Long live vinyl with Sound Preservation Society Records
Vinyl is having a revival with sales at a 25 year high, as more of us get into the groove, perhaps seeking something more tangible in our digital lives. We spoke to Matt Key about his favourite 5 records and the opening of his dream shop - the Sound Preservation Society Records - in Teignmouth South Devon.
Matt has been obsessed by vinyl since he was an eager 11 year old. In 2012, he started to DJ around Torbay and Newton Abbot, sharing his vast and rare collection with audiences who lapped up the sounds of Funk, Soul, Groove, and Breaks. He then went on to form The Sound Preservation Society Collective with a group of vinyl loving friends, playing at local events, festivals and venues including The Dolphin Dartmouth, The Cavern Club, The Lucky 7 Club and One World Cafe. After meeting Charlie Whitney, manager of Molloys Teignmouth and massive music enthusiast, Matt was also able to put on a six-week vinyl club in the popular pub through the summer, which is now in its third year.
Having collected and played records for around 20 years, Matt's ultimate dream was that of owning a record store. Nothing is certain but death and taxes; and to achieve this dream, Matt had to leave the his job for life as a Funeral Director and revel in the risk of a start-up business. After searching tirelessly for a shop, he found one by fate on the same street as Molloys pub in Teignmouth. Matt moved his humongous vinyl collection into Fore Street in spring 2019. As well as stocking vinyl gold, Matt also supports local independent record labels by selling new music on vinyl in his shop. It’s one of the few places in South Devon where bands and artist can see their music on the shelves. The big move has been better than he could have ever expected:
"Who doesn't want to get paid to listen to records all day? I thought it wouldn’t actually happen, but it has and it's great… People said it was a brave move, but I have no regrets; it's gone so much better than I anticipated. It's been embraced by the locals, shops owners, and even the deputy mayor comes in here and buys records.
- Matt Key, Owner of Sound Preservation Society Records.
Charlie and Matt have taken their joint passions to new heights. The pair came together with an idea of making a Sound Preservation Society IPA Pale Ale. Sally Molloy, the co-owner of Molloys in Torquay and Teignmouth, also owns The Railway Brewhouse in Newton Abbot where the micro-brewing company Platform 5 is found. She loved the idea of producing an exclusive Ale for the Sound Preservation Society.
"We pitched the idea to have a beer to go along with Vinyl Club and Sally was really keen. We went over for the day and got involved in making the beer. We did it all; put the malt in, put the hops in, put the yeast in, casted it and now it's on sale and is doing really really well."
- Charlie Whitney, Manager of Molloys pub
When we ask Matt how many records he owns, he honestly can’t give us an answer, his collection is now so vast. He has his favourites though and here we share his top 5 records in his collection:
No 1. The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour
Favourite track: I Am The Walrus
"The first one, which is probably one the most important one to me, is an obvious shout, it's The Beatles, and it's Magical Mystery Tour. Great album. I guess they were the first major band I got into and I've loved them ever since and very important part of my life, The Beatles. The reason I picked the Magical Mystery Tour is because of the song; I Am The Walrus."
No. 2 Incredible Bongo Band - Bongo Rock
Favourite track: Apache
"I'm known for playing these songs in my set; it's the blueprint for hip-hop. Without this album, would there be hip-hop? I'm not sure, not the way it is today. Very important record, and my favourite song on that album has to be Apache."
No. 3 Idles - Brutalism
Favourite track: Divide and Conquer
”The next album is a more recent one; Idles Brutalism. The guys have been going for years, and they're getting everything they deserve at the moment. The reason I chose this album was because I think this could be one of the greatest punk debut albums of all time, even up against Never Against the Bollocks [by the Sex Pistols]. A lot of people at the moment can relate to this band and what they're saying. They are very switched on guys. Joe, the lead singer, his mum passed away shortly before it all kicked off. So as a thank you to her, he has her ashes pressed into 100 [vinyl] copies. The music on there is amazing.”
No. 4 Beck - Mellow Gold
Favourite track: Loser
"Mellow Gold was one of the very first albums I bought back in 1994 when this came out. It's great because it's sort of Hip-hop, folk, psych', there are so many different genres on there. Every album Beck releases is a different game each time; nothing is the same.”
No. 5 Doctor John - In The Right Place
Favourite track: Right Place, Wrong Time
“So the last one is Doctor John, I'm a very big Doctor John fan. This album, In The Right Place, he did with The Meters who are like a funk band. I love this album; I love everything by Doctor John, he sort of New Orleans Jazz, funk guy. If you haven't got this album, then go out and buy it!”
And of course, he couldn’t stop at 5, here are Matt’s honourable mentions:
The Beastie Boys - Paul’s Boutique
Ocean Colour Scene - Moseley Shoals
Captain Beefheart - Strictly Personal
"To be asked what your favourite records are of all time is one of the hardest things to answer. It depends what mood you're in that day, you could ask me the same question next week, and it'll probably be a completely different answer. I've just picked the albums that have stuck with me throughout my life.
Paul's Boutique by The Beastie Boys is their second album, and it's a minefield of so many songs sampled into one masterpiece.
Next album, again, it reminds me of my early teens and I remember buying it; Moseley Shoals by Ocean Colour Scene. They were massive in the 90s.
Then the last album is by Captain Beefheart; he's one of my favourite artists of all time. I picked this album, because he's the pioneer of weird. It's a great album from start to finish.”
Sound Preservation Society Records is open from Monday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm-ish on Fore Street in Teignmouth, next door to Molloys pub. Follow them on Instagram, if they post something then it’s for sale, so drop them a message. If Matt has something you want, but you can’t make it down to the store, then he’s more than happy to send it out in the post. If you want to see The Sound Preservation Society Collective spin their records like, see their event listings on Facebook where there are plenty of gigs coming up near you: https://www.facebook.com/thesoundpreservationsociety/