One of the most active giggin’ DJs in town, daytime lecturer and dance music curator Xes Xes Loveseat will be droppin’ the needle at Musika Publika this Saturday 9 January ‘16 at Blackbox @ Publika. Organised by vinyl enthusiasts, the six-hour event (4pm to 10pm) will see a good portion of KL’s tastemakers selling CDs, vinyl records, and cassettes, as well as spinning vinyl on the pedestal… err, decks. So, being the nosy hoodlums we are, JUICE spoke to Xes Xes Loveseat about his love of wax and how much one should pay for an ABBA record on vinyl…
What’s sitting on your turntable now?
Fatima Yamaha’s Imaginary Lines, great house music with P-funk basslines. If you’ve not seen his Boiler Room Dekmantel set, go check it out.
What’s your most treasured piece of vinyl?
I don’t really have one – they’re all special in their own kind of way, but if I have to choose one it could be Kraftwerk’s The Man-Machine simply because of the importance of that record to the history and evolution of electronic music, and it has many of my favourite Kraftwerk’s songs. The most expensive record in my collection is a rare afrobeat single, Brother Resistance’s ‘Tonite Is De Nite’, from Trinidad and Tobago. It’s about RM1000 on Discogs. I think I’m going to sell it.
How far have you gone to acquire a sought-after album on vinyl?
Buying a record from a place I’ve not heard off in Russia when you can do this quite easily on Discogs.
As a DJ, how do transport your records to gigs? Does the limitation of how many records you can carry affect your set’s spontaneity?
I make it a point to carry a hard case to my gigs, much easier to look for records if they’re all in a hard case. Quite the contrary, I find that my sets are more spontaneous if I play on vinyl, as I have a better mental picture of the music I have with me, so I can pull off those spur of the moment kind of selections more effectively.
You sell records on the side. What have you noticed about the buying habits of local record collectors?
The young guys, they look for ‘60s Motown records, the old bros they look for ‘80s and ‘90s rock music… strange that the young buyers are looking for older types of music.
There are many views from audiophiles regarding vinyl, but as a performing DJ, do you feel that vinyl is really superior in sound? How much of that is fact and how much myth?
Vinyl is superior, IF, and that’s a big if, it is set up properly. Most places with their Pioneer mixers and digital DSPs are set up for digital playback. Digital wins but vinyl has much more potential.
Do you think it’s a trend now for DJs to spin on vinyl to validate their skills? Do the technicalities of spinning vinyl actually make you a better DJ?
Doesn’t matter on what format you play, at the end of the day, people just want to enjoy the music. But yes, vinyl is kind of hipster now, you know…
On the flipside, what do you think of DJs that scratch and add effects to no end? When does the art of turntablism turn into a bad cover song?
DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing has proved that sampling and scratching is a very useful and amazing art form in itself. Like all other art forms, there are the good ones and there are the really bad ones. So the same applies with scratching. You wanna scratch? Make sure you’re good.
Why do some local shops still overprice their vinyl?
Simply because the vinyl culture here is small, so shops can sell a battered copy of an ABBA album for RM80. Disgusting.
You’ll be spinning at Musika Publika this Saturday. What do you hope to see happening there amongst the crowd and vendors?
I want to see people pick a record up and share what they feel about that record with complete strangers.
Xes Xes Loveseat’s Top 5 Treasured Vinyl Records
Kraftwerk – The Man-Machine [Kling Klang, 1978]
All records are special in their own kind of way, but if I have to choose one it could be Kraftwerk’s Man Machine simply because of the importance of that record to the history and evolution of electronic music, and it has many of my favourite Kraftwerk songs.
Brother Resistance – Tonite Is De Nite [Riddum Distribution Network, 1987]
The most expensive record in my collection is a rare afrobeat single, Brother Resistance’s ‘Tonite Is De Nite’, from Trinidad and Tobago, about RM1000 on Discogs.
LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends [DFA, 2007]
This limited edition 7” has a favourite end of night tune from a time when I partied a lot. So this one immediately reminds me of my friends. It also has that nice John Cale cover of the song.
Noorkumalasari – Aku Dan Dunia Seni [EMI, 1980]
Amazing album, really good mastering with so many nice songs on this one, especially the hauntingly good ‘Nyanyian Hati’ that needs to be pitched down to -4. There’s also a funky Malay cover of ABBA’s ‘Voulez Vous’, this will turn heads at the club. Not easy to get, a friend just paid RM150 for this. I think it’s worth more than that musically.
Pillow Talk – Soul Edits [Wolf & Lamb, 2012]
Two killer edits on this one, the first is Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell ‘s ‘Ain’t Nothing like the Real Thing’, the second is an edit of Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’.
Musika Publika is happening tomorrow (Saturday 9 January ’16) at Blackbox @ Publika from 4pm to 10pm. Lineup includes DJs JK, Ribut, Laydeh, Kubika, Xes Xes Loveseat, and Oddjobb + Kit.