Vinyl Barges and Hidden Apartments: Diggin' in Kunming, China

This is the story of Kunmings record room; a grandmother selling vinyl out of her 3rd floor apartment(for which she does not advertise). We've visited many times over the years and though she claims she’s no longer acquiring vinyl, her collection is obviously growing and her prices are still very cheap (for now).

Her collection is not just Asian, but lots of music from Europe, the Americas and Canada. But with restrictions on imported media from the West, where does this diverse collection come from?

Wax Thematique Podcast: The Guqin (古琴)

In this episode we interview Joyce / 文菡, a Chinese instrument instructor at her music space in Kunming, China. Many years ago Joyce was visiting a local ancient Buddhist temple and heard hypnotic string sounds coming from a Monk's apartment that would forever change her life. Though the sign on the door read "visitors not welcome", she couldn't help but follow the music into the Monk's den. The Monk invited her to stay and she soon became captivated by the Guqin (goo-cheen). A 3,000 year old instrument, she dedicated her life to its study. Joyce spent years traveling China and Hong Kong for the sole purpose of learning from those who've mastered the instrument. Now she has her own Guqin music studio where she teaches local and international students in Kunming. Listen Now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Wax Thematique Podcast: Diggin' in Hong Kong with Paul Au Pt. 1

Our first Wax Thematique podcast begins with label founder Nathan Womack (aka producer Paces Lift) digging for records with legendary record champion and living music encyclopedia Paul Au, in his Hong Kong apartment full of vinyl. When we say “full” we mean 30,000 records..and when we say “apartment” we’re talking 500 square feet. Paul’s story of escaping the 1970’s Vietnam draft to ultimately selling vinyl on the streets of Hong Kong to survive has been widely covered on the ‘net. But this episode is a more comfortable, casual dig session between two people who love the art of finding a great record buried amongst many thousands. Some of the music found that day plays between chats with Paul about his love of vintage vinyl as he repeatedly hands Nathan many a record and juggles customers coming and going. Enjoy the photos below Nathan took visiting Paul’s vinyl lair (which Paul calls “Vinyl Hero”) from 2017-2019. Be on the look-out and listen for more Wax Thematique episodes on the way. Listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher.