For the vinyl collecting purist, there is no greater thrill than digging through dusty crates to find vinyl gold. For the modern music head with bad allergies or who just doesn’t have the time to go at it alone, may I suggest a vinyl collecting club.
In the second part of my on-going “Beginners Guide to Collecting Vinyl” series, I delve into the world of vinyl collecting clubs.
Just as vinyl has seen a resurgence so have music subscription services (remember Columbia House?). These vinyl collecting clubs (VNYL, Vinyl Me, Please, and more specialized ones like Jack White’s Third Man Records Vault, Trax & Wax) basically do the heavy lifting for you by sending you curated records for a fee.
Although there are many vinyl collecting clubs to choose from, I joined Vinylmnky (membership is $29.99 per month for one album). The Austin, Texas-based start-up feels more like a social club (minus the dumb hats) than a subscription service, where “Tribe” members can not only geek out with other collectors, but with the musicians themselves through exclusive artist-driven content — from signed LP’s to personally designed album artwork to in-depth interviews.
I had a chance to chat with Vinylmnky founder Travis Jourdan about the advantages to joining a vinyl record club, what separates his subscription service from the rest, and some insider collecting tips.
Crave: Sell me on why a collector should join a record of the month club over shopping on their own?
Travis Jourdan: Vinyl subscription clubs complement each other by providing a different approach to creating a vinyl collection. Some provide vinyl that’s curated to the member’s personal music taste. Others give you the classic records that are essential for any vinyl collection. It’s truly a different experience than just shopping by yourself.
So what separates Vinylmnky from other record of the month clubs?
We identify the upcoming artists just breaking into the music scene and connect them with our members through engaging experiences.
You refer to your members as part of a “Tribe”.
Vinyl record of the month clubs are more than just vinyl in the mail, they’re communities. They connect member to member, members with artists, or allow members to participate in cool and engaging activations.
I love the diversity of your selections from Mura Masa to Mac DeMarco to Dua Lipa. How do you choose what artists to work with?
Thank you! Everyone on the team constantly listens to a lot of new music, shares, and discusses between ourselves. We also receive a significant amount of submissions (and review every one of them). From there, we vet out and all come to agreement on the best fit for the Tribe.
What artist was most fun to work with?
Yeo, an artist out of Australia. He was so committed to interacting with the members and did it in so many different ways. From an Instagram takeover, Twitter AMA, interviews, a Vinylmnky playlist, and a Youtube video about being the Breakthrough artist. On top of that, he just gave us a damn good LP, Ganbaru.
What’s the one artist that you dream to collaborate with for a future Vinylmnky release?
There a lot of artists we’ve kept our eye on and we plan on working with, from The Japanese House to morgxn. But, the one I’m personally looking forward to working with is R.LUM.R. Not only does he have a great personality on and off-stage, but his music is so cool and new and I can’t wait to share his stuff with everyone else.
As someone just starting their own collection, what are some pro-tips to collecting vinyl?
Go after what you love and be open to experiencing new ways to collect and experience vinyl, from new and independent artists to vinyl record clubs and stores in their local communities.
As a collector yourself. What’s your most coveted album in your personal collection?
Definitely Gold Rush by I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business. It’s one of my favorite albums by one of my favorite artists (it’s a side project of Ace Enders from The Early November). It’s been with me through personal moments and life experiences. It’s also one of the very few copies ever made, so it’s an extremely special album to me.