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Preserving Vinyl in the Age of Digital Platform

Samson Alexander Pho

Vinyl Collector / Owner of Laidback Blues Records Store

In the era where digital platform rules music industry, vinyl still has an allure for those who listen to music not just for fun but also seek for the real experience. One of them is Samson Alexander Pho who collects, more or less, 5000 pieces of vinyl. “Vinyl has very much better sound quality than any other medium since it’s in analogue format. The sound is clearer, warmer, and it gives live-music experience,” he says.

Samson started to collect vinyl in 2007 when he found his father’s vinyl collection. From then on, he has begun to dig for more vinyl all around Indonesia and even overseas, such as Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, France, Belgium, and Germany. Moreover, Samson’s love for vinyl has triggered him to opened a vinyl store called Laidback Blues Records Store and quit his 7 years’ job. He also owns a private lounge near the store called Pub Loesco Bar and Lala Records where he collaborates with his friend to sell indie stuff and vinyl.

Collecting vinyl has widened his knowledge of Indonesian music history as well. According to Samson, Indonesian music is only known for its slow-pop genre whereas, actually, there are a lot more than that. “In the fifties and sixties, there were jazz, latin, and garage. In the seventies, there were rock and psychedelic. In the eighties, there were disco and fusion jazz. Those genres existed in Indonesia but not many people know and it’s difficult to find the vinyl,” Samson says.

However, Samson believes the vinyl industry will survive and step up to the next level. “I think the vinyl industry will sustain though it might not be very booming. As long as there are places that sell vinyl, people will keep buying because it’s music. Music is everybody’s lifestyle,” he adds. Furthermore, he finds the vinyl industry is supported by the existence of digital music platform which helps to grab millennials market. Digital music platform enables them to get more information and reference, so they can easily decide what kind of music they like and whether it’s worth the money to collect in the vinyl format.