Faisal Yahu D lives in Singapore where he works for a logistic company that supplies books to colleges and universities all across Asia. In his other life, he runs SlapBet and Vanilla Thunder Records with his wife.
As huge death metal and hardcore fan, Faisal collects South East Asia vinyl releases, mostly from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Welcome my friend Faisal to the Record Collector club.
How long have you been collecting records?
I bought my first records in '87, it was 4 LPs the same day. I stole money from my mom, that's how I actually started. There's a couple of record stores back then that stocks a pretty good selections of import titles. I bought mostly metal and crossover stuffs. By '89 I had a sizable collection. Me and a couple friends, we would keep all our records at a friend's place we called the "club house." He has the turntable attached to the hifi with a twin cassette deck. Kinda important to us at that time cause we would transfer the record to tape and listen to em in our Walkman. I lost most of my records in the early '90s when my friend's family decided to sell the house. I got the news pretty late and couldnt save any of the records. I asked around and none of the club house members knew what happen to em. I have to start all over again and by then I've already moved away from metal and started to explore the worldwide hardcore/punk scenes. Most that I lost, I never bother to search and replace.
My current "collection" is comprised of records that I started buying in the mid-'90s. I bought most of it at the time of their release. Mailorder was a total life-changer. When record stores started closing down, mailorder just kept me goin until this present day. It's the only way to hear records from all over the globe.
Where/how do you usually find your records these days?
Living in this part of the world, there's hardly any record stores that carry the records that I listen to. Neighboring Malaysia have better stores and distributors that's worth a trip, great bargains, too, due to the favorable exchange rates. I would usually buy direct from bands, labels or distros. Discogs is good for out of print and special editions stuffs.
What is the most you paid for a single record, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
I paid $150 for a copy of Bathory's yellow goat back in '96. That's the most I've paid for a single record. It wasnt easy to track a copy down. A friend of mine was ordering some used records from a guy in the US and along with his order there was a mailorder list included. I saw the yellow goat on it, told myself, if I dont picked it up now I probably wont be seeing that record ever again. Recently I paid $45 for a clear blue No Comment Downsided 7".
If you had to pick one record label you feel had/has the best track record of quality releases, who would that be and what are some key titles you love?
This is a hard one. During the early days, Earache Records was one of the most influential labels for me. Mosh 1-21 are essentials. But no labels that I know of are that consistent when they have been going on for a long time. Most kinda lost it after a few releases. Deep Six Records is the label for me right now. They have Infest, No Comment, Extortion, Manpig, Lack of Interest, To the Point, Weekend Nachos, Terminal Nation, Low Threat Profile. The Exit Unit 7" and Infest No Man's Slave are my personal favorites.
Of everything in your current collection, what is your most prized record and why?
My mom's Beatles records. When I was young, she would listen to em all the time. When she became a born again, she pass it to one of my uncle to dispose but he kept it instead. Few years ago, he came over to my place and saw my collection. He told me he still kept the bag of my mom's records. My mom is 74 and still a firm believer in God, she doesnt know that I inherited her record collection.
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
24 hour flippers, man! They cant wait at least a week before they start selling. I also hate it when someone tries to sell me some mediocre record for a ridiculous price. I'm very patient and am no hurry to own a certain record if I know its gonna be a pain in the ass to find. I will wait for the right price before I dive into it. Also people that buys records for the sake of filling up their shelves, which usually ends up with lots of fillers.
Which records are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
Around here the regional releases, alot of them '80s and early '90s releases, are available only on cassettes to the public. Only the radio stations have the vinyl versions. So when CDs took over vinyl during the '90s, the stations got rid of their records. These records landed in junk collectors hands. In the beginning it were selling for $5-10 a piece. Nowadays, you cant get them at that price. Most goes for around $200, and they don't even have proper covers, just the cassette cover pasted unto a blank jacket. There are selected '80s regional rock and heavy metal LPs on top of my want list. Some are reissued recently and most of these reissues suffers from bad mastering or the lack off it. Only the radio station vinyl are the real deal. Apart from those, I'm also looking for these:
- Bathory — s/t on Banzai records
- Infest — 7", LA Riot or Elvis covers
- Infest — No Man's Slave LP Sinatra sleeve
- Little Princess — Song Collection 7"
- Noothgrush — Black Sabbath 7"
- Never — 2-track demo tape
- Crystal Princes (SG) — Warlord cassette album
Tagged: record collector