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Asia Digging & Finds - Bangkok, Hong Kong, Manila

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  • Asia Digging & Finds - Bangkok, Hong Kong, Manila

    (I started a new thread for this rather than adding it to the existing finds post to make it easier to search for if people want info on these cities in the future. Mods, please merge if you would rather keep the finds threads together.)

    Just back from a Summer in Asia taking in Bangkok, Manila and Hong Kong.

    As well as doing plenty of diving with the best being on the island of Malapascua in the Philippines resulting in my first and hopefully not last encounter with Thresher sharks, I managed to go digging in three of Asia's largest cities.

    Bangkok is a city that I know reasonably well and have been digging in a few times before. I had found this article from CNN really useful on my last visit to the city but the info now needs updating.

    Zud Rang Ma Records details are still as per the website. They are the worlds leading authorities on Luk Thung (Thai Funk!) The owners are super helpful and were happy to pull out tons of 45's for me to plough through. Only ended up buying one though. If I'm being honest I just find the vocals a bit grating in most cases and there are are very few instrumental tracks. Having said that the shop is well worth a visit and very easy to find.

    Vinyllica is also still in the same place. The selection is probably the largest in Bangkok, most of it though is middle of the road rock and pop. There are though always a few gems to be found. The owner is incredibly unsociable, could be that his English is poor but unlikely. There are also a few other stores in the same mall and on the same floor as Vinyllca that are worth a look (see pics.)

    Never been to PS Audio so can't comment on that one.

    Record Hunter and Mini Thea are both gone. Mini Thea has apparently moved close to Chattachak Market but I couldn't find an address.

    Image is reissues only and are more expensive than they are in Europe.

    Was at a record fair local to me a month or two before my trip and bumped into a Thai husband and wife buying records for their store back home. I took their card with the intention of visiting them this trip. They are located in a mall called Pan Tip Plaza 2. Pan Tip Plaza 1 has been around for years and is the go to place in Thailand to buy anything electrical. Number 2 is a little more out of the way and requires a ride to the end of the metro line before taking a taxi for the remainder of the journey.

    When you get there head to the fifth floor where you'll find loads of sellers selling second hand goods. In amongst these you'll find at least half a dozen places selling vinyl. I easily spent a few hours here going through the various stores. Didn't end up buying much but it was still worth the effort for the experience.

    Next stop was Manila.

    I had made contact with a local digger (Arbie) via Waxidermy who not only had an excellent shop where the majority of my purchases were made but also took the time to take me to an excellent locals only spot for lunch and then got one of his friends to escort me around Manila to see the other spots. Got a say a big thank you for being such an excellent host!

    To be honest, everyone that I spoke to prior to my visit and actually most reports I read on the web said spend as little time as possible in Manila due to the beggars, crime, traffic,
    pollution, etc. Despite all of this negativity I tried to keep an open mind and have to say that I really enjoyed the city. I will definitely be visiting the Philippines again as there are a ton of dive sites I want to check out and next time I'll definitely timetable more than a day for the capital. However, be warned, the traffic is horrendous!!

    Easily the best place to buy vinyl in the city is Arbie's spot "Tres Kuleros." Not only did he have some excellent US vinyl in the store at very reasonable prices but he also was able to point me in the direction of some excellent local soul jazz and funk.

    The other spots are a little difficult to give directions to as the rest of the day was spent jumping in taxis and zig zagging across town. The majority of other spots were located in the same area, see pics of the Vinyl Dump, etc. I'm sure Arbie can give you directions.

    Me with the Thriller in Manila!!!

    My final port of call, for digging at least, was Hong Kong. I had done some research on the net prior to my arrival and had also been in touch with Kenny on Soulstrut who gave me some really helpful pointers. My first point of call was Central where there are three or four stores close to each other. Most places tend to be on either he second or third floor of shops or in malls so look for signs by the main front doors directing you up to the appropriate floors.

    Address: 2/F, 11 Queen Victoria Street, Central

    Address: Room 201, Won Hing Building, 74-78 Stanley Street, Central

    Walls of Sound
    Address: 3/F, 38 Cochrane Street, Central

    Quite a few stores in Kowloon to which were pretty easy to locate:

    The Beat Records
    Address: Ground Floor & The Cockloft, 53 Tung Choi St, Mong Kok

    (This place has boxes of sealed originals. Bought a couple of bits here. This could be really interesting on the right day!)

    Hang Sing Records
    Address: Shop 601, Sino Centre, 582-592 Nathan Road

    (There were quite a few places on the bottom floor of this mall selling vinyl, CDs and comics. I didn't find anything the day I was there but again on the right day could be promising. There was also a cool store on the 13th floor of this building. Got the Scott Walker from here for a few pounds.)

    Sham Sui Po
    Take the MTR to here, get out at exit A2 or C2, walk up and down the market stalls and shops, there's lots of electrical equipment, often at good prices and you can also get DJ equipment here too. Two or three of the shops also have a selection of second-hand records
    When in the area the must visit place in my opinion is Paul's spot. The records are located in his house which doubles as his shop. His prices were very reasonable, he was happy to let me needle drop tons of stuff. Great guy! The place looks a little overwhelming and disorganised but Paul seems to know exactly what boxes contain what!

    Ah Paul
    Address: 5/F, Welcome Mansion, 38 Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po

    Thanks again to Kenny for the tips and pointers!

    If anyone would like specifics on any of these cities feel free to get in touch!


