Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting, by Eilon Paz, is a lavishly illustrated, 436-page coffee-table book that explores and celebrates the fascinating and varied vinyl record collections of over 130 collectors. Published in 2014, the first edition sold out pretty quickly. I got the updated and extended second edition as a Christmas present. I haven’t been able to put it down.
The book is divided into two parts. The first section contains over 250 full-page photographs accompanied by short quotes and captions. The second part of the book consists of thirteen in-depth interviews in which collectors talk about their passion for vinyl, what it means to them, why they collect, where they find their records and how they organise their collections. Vinyl champions and collectors include well known DJs and producers, as well as record dealers and everyday enthusiasts from all over the world. The second edition has 20 more pages than the first edition and includes a new and exclusive interview with Questlove – American drummer, DJ, music journalist and record producer.
Eilon Paz’s photographs are beautiful. They are an intimate exploration of joy and obsession. The book offers a fascinating insight into private worlds, sometimes exposing whole collections, sometimes focusing on a specific item. The interests of collectors are varied and, occasionally, obscure. They include Turkish psychedelia, Ethiopian jazz, Sesame Street, hillbilly 7-inches, sexploitation and horror film soundtracks, Brigitte Bardot, 78s, coloured vinyl and among my personal favourites is an art installation consisting of hundreds of first pressings of The White Album (The Beatles) – collected by Rutherford Chang. All in all, the book is a glorious celebration of a wonderful art form and the diverse range of people obsessed with it.
Eilon Paz is an Israeli ex-pat living in New York. As a way for him to combine his two passions, photography and record collecting, he set about interviewing record collectors and photographing them with their collections. The project led to the development of the Dust & Grooves blog at www.dustandgrooves.com, and the success of the blog led to the publication of the book.
If you have any kind of interest in vinyl, I recommend that you buy the book. It’s a gem. If you don’t have an interest in vinyl, it’s probably time that you did.