It’s much like an old library, that smell, tucked away into the archives of my youth and imagination. The smell of musty paper. I have loved that smell since I can remember. I suppose the blame belongs to my mother. She dragged me at all ages to the recesses of old libraries with their lofty ceilings and hidden alcoves. Much of it I imagine, was conceived straight from the books found within them. That smell is what has given me my obsession with all objects aged or worn. Especially the love of vinyl.
I admit it’s a new obsession. A recent hobby that has fueled me with a novel way to fulfill my love for all things vintage. But I’m fortunate. Wax Trax is right around the corner from my home and has a huge selection of vinyl to meander through while sipping hot coffee. As you walk by the main store entrance, you’ll see a hand drawn sign pointing to their separate vinyl shop two doors down.
As you walk in, the first thing you notice is that this is a store that warrants it’s own space. The vinyls are peaking out of cardboard filing boxes from the floor to the tops of the 10ft tall ceilings. 45s crowd cozily together, mixing and matching in the tight isles, almost as if Hendrix could shout over to Bill Withers and get his thoughts on the new Clash throwback vinyl that just settled in the box around the corner.
They had a huge assortment of instrumental and classical recordings, on top of any era of record you can imagine. The candy colored plastic of the 7″ records made me absolutely giddy. I had to pace myself as not to dry out my pockets too quickly. So I picked up a few records and hopped over to the testing station to make sure my Miles Davis wasn’t too warped or full of crackling feedback.
Instead, I again found the sounds that further captivate my love for vinyl. Sounds that I can only find in records. The buzz from the symbols of the drums, the lingering live-music intimacy that the reverberation of the trebles lend. A subtle bass which I had first mistaken for originating from somewhere else in the store, only to realize it was whispering almost hidden in the jazz set.
The sound of an old record loved, worn, and perfect in all its imperfect ways. Old vinyl has a character almost like those from the classic books of literature. Some scream for attention and reverence, as they blow the bass off your speakers. Others are sexy and subtle. Most however are worn, interesting, graceful and have a story to tell if you sit long enough and listen between the lines.
638 E 13th Ave
Denver, CO 80203-2613