In the last of our series on “Vinyl lovers”, DJ Yannick Jacob talks about being influenced by hip-hop, his deep connection with music, and why vinyl is an expression of character. Below, he shares a few of his personal favourites on a playlist for Eastlondonlines readers
Name: Yannick Jacob, aka DJ Jazzmen
Occupation: Positive-Existential Life Coach
How many records do you have?
Where did you grow up?
Earliest memory of vinyl.
When I physically saw it in my grandmother’s house just sitting there with a vinyl player – I never really heard it. The first time I saw vinyl in action I must have been around 16. I saw my first DJ – a fellow student – in America, where I spent a year. He was a house DJ – DJ’ing clubs in New York – and he was mixing vinyl. I was very much influenced by hip-hop scratch DJs, who seemed to manipulate vinyl a lot. I was fascinated by [the] kind of sounds they made. I realised that scratching is kind of like playing a guitar; it follows similar patterns.
What is your favourite vinyl record?
Vinyl contains stories, contains people, their memories – it’s not just about the quality of the music that makes it a favourite. It is the memories that are attached to a record that make it special or a favourite. It is really impossible to say one piece of vinyl; I can narrow it down to maybe 100. One that particularly means a lot to me is Kruder Dorfmeister, The K and D Sessions. That is the vinyl I lost my virginity to, that connects me deeply with one of my best friends over a period of ten years because I have always listened to it since I was 14 and regularly ever since.
What are some of your other favourites?
Gil Scott-Heron’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Serge Gainsbourg’s Aux armes et cætera and DJ Cam’s Underground Vibes.
What is your vinyl collection made up of?
About half of my collection is probably hip-hop and rap music: German, English, American, French and a bunch of other cultures. I explored all of the genres that hip-hop was sampled from, so typically jazz, soul and funk but also reggae and dub ska and lots of other strange genres. I got into drum and bass because every tune was mixable onto every other tune. I have some dub step. I really like the vibe of it. I have a lot of blues and jazz. When I was younger, I started listening to hard rock grunge. I still have a lot of bands in my collection, from Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix to Portishead. I have a lot of chill out and trip-hop. Classical music is also there.
When did you start collecting?
In 2001. [Over] the next four years, I must have went to a record store every time I had money. I now have my addiction under control and manage to walk out of record stores with what I need, and not when I am completely out of money.
Describe your musical influences.
I started buying hip-hop because I needed instrumental beats to rap and free-style on with my friends.
What is your favourite vinyl cover art?
Family Guy Breaks, by Boba Fettuccini, and Fenster Zum Hof by The Stieber Twins because of its authenticity depicting the German hip-hop scene. We didn’t have any ghettos; we didn’t have any knife [or] gun crime, or people dying on the street. It was just people like me who [loved] the music and the vibe, and they were sitting in their basement with their beat-making machines and records and record players, and graffiti cans, and they were quite normal people. That authenticity is something that always captures me when it comes to artists.
Have you attended Record Store Day?
I attended Record Store Day once; I didn’t really know it was Record Store Day until somebody told me and I saw a bunch of releases. I kept quite clear from the industry that vinyl became. When I started buying vinyl, vinyl was already considered dead. For me, it was never about being seen as a collector or being seen as a DJ; it was about the actual craft of manipulating vinyl into DJ sets. I really liked the act of going into record stores and digging out new music. I like to discover, and I like to be surprised. I support record stores as much as I can, and it’s nice that they have a day, but it’s not really for me.
Where is your favourite place to buy vinyl?
Hip-hop Vinyl in Berlin.
Why do you think vinyl is such a popular music format?
I think it is having something in your hand – something physical, something analogue, in a digital age, in a day and age where all of our music and everything we are, seems to be online and in a kind of profile. It is really nice to have something that expresses our character – something that is a piece of art, a piece of music. I think it is quite significant that every piece of vinyl, every time there is a little dent or a there is a little print, it becomes unique.
DJ Yannick Jacob’s personal favourites:
Be sure to check out the second vinyl lover in our 3-day series, Hatty Uwanogho.
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