In our Crate Minds series, we highlight the people behind the Discogs accounts. This time we would like to introduce you to Jürgen Vonbank of djshop.de. Currently based in the stunning Bavarian village of Vachendorf, djshop.de is the perfect shop for adventurous diggers and electronic music enthusiasts alike. But we’ll let Jürgen do the talking. We guarantee you his shop will become an instant favorite.
What is your role, can you give us a bit of background on yourself?
I have been working as a buyer for djshop.de since 2012, and I’m handling our vinyl distribution service. One needs to know that besides djshop.de there are also other services under the roof of our mother company Dance All Day. That means I take care of other stuff, which is not directly related to djshop.de, as well, such as project and label management for our digital distribution service Feiyr.
Please tell us a bit about djshop.de and its history.
Our CEO Armin started selling vinyl straight from the DJ booth back in the early ’90s. Djshop.de was officially launched in 1995, and we moved offices several times, now located in the idyllic Bavarian village of Vachendorf. As most record shops we went through a rough time, especially during the rise of MP3 and piracy, when the vinyl industry almost collapsed within a few months with a lot of distributors and labels filing for bankruptcy. Somehow, we managed to keep the business running, which also results from the strong personal and emotional relationship to this medium of our staff.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
As a buyer, you need to keep track of recent developments in the scene. I really enjoy digging into those developments, and it’s just very satisfying to discover new good music because there is lot out there!
djshop.de sells only new (mint) releases, mostly electronic. How do you select which releases to stock?
We do indeed have a strong background in the electronic scene, this is where we come from. But if you browse our catalog, you will find records of almost all kinds of genres. When you reach a certain size, it is important that you keep a versatile catalog, so it’s always a balancing act between pleasing your core customers, reaching new audiences and of course stock what you think is great music. Discogs definitely helped us to reach new audiences in this regard. I personally do listen to each record before I order it. I rather rely on my intuition than just on artist and label names.
If we were digging through your personal collection, what would we find?
Most of it would be techno, electro, ambient and experimental electronica but also a good stack of house music, world music and a little bit of jazz. Some classical music, audio books and fairy tales, basically purchased to sample. And a nice little collection of rock 45s from my father. Although, I’m constantly buying records I try to keep the collection compact. So I also get rid of stuff from time to time.
Which is your favorite record shop to visit and why?
There are so many beautiful stores… Besides my work for djshop.de, I opened Minerva Records together with my girlfriend in 2016. This record shop is located in the Austrian city of Salzburg, just a 30 minute drive away from djshop.de (which only sells online these days). As we put a lot of time and energy into this project, I would definitely say that this is my favorite record shop because we were able to design it the way we wanted to have it.
How do you see the future for record selling?
It’s gonna be a difficult business but it always has been. Sales will probably not reach the peaks of the last years again but will level out at a reasonable extent. The cultural value of physical goods in a digital age will probably even further increase.
What would be your number one tip for buyers and sellers on Discogs?
Buyers: If you’re interested in a certain record, take some time to browse the catalogue of the seller as you might find some other gems to add to your purchase, which also keeps relative shipping costs low.
Sellers: Know your customers, keep track of the market and its various scenes and pack your shipments well!