling and graffiti.
ABOUT HIS RECORD COLLECTION VICE:
“I’ve been buying vinyl since 1997. I was buying CDs before that, and cassettes when I was a child. I never intended to build a collection, I just wanted to listen to music. I used to make mix tapes before getting gigs in bars, clubs and on the radio. I try to make full use of my years of acquiring material on each occasion. However, I still wouldn’t consider myself as a record collector. I don’t have a complete collection of any artist, label or genre, and my wax is pretty disorganized.”
1. Do you collect any specific music genre?
I think there are interesting tracks from many genres, and I think the skill of the DJ is to blend eras and genres to create a compelling atmosphere or tell a cohesive story. Right now I’m buying more early 90s breakbeat records than any other style. I look out for early Warp, Chill, 10 Records, Network, early Movin’ Shadow, and on lots of occasions just check the style of design on the sleeve before taking the plunge.
2. Which LP cover of your collection do you like the most?
My favourite LP cover could be Company Flow’s Funcrusher Plus album on Official/Rawkus from 1997. Distopic backpacker hip-hop featuring El-P, now of Run The Jewels. The alien landscape was depicted beautifully by Matt Reid, who would take his own life the following year.
3. What’s the rarest album in your collection?
One rare record I own is Soseme Makonde / Manzara by Soseme Makonde, a Swahili disco record on EMI from 1977. The record is a an electric blue. I came across it in a vintage shop in Madrid and paid a euro. It goes for quite a lot more on Discogs.
4. Where is the vinyl setup located in your house? What gear do you have?
My records are stored in three stacked Ikea units in a small studio room. The albums I check during the day and recent finds have a place in the lounge. I have a Technics 1210-MKII set up in my lounge, with a couple of KRK 6 speakers and a basic mixer. I’m no audiophile but the sound is agreeable for electronic music, albums, or just watching the TV.
5. If your house was burning and you could only save one record of your collection, which one would it be?
I set up a rooftop party for Sant Joan a few years ago. Getting out of the taxi on the way home in the early morning, a bag of records was stolen, including several which I’ve not been able to replace. One record which I was glad to be able to buy again was Pional, ‘We Have Been Waiting For You’, on Hivern Discs from 2010. I was working at a festival where Pional was playing and asked for his signature on the sleeve, which he was happy to do. It’s numbered in Dymo text (223) and the minimal cosmic design is peak Hivern. The track is a disco burner, at around 115 bpm with a white soul vocal that transcends generic dancefloor material. I’d hate to lose this tune again!
6. If you could have a Record Store, what would its name be? What records would you sell?
I like trippy or imaginative record store names like Sounds of the Universe in London, Amoeba in California, Monorail in Glasgow or Paradiso here in Barcelona. So let’s call it something like ‘The House Of Blue Leaves’, after the track from Moby’s ‘Ambient’ LP; which itself was named after a play from the 1960s. It’d have a café, bar and retro arcade section, plus a couple of bodega cats.
An album for a Road Trip:
For a road trip, you need an epic album to complement the scenery, with beats to cut through the engine noise and depth to stimulate the coco. Take DJ Shadow’s ‘Entroducing’ along with you.
A tune that makes you dance like crazy
One banger that is as infectious as it is universally appreciated is ‘Miura’ by the New Yorkers Metro Area. Tough, elegant and easy to spin, it reminds me of a time in Sheffield when I was learning about dance music, and the unforgettable get togethers that went down each weekend.
You can also see the interview of Wax Hunter: Vinyl Monger