Radio-Active Records' Tips on Becoming a Record Collector and Vinyl Wizard

Radio-Active Records' Tips on Becoming a Record Collector and Vinyl Wizard
Monica McGivern

Most of you didn't grow up listening to music on vinyl. You had CDs, the internet, and remember those little square guys that would tangle and unravel in your tape player, cassettes? You know, though, that music sounds so much sweeter when that needle hits the wax than when you're clicking on the keyboard. 

Luckily, vinyl isn't something relegated only to DJs. These days, you can hit up Radio-Active or Sweat and come home with a ton of delightful-sounding schwag. The thing is, it's not easy to just know what you're doing when it comes to collecting records.

Mikey Ramirez of Radio-Active Records is here to offer a clue on how to buy records intelligently. You have to start somewhere. Might as well be at Radio-Active on Record Store Day (hint). Sit down, and take notes. Or just print this out and bring it with you. 

Tip #1 - Cash Money
"Save money! It's not that all records are expensive but you can't buy just ONE! If you decide to go deep, you'll end up owning the catalog from certain artists," Ramirez advises. "For example, being a massive fan of both Kraftwerk and Killing Joke, I need all of the commercial LP releases, the 12-inch singles (both domestic and imported), the seven-inch singles, the test pressings, the colored-vinyl pressings, the box sets, the remastered pressings with bonus material, new photos, and liner notes, etc." Whew, that's a lot of records... 

He continues, "So while not all of these LPs are particularly expensive, owning the catalog will most likely break your bank. Shop smart, and always check conditions!" 

Tip #2 - Didn't We Almost Have It All?
"You'll never get it all. It may seem like a race, but it's virtually impossible to have it all and consume it," Ramirez says. You're only one person. "Enjoy the records that you have. Play them. Learn from others. Ask for recommendations. Nourish the brain." This last part is good advice for all things. Think about shit before you do it or buy it. 

Tip #3 - Think B.I.G.
"Never think you have it all. Have over 15,000 LPs? That's a small percentage of the pie," Ramirez says. "Keep buying, and keep learning. Look for labels and producers." This is good thinking for learning about music generally. 

Keeping it old school works. "I always had my eye on Rough Trade, Mute, World Serpent, Homestead, Enigma, Big Time, Subterranean, Industrial, Les Disques De Crepescule, Glass, and countless others. If those labels were associated with the LP, I usually bought it with varying degrees of success. It sounds awkward to say this, but it was pre-Spotify, Facebook, Soundcloud, Grooveshark, etc. You actually had to go to the record store to discover new music." 

Thus, you must head over to Radio-Active on April 21 to experience the delights of purchasing vinyl for yourself. Mikey'll be there; you can ask him for tips yourself. 

Radio-Active Records, 845 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.. All ages, and it's free. 

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