Collector Series - Arranging with CK

Collector Series - Arranging with CK

Organizing one's record collection is a very personal experience, which helps give the collector a sense of solace, making the whole listening experience a much more enjoyable one. It almost feels like you’re arranging your musical memories into nursing homes, each LP waiting to be discharged at ease. Now is a perfect time to arrange your collection so let us dig into the mind of collector CK on how he arranges them. 

So CK, let us start with a little about yourself, and how long have you been collecting records?

I am a happy husband and a father of a 10-year old boy. I started to fall in love with music after discovering my dad’s cassette tapes when I was 8 years old. The music from Michael Jackson, Bonny M, Elton John, etc just brought out my long-lasting passion for music. Collecting music in its physical form has always been my greatest love. I started by collecting cassette tapes in the 80s. Saving all my pocket money to buy that new album from my favorite band had been a repetitive cycle in my growing up years. After that, like what everyone did at that time, I moved my attention to CDs. It was only till 2012 that I started my vinyl records collecting journey. A good friend of mine was buying a new turntable and I followed him, and it ended up that I got one too for myself. I still remember the first record I have purchased - Nirvana “Nevermind” and since then the desire to own more records just grew stronger and stronger.

Seeing that you have built up a huge record collection over a long time, how do you care for each record individually in terms of storage? I.e inner sleeves and outer sleeves. Where do you usually source them and how important are they to you.

The records are like my babies. I take great care of every single one, putting the vinyl records into anti-static inner sleeves. I do prefer to house them in the Mofi premier inner sleeves but as they are not cheap, I will have to be selective on which one goes into the Mofi sleeves and which one will go into the cheaper rice-paper alternative sleeves. I generally do not prefer to use paper sleeves as they tend to create scuff marks after taking the record in and out. I have also housed the records in a 5mil plastic outer sleeves.


What kind of storage do you use to hold your records? The Ikea Kallax seems to be the most popular one for collectors but yours have such a Hogwarts feel going on and we love it! Could you share where did you get them and any advice for storage?

I have used the Kallax for years and they are really good shelves to use for any collectors. However, when I moved to my new place 3 years ago, I realized my childhood dreams of having a tall record storage shelves where I can climb up a ladder to store or pick my records. The shelves were designed by me and built by a local carpenter. I was inspired by a Japanese shelve design where they have this roller mechanism to pull the cover out and lay it down to form an album cover display. I love the concept and discussed it with my local carpenter to build one using a similar approach. The challenging part of the project was the ladder as I wanted to have a single ladder but ended up with two as the movement of the ladder from one side of the shelve to the other side (my shelves are in an “L-shaped” structure) required more space. After all, I am incredibly pleased with the final product!

Speaking about ladders, we were wondering how do you choose which LPs remain at reachable levels and which ones go up to higher levels. Is there a crate for “new arrivals” etc.

Generally, those records that I am very familiar with or I would think that I will listen to less often goes higher up the shelves. I have placed most of the box sets up on the higher shelves as I can locate them easier. The rationale is I do not want to be searching for a particular title or browsing through the titles while on the ladder. I do have a “new arrivals” crate but it is outside in my living hall, next to my sound system. It can store around 40 records. I keep them there so that it is more accessible during my listening session.

How then do you organize your records? Some people like to arrange it via genres, alphabetical order, moods for certain periods, or even eras. Which do you prefer, is it a combination, and how does it make sense to you?

I have recently made some changes to my organization. I have grouped them in different forms, first I have alphabetized the Funk & Soul, Jazz  (Instrumental vs Vocals), Heavy Metal/Punk and Hip-hop (these are regardless of eras) titles. Next, I have grouped the records I associated them with the eras (the 80s, 90s, and beyond 2000s). I just grouped them based on which era I started to listen to them, this means I will have a Depeche Mode “Delta Machine” (released in 2013) in the 80s section as I have always associated Depeche Mode as the band I listen to in the 80s. I have also grouped some of the series I have collected together, like the Late Night Tales, Peel sessions, The Mood Mosaic series, Now That’s What I called Music, etc. There are also specific artists or bands that I am fond of collecting, like Miles Davis, Prince, The Housemartins/Beautiful South, and these are placed separately. I have also organized the rest in “Classic Rock Bands” (e.g. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc), “Classic Male Artistes” (e.g. Paul Simon, Billy Joel, etc) and “Classic Female Artistes” (Joni Mitchelle, Dusty Springfield, etc). Last but not least, I have my “Mofi Titles”, “Soundtracks”, “Chinese Music” and “World Music” sections.    

Mobile Fidelity Section

Recently we just learned that mono cartridges will be damaged when used to play stereo records. If so, do you separate your mono records from stereo? Since we are at it, which do you prefer anyways?

I don’t separate my mono records from the stereos. Currently, I do not have a mono cartridge but I am very keen to set up a turntable with a mono cartridge after hearing the beauty of a mono record played on a mono cartridge in a shop at Adelphi. The challenging part is my current turntable does not support two tonearms and this means either I change my turntable, or I will have to get another one for mono. I am still thinking about this at the moment.

