The Collector Series: Lisa’s (@avinyldiary) vinyl records collection

The Collector Series is a photography and interview project documenting vinyl records collectors in their most natural and intimate environment. Want to get featured on #vinyloftheday? Send us a photo of your records collection and a few words about your records collection to diana@vinyloftheday.com. We have Lisa from the Instagram account avinyldiary for this week feature, read below.

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Name: Lisa / avinyldiary

Location: Berlin, Germany

Size of collection: approaching 300

Tell us a bit more about yourself:
27 years old who makes a living selling records. I did my training at Dussmann das Kulturkaufhaus, which is an awesome place right in the middle of Berlin and is still some kind of save haven for me every time I visit. I also spent a year traveling through Australia after finishing school.

What started your interest in music? Is there any interesting story or history behind it? 
I don’t really remember how it all started, but I do remember browsing endlessly through the aisles of the music section of my local Electronic store during my teenager years, whenever my mother went shopping with me. Which ended in her shopping on her own and me listening to all the albums I could not afford to buy. One of the employees started to give me album suggestions and it continuously blew my mind. Things like Jeff Buckley, Ryan Adams, Dan Auerbach, Elbow, Eels or Fleet Foxes. There was also the second Britpop wave just arriving in Germany when I was about 14 or 15 years and bands like Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys started to gather my attention. There was this element of discovering not just the artist/band but then examining her/his/their influences, putting them in context and going from there. It definitely changed my life permanently. I went on, while at University, to work as temp alongside him at the store and I’m now calling him a good friend, actually. Before that, I seemed to have an odd taste for my age. My mother always likes to tell the story about that time when I was about 11 and she used to blast Shakira with Whenever at the loudest volume in the living room and I tried to hold against that with some Frank Sinatra or Jerry Lee Lewis at the same volume.

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How long have you been collecting? 
Roughly for 8 years.

What does your collection mean to you?
It’s my happy place, for other people it may be beaches, or mountaintops, or miniature train sets in their basement. To me, just walking past it in the morning, adding a new find, reorganizing it and going through it or to getting something to listen to and finding an album you´ve already forgotten you have. Happens more often then I would like to admit, by the way.

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What’s your philosophy behind collecting records and how has that evolved since you started collecting up until the present day?
I think it´s quite a personal matter to be honest – collecting. It´s a very conscious decision what you put in your collection and what not – obviously mainly based on taste and sometimes on what you can afford and what not. But, I think nowadays with everything on the press of our fingers and the fleeting nature of it all, collecting vinyl is kind of an statement or a commitment to say: „Here, I really enjoy that, or that moved me and I want to have it in my life in form of a record to hold in my hands, to listen to and to put on my shelf for everybody to see who comes to visit. This is part of me.” I have a friend who stores personal items like letters, photos or ticket stubs in the records that remind him of that time, the person or the event. Which I find is quite a beautiful habit. It´s about memories. That´s the great thing about music, that it can transport you to a certain time or feeling in your life. And with an record in your hands, you have the impression that you can almost touch that memory. That is at the core for me and I don´t think that that has changed much from the beginning. They also sound better. Period.

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Share with us your current (1-3) top records and tell us a bit about them – why they are your favorites?

That´s always a tricky question, but let’s go with current top new find, current top obsession and current top all time favorite:

Current top new find: Yellow Days- Harmless Melodies
Behind Yellow Days is George van den Broek, a 18 year old from Haslemere, England. His voice reminds me of King Krule, but the music is a bit more chilled and has some wonderful soul influences with a modern ​psychedelic spin. It just puts me in a good mood whenever I put the record on. The Vinyl release is limited to 500 and released exclusive through Rough Trade. I think we are going to hear a lot about him in 2018!
Favorite tracks: Gap in the Clouds , A Little While

Current top obsession: Jen Cloher – Jen Cloher
Ask everyone around me and they probably will roll their eyes at the mention of her name. I have the tendency that, if I fall in love with a record, i have to tell everyone around me repeatedly how great it is (which comes quite handy when your job is to sell music to people). Jen Cloher is an Australian singer/songwriter with a quality body of work spanning already four albums. But only with her last record the world slowly started to take notice. About damn time. I admire her lyrics and the honesty in it – ranging from personal to political. Musically, there are more quiet, acoustic moments on the album and then there are also louder moments in the tradition of Patti Smith and PJ Harvey. It´s a great album, did I mention that? She also runs one of my favorite labels, Milk! Records, together with her wife Courtney Barnett.
Favorite tracks: Shoegazers, Strong Woman, Analysis Paralysis and the rest of the album, who am I kidding.

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Current all time favorite(s): Elliott Smith – Either/Or and Jeff Buckley – Grace:
Sorry, I couldn´t decide and trust me I tried. But they stand for the same to me. Reminding me of my teenager years when music could actually completely transform you. You find an artist or an album and the next day everything had changed somehow. It still does happen occasionally (see above), but not as often as it used to or not as intense.

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Was there ever a record which you regret not buying? 

Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine single. I know that my old Boss has one, but he will not sell it – I wouldn’t either. But it’s the only thing missing from my collection of them. And the Frank Ocean´s Blonde release, that was only available for 24 hours – typical collectors problems.

Any tips for other record collectors out there?
Don´t listen to other record collectors out there giving you tips. It´s your collection. You decide.

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Check out Lisa via:

Instagram

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