There’s little in life that makes me as happy as finding quality second hand records for little money. First and foremost because I’ve got an almost pathological thirst for good “undiscovered” music. The first adjective is very important because I don’t care for music that’s rare, hip, made by the right people or nicely packaged if it sounds crap to me. I’m not a collector in the philatelist way. I don’t care for completeness unless it’s justified by quality.
The second one is a relative one. There is no undiscovered music nowadays. There are so many collectors and other madmen around that every genre, subgenre or regional take on a subgenre has been covered by at least a small group of people. There’s always somebody with more unnecessary knowledge about a record than you, even if it’s about your own record. That’s the result of hyping up the Kon & Amir’s of this world, reading Waxpoetics and wearing 101 Apparel t-shirts. The coolness of being a record nerd has made it extremely difficult to be THE reference on something. I’m sure Joey Negro, Sean P, Dimitri From Paris, DJ Deep, DJ Muro or Keb Darge can name you at least 5 guys who are deeper into their favourite genre than they are. And those 5 probably know other guys … you see where I’m going with this.
But it’s not because some nerd with a vinyl collection has got sealed promo copies of every release on Quark records that even the deepest digging decent House DJ in your area has a good idea what New Jersey House is all about. Let alone clubbers with the finest taste you could wish for. The average Joe or Jane doesn’t even have a good idea about what proper House music is all about. They probably go mad on Swedish House Mafia. Which is, at best, Pop. Not House.
So when I’m trying to find good NJ House records in Belgium it’s fair to say I’m digging for undiscovered music. The fact that I find the records I didn’t take the first time still in the crates months afterwards only proves that point. Well, that and the fact that Joey Negro told me even he rarely gets to play vintage Garage sets these days (Garage like in early vocal House played at the Paradise Garage (where it took it’s name from) or Zanzibar (where Tony Humphries made it big)).
The silver lining here is that this lack in popularity makes most of those records quite cheap. Must have been like Disco before people found that cool again. Picking up gems for the price of a beer (which is in normal Brussels bars around 2 €). Returning home with 20+ records, haven’t spent 100 € and knowing you’ve got some very exclusive and crazy good weapons for your DJ-sets. To slip in a Darryl Payne or Ronald Burrell 12” between the MCDE or Kink & Neville ones.
So all hail to Wally’s Groove World for being the best record shop in Belgium to score those fairly priced old school House records. Koenie’s a don and he doesn’t get the props he deserves. He made my day last Saturday. In a land known for his contribution to dance music (Telex, New Beat, R&S, …) it’s pretty hard to find traces of it in second hand record stores which mainly specialise in what you can find everywhere (usually for less money). I’ve added quite a few Nu-Groove’s, Ace Beat’s and 111 East 12″s to the collection.
And if you’re looking for New Jersey House or Garage at WGW … . Sorry, but I swiped the place. Although there’s still some nice ones left (I’m not into buying double copies yet). Plus lots of other goodies, of course. Go find them.