the record collector

Feb.07, 2012

recent discaholic interview in jan issue of the amazing magazine RECORD COLLECTOR!!!

http://www.recordcollectormag.com/issues/issue-detail/398

interview by Spencer Grady, all rights reserved.

 

MATS GUSTAFSSON

Father of 2 amazing daughters, diskaholic, and experimenting musician, treating and mistreating all sorts of saxophones and live electronics in different situations with a variety of players and collectors all around the world. Vinyl hunting and regular concert activity with The Thing, Fire!. Swedish Azz, Peter Brötzmann Tentet, Barry Guy New Orchestra and projects of any kind with friends and collectors Thurston Moore, Jim O `Rourke, Otomo Yochihide, Christian Marclay…

Curator of international festivals and tour projects of creative music and related. Producing and initiating projects involving vinyl… waiting for the next shopping tour with Diskaholic Anonymous Trio and for the Flexi Disc, as a physical phenomena to appear again… there is rumours…

 

THE COLLECTOR QUESTIONS

 

 

 

 

What do you collect, and why?

 

-       I collect a variety  of creative music on vinyl, stuff that

feels and smells gooooood.  Focus is on improvised music and free jazz,

but I can’t help collecting delicious records of ass-kickin’ garage-

rock and creative rock music in general. There is also a big chunk of

extreme noise music as well as smooth west coast jazz and concrete

poetry and sound art in the collection.  Basically anything that kicks

my butt and gives me inspiration for my music and my daily life!

 

Always remember: One piece of vinyl per day keeps the doctor away!!!

 

It is a way of living.

 

 

How big is your collection?

 

-       I’m guessing around “too many” LPs to handle and a little bit

less 7-inches… (and some flexis, 10-inches and one 11-inch…) plus some cassettes and related such. CDs do NOT count of course… maybe 10,000 objects of interest…

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think it is worth?

 

-       Actually I have no idea.  The economical value is really not

the question; for me it is just worth a huge bunch. Of course money is

needed to get new stuff, but over the last few years I have been successfully

trading a lot via my website (www.matsgus.com) and that always feels

better on all levels than involving money.

 

 

 

How and where do you store it?

 

-       I store the whole collection at home in a separate room/

studio, so that I have easy access to it, for listening pleasure and

for inspiration in my own music.  Even if there is a tendency that the

vinyl spreads throughout the house and slowly taking over.  Vinyl horror!

 

It’s of extreme importance to me to have a large reference library of

music.  There is always new stuff to explore. That is the beauty of it

all…

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the rarest/most unusual/most valuable item you have?

 

- Well, that might be a couple of things… it is of course difficult to

know the exact rarity and value and shit, but the original pressing of

Albert Ayler’s first recording Something Different, Volume 2, on the

Swedish Bird Notes label is a beauty that’s hard to beat. Pressed only in a

handful of copies and with the original mock-up of the layout, with the

original photos attached. The Don Cherry/Bengt Nordström duo on

Bird Notes with a handmade cover painting by Bengt is also heeeaaavvvy.  I

also have a pretty decent Sun Ra collection with for example the first Saturn

EP ”Super Blonde,” which is a goodie! Of course also some acetates with

unreleased music as well, including a solo piano record by Lars

Gullin, made in only one copy…

 

 

 

What elusive gem are you still looking for?

 

-        There is always new stuff to look for, all the time. That is

the beauty. And also the big thrill! What new pieces of vinyl will

you bump into around the next corner, or on the next wall behind the

counter?

 

Of course there are a couple of records that I simply would love to

hold in my hands, to feel the weight, to smell the vinyl and listen to

at home, so if anybody can help a hopeless diskaholic to find Basil

Kirchins “Worlds within worlds, vol.1 (Col.SCX 6463) or Arne Nordheims

“Popofoni” on Sonet, Tom Prehn’s Axiom 1+ 2 also on Sonet, or even more so Steve Lacys “Solo at Space Who,” that would be highly appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

What’s given you the biggest thrill?

