Discovering and finding record collectors is what this series of WAX HUNTER is about. This is the time for Benjamin Ward an English Musician and serious digger who lives in Barcelona.
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1.How do you became a Record Collector?
I became a record collector because of my Dad. He was, and still is a huge vinyl junkie and in fact, some of my collection is made up of records he bought in the 70s.
2. Do you have any specific genre in music? Any Favorite Label
I like most types of music but have a particular soft spot for Soul, Funk and Northern Soul. I have a large Hip Hop 12” collection too but haven’t bought many of those since the advent of mp3 based music to DJ out in a club. I love Stax and Motown as labels plus some nice independent labels too. I tend to buy based on the style of music rather than the label per se
but certain labels always have great records on them.
3. Which LP cover of your collection do you like the most?
I love the cover of this Supermax album. I bought this when I was bored waiting for someone in Barcelona and the cover just jumped out at me. It’s a 70s German soul/funk group and it looks so cheesy but actually handsome really good tracks on it.
4. What’s the rarest album in your collection
I’m not sure if it’s the ‘rarest’ but I’m lucky enough to own a limited edition box set of Tribe Called Quest singles. They made a run of 1000 and I got one. The way they’ve boxed it up is really dope and looks great. It was released just before one of the original members passed away so I guess it could be worth more money now than when I got it but I don’t
really care about that.
5. Where is located your vinyl setup in your house? Which elements
does it have?
I have a typical ‘home studio’ set up in my house. I’m a producer too so have quite a bit of extra kit. It’s a nice space to just close myself away from the world in and listen to tunes, make a mix or make some beats too.
6. What type of turntable do you have? any additional gear?
I own a set of Vestax PDM 2000s. They’re pretty old now as I bought them brand new around 10-12 years ago but they’re amazing. I know Technics 1210s dominated the market for years and the Vestax I own were made to directly compete with them. Technics are a great brand
and an industry standard but I wouldn’t swap my vestax for them any day. As I said, I’m also a producer and engineers so I’ve got loads of kit dotted about but the stuff I use most, apart from my decks is an MPC 1000 and Maschine Mk 3 for production and the Vestax PMC 5 scratch mixer for when I DJ.
7. If your house is burning and you could save only one record of
your collection, which one will be? (Photo Required)
This is a tough question. Realistically I reckon I could save quite a few if there was a real fire but if I have to choose just one, it would be my 7” ‘Gwen McCrae-90% of you’ single. This came from my Dad’s collection and was a big influence on me when I started DJing and buying records as it was around then I started getting into Hip Hop and understanding how
to sample and how much old soul and funk records had been used on some of my favourite tracks. No one has ever really ‘flipped’ that tune well but it’s a classic dance floor filler pretty much any place I’ve ever played.
8. If you would have a Record Store, what will be the name? Which records would you have?
Like most diggers, I’ve always dreamed of having my own record store. I read ‘High Fidelity’ by Nick Hornby when I was about 15 and it was a dream of mine to have my own store ever since. Nowadays it’s not a very profitable business and I can’t think of a name I’d give it. It’d stock
everything I enjoy listening too though, which is most genres. Although it’s tempting to be snobby about music, especially if you owned a record store, I think most genres have something to offer the listener and if it comes out on vinyl , then it goes in the shop.
9. How is the purchase process for your vinyl?
I don’t really have a process when I go out digging as ever place is different. I used to go looking for particular records when I DJed more often but with the advent of digital platforms and buying online at ‘Discogs’ or wherever, that kind of killed the thrill of the chase as you can
buy whatever you want if you’re willing to pay for it. Nowadays I buy things mainly to sample from, so I’m looking at genre, year of release, label and the type of record as live albums can always provide some original instrumentation different from the studio recording. My main
tactic is the record sleeve itself. If the sleeve looks good, it probably has some cool stuff on the record.
An album for a Road Trip
For Road trips – I tend to make compilation tapes/playlists. There are too many
good driving tunes to restrict myself to just one album or genre.
My purchase process is to buy whenever I have some extra cash. Buy in bulk and
go through what you don’t want. The negative aspect of this is I tend not to get
rid of anything even if I know I won’t play it out or use it to sample from. I just
love having the physical copy of something and there is a story behind every
record so it’s best to keep them in the collection than get rid of them.