February 11, 2011

A new record shop, did i hear it correctly?

Which record shop is the best in Malaysia? I don't think it is a hard question to answer because there isn't!

Many record shops in Malaysia are finding it hard to survive with changing consumer behaviour, rampant online piracy and simply, less interest on music as a hobby. A young adult would save or even borrow to get his first iPhone and yet he would not buy a single CD. Let's face it, music is a low priority to most because we have so many things fighting for our attention, compared to 10 years ago when life (and entertainment options) was so much simpler.

It then came as a total surprise that there are people who still want to open record shops!

We were told that the people behind this new enterprise, boldly called Loud+Clear, is from Rock Corner and he is really bold to choose the location of the newly-established Solaris Dutamas. Incidentally, not far away, the Solaris commercial area used to have a record store called "Cred" which barely lasted a year before it bites the dust. Frightening prospects, indeed.

The interior of Loud+Clear is tastefully done. This kind of fitting and ID would have cost at least RM300K, if my ID friend gets his math right. The shop is very spacious, with plenty of browsing space. Also, the far end of the shop, according to Alex, the boss, is reserved for live performances, mainly acoustic (or computer-based music) unplugged showcases. This is really cool for those artistes who want to showcase their new albums or do small gigs.

Catalogue wise, they told us that they want to bring in many hard-to-find Alternative and Indie titles but at the time of our visit, stock were not complete and orders from overseas have not arrived. But from the assurance of the store manager, Troy, it will be a haven for those who want Sigur Ros, Belle and Sebastian, Mogwai, British Ocean Scene, Kings of Convenience, The Whitest Boy Alive, She and Him..... all those alternative and indie titles that you can't find in Malaysia. Troy used to be one-half of the online alternative CD website, Music Matters, founded by Leslie Loh, that specialized in rare, underground, and alternative music so his knowledge and passion is unquestioned.

They also plan to beef up their audiophile section. At the moment, what they have are the standard audiophile fare from the likes of s2s and premium. There is a sprinkling of LPs too.

With the nice ambience for live performance in the shop, Loud+Clear plans to bring some cool acoustics acts to liven up the scene. Alex and Troy would like to invite readers here to their opening on 22th February 2011, 8pm-9:30pm where there will be a mini showcase by two of pop pop music's proteges, Winnie Ho of 2V1G and Z Yan, the Bossa Princess.

Date: 22nd Feb 2011
Time: 8pm-9:30pm

Venue: Loud + Clear, Solaris Dutamas

Address: see map attached
Reservation: Call Caffee Wong 012-3698160

Seriously, if we, the genuine music buyers don't support local record shops, there is not much hope left for the retail music industry in Malaysia.

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