Record store day

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Got these tracks just in time for Record store day. New releases from Desolate, Fracture and Rhythm & Sound. I’ll be playing these on my show this thursday on ubradio.net

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Bangkok vinyl craftsman

I remember walking into a record store  for the first time back when I was  in high school. The records displayed on the walls of the shop reminded me of being in an art gallery. The covers were works of visual art and staring at them made me curious about what the records inside sounded like. I remember I would spend hours and hours flipping through stacks and stacks of records and it always felt good when I found a tune that I liked.  I suppose that was the pay off for all those hours of searching for beats. Even now I still use vinyl records and I can’t imagine using anything but that. To me using a CDJ is ok but the feel of the platter can’t beat the turntable’s, also CD’s and especially mp3’s lack any warmth in sound.

Another thing that has always attracted me to vinyl is the dub plate. Made famous by Jamaican sound system culture the dub plate is a one off record that a producer or a label presses to test the tune before it is released. Dub plates were also commonly used by UK dnb DJ’s although now most prefer to use CDJ’s or Serato. It was always the top  DJ’s that had the plates that no one else had. All the exclusive remixes all the mash ups were pressed for them and them only, and it was because of this that gave a DJ his or her unique sound and style.  I always wanted to have a few plates of my own. Unfortunately Thailand’s vinyl presses and mastering studio’s with dub plate machines have all since disappeared. The good news is that even though the mainstream have given up on vinyl there still are a few Thai’s that are dedicated collectors.

Traithep Wongpaiboon aka Au is considered by many  to be one of Thailand’s best sound engineers but,  besides that he is also a certified vinyl junkie.  A few post back I wrote about the Azia Bass and DJ Yas CD’s, well Au mastered both the CD’s. Just recently  he opened a dub plate cutting studio called Boop Records.  Just the other day I was invited to check out his basement studio where he showed me how all the stuff works. All this equipment was shipped from Germany to Bangkok and the total cost was over 1 million baht (30,00o usd). The whole dub plate press consists of compressors, eq’s, cutting head, turntable and monitors. Before the record gets cut the tune has to be mastered, after this the cutting head is prepared, the vinyl is heated and when all this is done the record finally gets cut (each record costs 2400 baht).  Watching Au prepare go through this whole process brought me back to the days when I used to spend hours in the record shop. Now I realize how much work went on into the creation of one vinyl record. Like the graphics on the cover the preparation that go’s into making a record is also an art.

Since the studio’s opening  I have pressed a total of 6 tracks. I know a lot of you who are reading are a bit skeptical on Au’s mastering skills but let me tell you the tracks that he mastered for the plates were amazing, in fact I did get a  track that were mastered from a very well known mastering studio in the UK and I reckon that Au’s mastering is much better(but hey that’s just my opinion). The dubs that I got here don’t sound as punchy as the ones I got in Europe but they do sound very warm and silky. Either way, finally I can play all the tracks that were sent to me with out having to burn them to CD or use Serato.  lets just hope that clubs still keep there turntables!

For more info check out www.booprecords.com