 

-There is way to many occasions that comes to mind.  Enough to fill a

book, I assure you.  But to travel in Japan with the classic Diskaholic

Anonymous Trio with Thurston Moore and Jim O` Rourke some years ago

was really something else!!! Our bags loaded with a special “trade

only” LP in a strictly limited run that we were using in shops and at

concerts, which was a hilarious experience!  There was some hard core trading going on there – ha ha, no details.  It will all be published on a DVD

at some point, shopping vinyl HARD in Japan! I came home with almost a

meter (!) of vinyl

 

One of the most amazing separate finds was in a small shop in Chicago

with my vinyl freak friend John Corbett. The evening before our vinyl

hunting day, he was playing an extremely rare PING EP from 1955 with

Andrew Hill, featuring special guests Von Freeman and Pat Patrick; rare is

just its first name.  Impossible to find and super great music! We

walked into a store, north side Chicago, spent an hour and walked out.

While walking out John gave me his find:  A 99-cent EP in mint

condition…the PING record! That timing is just so unlikely, but it still

happens all the time! You just have to be aware of the

mysteries around, the magic!

 

 

 

How do you track stuff down?

 

-       Since I’m a touring musician and on the road a lot, I have a

unique opportunity to hunt around in the Real World for vinyl and not

just search on the internet.  It’s out in the “field” that the real shit

happens. Of course eBay and other sources on the net are useful, but

you can’t even compare that with the experience of really looking

around in real shops with real people.

 

I also have a pretty big international network of people interested in

trading and collecting vinyl. A lot of my musician-colleagues

are collecting and we always compare notes on useful addresses to

record shops and private collections. It’s a very, very useful and

handy network and works very well for me.

 

I love hunting for vinyl when I’m on tour; it’s actually a very nice

way of using the time before and after the concerts – my own vinyl

therapy to keep me sane and alive! If you dig, you will find!

 

 

 

What’s your favourite record shop?

 

-       Without any doubt the Andra Jazz Record shop in Stockholm!

It’s the most amazing place there is. My friend Harald is running the

shop since the 60´s, in his own special way. Old School. That place

needs to have a film made about it! All your needs in jazz and

improvised music on vinyl will be fulfilled in there and the

atmosphere is something else! “Attitude is Everything,” as my friend

Joe McPhee always puts it!

 

Other real Hot Spots in the world are of course Dusty Groove in Chicago

and Hals, Discland Jaro, Los Apson and Shinjuku Disk Union in Tokyo

and Time Bomb in Osaka.  But Andra Jazz rules my planet!

 

 

 

How often do you listen to the stuff in your collection?

 

- I listen to vinyl every day.  I cant live without it. I have a very

wonderful and understanding family that deals with my diskaholism in a

very nice way.

 

 

 

Is there a visual side to collecting for you?

 

-       Very much so!!! It’s the whole combination actually:  The

music, the artwork, the design, the liners, the smell, the weight and

the feel of the vinyl.  And the rarity, the obscurity, the mystery.

 

Since I put a lot of work on the visual side in my own productions and

work in really close collaborations with a variety of visual

artists like Kim Hiorthöy, Edward Jarvis and Mathias Pöschl,

I also put huge importance and focus on the visual side of my

collecting.

 

There are of course records bought just because the cover is really

asskickin’, terrible, or simply just amazingly beautiful, and the music

is not up on the same standard. But that’s life, that’s how it works.

 

When you find a record that combines all the parameters above, you are

a lucky man or woman!

 

Ideally the artwork and the music make each other stronger. It’s all

an interaction between different expressions. It’s quite a challenge

sometimes to make the artwork really work with the music. And a big

thrill when it actually happens!

 

The design of old jazz records from the ’50s and ’60s has a lot to

teach the young designers nowadays.  Check out the work of Andy Warhol,

Carl-Fredrik Reuterswärd, Peter Brötzmann, David Stone Martin.  Amazing.

 

 

 

How will you eventually dispose of your collection?

 

-Dispose my collection????

 

 

 

What’s your all-time favourite record, regardless of value or rarity?

 

-       That is a nightmare question for a diskaholik to answer.

Phhheeuuww…

 

One record only? Then it has to be the classic Spiritual Unity record

on ESP with the mighty Albert Ayler Trio. DNA changing music, with

an amazingly beautiful cover!