Method in the Madness – Organising Your Collection
There are millions of different records out there. Which ones are great and which ones are pants is entirely up to you and your tastes but one thing is for sure – every single one you add to your collection is going to multiply the amount of ways you can choose to organise those dusty cardboard sleeves.
Here at the shop we have gone down the route of organising alphabetically within specific genres so that you can rock up to the shop and check if that dream item is in stock within minutes.
LPs, 7” singles and 12” singles are also kept in their own sections so you can be even more specific in your search. The entire catalogue is even listed on our website so that you can know if, where and how to get your hands on what you’re after or there’s always the alternative of just turning up and seeing how the mood takes you.
There are other options though and here’s a select few that have been adopted by some of the biggest exponents of vinyl collecting and performing:
Once awarded with the title of ‘America’s Best DJ’, the multi-faceted producer and performer Z-Trip has an enormous vinyl collection exceeding 50,000 records.
As a notoriously competent DJ, Z-Trip’s priorities lie with priming them for live performance and said:
“I found it easier for all the stuff that I was using in shows to have it all BPM’d. Everything sort of starts at like 70 Beats Per Minute and y’know there’s a couple of things like slow jams or whatever that are like in the 60s but everything’s 70 and goes up faster to 70, 71, 72 and on and it goes all the way like that all the way around ‘till you get to like the 135… Once you start to get to 138 and it’s sort of double time it sort of goes back to 70”
For a man as esoteric as he is elusive, Detroit torch-holder, musician, DJ and producer Moodymann is brutally conventional in how he organises his broad vinyl collection. If you become fortunate enough to join Moodymann’s fold he says:
“You come to my house, you look at my vinyl collection and there’s one category. You better know the name of the artist because that’s the category he’s in – alphabetical.” 
Just like the records you choose to add to your collection, your means of organising the music you love so much is entirely up to you. Unless you’re a record shop or a library it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone except yourself.
Fewer Hip-Hop producers have sampled from as broad a vinyl collection as the late, great J Dilla. His close friend and fellow producer House Shoes found J Dilla’s meticulous organisation to extend to both his record collection and his fridge and said (of J Dilla’s vinyl collection:
“I never really understood his organisation process at all but he (knew where he) could go right to any part and pull a record out at any given time”
Whatever you you choose to do with your collection (big or small), lay it out in a way that works for you so that you waste no time in getting to that earworm, that artwork or those liner notes you just can’t do without.
Written by Ben Tunnicliffe, August 16th 2017
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