Crate Diggers: Throwing Shade

Crate Diggers: Throwing Shade

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llustration: Laura Breiling

Our Crate Diggers series profiles record collectors around the world. This month we meet London’s Throwing Shade, who tells us about Bob Dylan originals, intimate records, and grave digging in the Czech Republic.


Throwing Shade

Real Name: Nabihah Iqbal

Aliases: Throwing Shade

Age: 28

Nationality: British

Size of Record Collection: Not massive but constantly growing...
At what age did you start collecting records? What was the first record you bought?

I got into buying records around the age of 18 or 19. It was all just CDs and tapes before that. I think the first record I bought was at a gig – I can’t remember who the headliner was but I remember the support act. It was a duo called Pymathon and they were Finnish. One guy on guitar and one on drums. They were playing insane heavy metal and free experimental jazz kinda stuff and it totally blew my mind. I bought the EP they were selling at the show.

Philosophy behind collecting records? What do you look for in a record?

Pretty simple – whatever sounds good to me! I like all different kinds of music and so I like listening to lots of varied sounds when I’m checking records out in a shop.

How do you organise your collection?

Erratically!

Do you clean your records?

Yes, using AM Record cleaner product.

If money were no object, what one record would you buy?

An original copy of Bob Dylan’s second album Freewheelin’. A stereo copy of it sold for $35,000 a few years ago. I think there are only about 20 or so known copies of the original version, which features 4 tracks that aren’t on the official released version. I am pretty obsessed with Bob Dylan so that would be one of my dream records to own.

If your house was burning down and you could only save one record what would it have to be?

First Light by Freddie Hubbard. This whole album is just too amazing. I have listened to it countless times and I don’t think I could ever get sick of it.

A record that makes you cry?

Hmm. Tough question. I guess maybe listening to Michael Jackson nowadays sometimes makes me feel really sad because I wish he wasn’t dead. Off The Wall or Thriller. He is my ultimate musical hero.

Do first editions matter to you?

Right now, my finances don’t really stretch far enough for first editions to matter to me. But if I had enough disposable income, I probably would try and invest in some interesting rare records. Maybe one day…

Favourite label?

Impossible to name just one. Smithsonian Folkways, Hyperdub, Lobster Theremin, The Trilogy Tapes, Honest Jon’s, Workshop, Ninja Tune, Warp…. There are just too many.

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Favourite record store?

Sounds Of The Universe: best staff, best selection, and it’s in Soho which is my favourite part of London.

Favourite album cover?

Another tough one! Maybe Dangerous by Michael Jackson. I love all the detail – you could just stare at it for hours trying to work out what it all means.

Strangest or funniest digging experience?

Once when I was in the Czech Republic, I visited this really small town called Kutna Hora because there’s a church there made out of human bones (!) and I wanted to check it out. It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen. Next to the church was a really tiny shop selling lots of old tapes and records – it was so out of place there! Anyway, I found some real gems in there – lots of wacky Soviet-era disco and other things.

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One of my favourite finds from there is a copy of Discofil by ORM. The album cover is really weird – it’s an old man sitting in a room surrounded by reel-to-reels and synthesizers. The record in general is a bit hit-and-miss but there are a few bangers on there. Lots of really ambitious electronic disco sounds.