Supplying vinyl connoisseurs with an amazing selection of vinyl, handpicked from digging trips worldwide, Melbourne’s Plug Seven Records located in Fitzroy has cemented itself as a must-visit for any music lovers visiting the city. From contemporary hip-hop to ’80s Afro-jazz to ’70s Latin gems and beyond, you can be sure to find some amazing music in-store to soothe the soul. We had a chat with Ari Roze, who runs Plug Seven Records, to find out a bit more about him, and the store.
Our Crate Minds series showcases some of the best sellers on Discogs. You’ll meet the people behind the crates (virtual and otherwise), get some insights into the life of a record seller, and learn tips on selling records from the best in the biz. If you feel like it’s time to buy some records, you can check Ari’s shop here.
Discogs: Tell us who you are and how long you have been a Discogs user.
Ari Roze: My name is Ari Roze and I run a record store, recording studio, and label called Plug Seven Records in Melbourne, Australia. I guess I’ve been on Discogs for about 10 years, but mostly the first five were just to buy things that were hard to find in Australia and for my own DJing and personal purposes.
I only started properly selling records on Discogs after I started the shop. It’s been a handy way to bring more awareness to the shop, sell records, and also get information about records I find on overseas digging trips. Discogs really changed the way I bought records as it allowed me to listen to and discover things from my home, rather than on (or as well as) digging trips.
D: How did you get into selling records?
AR: Well, I’ve always been into collecting records and I started selling them because I would find extra copies of things I liked and then sell them to people so I could afford to buy more stuff. Growing up a bit overseas meant I often had things that were a bit harder to find here in Australia and I guess eventually that knowledge grew into a bigger deal when I bought one really big record collection from the United States and also moved to Melbourne from a small country town.
D: Tell us a bit about your retail shop, Plug Seven.
AR: Plug Seven is named after the large plug hole found in a seven-inch single. I’ve always been into 7-inches as that’s where some of the best funk, soul, and Jamaican music can be found, and the shop has around 5,000 7-inches in-store. I also really like a lot of other music like disco, boogie, jazz, jazz-funk, African and Brazilian music, prog and rock, etc., so the shop is really diverse and there are probably around 5,000 to 8,000 LPs in the shop at any one time, with more added every two weeks via our fortnightly newsletter.
Plug Seven Records
There’s a 70/30 split of originals to new releases in-store, with all of our stock bought on overseas digging trips to mostly Japan and the U.S., but occasionally I go to the United Kingdom, France, Jamaica, etc. We also have a website and our Discogs page, which are becoming more and more a part of the business due to COVID happenings.
D: What has been your favorite in-store moment?
AR: [Record Store Day 2019] was nuts, we had three bands in the front, five DJs, and a sound system in the yard … a big barbecue and beer session, the sun was shining, there were like 300 people there easily, and the vibe was seriously good. We didn’t even bother doing Record Store Day [in 2020] as it would have been such a letdown to do some online version of that, due to not being allowed to have people in-store through the Melbourne lockdown laws. Yeh, that was a killer day.
D: What is your favorite record store (outside of your own) and why?
AR: If I told you I’d have to kill ya … I guess I could easily say Disk Union in Japan just for the sheer cross-section of records available. Always something cool to be found there.
Plug Seven Records
D: Do you have a story that you’d like to share about record-selling? Please tell us!
AR: Well, it’s led me to some pretty crazy digging spots. I once worked for a guy in Long Island for a month that had half a million records in various locations — 200,000 7-inches in a basement was my favorite spot, some of which had been arranged according to the names of the songs … Found some killer funk down there.
D: Do you have a favorite record of all-time?
AR: Definitely not, but I could say Gloria Ann Taylor’s Deep Inside You 12-inch was one record that really got me started on buying rarities … That was a must-have for me and near to impossible to hear back when I was searching for it. A great record.
D: What is the most valuable item you’ve ever sold?
AR: Maybe it was a sealed copy of Livy Ekemezie’s Friday Night album.
D: What has been your best record find?
AR: A couple of boxes of really sweet Jamaican rocksteady and ska I bought about 10 years back … but I’m finding stuff all the time I suppose, I’m always traveling [overseas] due to buying for the shop so you never know what you’ll find.
D: What is your pick for local releases at the moment?
AR: I think the La Sape label is releasing some of the best local music at the moment.
D: What is your number one tip for Buyers and/or Sellers on Discogs?
AR: Number one, be polite, be thorough with grading, and don’t take no mess!
Images courtesy of Plug Seven Records.