The Collector Series: Marco Weibel’s 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 Marco Weibel (@marcoweibel) for this week’s feature, read below.

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 Name: Marco Weibel

Location: New York City / Singapore

Size of collection: 950 (12″/LPs) + 150 (7″s) in NYC, another 1200(12″/LPs) odd back in Singapore.

Tell us a bit more of yourself:
I’m Marco Weibel, a music lover and DJ originally from Singapore. I’m part of label / platform Darker Than Wax (www.darkerthanwax.com) and part of their core team.

I also host the label’s weekly show ‘Darker Than Wax FM’ on The Lot Radio as well as our monthly show, ‘We Move’ on Radar Radio so I’m constantly digging for music to discover and share.

Besides playing on the airwaves, I have been fortunate to DJ at clubs / parties across the globe, from Bali, Bangkok, Sao Paulo, Rio, Tokyo, Toronto, Montreal to name a few. I moved to NYC for school in 2014 and am in the midst of applying for my artist visa here and have a few plans in the pipeline to help grow the global movement of the label even more stateside!

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What started your interest in music? Is there any interesting story behind it?

I grew up exposed to music at a pretty young age. My older sister was heavily into RnB, 90s Hip-Hop and the likes, my parents would also always play music around the house growing up. Stuff like Simply Red, Sade, Cafe Del Mar compilations. I was into music since 12/13, I played the guitar for a short stint and only listened to stuff my sister and parents hated. It wasn’t really about the music at that time, but more about the sub-culture surrounding the music I was in to. Things like nu metal, rock, punk. It was a phase in my life where I guess it wasn’t cool to be into the music my sister or parents were into lol. When I was around 17 that’s when I really started to take notice of the musicality, my tastes started to change and I started to discover 80s boogie, soul music, jazz, deep house through a combination of my dad passing me his old record collection, (Kool & the Gang, The Isley Brothers, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops) the familiarity of soul / jazz roots in my sisters tastes, as well as the clubs and parties I was going to. That awareness of the musicality was life-changing for me. Music became my escape, a release, a confident and it continues to heal and comfort me in a spiritual way I can’t explain. Around that same time was when I started DJing, and got my mind blown by electronic music from Moodymann. His approach to the fusion of multiple genres of music really shaped my approach to want to be an eclectic DJ. Around the same time, I also met Dean (Funk Bast*rd, Co-founder of Darker Than Wax) who eventually acted as a mentor figure to me for DJing / record collecting.

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How long have you been collecting? What does your collection mean to you?
It’s been about 10 years. I have two collections, one still in Singapore because it was too expensive to bring it all over when I came to New York for school. My collection is a big piece of my being. It’s the essence of what I care for and believe in, kinda like my own medication for peace of mind. Music that makes me feel happy, music that I listen to when I’m down, music for doing work, music for meditating, it’s all bits in my collection, and each record has a personal experience or story tied to it.

What’s your philosophy behind collecting records? Do you collect specific genre only?
I don’t really have a philosophy behind collecting records, but I do try to collect things that I’d see myself listening to the rest of my life. I rarely ever break the bank on a record as well. I think the most I’ve spent on a record is maybe 50/60 dollars. Of course, i have a want list of things that get pricey but I believe it’ll come to me one day through travel digs or some other way, if it doesn’t, it’s just not meant to be.

I collect a wide range of sounds, ranging from House, Soul, Jazz, World stuff (African, Brazilian, Japanese), Reggae, Disco / Boogie, Hip Hop, Ambient / Downtempo stuff, UK Club Styles and beyond.

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Where are your favourite spots/record stores, and why?
Generally, record digging in Japan is amazing. They are extremely concerned with pressing version as well as the quality of sleeve / media, so for someone like me who isn’t too caught up with original pressings / sleeve damage, you can find some really great steals. Also the clerks in Japan are often extremely knowledgeable. Tell them what you like and they’re bound to have some amazing recommendations.

In New York, I frequent a number of stores for finding different types of records. The stores include Two Bridges Music & Arts, Second Hand Records NYC, The Mixtape Shop, A-1 Records.

My favorite spots are also random 2nd hand stores / record stores / private collections in places I’ve traveled to. I enjoy the mysterious element of going through an extremely mixed / uncurated selection of records and finding personal gems within.

Share with us your current top 3 records and tell us a bit more about them.
Always a tough question, but these 3 are the first that come to mind as of late.

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Manuel Darquart ‎– Birds Of Paradiso (Childsplay)
An absolutely fresh and interesting EP, Manuel Darquart traverses across the music spectrum with this one, from modern funk vibes into lush deep house to UK crossover vibes reminiscent of the likes of Lone. Although I already had this digitally for the first few months, I had to cop the 12″ when I saw they were doing a run of vinyl (they only did so after 4/5 months of this being out digitally only). To me, this record is exactly why I collect electronic music on wax, it’s something I’d very much like to stumble back on 5/10 years in the future. Great one through and through and love support a label that is relatively young / independent (this is their first 12″)!

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Waipod Petchsuphan – Puttha Prawat (Maliwon)
This record is something I picked up from Bangkok at Maft Sai’s record store Zudrangma. It was tipped onto me by Jorrit who works at the store. Zudrangma specializes in traditional Thai music, mostly from the region of Isan, northern Thailand. This record is by a pretty well known Thai artist Waipod Petchsuphan, known for his more funky Luk Thung / Molam style music, with songs such as Ding Ding Dong (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8JzYC-HCHk). However, this album was a non-commercial LP that meant to be a Buddhist mantra of sorts, the title of the LP translates to “The Story of Buddha”. It’s some seriously deep and meditative music, and even though I don’t understand Thai, I feel the spirituality in the music and enjoy listening to it.

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Various ‎– Via Brazil 4 (Brasilia Discos)
Chose this because a dear best friend and fellow vinyl junkie Jin Seow gifted this special compilation to me. One of the many records he’s shared / gifted me with over the course of our friendship. The most amazing thing about record / music collecting is the people and community who share the similar obsession with you. It’s so wonderful and I feel blessed to be able to have a connection / share this passion with friends. We often get records for one another on travels, it brings me much joy to do this, I’ve never got why people are closed up or secretive/competitive with records. At the end of the day, the music is meant to be passed on. This compilation has been an entryway into exploring some amazing Brazilian artist. The entire series (4 volumes deep) is flooded with gems and knowledge, check em all out!

Any tips for other record collectors out there?
Always make an effort to speak to the spot / store owners, they hold the most knowledge when it comes to their collection, and would probably put you onto something you would have never discovered without their help. Never judge a record by its cover, let the music speak for itself. Lastly trust your own ear, at the end of the day, its your collection and you’d know best what you like or don’t like.

Photos credit: David M Cortes

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