‘Kagatan 28’ lures loads of vinyl lovers

KAGATAN 28, the third of the quarterly vinyl record sales spree which was held on August 26 at the bohemian and artist’s enclave that is Cubao X, was done and gone in a snap.

And of the three held thus far, this one was the best attended, with a steady stream of music fans who came and went by all throughout that day.

Every quarter, more than a dozen record sellers based in the northern part of Metro Manila exhibit their wares, with DJs who spin platters all day long.

The last two editions saw lean attendances. However, for the latest staging, there were more people, with a lot of new faces included. And a whole lot of records from varying genres, conditions, prices, and origins (pressings) traded hands on that day, with some terrific selections in the bins.

Among the interesting titles spotted on sale were first pressings of Nirvana’s In Utero, New Order’s SubstanceXmal Deutschland’s hard-to-find Incubus Succubus, the ever-popular new-wave classic Bringing Home the Ashes from the Wild Swans, the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, the single of the Care’s Flaming Sword, and Pinoy rock legend Mike Hanopol’s new album, Hanopology: Ang Sekreto.

Pinoy records: priceless

AND as always, there was a bunch of original Pilipino music (OPM) records from the 1970s and 1980s on hand; however, they were naturally pricey.

That didn’t stop one person from getting Sampaguita’s debut album for P3,000. Near-mint to very good conditions of that album fetch anywhere from P5,000 to P7,000! (The “king of the hill” in terms of desired OPM releases are albums of the Juan Dela Cruz Band that are exorbitantly priced.) One American expat in attendance was looking for an album by legendary folk group Asin. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any available.

This was the first Kagatan in a while that had a bit more variety as there were music-themed T-shirts on sale. And 7-inch singles were also prominently on display this time around, thanks to aficionados like Jamie Lim, Elwyn Zalamea, Roland Savellano, and CIVG.

“There are more buyers for singles,” affirmed Lim. “In fact, Arbie Bulaong of Treskul Records and Café has started a vinyl bazaar for 45 (RPM-speed) buyers. The first was last July and the next one [will be] this October.”

For the record enthusiast, there’s a sense of anticipation every time there’s a sale. When a seller brings down his stocks, there’s a scramble to get first dibs on the goodies. Sellers always gear up for the bonanza and ensure they have new titles.

According to Bulaong, “As much as possible, we bring interesting records to every event. Not necessarily the premium high items, but cool records that might appeal to the diverse crowd of Kagatan.”

Lim also corroborated the variety of the products (outside the main Record Store Day event): “What has prevented me from selling most of the time is that when I sell, I miss out on so many great finds that in my experience I can only find in Kagatan: The most diverse sellers and definitely, the best prices.”

Fellowship among fans

PART of the appeal of these record fairs is the fellowship—the chance to chat with fellow music fans and about their purchases, and well,of course, music.

One enthusiast feasted on the bargain bins where records ranged from P50 to P100. “I am a student and on a very tight budget,” he said. “It would be nice to get records such as Carole King’s Tapestry in better condition, but when I can afford to upgrade, then I will.”

This particular vinyl newbie works at a nearby supermarket and spent some hard-earned P1,000 on a bunch of records.

Kagatan 28 was also notable for a lot of new faces in the crowd, especially of the younger set. One young buyer who is in his mid-20s wearing a New Order “Substance” shirt related that he has gotten into vinyl in these past four years.

When asked why he prefers the analogue format over streaming or downloads, he said he liked the fact of being able to touch the records, read the lyrics, and admire the album artwork. He not only buys the music of today, but also has backtracked to the music of yesteryears. And that is the magic of music and vinyl. They define our lives, are balms that soothe, and are time machines that take us back.

The next and last Kagatan for the year is slated some time in November.


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