There’s no doubt that in a world where things have become more digital than dusty and more virtual than actual touch, physical product of the past and newly released items still retain more value both monetarily and culturally than anything digital. If you look at the secondary market of just about anything from vinyl to magazines, VHS tapes to ephemera, each of these things tell a story of certain era, it’s a piece of history where in a digital world these moments would have been forgotten or erased from hard drives and the internet without any sort of preservation. How often have you booked marked a note that you wanted to go back to read later only to find out that the link is no longer valid? Probably more times than you can count and if you don’t remember the author or site then your chances of finding anything related to it is slim to none.
Having physical product is stimulating in more ways than one, it’s something that you can hold and not just easily discard like a downloaded file but for collectors, it’s like having gold especially when it’s something printed in limited quantities. It’s even more special when it’s centered around an event that you had to had to be in attendance for to obtain like at events like San Diego or New York Comic Con but in the case of music and records, it’s Live Convention. For those not in the know, Live Convention is an annual weekend in Toronto that’s a festival for record heads with the main focus being the Cratery Record Exchange. The weekend brings record collectors, diggers, producers and dealers from all over to not only buy and sell records but also DJ nights and of course “Catalog” session where organizer Arcee sits down with a notable Hip Hop produce to discuss their catalog and samples used, hear industry stories and more.
As with any special event, there’s usually some sort of exclusive merchandise for sale and this year Live Convention went all out! As with previous years, there was a special on the spot t-shirt screen printing of the current years design for the show. In addition to the t-shirt, special guests DJ Mr. Thing and Double Peas both made special mixes to be dubbed to cassette for sale. DJ Mr. Thing’s “Afternoon Tea Breaks” focused on library gems, charity shop sleepers and easy listening grails” while Double Peas dug deep into her crates to blend together and serious hour long mix rare, sweet, deep and heavy beat ballads showcasing just how deep with the heat she goes.
For the “Catalog” session, Live Convention welcomed Rashad Ringo “Tumblin’ Dice” Smith what better way to make it special than to press a double A-sider 45 with two of his productions he did for Busta Rhymes!? “Woo-Hah” and “Rhymes Galore” are probably 2 of everyones favorite songs from the Busta catalog so it’s great that they’ve finally made their way to 45. To round things out, a special Tumblin’ Dice t-shirt was printed and features chest logo on front and a short list of song titles on the rear that Rashad produced for the likes of Rakim, The Notorious B.I.G., Nas and A Tribe Called Quest to name a few.
As a collector myself, each of these pieces are like gold and the weekend experience revolving around getting them is priceless. It’s not something you can just download or order off of the internet, it’s a real world interaction with real people that have built a community of good humans and likeminded people that all share similar love of physical product and the work that goes into creating product. Physical product is special, it’s timeless, it’s an investment and it’s something that only appreciates in value and long last memories for years to come.