The Collector Series: Samuel Drew-Rumoro’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 webstore@vinyloftheday.com.

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Name: Samuel Drew-Rumoro

Location: Melbourne, Australia.

Size of collection:
I’ve been really lazy with my cataloging. My running count officially is somewhere just over 300 but I’d have to say closer to 5/600 as of late.

Tell us a bit more about yourself:
Just your basic Western Suburbs flake. Struggling architecture student, struggling musician, gear hoarder, lentil enthusiast. Currently producing sub-par existential bedroom psychedelia that sounds like VHS tapes full of cough syrup.

What started your interest in music?
My mum is a singer and has been an avid music lover since she was little. I’m 21 now and mumma bear is approaching 60, so the music that she tipped me into from her day sparked my passion. My first few CD’s were maybe a Beach Boys compilation and Led Zeppelin IV. We always listened to lots of The Beatles when I was little, lots of Todd Rundgren, heaps of King Crimson and pretty much everything in between. My sister was 16 when I was born so her influences on my taste were more along the lines of the early 90’s from her growing up: lots of Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins, plenty of Wu-Tang. Ever since I took to music I’ve been learning new instruments, writing, immersing myself in Melbourne’s music scene; there are so many like minded people navigating their ways through it and it’s a constant joy and a privilege to be able to engage with them all.

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How long have you been collecting?
I was 13 or 14 when I bought my first record [Black Sabbath – Paranoid, 180g reissue]. After which point my mum gifted me a hefty portion of her collection to start me – maybe 20 or 30 pieces. I started collecting within the same vein; my local at the time Greville Records (Prahran, Melbourne) stocks predominantly 60’s-70’s prog and psychedelia so that’s how my collection started to take shape. Over the last 3 or 4 years my focus has shifted to new releases within the lofi, neo-psych, synth-pop, and experimental communities.

What does your collection mean to you?
I place a lot of significance on purchasing new music especially, and making sure I support emerging artists releasing wax. Having a physical reminder that new bands can, and are continuing to release music and knowing that on an individual level I can be a part of that is truly rewarding. As somebody who is striving to release my own works, I can take solace in the fact that innumerable others are seeking and collecting the works of young musicians. In regard to the collection in its entirety and not just new releases, my collection is a testament to my influences, my upbringing; a physical manifestation of my tastes and musical disposition and I find this to be profoundly comforting.

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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?
My early years digging were spent essentially trying to replace classics that were missing from my mum’s collection; essentially King Crimson, Todd Rundgren, Black Sabbath, Klaatu, Hawkwind etc. However as my own tastes began to develop and I relinquished my tendencies to listen predominantly to 70’s era music, I began to seek out new releases per my aforementioned desire to support new music. This saw me starting my Tame Impala, The Horrors, Pond neo-psychedelic collection, which has since moved past the obvious psychedelic music and has inspire me to seek more obscure and less readily accessible music. My method of discovery also changed and this influenced my purchasing habits too. Where I would previously dig in-store or at fairs, I started to follow Artists and Record Labels on Spotify and Instagram to keep up to date directly with new releases. I found record labels to be a useful diviner when seeking new tunes; similarly, the information contained on liner notes was useful for ascertaining which artists were playing on which records, and using this to find more similar bands within certain circles.

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Any interesting story about your record collecting adventure? Please share.
In maybe 2014/15, I was desperately trying to completely my King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard discography. I was lucky to have accumulated their other releases upon release or otherwise with relative ease, but struggled to find a copy of Float Along/Fill Your Lungs. I found a copy on Discogs located in Colorado for a really reasonable price compared to some of the inflated values that plague Gizz releases. We became friendly during the course of the purchase and by the end had arranged that I would purchase a second copy of their records upon release and store them in Melbourne for him and he would in turn collect US releases of other psych bands for me. Once we had a fair stockpile we would ship a bulk package to each other to save on freight. This is something we continue to do to this day. This is Steven Ramsey, formerly of Lazyboy Record Co (now at ipreferpi), I always look forward to the cheeky promo’s that find their way into my care package.

Share with us your top 3 favourite records and explain why?

[Sunbeam Sound Machine – Wonderer]

A release from a local psych god. Lush, trippy, lofi stacked guitar tones, dripping with delay and soaked in phasers; this album is so dense sonically but just feels like a big ol’ psychedelic sound pillow. It’s so warm and fuzzy and is perfect for a cold night wrapped up in a cardigan with the house lights off and the lava lamps on mmmmm. Had the pleasure of meeting Nick a few times and getting some wax signed, and even playing on the same bill as him drumming in Pup Tentacle at a residency put together by Uncle Bobby at the Worker’s Club.

[Moodoïd – EP]

Surreal, absurdist neo-psychedelia that would have made Camus blush if he’d been a 12-string guitarist. Super whacky guitar driven tunes, like jangle-pop laced with codeine. Pablo of Melody’s Echo Chamber is the mastermind behind this EP, and follows in with an equally impressive LP not long after. Kevin Parker produces, so keep an ear out for his cheeky little vocal cameos in some of the backing.

[Todd Rundgren – A Wizard, A True Star]

Ughhh just listen to it. Infinite gratitude to my mum for making sure I grew up with this. Literally the basis for Lonerism, sonically and structurally, and tonally these albums are almost identical – However this came out in 1973. Honourable mention to Todd Rundgren’s Utopia ft. the precursor to the Skeleton Tiger synth-guitar tone.

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Any tips for other record collectors out there?
Keep digging. Save your pennies, make networks, support live music, post lots of pictures, reach out to other diggers, have heaps of listening parties, lend people your wax, don’t leave a haul in your car boot in summer.

xoxo Sammy

Check out Samuel via:
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Photo Credits: Chelsea Meatchem

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