Between her many activities (painting, blogging, working…) and collecting records, Diana still has found the time to answers to our questions. From Germany, she has been collecting vinyl for about 6 years and has a growing collection of 2 100 records. Let’s discover Diana’s passion for music and vinyl records through her interview!
Can you tell us about yourself?
Hey there, I am Diana, a 29 years old vinyl collector based in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. I am working in a software development company and in my free-time I like to listen to music and draw portraits with coffee. Or I am rambling about records on my YouTube channel, running through the woods, reading or playing video games. When I am not at home I love to travel and discover record stores, record fairs and flea markets all over the world.
When did you start you record collection? How many do you own today?
I have started collecting together with my husband about five or six years ago. Today there are around 2.100 records and 2.000 CDs in our music room.
What started your interest in music?
Since I was a kid I was in love with music. When I was a teen, I fell in love with Hip Hop heads over heels. Everything about it fascinated me, the culture, the beats, the lyrics, the energy, graffiti, b-boying… everything. With the time, other genres also started to interest me due to the samples used in rap songs. I can’t imagine my life without music.
What was the first record you ever purchased?
I bought Nas – Illmatic when I was 14. I didn’t even have a record player back then, haha.
What are your 1st musical influences?
Definitely Rap music, it was the first genre which influenced me heavily.
What kind of music was playing in your house when you were a kid?
Unfortunately, my parents had no real deep interest in music. The radio was playing every day, but they did not care about music that much, therefore this had no influence on me. I am always admiring it when people are telling that their parents’ musical taste had an impact on them. We actually had a few records; most of them were kids radio plays or terrible “Schlager” (kind of catchy and tacky popular music in the 60s/70s in northern Europe, especially Germany, ed).
Do you collect a particular genre of music?
Nowadays, I am interested in plenty of genres: Jazz (Avant-garde / Free / Spiritual), Psychedelic Rock, Progressive Rock, Krautrock (broad genre of experimental rock that developed in Germany in the late 1960s, ed), Singer Songwriter Stuff, Folk, Soul, Funk, Electronic/Ambient, and of course still Hip Hop.
My husband and I are both very passionate about music and vinyl, a large part of our life revolves around it
What is your best find ever?
That would be A. R. & Machines – Echo (1972, Polydor). This is a compelling and powerful Krautrock/Ambient/Electronic record by Achim Reichel and well, his machines. I adored this record ever since hearing it online, but since there was only one pressing which goes for 500 bucks easily, I never thought I would own it. I never even saw it in the wild until one day, where some private seller on a fair had this in his crate. I asked him what he wanted for it and when he replied with “35 bucks” I nearly fainted, haha.
Any regrets about a lost record or about records you did not buy?
I once saw a beautiful box set of Ash Ra Tempel on a record fair. But since it was a bootleg I did not pick it up, but sometimes I still regret not buying it.
A funny anecdote about your record collection?
Just a fun thing, as my husband and I are both very passionate about music and vinyl, a large part of our life revolves around it. He proposed to me in a record store to our favourite song and our wedding bands have a part of vinyl (of the single of that particular song) incorporated into them.
What was your latest purchase?
I went to a small private record fair yesterday and bought a Witthüser & Westrupp record on the original Pilz label (Krautrock/Acid Folk), a James Newton record on India Navigation (Spiritual Jazz) and an autographed version of Ice-T – The Iceberg for 5 bucks each.
What is the most expensive record you bought?
The most expensive record is Manduka, a beautiful Folk record with Psychedelic tinges recorded by a Brazilian artist in Chile in 1972. This record has a great sentimental value for us and we bought this on our second wedding anniversary.
Is there an artist or label in particular that you are trying to get the full discography?
I am obsessed with WHY? and Brian Eno and hope to have everything by them one day. Concerning labels, I love Impulse!, but there are some released I do not need to have on it. I would buy everything RR Gems releases since I absolutely love all records they have released so far.
Which records are still on your want list?
I am fortunate to have crossed a lot of long-time wants from the list in the recent months, but I am still looking for an original of Minnie Riperton – Come To My Garden, Charles Rouse – Two Is One, Power Of Zeus – The Gospel According To Zeus, Alice Coltrane’s Ptah, The El Daoud and Minoru Muraoka – Bamboo, just to name a few.
I love used records, I always wonder which story the record has…
It’s the end of the world, you can only take 5 records from your collection with you! Which ones and why?
Uh, that’s a tough one! But right now I would go for:
- Brian Eno – Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy – I can’t even count how often I have played this, it always lifts my mood
- Alice Coltrane & Pharoah Sanders – Journey In Satchidananda – just play the first 10 seconds of this record and I am getting a warm fuzzy feeling. This album is perfection.
- WHY? – Elephant Eyelash – my go-to record for every mood, I just love every song of it
- Jefferson Airplane – Crown Of Creation – I love JA, and it’s hard to choose which one of them I would pick, but I guess I could not live without the song “In Time”
- Aesop Rock – Labor Days – Aesop Rock and especially this album has left a deep impression on me
Original pressings or re-issues? Why?
I like both. Ideally, I love to have an original pressing. But in some genres, originals are simply not affordable, going for hundreds of bucks. Therefore I am happy that reissues are around, provided they are official and well made. In some cases, they even provide more information with extensive liner notes and interviews, which is great.
What kind of digger are you?
(Online, record shop, thrift shop, garage sale…)
Everything of it 😀 I love to scour flea markets and thrift shops, I love to visit record stores (we often do city trips specifically with visiting record stores, exhibitions and museums in mind) and record fairs. I occasionally buy online if I can’t find a specific record – I bought the Manduka record directly from a seller from Chile for example.
Do you think that collecting records helps to preserve our musical and cultural legacy?
Yes! I think collecting and listening to records is a beautiful thing and focuses on the music way more than buying a download ever could. I have discovered so many great artists from the 60’s and 70’s by buying old used records and I think it’s great that the music is still preserved this way. And I love used records, I always wonder which story the record has, what the former owners where like, in which situations they had played the music, and so on.
What attracts you in a record?
Sometimes it’s the cover, sometimes an interesting die-cut, sometimes a certain instrument or if I recognize some names (producers or contributors) on it… I am not a fan of coloured vinyl that much, so that’s no criteria for me.
How do you organize your collection?
What does your record collection say about you?
That I love a vast diversity of genres and music, I guess.
What’s your current setup at home?
An Audio-Technica turntable, a Marantz 1050 amp and some Heco boxes.
Want to add something about yourself? Now it’s the time 😉
I have a YouTube channel called diggininthecr8 where I ramble about records, show current acquisitions, highlight independent labels and show needle drops of all records I love. Furthermore I write for the vinyloftheday.com blog occasionally and present other vinyl collectors, independent record stores and labels. And I do portraits (mostly musicians) painted with coffee which I sell on Artboost.
More About Diana:
Photos credit: Courtesy of @antiheldabroo
Thank you very much Diana for sharing your story with us. It’s has been a real pleasure!