Vinyl Fantasy Mag is available in english from now on. All future articles will be published in english translation. Older articles will be translated gradually based on their relevance.
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Vinyl records as a passion

Carsten Thoben - Vinyl Addict

Carsten Thoben – Vinyl Addict

Founder of Vinyl Fantasy Mag | worked 6+ years for Dodo Beach Record Store | passionate record collector | content & e-commerce specialist

I would like to start with a confession. Because I am addicted. Addicted to records. The good old vinyl. When I visit a new city, I check in advance where record stores can be found, so I can pay as many of them a visit as possible. When I stroll through a flea market, I’m automatically drawn to every record booth. And when I see a fancy mock-up as a pre-order announcement for a vinyl record, my fingers start itching automatically. Every month, I spend a three-digit amount on vinyl, which means my record collection is taking up more and more space in my apartment. Moving becomes really fun this way, I can assure you!

What qualifies me for running this magazine?

A passion alone is not enough to write high quality articles about a topic (and that is definitely the aspiration of Vinyl Fantasy Mag). Besides years of experience as a freelance editor for various publications in my hometown of Oldenburg, I have a professional background in the vinyl business. I worked at Dodo Beach record store in Berlin for over six years, primarily handling the online business (online shop, social media, blog, newsletter).

Through this role I am familiar with all the processes involved in a record store – from sales and customer service in-store to purchasing releases and dealing with distributors. Additionally, I have established numerous contacts and connections with labels, distributors and promotional agencies.

Which has been your first album on vinyl?

Led Zeppelin – II as a german pressing

When did you start collecting vinyl?

I bought my first vinyl record in the early 2000s, which was relatively late compared to others. However, it was also during a phase when vinyl was considered to be almost dead and many albums were only being released on CD. After purchasing a few records at flea markets and from newly established online stores like Flight13 or Green Hell, I truly began collecting vinyl when I moved to Berlin in 2012. Since then, my record collection has significantly grown from around 50 copies.

How many vinyl records do you own?

As of may 2023 I own about 1500 copies on vinyl. If you are intereseted you can check out my account on Discogs, which is regularly updated.

What genres does your collection include?

Broadly speaking my collection can be summarized under the term “guitar-driven music.” Most of the records fall into the genres of post-rock, hardcore, (german) punk and emo. Additionally, there is a lot of indie and alternative, shoegaze, metal, stoner and, of course, some old classics that I acquired in used condition.

What is the most valuable record in your collection for you personally?

This question is nearly impossible to answer, since there are many many albums in my collection that mean a lot to me personally. However, I will take some time to think it over and will get back to you at this point if I find an answer.

Which artist do you own the most vinyl records from?

If we are talking about a band it must be Pearl Jam. Next to all their studio albums I own a couple of live album plus the legendary MTV Unplugged recording. Genesis are probably in second place, as I have nine albums from them in my collection.

Speaking about a label Pelagic Records definitely takes the top spot. I own more than 40 releases from the Berlin label of The Ocean mastermind Robin Staps.

Which is your favourite record store?

Here in Berlin it’s probably  Bis Aufs Messer, which I visit way to seldom. For the rest of germany it’s definitely the Underdog Recordstore in Cologne. On my latest trip to Hamburg I found a really beautiful small record store called  Cruise Records, that I will visit way more often in the future.

Outside of germany I fell in love with Resident Music on my trip to Brighton and discovered a really awesome vinyl record by Robocobra Quartet called “Living Isn’t Easy”. The most impressive record store I have ever been to has been the legendary Amoeba Music in San Francisco.

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