The Discogs community is and has always been a collaborative effort, and we take pride in supporting our sellers. Last year, Discogs took Crate Diggers events around the world and as a result, we’ve launched a new series via the Crate Diggers brand that has a simple mission:
Highlight record stores and our music collecting community worldwide.
For this installment of the Crate Diggers Spotlight series, we are highlighting Dayton, OH record store Skeleton Dust Records. On August 11th, 2018 they’ll be putting out hundreds of new and used items, and will have tons of vinyl, CDs, and cassettes at clearance prices, as well as additional local record vendors with hard-to-find items! And that’s not all! Also on tap for the day will be door prizes, local food & drink vendors, and a hands on modular synth demo and performance with Noiseteria Emission! We spoke with shop owner Luke Tandy in advance of this sure-to-be awesome instore event.
What is your role, and can you give us a bit of background on yourself?
I am the sole owner and operator of Skeleton Dust Records. Skeleton Dust started as a small record label for Noise and Experimental music in 2006. The releases have been on cassette, CD, and vinyl for both local and and artists from all over the world. I also record and perform under the moniker Being, which has been my main outlet for producing Noise since 2006. Additionally, I perform in collaboration projects with friends including Harness, Orgasmic Response Unit, and Heat Signature.
How long has your store been in business?
The store just opened in October of 2017. So while we have our regulars, there are still new customers learning about us on an almost daily basis.
Does your shop have a specialty? What sets your store apart from others?
Like many new record stores, we offer a particularly specialized and curated selection of items. As mentioned above, I have a special interest in Noise, Experimental, and Industrial music, so the heaviest focus (pun intended!) is on those genres. I believe that we have a really strong inventory of cassette tapes that not many other stores offer. Noise and Experimental music has a long history of being released on cassette tape and the proliferation of releases has only increased in the past several years, so we try to stay up as best as we can and offer some of the best cassettes, both domestic and import titles. In general, I would say that we try to offer underground music across the board; whether it’s Alternative, Metal, Punk, Electronic, Avant-garde, Jazz, World, Reggae/Dub and the slew of sub-genres that exist. Our goal is to carry items for the adventurous and curious listener.
What was your inspiration for opening a record store?
I grew up in a very rural, small town in Indiana which I think drove me to explore the exciting and unknown from a young age. I remember making trips in high school to such shops as Luna Music, Missing Link, and Evolving Records, all Indianapolis-based stores. Evolving Records in particular was amazing to me. At the time, I got a couple turntables and a mixer and began dabbling in DJing, which led me to them. It was mind-blowing because the store carried nothing but dance music, and mostly as 12″ singles. You could find Techno, House, Trance, Drum n Bass, Breakbeat, even Gabber and Happy Hardcore. The guys that ran the shop were really cool and were open to offering suggestions based on whatever genre I was interested in at the moment. I also visited Luna quite often and always walked out with something cool. I traveled to Europe in 2012 and went to a renowned Experimental/Avant-garde store in Berlin called Rumpsti Pumsti. Not only was the store stock right up my alley, the aesthetics of the store were so pleasing to me and unlike anything I had experienced in a record store prior. It was super minimal, clean, and felt like the store itself was an art installation. I remember seeing a neatly-stacked pile of plain white LP jackets that was about 4′ high right in the middle of the store. I didn’t know why it was there but there was obviously some intention behind it and it was just cool as hell! There was a also a back room with a sound installation that made me reconsider how space could be utilized with a store. I remember leaving and thinking “I can do this too”, and after that moment I began to work towards opening my own store.
What do you enjoy most about running your shop?
What I love most about running my store is being able to share and discuss music for a living. It really doesn’t get much better than that. People come into a record store to find something that brings them joy, so it feels amazing to be able to provide that to my customers. Also, I learn something new every day…whether listening to an artist or band I’ve never heard of or my customers sharing new stuff with me, I get to feed my insatiable appetite for music of all types.
Do you have any favorite or memorable moments in the shop thus far?
I love when customers find something that they’ve been looking for or are just really excited to see. I believe there’s a really special feeling to hold a prized record in your hands, especially in the full-blown digital age that we now exist in. We also hold monthly art openings at the store with live performances from local musicians and it feels amazing to look around and see the shop full of people enjoying art and music together.
What does your personal collection look like?
Naturally, a big part of my collection consists of Noise and Experimental music. However, I also have a fair amount of Electronic, World, Dub, Jazz, Psych/Krautrock and a random assortment of Hardcore, Metal, and Pop/Rock records. When I opened the store, I whittled away a lot of the stuff in my collection. I’ve enjoyed collecting music since I was young, but I also regularly circulate things in and out of my collection and try not to hoard stuff. For the most part, I focus on acquiring hard-to-find Noise cassettes, CDs, and records, specifically Japanese noise. I also love finding cool World music and am always looking for a lot of the Smithsonian Folkways LPs.
Do you use Discogs? If so, what features do you use?
I constantly use Discogs! It’s a crucial part of my business as we do a lot of mail order with customers worldwide. Aside from that, I use it to reference sales history and values of items in order to price things accordingly. I also utilize the Wantlist feature in order to track things down that I want. Aside from that, I often will go down the rabbit hole and start endlessly clicking links and reading about bands, records, and various versions of records. It can get a bit addictive at times.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Thanks so much for taking the time and interest to feature our shop and we look forward to meeting new faces!
Skelton Dust Records:
For those in Dayton, OH on August 11th, 2018, don’t miss this Crate Diggers Spotlight with Skeleton Dust Records. They’ll be putting out hundreds of new and used items, and will have tons of vinyl, CDs, and cassettes at clearance prices, plus local record vendors with hard-to-find items! But that’s not all! Also on tap will be door prizes, local food and drink vendors, and a live modular synth demo and performance at this sure-to-be-awesome instore event!