Shopping for vintage records at Bandung's DU 68

The place looks like a teenager's room from the 1990s, with music posters and stickers adorning the walls, the racks of the store are crammed with cassettes and the sheer mess makes getting around a little tricky. But music geeks can sense that this humble shop on the second floor of Graha Visi on Jl. Dipati Ukur 68, Bandung is a potential treasure chest.

The era of cassettes and records is long gone, but some music lovers are steadfast in their hobbies of collecting music. That’s what DU 68 Used Music Store is all about.

The store began in early 2000 through the hobby of collecting used cassettes and records and then selling them to collectors.

Founder Irham Vickry sensed a business opportunity and decided to take it up more seriously. Fast forward - pardon the pun - a decade later and DU 68 continues to survive and is raved about by music lovers in and outside of Bandung.

“We have foreigners visiting us quite often too,” said Gery, a staff member.

Overseas customers can range from those coming from the US to Japan, with most coming from Japan and the Netherlands.

Tourists from these two countries are usually curious about the music of a country that was once colonized by their governments.

“Instead of western music, they look for traditional Sundanese music or stuff played by Indonesian rock bands circa 1970s or 1980s, Gery added, mentioning big names in the Sundanese music scene such as Mang Koko, Euis Komariah and Darso.

Foreigners usually come across these names during cultural events overseas.

Legendary Indonesian rock groups such as AKA and Sharkmove have had their albums released in Canada and Germany, explaining the international interest in them.

According to Gery, a professor from the US named Andrew N. Weintraus visited the store and wrote a book about Indonesia's dangdut music, titled Dangdut – Music, Identity, and Indonesian Culture.

DU 68 boasts a vast collection of albums and records from various genres of music and prices vary depending on the year, quality and scarcity of the item.

A limited edition Ozzy Osbourne record, for example, can fetch more than Rp 1,000,000 (US$ 103.4)

Record prices mostly start at Rp 30,000 and cassettes from Rp 10,000.

“Indonesian records are more expensive because they have not been produced since 1990, while the last Indonesian cassettes were produced around 2009," Gery said.

Aside from records and cassettes, the store offers the service of cleaning your old tapes at only Rp 2,500. If your tapes or record players need some love to make them work again, then get in contact with the store.

Gery shared some tips on caring for your music collection:

  • Play cassettes from beginning to end on both sides so the tapes will roll and play them at least twice a week to prevent dust and fungus from covering the surface, thus reducing the quality.

  • Do not put your cassettes on the speakers due to magnets inside the speakers.

  • Records should be stacked horizontally instead of vertically and kept in cool, dry places.

  • Records should be cleaned at least three times a week.

DU 68 opens from 11 a.m. till 10 p.m. daily. Music lovers, enter at your own risk.

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