Seattle DJs/promoters/nightlife catalysts Michito Iwata (aka Eugene Fauntleroy, our city's best-dressed DJ) and Tyler Yugen have a few new endeavors that you should put on your radar. First, they're starting Looters Recs, a retail establishment that will sell vinyl in the "Techno, House, Avant-Garde, Hip-Hop, Jazz" genres, among others. They both have no music-retail experience and state that they're "unemployable," but promise to peddle "quality and rarities" in these styles. (Iwata actually has worked as a trademark-research agent. I only know Yugen as a clubber who emits an abundance of positive energy at every key electronic event in Seattle. It's a tough job, but...) Second, Iwata and Yugen have organized the Dooms Day Vinyl Market, happening July 2 at Re-bar (7 pm-10 pm, 21+). Some of the vendors include Medical Records, DJ Supreme La Rock, Matt Greasy of DUG, and Mindshift Records; Supreme and Soul One will also spin records. Following this will be PRESS, a vinyl-only DJ event that will likely run till sunrise, knowing how these party animals roll. At a time when it's shocking to see a club DJ hauling crates of wax to a gig, these moves may strike some as foolhardy, while others may view them as brave. (I lean toward the latter.) After the jump, Iwata and Yugen answer some questions with cards held close to their chests.
The Stranger: What factors made you want to start Looters in such a precarious environment for music retail?
Iwata and Yugen: Any creative environment is inherently precarious. The advent of Spotify/BMI has run a lot of record shops out of business and disenfranchised a lot of great efforts. This isn't a new idea; people have been freaking out since Napster. We've invested a lot of time and energy to try to create an adaptive business model. The record store "scene" isn't dead; it's just in the awkward teenager stage. What we're trying to implement isn't revolutionary by any means; we just haven't seen it utilized by record stores yet. We want to start with a web-centric presence. We have an extensive catalog on Discogs, we're going to launch a boutique record shop on our own domain, we're starting a biweekly vinyl-only mix series on Soundcloud, and organizing pop-ups at different events around Seattle. This is the preliminary stage; everything is created with intention to mature.
What do you mean by "private record shop" [as described on their Facebook page]? Will Looters have a physical location where customers can look through the bins? If so, where?
There's an adage that goes: The underground should be heard, not seen. We're not going to disclose our location in this (or any) interview. We're not trying to cater to the general public. We're extremely passionate about our collection, and want to provide quality records to a local clientele that will actually utilize them. It's the difference between the music scene and the music industry—our first priority is to avoid sterility.
Please talk about the Dooms Day Market you're holding July 2 at Re-bar. What can people expect from that? Same question for PRESS.
It's gonna be tight AF.