Lastly, how often do you arrange your records and what does it mean for you? It’s a long process but I've got a feeling that it must be a therapeutic one, looking through each cover and the memories they entail. Maybe could you also share a particular section of your collection that you find yourself always going back to the most?

I must be honest that I can be a little messy when it comes to organizing and arranging my records. I tried to do it after every listening session if I can so that I will not misplace them after some time. It can be quite frustrating if you want to listen to one album for some reason, but you cannot find it in the section you thought you have grouped it under. Yes, it is indeed a therapeutic one to look through each record cover and many of its music will bring back specific memories of my life. My record collection is like a time machine, it has the power and the ability to transport me back to the time. As I grew up in the 80s, I must say that the music from the 80s will have the fondest memories for me in my collection. 

Hopefully, through reading this, it will inspire you to start arranging your record collection however you may want. Ultimately, the process of arranging, cleaning, or packing always brings a sense of freshness, like starting a new or giving a new flame to your space. Being sensitive to our spaces and the things we have is always a true blessing to hold.

Thanks, CK for your insight and taking the time off to do this! Stay safe and take care!

You can get more updates from CK via
Insta: https://www.instagram.com/myllck/

Youtube: https://bit.ly/2zZMOXG

- TAV Team

A Madlib Classic Gets New Reissue

A Madlib Classic Gets New Reissue

Is it jazz? Is it hip hop? Madlib's classic genre-bending album Shades of Blue is set for a limited run reissue through Music On Vinyl

Released on Blue Note in 2003, the album had Madlib raiding the Blue Note vaults and sampling seminal records from the likes of Wayne Shorter, Donald Byrd, Bobby Hutcherson and more.

One of the finest albums in the sampling/cut-up range of hip hop, this run of vinyl will be pressed on blue/white wax, with the first 1,000 copies numbered as well.

Check out the full album below.


Return To The 37th Chamber With El Michels Affair's Latest Wu-Tang Tribute

Return To The 37th Chamber With El Michels Affair's Latest Wu-Tang Tribute

El Michels Affair will be paying tribute to the Wu-Tang Clan once more with the follow up to their underground cult classic Enter The 37th Chamber. Recorded completely analog, Return To The 37th Chamber will cover more Wu classics reinterpreted for the live band.

They'll be taking on classic tracks like '4th Chamber' and 'Wu-Tang Aint Nuthin to Fuck Wit', even deeper cuts like Ol Dirty Bastard’s 'Snakes', Raekwon’s 'Verbal Intercourse', and 'Shaolin Brew', from Wu-Tang's 1994 St. Ide’s Hip Hop endorsement campaign.

Several Big Crown labelmates will be featured such as Lee Fields providing vocals on 'Snakes' and Shannon Wise of The Shacks for their version of 'Tearz'. Also making an appearance on their cover of the Method Man joint 'All I Need' is Lady Wray. Original interludes will be interspersed throughout the record to tie the album together giving it a proper cinematic narrative as all El Michels Affair records do.

The vinyl edition of the album will feature 4 different hand painted covers. Originally painted on two sewn together flour sacks in Accra, Ghana by two of Ghanaian Mobile Cinema scene's legendary artists and regular contributors to the Deadly Prey Gallery in Chicago, Heavy J and Stoger.

The album will drop on 14th April. Check out 'Verbal Intercourse' off the album below.


New Album 'Motor City' Features Unreleased J Dilla Instrumentals

New Album 'Motor City' Features Unreleased J Dilla Instrumentals

Motor City curated by J Dilla's mom Maureen 'Ma Dukes' Yancey will feature unreleased Dilla instrumentals. Conceived as a 'letter' to her son, it collects 19 tracks inspired by Dilla's native Detroit.

Both CD and vinyl editions of the album are packaged in a limited-edition mailing envelope, complete with a handwritten message from Ma Dukes to Dilla inside. While in the deluxe package, CD, LP, T-Shirt, Cassette Tape (featuring an alternate mix by J Rocc), Slipmat, Flexi (with J Rocc blends) are to be included.

Due to drop on the 21st of April.

Check out ‘Motor City J. Rocc Blend #1’ below.

Arrested Development's 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days In The Life Of... To Be Reissued

Arrested Development's 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days In The Life Of... To Be Reissued

For its 25th year anniversary, Music On Vinyl will be reissuing Southern Hip Hop group Arrested Development's debut album, 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days In The Life Of...

The album's title is a reference to the length of time it took Arrested Development to get a record contract. Choosing to focus on spirituality, peace and love. The album stood out in a time where gangsta rap was the most prevalent form of hip hop on the airwaves. The popularity of the album marked the beginning of Southern Hip Hop's rise in the mainstream.

Hit charting singles off this album are 'People Everyday', 'Mr. Wendal' and 'Tennessee'. With 'Tennessee' being listed on the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.

For this reissue, Music On Vinyl has pressed the album on 180 gram audiophile vinyl, with the first 2,000 pressings on white vinyl with remaining copies on black vinyl. An insert with song lyrics will also be included.

Set to drop on the 31st of March.

Check out the full album below.

