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Top Of The Shops: Veals & Geeks in Brussels

Classic Album Sundays Brussels host Gina Lapsley has been out and about, here she talks to Veals & Geeks!

I fall into record shops a little too regularly, not just to add that extra special find to my ever-growing vinyl stash, but also because I enjoy talking to the owners and shop staff about all things vinyl. I am curious to discover whether collectors’ tastes differ from city to city and country to country. Here in Brussels I am spoilt for choice when it comes to record shops.  A new one – Crevette Records – opened just last week!

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But this week I was chatting to the staff at Veals & Geeks at 8a Rue des Grands Carmes – a stone’s throw away from our Classic Album Sundays venue.  It’s a store I have been checking out for several years now.  I always find something there I “need”. (Latest purchase : Funky Chicken: Belgian Grooves From The 70s Part 2 – Sdban Belgium.  Best find (so far): D R Hooker – The Truth – 180gr reissue – Veals & Geeks records.  Secret pleasure: Adriano Celentano – Disco Dance – Eurodisc.)

I went in with my list of questions which went down quite well. Stan (the owner) and Max have decided to let you guess whose “list of 10 records” is whose! I met Bart Sibiel a few years back having come across the Onda Sonora blog and radio show whilst delving for disco – He continues to introduce me to new/old sounds, so I was keen to know what he would be putting into his top 10.

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List the 10 records that define you

Marvin Gaye – I Want You – Motown

Minutemen – Paranoid Time – SST

Arbeid Adelt! – Jonge Helden – Parlophone

Moondog – Moondog – Prestige

Black Sheep – A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing – Mercury

Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa ’70 – Shakara – EMI

Augustus Pablo – King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown – Yard Music

Theo Parrish – Sound Sculptures Volume 1 – Sound Signature

Arab Strap – The Girls of Summer EP – Chemikal Underground

Rainbow Brown – Rainbow Brown – Vanguard (Bart Sibiel)

The Zombies – Odessey And Oracle – CBS

Les Rallizes Dénudés

Claude Lombard – Claude Lombard – Palette

The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat – Verve

GZA – Liquid Swords – Geffen

Nino Nardini – Jungle Obsession – Neuilly

Can – Tago Mago – United Artists

Eddie Gale – Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music – Blue Note

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless  – Creation

Robert Wyatt – Rock Bottom – Virgin

Serge Gainsbourg – Love on the Beat – Philips

Antoine et Les Problèmes – Vogue

Slows Speciaux Pour Avertis – AFA

The Geto Boys – The Geto Boys – Def American

Duran Duran – Duran Duran – EMI

The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers – Beserkley

Roger Morès – The Sound of – Vogue

The Velvet Underground & Nico -Verve

The John Coltrane Quartet– Africa/Brass – Impulse! (Anon)

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Your top ‘All Killer No Filler’ album

A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory – Jive (Bart)

The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat – Verve (Max and Stan)

Do you have a favourite label? If so, why?

Sound Signature and One-Handed Music. The only 2 labels I try to have everything from (Bart)

Elektra because …Elektra! (Stan)

Which recent record deserves to be classed “Classic” in your opinion?

I hate it when recent records are called “classic”. Only time will tell (Bart)

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A ButterflyTop Dawg Entertainment (Stan and Max)

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What was the first single/LP you ever bought?

The first “conscious” buy was Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band’s “Live/1975-85” box. Still cherish it. (Bart)

Hit Connection 84 (Stan)

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Californication – Warner Bros. (Max)

Which is the best sounding record you’ve heard and does a good pressing matter in your view?

Of course it matters. I hate it when a record sounds mediocre or worse. At home but maybe even more when I DJ (on a decent sound system). The difference in quality between records is too often too big. I need dynamics to fully enjoy the music. No exceptionally good one springs to mind, I remember the bad ones much better.(Bart)

D R Hooker – The Truth – Veals & Geeks records. Yes. (Stan)

Which are the best-selling albums in your shop?  Has this changed recently or have they always been ‘hot cakes’?

Beatles, Pink Floyd, Velvet, Led Zep … (Stan)

At Veals & Geeks (and other shops) I notice the really obvious (rock) classics or media-darlings du jour are still far too popular to get my esteem of mankind up. The “general consensus” is still what steers people’s taste. I would much rather love it when surprise and discovery would be the norm in buying music instead of what others think is good. When I see young people buy Simon & Garfunkel or some new hyped up band that sounds like it would have been fresh 20 years ago my heart bleeds and all I wanna do is ask “really?”. Luckily I don’t own a shop nor do I help out a lot, haha. (Bart)

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What tips would you give someone starting a record collection?  What albums would be indispensable?

Take your time. Do your own thing. Go nuts.

And then: Comfort zones are for the weak. Discogs is for wimps. Visit record shops and talk to weirdos inside.

Don’t know about key albums because that depends on taste but devour all you can read about the music. Books, magazines, liner notes, credits, runout grooves … Don’t stop at the music you know you like but branch out. Be curious. (Bart) 

Don’t take a “want list” and ask for a specific record.  Open your Mind! (Stan)

When was the last time you listened to an album from beginning to end?

Earlier today. (Bart)

Now: Areski – Brigitte Fontaine – L’Incendie – BYG Record (Stan)

What audio set up do you have at home?

NAD chain with a 306 integrated amp, technics sl1200 mk2 turntable and KEF Reference Series model 104 speakers. All acquired second hand or through exchange of records.  Something I’m proud of as a collector of used records. It all sounds swell but a different turntable would be nice. SL1200’s are ok to DJ but would love to upgrade it for home listening. (Bart)

NAD amp, Pro-Ject turntable and B&W speakers (Max)

Naim amp, Pro-Ject turntable, B&W and KEF speakers, Naim CD player (Stan)

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