Talkin’ Bout a Vinyl Revolution

The Mother City’s music enthusiasts are back to loving the LP, writes Tshego Letsoalo

The 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary Searching for Sugarman put Cape Town’s Mabu Vinyl record store back on the map, making it a tourist attraction and pop-culture icon the world around.

The film, which tracks two South African music fans’ quest to find the much-loved guitarist and singer Sixto Rodriguez, also thrust vinyl into the spotlight at a time when records were supposed to be as dead as the famed “Sugarman” was once rumoured to be. But for the shop’s co-owner and one of the stars in the soul-touching flick, Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, the return of the record has been in the making for the past decade – and not just for “old toppies”, as he likes to call them, but for today’s generation.

“[In the past] The only vinyl in Cape Town came with the DJs playing 12 inches of house music,” he says, sitting in a little corner of his kaleidoscopic Gardens store, a space packed with hundreds of records in their sleeves, DVDs, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, books, posters and concert flyers. “But it’s changed completely; vinyl’s come back more in pop, rock, soul and jazz as opposed to the DJ stuff.”

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