Alternative Hip Hop Favourite 'Dr. Octagonecologyst' Will Be Reissued For 20th Anniversary

Alternative Hip Hop Favourite 'Dr. Octagonecologyst' Will Be Reissued For 20th Anniversary

Described by Kool Keith as 'sci-fi, science and sex. And cannibalism, mixed. Space, sex and ‘Psycho,’ all at the same time.' Dr. Octagonecologyst is definitely one of the most unique alternative rap records of all time and for its 20th anniversary it will be getting a deluxe reissue treatment by Get On Down.

Dr. Octagonecologyst was the solo debut of Ultramagnetic MCs' Kool Keith under his Dr. Octagon persona. Featuring production work by Dan "The Automator" Nakamura and KutMasta Kurt, and not forgetting the fiery turntable acrobatics of DJ Qbert. The album is one of the most influential independent rap records, often cited as revitalising the alternative hip hop scene in the mid-90s. With critics praising for its abstract, avant-garde lyrics and clever blending of psychedelic, trip hop, horrorcore, and electronic music elements.

The album will be housed in a custom octagonal box featuring original cover artwork by Pushead, 40 page liner notes booklet and 5 additional unreleased songs only available for this reissue.

The reissue is set to drop in early May.

Check out the video to 'Blue Flowers' off the album.


Soul Jazz Records To Reissue Reggae Disco Compilation

Soul Jazz Records To Reissue Reggae Disco Compilation

Hustle! Reggae Disco which was originally released in 2002 will be back in print with an expanded edition featuring five additional tracks across 3LPs. It features reggae versions of original funk and soul classics in a disco style and went on to be one of their best selling compilations, not to mention it was also featured heavily in early Grand Theft Auto games.

Some of its highlights include reggae disco covers of seminal classics by Anita Ward (‘Ring My Bell’), Chaka Khan (‘I’m Every Woman’), Michael Jackson ‘Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough,’ Sugarhill Gang (‘Rappers Delight’).

Release date is set for 3rd March.

Check out Xanudu and Sweet Lady's cover of Sugarhill Gang's 'Rappers Delight' off the album below.


01. Blood Sisters – Ring My Bell
02. Derrick Laro and Trinity – Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough
03. Chariot Riders – Do It Nice & Easy
04. Black Harmony – Don’t Let It Go To Your Head
05. Latisha – I’m Every Woman
06. Ernest Ranglin – In The Rain
07. Family Choice – Reggae Beat Goes On
08. Risco Connection – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now
09. Xanadu and Sweet Lady – Rappers Delight
10. Sharon Forrester – Love Don’t Live Here Any More
11. Carol Cool – Upside Down
12. One Blood – Be Thankful For What You’ve Got
13. Charmaine Burnett – Am I The Same Girl

New Reissue For Ahmad Jamal's Masterpiece 'The Awakening'

New Reissue For Ahmad Jamal's Masterpiece 'The Awakening'

For the first time in 20 years, Ahmad Jamal's highly influential and heavily sampled 1970 album The Awakening will be reissued by Be With Records.

The deep trio session was recorded in NYC and originally released on Impulse!, featuring masterful Zen like playing from Jamal which influenced the likes of Miles Davis and Wynton Kelly in their own performance on another landmark jazz album, Kind of Blue.

The album has also left an indelible mark on hip hop, becoming a sampling goldmine for some of the best tracks from its golden era. Tracks such as Nas' "The World Is Yours", Gang Starr's "DJ Premier In Deep Concentration" and Common's "Resurrection" would have sounded different if not for this record. 

For this edition, Be With Records presents a gatefold release with the stunning original artwork and liner notes true to the original package. Pressed on 180 gram vinyl with mastering by Simon Francis.

Release date set for the 24th of March.

Stream the full album below:

Thundercat To Release Latest Album As Vinyl Box Set

Thundercat To Release Latest Album As Vinyl Box Set

Just announced is Thundercat's third album titled Drunk to be released through Flying Lotus' Brianfeeder label. This release follows 2015's The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam and will be released on CD, digital and a 4xLP deluxe vinyl box set.

The 23-track album features the grammy winning singer/bassist's friends Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Wiz Khalifa, Kamasi Washington and of course Flying Lotus. His first single Show You The Way also features yacht rock favorites Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald.

The vinyl box set comprises of four red LPs housed in psychedelic artwork inner sleeves. Set to be released on 10th March, while digital/CD release will be on 24th February.

Check out the first single Show You The Way below.

Run The Jewels' Highly Anticipated Third Album To Release On Wax

Run The Jewels' Highly Anticipated Third Album To Release On Wax

Run The Jewels' highly anticipated third full-length album is set to drop on wax this New Year. It's also available to stream online ahead of it's release date so fans rejoice!

The vinyl releases will be available in two versions, a standard double LP pressed on gold vinyl and a super vinyl edition featuring four LPs pressed on gold and blue vinyl. The super vinyl edition consists of the full album and the instrumental version of the album.

The album features appearances from Tunde Adebimpe, Kamasi Washington, Joi Gilliam, Danny Brown, longtime RTJ collaborators Little Shalamar and Wilder Zoby.

The vinyl releases is set to drop on the 13th of January. Stream the full album below.

Source: Okayplayer

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