CD sales have declined in recent years as more people go digital, but paradoxically that’s also led to a jump in vinyl sales.
Halifax DJ Matt Mills leads the way with a massive 15,000 record collection spread over four rooms at his Purcells Cove, N.S., home.
“I started buying hip hop records in the mid ‘90s and then I got really into it in 2001 when I moved to Quebec,” he says.
'It's the quest to find the hottest thing.'- Matt Mills
His buddy and fellow musician Skratch Bastid showed him the ropes. Nowadays, Mills finds rarities in shops, at shows and online, although fittingly the web is a last resort.
“It’s kind of shooting in the dark. You don’t always know what you’re going to get,” he explains.
The most he’s ever spent was $600 for Weldon Irvine’s Time Capsule. His most treasured is one from the Sidewinders, a Preston funk group.
“I got it at the flea market for $6 and that goes for a G or something online,” he said. “That’s probably my best financial scoop.”
DJ Jazzy Jeff once bought one of his rare albums.
But the best part of having such a collection is, well, having such a collection.
“It’s like being the only one at Disney World and you get all the rides, no waiting.”
More than a trend
Mills thinks the vinyl revival is more than a fad.
“Vinyl’s for life. What happens if you lose your computer? All your files? It’s a nightmare to any DJ, any producer. I think anyone who really cares about the music, certain albums they’re always going to hunt for it on vinyl.”
And he’s going to keep building his own collection. He says he's driven by the "records I don’t have. Always knowing there’s something out there you don’t have, you don’t know about. It’s the quest to find the hottest thing.”