This month we sat down with Greek record collecting extraordinaire VinylAddicted. We touched on everything from his early digging days, compilation albums, his thoughts on the music industry and of course his love for acetate.
Lets start off as usual with a bit about yourself and your background
Thanks for having me! I’m Akis and I hail from Drama, a city in the North of Greece. I’ve been collecting vinyls since 1992 and DJ’ing since I was thirteen. I started in local clubs and bars to keep on with radio broadcasting as a teenager, while I began djing around Greece throughout my studies in Law. I’m a passionate vinyl collector of disco, funk, soul, classic house and rarities, proud of counting almost 20,000 records in my collection. I’ve been editing disco music since 2012 and my passion for vinyls led to the instalment of my Editor’s Kutz label. Last year I also launched “Diggin’ Disco Deep”, a vinyl-only offshoot which is more deep-disco and deep-house orientated, which I’m proud and honoured to have on board some of the hottest names in the scene.
As a producer you are clearly influenced a lot by disco, funk and soul, who are some of your biggest influences when it comes to writing music?
Tough! I really discovered music’s perfection in lesser known artists and producers from the past. The truth is that disco and soul has always been the key for me and somehow I always needed their elements in my music. These styles give tempo and groove to the music. No matter if something is danceable or not, the presence of a funky groove or an obscure disco sample is enough to make the difference and add quality to a re-edit or rework. A principal of mine is that if you cannot make something better (which is difficult) or at least equal it, it’s better not to touch it at all. Not everything can be edited on this planet.
Is there anything in particular you look for when choosing samples and tracks to edit?
Most of the time I search for lesser known or truly rare stuff from my collection. Each edit is handled by respect from me, so instead of serving the friends of the scene with the same commercial and popular disco tracks all the time, I prefer to retouch some special stuff. I still get requests for the original tracks for example; “Lonely D” from Editor’s Kutz #5 RSD, “Sun Shadow” of Editor’s Kutz #3 or even “The Music And Harmony” of Diggin’ Disco Deep #1.
As well as producing and releasing music you have been running the ‘justlovevinyls’ blog. How did that start and what are the aims you have for the blog as a whole?
The blog came as a result of musical expression, coming after a big musical pause of mine because of my Law studies. I never ceased buying and collecting music, even during times when I had no time for gigs or production. I decided to share this passion via a blog, that’s why I created justlovevinyls. Its been running for 4 years now and I have already posted almost 700 vinyls and reviews all with samples. It’s more than a success and honour for me that I get contacted daily by friends and supporters. This approval from music lovers and genuine vinyl enthusiasts pushes me to keep up this expensive (to be honest) hobby! I use the word hobby because I never accepted an advertisement or donation, even from well known and successful vinyl stores who wanted to exclusively promote their sites through it.
Digging through the blog you come across as someone who has a love for music across the board, and particularly vinyl as an art form. What are your thoughts on the current state of the way music is consumed and the comeback of vinyl within that?
As I say on my blog, “music is the vice to keep us alive” and vinyl format is it’s most authentic, secure representation. This is a big discussion and I know that many people disagree, however I strongly believe that the music industry has become worse off since the digital format appeared and piracy increased. The need for “quick” and “high sound fidelity” became a cheap excuse, mostly by those who never spent a penny to buy music. If you don’t buy music you cannot appreciate music, thats what I believe. The searching for vinyls, the real digging of music history is offered only through the passion for wax, that is something that digital consumption will never replace. I am happy to hear that vinyl sales have increased rapidly over the past three years, which is very optimistic and I’m hoping to see people continue to buy more in the future. I appreciate DJ’s who carry their record bags to gigs much more than seeing them with a usb stick.
The ‘Diggin’ Disco Deep’ series has been extremely popular, so much that Volume 1 ended up being repressed. How did the compilation come together, and how did you choose which artists to have on there?
“Diggin’ Disco Deep” is the child of “Editor’s Kutz”. There are still some bright producers and talented artists that respect and follow the roots of house music, including the soul and disco elements of house. Since last year, I’ve been receiving deep house and disco demos on a daily basis, with some real good tracks among them. That was the initial motive to create another label, orientated towards more electronic and deep house music. When I was told by my distro that the release had sold-out before it even came out, I knew that it was only the beginning.
What is in store for the rest of the year and beyond, both with releases and the blog?
As for releases I have Editor’s Kutz #6 coming up next week and Diggin’ Disco Deep #2 on August 24th. Meanwhile, Editor’s Kutz #7 has been compiled and is scheduled to be out later this year, with Diggin’ Disco Deep #3 following up early in 2016. Some of my tracks will also be included on vinyl releases including Masterworks Music and Restore (expected around October 2015). As for the blog, I’ll keep posting some of the records I’ve purchased – I don’t have enough time to post everything I buy. I try to keep a balance amongst the styles of music I like, but I often post records that followers of the blog request.
Do you have any favourite records or releases you have purchased recently?
Really tough question! Parcels arrive in the post almost twice a week, with both new releases, oldies and obscure records.