Thursday, October 15, 2020

FTA News: Save the Vinyl - DC DnB vinyl preservation

October 10th, 2020

I got a ping from DJ Slant the other day. Slant is a founding member of DC's 2Tuff Crew, a legendary crew of DJs that really pushed the Jungle / DnB scene here in the DC area.

The reason I was getting a message was that his basement had taken on water, which affected a chunk of his vinyl collection. Roughly 4 large crates of records from 1994-2001 era of Jungle/ Drum & Bass. He was going to chuck the full lot and wanted to know if I wanted to try and save them. I think my exact words were "I'm on my way... where do you live?"

Man, these records were in bad shape. I think they had been waterlogged for about a week before I got a call. So bloody hell they were gross, with mold and funk. This is going to have to be a full restoration project.

Some quick clarifications, "Restoration"... maybe not. It is more like preservation. Meaning I'm not going to source all the sleeves or print duplicate record labels. I could give a fig about the paper. All I care about is preserving the sound. As a junglist, I cut my teeth on white labels and I'm going to be making a boatload of them. 

Oh my days, these babies have seen better days.

So how am I going to do all this? How do I do it in a way that is safe for the grooves and safe for me? I bring up my safety because it's a little unclear the ratio of rainwater to sewage. However, as someone who has had his basement flooded with sewage, it is not a light-hearted topic. That stuff is dangerous and you should treat it with respect. (breathing)

DJ Slant & The Librarian 
loading up the car.

Before I go any further, can I just take a moment on how stoked I am that DJ Slant thought to give me a shout to see if I could (or would want to) save these Golden Era records? Still trips me out a bit.

Alright after reaching out to some local record stores and a metric ton of internet research I think here is the plan for phase 1.


        - Photo document the labels
        - Water & Dawn solution
        - Quick micro fiber wipe down

        - Water & Bleach solution
        - soak / shock

        - Create a Framework to hold the records in a safe/controlled manner
        - Clean with water
                • Removing all the mold and labels

4. DRY
        - Air Compressor
        - Microfiber wipe down

        - Plastic Sleeves
        - Put an ID Tag on the sleeve so we can collect the photo data from step 1 


Because I'm unclear how good of a job this will actually do I'm assuming it will need a second round to make it playable. This step may be overkill but I want to make sure I'm crossing all the T's and dotting all the i's to save this Golden Era Sound.


Cross-referencing all the photos and matching them up with the meta data on and

Creating Labels and transferring that data to these labels.


As it sounds it's just a shop vac with an attachment... to you guessed it vacuum these tracks. 


In recent years Ultra Sonic cleaners have become cheap enough that vinyl heads like me can afford to sonically blast their records. This currently is my last line of restoration, mainly because I don't own one yet. (I'm going to make a plug for support here in a bit. Foreshadowing ba ha)

After all that we will any love will have some clean & playable records to drop on this website and the Monday nights show.

If you think this project is awesome and want to support it. We have a variety of ways you can do that.

1. Donations though Paypal:

2. Subscriptions to the Twitch Channel:

3. Sponsorship. If you like what you see here and want to be associated with this work hit me up. Fat chance but it's worth a shot. 


Anyways keep it locked here for progress or over on the Instagram page

Till next time folks keep smiling

The Librarian