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THE ART OF VINYL

In an age where music-streaming services have garnered massive audiences, vinyl continues to grow in popularity. Mark Lattogue has devoted much of his life to the medium, now at the helm of his family’s business, the Record Finder. First opening in the late 60s, the Fremantle institution houses an impressive collection of over 50,000 records. Mark dedicates his days to sharing his passion and keeping the art of vinyl well and truly alive.

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Sarah: How did your love of records begin?
Mark: It all started with my dad. He first opened the Record Finder in 1966 in New Zealand as a hobby. In 1985 we packed up the majority of our stock into two sea containers and moved to Fremantle. We found a store on Cantonment Street just before the America’s Cup. Even though record sales went down when CDs came in, we loved them so much we just kept going.

S: Now we have music streaming services, which have massive audiences, yet records are continuing to grow in popularity.
M: There’s something special about records. People like the sound and it’s a product they can hold onto. You get a record out of the cover, look at the artwork and put it on the turntable – it’s something tangible you can really enjoy.

S: Are you a vinyl purist?
M: Yes. I don’t even have a CD player anymore. People are often surprised!

S: What do you think about new music and vinyl?
M: I think it’s great! It means that a lot of youngsters are starting to enjoy records. It’s given them something they can talk about with their parents, bringing the family unit together.

S: It seems it is not easy to manufacture vinyl these days. Do you think this is a barrier to the industry growing?
M: In Japan there’s a company who are starting to press vinyl now in a massive way. They’re looking for people to produce it, but there’s no one out there so they’re trying to get the old guys who used to do it and lure them back into the industry. There’s huge potential.

S: Coming into the silly season, what are your recommendations for records to listen to with a cocktail or two?
M: I’d mix it up a bit. Sinatra, Cat Stevens, Rickie Lee Jones, Sade, Herb Alpert, Johnny Cash…then I might put some French music on. I love the French language.

S: Upstairs I saw you have a massive amount of records. How large is your collection?
M: Since we’re moving this month, I’m going to have about 50,000 LPs at my house – minimum. I won’t be having any visitors this Christmas!

S: You’re clearly very dedicated to the cause.
M: It’s not all about the money for me. It’s about talking to someone, conversing with people. I spent an hour with one of my customers this morning, just talking about music. I didn’t get any work done, but I don’t care – that’s what it’s all about.

The Record Finder is located at 43 High Street, Fremantle (within close walking distance to Detail).

Word: Sarah Langley

Imagery: Sarah Langley