Passion for vinyl: Gerd Ruymen

Introduce yourself?
Gerd the singer/ guitarslinger for a little Belgian punkband called the Spacelys. I used to be in the Red light Rumors, Murdocks, Toyboy Violence, System Shitter. No scenestar credentials, I’m not the shit! Just a small time order taker who wastes too much money on music. Bought my first turntable with my first salary in February 2002 it costed 3000 BEF (€75) and bought together with a microwave. It was a Sony PS -LX 250H and it still works.

Why your passion for Vinyl?
I love the sound, the cover and the smell. There was no turntable in my house growing up. And I always wanted one. So the first thing I bought when I started making enough money to really support myself was a turntable. I still own a lot of cd’s, you have to remember that in the nineties vinyl was considered a dead medium and I was a bargain bin digger who worked in a record store. I had very little money and growing up in Landen there was not a lot of cool stuff around. So, I’m not your typical vinyl fetishist. I prefer vinyl but in the end it’s all about the song!

Which turntable do you use?
Well, the Sony PS -LX 250H still works, but is retired to backup status. I recently bought a PS-LX 300USB to transfer some stuff to my phone and to make mix lists with audacity. Downstairs in the living room we use an old early seventies Philips 777 direct control with a diamond needle. And that again is a funny story! Me and Liesbeth went to some sort of market for baby stuff, and it was boring as hell. But in a corner there was a guy who sold hammers, screwdrivers, nails and a turntable. And we really needed a good solid hammer. So we went over and I noticed the turntable and informed about the price. So, Liesbeth started negotiating and we got the hammer, 2 screwdrivers and the unused turntable with 2 diamond needles for €50! (My wife is really good negotiator) Cynthia Reekmans (miss Limburg) was the host of the market and she gave coupons to all the couples leaving the market. She really gave us funny look as we walked out. Imagine couples with diapers and cradles followed by a couple with a hammer and a turntable.

What are your 5 most favourite records?

Only 5 records?! Only 5?!!! Well, today I feel like this will be my top 5.

1. Teengenerate – Get action (crypt records) A sloppy Japanese no fi no speak English well garagepunk band. Imagine if the Ramones were Japanese! They also released a 7 inch with Kids (yeah that Belgian band) covers. The album got released in the nineties on crypt, got it on cd bought in on vinyl in 2002. Still love the energy! crazy band! Kicks any skatepunks ass! Crypt rocked my world in the nineties! (they still do)

2. Business- Suburban rebels. I always loved the Business! Mick Fitz was a great singer and this album really did hit home with this angry teenager! and it still does! I originally had it on tape! (I used a boombox that my dad won playing pool till I was 16!) Bought it on vinyl a few years ago. Great album! Great band!

3. Specials – ST. I always loved a lot of the two tone stuff . But the specials stood out for being darker! Concrete jungle still makes the hair on my arms stand up straight! There are no bad songs on this album! Had it on cd for years ! Bought the vinyl copy six years ago at a fleamarket in Diest for €1. I also love the latter stuff! Still looking for a copy of the ghost town single. Ghost town was my anthem growing up in Attenhoven (Landen). Because it really felt like a ghost town!

4. X ray specs- Germfree adolescents. Talking about a fun band! Great lyrics! Great singer, I always loved Pollystyrene’s voice. I also love Kathleen Hanna’s voice for the same reason. She sounds like Pollystyrene Great first wave uk punk band! The copy i have is a Earmark reissue on 180 gr. High quality stuff for a ok price!

5. Nekromantix -Curse of the coffin: It’s no surprise ! I love old psychobilly! Great album! They lost me after live is a grave and i dig it!

What is your most favourite album cover?
Don’t break the oath – Mercyful Fate. How cool are eighties heavy metal album covers?

Original or repress?
The cheapest one! And the one who sounds the best! Sometimes the reissue on 180 gr sound a lot better than the original. Depends from album to album. Metal (Heavy Metal, old school death metal) sounds better in its original mix, Blues reissues are generally really good. Same for rockabilly. Punk/hc can lose its balls sometimes…depends from album to album. But in generally I will never spend more than max €30 on an album. Ich zen Rottchilds neh.

Black, Colour or Picture disc?
Same here, the cheapest one! Colour is cool! Colour is really cool! But I really like black 180 gr vinyl. Wonky thin colour vinyl don’t mean shit! And like I said before at the end of the day it’s all about the songs  How rare are colour /picture disc albums these days?

A vinyl tip
Stay away from the vintage looking turntables with USB/ K7, CD and all that crap. Buy a descent turntable and a descent amplifier. Buy a good turntable mat (cork or anti-static). Buy a kit to clean your vinyl, especially when you buy a lot of second hand stuff. Take care of your records and your needle. Recordstore day sucks! You don’t need that crap to support indie retailers. Never forget that it’s about the music and not the lim. ed.


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