Vintage Vinyl | Georgette Magazine

From Georgette Magazine

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By Sharon Warr

The first record I owned was given to me on my 5th birthday. It was a Jim Reeves seven single with Little Ole You on one side and Guilty on the other. I still have it. I know this dates me a bit but we all know that 50 is the new 30 and just in case you are unclear on where I sit on the ‘decrepit’ scale, I don’t yet have to drink my pizza through a straw with a bib tucked under my chin!

 When I think of vinyl records I am strongly reminded that many readers will have no idea what I’m talking about. And until a little while ago vinyl had no meaning for me either. Back in the day, LP, seven single (or just single), record, disc or album was widely used. Never vinyl. Even the words album and disc only became popular in the late 60s and 70s – certainly in the South African context.

 For those of us who grew up with the LP, the arrival of CDs on the scene aroused mixed emotions. There were those die hard aficionados of the LP who would not embrace the new technology, firstly because it “could never match the quality of the tried and tested record and turntable” and secondly, and I fell into this camp too, because one’s collection of LPs was so big, one could never hope to convert them to the new format as the cost would have been prohibitive. So that left us with a ‘before CD’ collection and an ‘after CD’ collection. Betwixt and between.

 Being a bit of a Gadget Alice with my wonder of things ‘curious’ I soon however embraced CDs wholeheartedly. After all, they were so small – and just like their name – compact. No more lugging piles of weighty LPs around. No more searching for cuts or tracks as they are now called – you just selected one and, wonder of wonders, it played…from the beginning! And best of all, no more clicks and scratches. Listening to Dvorak’s Symphony to the New World sans clicks was amazing! You were able to know for certain that your Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon was not going to get stuck in the middle of Us and Them and you could say with certainty that your CD was not going to warp if left in the sun, rendering it suitable for use only as an ashtray.

 But for all the perks, for me, the magic of the LP still pips the convenient, slick technology of the CD any day. Why? Because listening to an LP required one’s full sensual engagement. It required you to be present in the full sense of the word. It was not solely about the technology and technicalities of the devices but in the tactile, visual and auditory experience that made LPs such a full on experience. From the moment you picked up an LP you became absorbed. Listening was more than cueing up two hours of music, clicking ‘play’ on a computer software icon and walking off.  It required that you stay…listening to the mix with a critical ear and it required that you be there when the record came to the end of the side. Failure to do so would result in the stylus clicking ad infinitum in the locking groove with the real danger of wearing out the sometimes expensive stylus. I can’t say I miss that part of the experience but there’s a lot I do miss.

 Another aspect of the LP was the branding. Record companies and their labels became part of the experience too. You couldn’t miss the names RCA Victor, Atlantic, Parlotone, Trutone, EMI, HMV, Apple, Island, A&M – you’d recognise their logos the minute you took the record from its sleeve. And the covers themselves – who can ever forget the cover designs by Hipgnosis – think Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon or Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy amongst others. Another favourite of mine was the cover of Golden Earring’s Moontan whose designer sadly does not get a credit. There was shock and horror when the nude lady appeared in the record stores in this country! LP covers still have a solid feel and visual quality that a CD cover can never hope to achieve simply because it is too small.

 Although the golden age of vinyl has gone, it is still very much around as far as availability goes. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many young people I see browsing in vinyl stores. They want that same experience I tried explain in the beginning of the article. Back to a time when things were a little more hands on and the music was vibrant and, yes, tuneful. But more on that another time.

 So…for the lover of things old but good, the thing is to go to the attic or the garage and lovingly resurrect your turntable or find a good second hand little system somewhere. Give it a clean up just as you would a vintage car and wire it up to your current hi-fi. Then crack open those cardboard boxes of LPs you stashed away years ago or head for Mabu’s Vinyl shop at 2 Rheede Street, Gardens (just off Kloof Street) to browse through a bit of history. The shop is like a time capsule itself, hinting at the hippy era with the smell of incense wafting out onto the pavement and the sound of classic rock pieces in the air. Brings a smile to one’s face every time. Their prices are reasonable and generally the condition of the LPs is good.

In search of vinyl, part 1: Mabu Vinyl in Cape Town, South Africa

 

In search of vinyl, part 1: Mabu Vinyl in Cape Town, South Africa
In search of vinyl, part 1: Mabu Vinyl in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Inside, Mabu Vinyl looks and smells like an authentic second-hand store should. It’s stacked to the ceiling with used VHS tapes, random posters, loose CD’s, second hand books, and of course, vinyl records. It’s all about the vinyl. As it should be. It’s dark, it’s moody…it’s perfect.

via In search of vinyl, part 1: Mabu Vinyl in Cape Town, South Africa.

MABU VINYL NOW IN RHEEDE STREET

Mabu Vinyl, the well-known music shop in Cape Town, will soon be celebrating its two-year anniversary in its more spacious new premises at 2 Rheede Street in Gardens. The shop is situated just off the corner of Kloof Street (next door to A&A Furnishers), and is just a “muffin’s throw away” from Vida e Caffé, the very popular nearby coffee shop in Kloof Street.

Mabu Vinyl carries a large selection of new and second hand items including LP records, 12” singles, 7” singles, 78’s, CD’s, DVD’s, cassette tapes, videos, books, T-shirts, comics, magazines, and even a selection of refurbished turntables and hi-fi’s. Mabu Vinyl buys, sells and trades in all and any of these items. The shop also carries a range of independent CD releases by a range of South African artists.

Mabu Vinyl grew out of the well-known Kloof Street bric-a-brac store, Kloofmart, which was run for many years by Johan Vosloo in the premises now occupied by Vida e Caffé. Jacques Vosloo, the owner’s son, started the record store in the back section of Kloofmart before the store moved to its next premises a few shops away, next to the other well-known Kloof Street music shop, High Five.

Then in October 2003, Mabu Vinyl again moved further down the road into its next premises in Buitenkloof Centre on the corner of Kloof and Buitensingel Streets. Soon after, Stephen Segerman joined Jacques in the store, adding a stock of CD’s, tapes, and DVD’s to the already huge selection of records that fills every corner of this eclectically decorated store.

The new Mabu Vinyl store has something for everyone with hundreds of 7″ singles, 12″ dance singles (for the many club DJ’s who frequent Mabu), and a broad range of rock, pop, jazz, soul, country, comedy, blues, soundtrack, South African and classical LP records. There is also a wide range of new and used CD’s, DVD’s, cassette tapes and books, mostly at reduced or sale prices, and the shop has many regular customers who love to take a few hours to browse through the many music items on display.

Parking for the new Mabu Vinyl store is available downstairs in the Rheede Centre parking garage, or at the nearby Kwikspar or Lifestyle centres in Kloof Street.

About Mabu Vinyl

Mabu Vinyl is the record, CD, DVD, cassette, book, comix and turntable store in Gardens, Cape Town, that was established in 2001 by Jacques Vosloo, who now co-owns it with Stephen Segerman.

Mabu buys, sells and trades vinyl LP records and CD’s of all genres, as well as DVD’s, cassettes, books and comix, and has a large selection of Dance music, Hip Hop, House, Techno, Trance, Rock, Pop, Jazz, Soul, Funk, D&B, R&B and much more.

2 Rheede Street
Gardens
Cape Town
8001

Phone: + 27 (0) 21-423-7635
Contact:Stephen
email: sugar@mabuvinyl.co.za

Shop Hours:
Mabu is open 7 days a week….
Monday – Thursday: 9am till 8pm
Friday: 9am till 7pm
Saturday: 9am till 6pm
Sunday: 11am till 3pm