Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My brother doesn’t like to go to record shows because for the most part record collectors can be rude and, for lack of a better description, just as rude to your olfactory sense.  Being elbowed, pushed and uncomfortably stared at because you are “taking too long,” to look through a box is definitely an issue.  I enjoy confrontation of this type with humans so I am not so put off but I can definitely understand and agree with his reasoning.  Eilon Paz has done a wonderful thing with his new book, "Dust & Grooves: Adventures In Record Collecting,” he has met with his subjects in their natural habitat without the threat of other collectors to disrupt or even injure them.  The photos capture each subject comfortably in their own space doing what they would most likely be doing 24-7-365 if they had no responsibilities.  Collectors and DJ’s live to purchase, trade, play, stare at, discuss and flip through records. Of course there is a significant amount of ego involved, no different than a hunter and his prized kills stuffed and mounted.  It is that aspect of self where the photos truly show the collectors at their proudest.  The point where these vinyl discs go from an object that delivers sound to a prized object.  Collecting is not about numbers.  This was famously demonstrated in Nick Hornby’s novel, “High Fidelity,” when the main character, Rob, goes on a record buy.  He is greeted by a woman who shows him one box of records; but inside are some of the rarest and most important releases in the history of music.  She wants to give the collection away as punishment for her husband’s infidelity but knowing the genuine value and importance of such a collection Rob refuses to take the box.  One box worth more than most people’s entire collections.  So if not numbers, what makes a collection a collection?  A collection should be a biography of the collector and Eilon illustrates this beautifully throughout the book.  Each room is different and so is the means in which the records are stored and displayed.  Each as different as the collectors themselves.  The book doesn’t end with the photos, it is also filled with extensive interviews and tons of information.  If you love music, record collecting or a good documentary make sure you pick up a copy of this book.