In 1977, Nasa launched two Voyager spacecraft into space. On board were the Voyager Golden Records and a message from President Jimmy Carter: “This is a present from a small, distant world; a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.”
Not only were these records the rarest created and the ultimate box set from Earth, but they are still out there somewhere in the universe.
This love for analogue continues as vinyl sales are booming.
Last month, The Guardian reported that Daft Punk and David Bowie had helped UK vinyl sales to double this year. And the truth is vinyl sales have accelerated rapidly in South Africa, too.
The most obvious example is the new “vinyl” section at Musica megastores, stocking everything from Lady Gaga to Nick Drake.
However, a new generation now have access to the medium and while many independent local artists have sought to get records pressed internationally, Arno Carsten’s album Atari Gala is the first commercial release on wax.
Vinyl-only listening sessions have also returned with the likes of Future Nostalgia every Tuesdays at The Mahogany Room (79 Buiten-kant St) and the Vinyl Digz parties.
While many diggers hope to stumble across gold with the inheritance of a collection or a rare find on the Net, there are a variety of stores to dig in the city.
Mabu Vinyl (2 Rheede St) earned acclaim last year with the release of Searching for Sugarman which won the Oscar for Best Documentary, in which the store featured extensively.
It was established in 2001 by Jacques Vosloo, who now co-owns it with Stephen Segerman. Their selection includes used records, books, comics, CDs, DVDs and cassettes. The average price of a record is R80 and the store is open seven days a week. Call 021 423 7635. See www.mabuvinyl.co.za.
Observatory has two spots for diggers. Revolution Records (85 Lower Main Rd) sells new and used vinyls, CDs, tapes, DVDs and also repairs record players. Founded by Laurent Lemoine in 2001, the store is open seven days a week. Prices range from R40 up. Call 072 769 8362.
Up the road, Fred “Spider” Jacquier opened Voom Voom Vintage (19 Lower Main Rd) in June. He sells new and used vinyl starting from R40. He also sells clothes, accessories, books and furniture seven days a week from 10am to 9pm. Call 082 580 4367.
In Salt River is the Deerhunter (409 Albert Rd). It was founded by Shaun Baskind and Kezia Eales in Joburg, but relocated to Cape Town in December last year. They’re open Monday to Saturday and sell used records, clothes, furniture, toys, record players, books and more. They also sell coffee and food courtesy of Willy’s Food. Records start at R30 and Baskind is a keen negotiator. Call 071 297 6673.
The Listening Room (Cape Quarter, Green Point) sells new records and opened last year. Their market is high-end audio equip-ment and vinyl reissues. Average selling price is R250 and they do orders and imports. They are open seven days a week. Call 021 418 4379.
In the CBD is Roastin’ Records (6 Roodehek St), inside Deluxe Coffeeworks, specialising in new and old records and audio equip-ment. They’re open Monday to Saturday. Call 083 494 4814.