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Vintage vinyl 

Some years back, I was attending a friend’s exhibit in a Makati art gallery when something caught my attention: a pool of visitors gathered around a first-rate turntable as the Dire Straits classic “Money For Nothing” plays on. 

Imagine how the people encircling it or within earshot got excited upon hearing the fade-in drum rolls leading to the distorted guitar hook. There was that visceral push from the sound coming off that I did feel Mark Knopfler and his mates were like right there in the middle of it playing live. 

Looking back at that precise moment, I am now less surprised that vinyl collecting has experienced a resurgence even with digital music distribution leading the way. In a piece uploaded by digitaltrends.com last year, it says that the “warmer sound of the format and widespread embrace of big-scale art” have a lot to do with it. 

Vintage vinyl 
DJ Arbie Won, who owns Treskul, is a key player in Kagatan vinyl event series.
Early last month, I hopped in and witnessed a weekend vinyl event held at Ali Mall in Araneta Center complex, Cubao, Quezon City. The occasion was dubbed “Kagatan 29” for good reasons. It was the 29th edition of a quarterly event which began more than five years ago. Also, the word kagatan is used to pertain to the competitive nature of vinyl collectors obtaining their must-have lists, and as homage to a Juan Dela Cruz Band song of the same name. 

Na-miss ng tao yung physical aspect to music. Sa vinyl kasi, you are forced to focus on the music at uupo ka talaga para makinig,” analyzed DJ Arbie Won, proponent of Kagatan trade fairs and a strong voice in the vinyl collecting community. 

Arbie expressed thrill that Kagatan grew over the years, recalling it only started with three sellers on board. The artist crowd frequenting Cubao Shoe Expo surely witnessed its growth since it is often being held there. This time, the mall exposure made it a bigger draw. 

“We want to see new blood joining our community. Besides sharing the music, we can help you properly set up your sound system and build your collection at a competitive price,” he added. 

A DJ of modern classic genre inclination, Arbie has a vinyl-heavy music store of his own called Treskul Records located at Ali X—a stylish, colorful strip of stall and stores inside Ali Mall that easily complements the lifestyle of hobbyists, high-taste artists, and bohemians. One can’t help but feel intelligently cultured and fashion-sensible while strolling along in such an arts and memorabilia lane. 

Kagatan 29 showcased boxes of vinyls featuring some of the greatest musical artists, LPs, and singles. A music collector in my own right, I got for myself a copy of The Beatles “Rubber Soul” package. 

I agree with Arbie that the tangible allure of a physical release can’t be matched by releases in digital format. Small wonder artists fortunate to have their records marketed in physical releases brag about them as trophy.

Topics: Kagatan 29 , Juan Dela Cruz Band , Arbie Won , Mark Knopfler , The Beatles , Rubber Soul
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