Rarekind is a Brighton community pillar and has been for well over a decade, diversifying through trends & generations to meet ever-changing demands whilst staying true to its roots of pushing fantastic soul-drenched records across a cross-section of genres.
An OG Art Gallery turned Record Shop, Owner and Manager Ewan has been behind the counter since day one and kindly took time out last week to have a chat with us about Rarekind’s past, present and future….
An Interview with Ewan Hood of Rarekind Records
How long have you been buying and selling records for and where did it start?
I’ve been buying records since the early ’90s and selling for a little over 15 years.
I used to buy stuff in the first incarnation of the Rarekind Gallery when it first opened and ended up working there part time and taking care of the record part of the store, it grew out of that, I used to do a lot of digging and would turn up stuff often, so when I started working in the shop I was able to introduce second hand stuff I’d found over the years alongside the new releases.
When Rarekind opened its doors how soon after did online sales come into play?
We started selling online when we moved to our current location on Trafalgar St, Brighton, around 2006-7, so 2-3 years after we started.
You’ve seen first hand the evolution in record-buying trends since doors, how healthy is the Brighton scene at the moment?
Brighton has always been a great place for records, being such a musical city and quite alternative, plus close to London there’s always been lots of shops and people interested. I’m constantly surprised by the interesting and unusual stuff that comes through the shop.
Right now I’d say things are very good, there are a few different shops who are good at what they do and everybody specialises in something slightly different. The city center is very compact so you can check most of them out in a short space of time.
The place is packed with music enthusiasts, and we also get a lot of visitors which helps, I think quite a few people head here specifically to check out Brighton’s Record shops
What’s your personal holy grail record?
When did you start using Discogs and how do you use it in your day to day?
We joined discogs at the start of 2007 and had probably been using it for a little while before then. It’s integral to how we operate now, obviously for selling, but also the information is fantastic and has totally changed the game.
Any tips for people browsing your crates, in the shop and on Discogs?
Hopefully, our physical shop is a place where you’ll find some interesting and unusual well-priced stuff, my main tip would be to get stuck in and have a rummage, we have lots of cheap crates and new stock going out 4-5 times a week.
We keep most of our second-hand stuff exclusive to the shop, but we do put a few tasty and unusual bits up on our discogs. We generally have around 2,500 titles listed – the vast majority of our new releases are on there and we try to go direct to labels and artists as much as possible, so hopefully our discogs store has some interesting stuff.
What do you predict for the future of Rarekind and where are you aiming?
More of the same really, everyone who works here loves records and all we really try to do is provide the service and selection we would like to see if we were customers ourselves. We’ve done a couple of releases in collaboration with labels and artists in the past and would like to do more of that at some point.
I hope the current interest in vinyl continues and that new releases don’t become prohibitively expensive!