    This first lot were found in Bangkok and Hong Kong.

    Yasuko Love Bird – Sunglow – Jap jazz vocals. Jap jazz was one thing I never came across cheap in any of the three cities I dug in. Stuff on Three Blind Mice for example, if I was lucky enough to find it, was always way more expensive than online. Left a few bits behind I would have been keen to add to the collection! Great version of Skindo Le Le on this LP that I first heard on a French bossa jazz compilation that I picked up in Paris around twenty years ago!

    Lalo Schifrin & Jerry Fielding – Sudden Impact – Well-known compilation of tracks from the Dirty Harry films. My favourite, apart from the main theme, being Scorpio.

    Jean Jacques Perrey – The Amazing New Electronic Pop Sound of – Still sealed copy. I imagine it’s going to contain the usual crazy moogy sounds of his other LP’s he recorded. Hopefully there will be something on it to rival EVA. (Seriously doubt it though!)

    Scott Walker – Scott 3 – Only recently discovered the magic of Scott Walker having picked up a couple of copies of Scott 4. Was happy to find Scott 3 for just a few pounds. Hopefully it will be as good as 4!

    Horror World – Compilation of themes from mainstream to relatively obscure 80’s horror movies.
    Features themes from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Shadow, Inseminoid, Zombie and Cannibal Apocalypse.

    Tony & the Polar Bear Five – Singapore group (I think) influenced by The Shadows playing groovy surf go-go instrumentals.

    The Chaquito Big Band – Spies and Dolls – This classic UK LP is not an easy one, in my experience, to turn up on home shores. I was very surprised therefore, to find it in a store in HK. John Gregory is off course the man behind this cover LP. His version of Tibbs is classic Loungecore!

    Francis Monkman – The Long Good Friday Soundtrack – Classic British Gangster movie with Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren. All brooding 80’s synth action.

    Angel, Angel Down We Go – 60’s psych sitar biker exploitation soundtrack. No idea what the movie is like but the soundtrack is one of the best biker soundtracks that I’ve heard.
    The title track is amazing! Apparently it’s on 45 too!

    Plern Promdan – Koy Yung Mai Por – My lone Thai funk purchase. Plern is a legend on the Luk Thung scene.

    Perry Martin – Pussy – Saw this LP in collectibles in Central Hong Kong. Knew I’d seen it somewhere before, but couldn’t quite work out where. Left it and went back to my hotel to do a little googling. Turns out it was Kinetic on Soulstrut who mentioned it in 2007.
    There is little info beyond this on the web.
    Found a clip to a different track to the one Kinetic highlighted which is a nice folky number which reminds me a little of Ned Doheny.

    7-A-Side - Super Dancing Hits – According to Paul this is an LP released to promote 7 Up in Hong Kong in the 70’s where there was, like the rest of the world, a huge buzz around disco. There are some great funky covers on here which don’t verge too far into disco for me! One was recently sold by Young Einstein on Soulstrut.

    Yiu Soa Yung – Love is Forever – Yiu was apparently one of the best singers to emerge from Hong Kong in the 60’s. For me her voice takes a little to get used to but the backing tracks to some of these is so good that it balances out for me.

    Festival of Hong Kong – Love the cover on this one. Has a couple of western styled funky backed tracks. Not idea about the artists on here, but the tracks are in English. The LP was apparently released to raise the profile of the city and to entice business to the area.

    Fantastics – ST – Another local band who jumped on the disco funk bandwagon. Seems to be all covers including War’s Lowrider and Jethro Tull’s Living in the Past.

    ????? – No idea about this last LP. The cover is again fantastic. A variety of styles on here. A couple of soul based numbers and a little bit of psych.

    The New Topnotes – Here Comes Love / ST / ST – These guys were the leading lights in the HK disco scene although I think they are originally from Singapore. The quality of the musicianship on these is excellent. The LP’s are mainly covers inc Walking in Rhythm, Cut the Cake, etc. Think I’m missing their first LP which I’d be keen to get hold of if anyone is holding a copy.

    The Buckeye Politicians – ST – Got pretty excited when I pulled this LP out of a box as I thought it was the West Coast Revival LP due to the similar covers. The name of these guys rang a bell and for a few dollars I wasn’t going to leave it gehind. On first listen I’m very pleased I didn’t as it’s a great soul funk LP.
    Bit of info on them here on their Wiki page.

    The Stylers – 36 Great Hits – The Stylers were also from Singapore (I believe.) Like Tony & the Polar Bears, the band appear to be very Shadows influenced with their LP’s split into sections covering different styles. The Soul section contains a great cover of Venus.

    Carman Moore & Isaiah Jackson - Four Movements for a Fashionable Five-toed Dragon – I again recognised the cover to this LP from somewhere in the depths of my memory. The music on here was to accompany a fashion show and was commissioned by the HK Trade Development Council. The band features Sam Rivers, Richard Davis, etc. The music is a mix of avant jazz but nothing too way out!

    Various HK artists – This LP was released in 1980 and apparently contains artists that recorded during the 60’s. This LP brings together rare singles recorded by artists who were apparently entertaining troops around SE Asia. Bands include The Mystics, Joe Jr and the Side Effects, Teddy Robin & the Playboys. There is a cool soul funk number on here and one that is psych (ish!)

    Bobby Paunetto – Commit to Memory – Great latin LP out of NYC and a long term want found for cheap. There is some cool background to the artist on the WaxPoetics site:
    The whole LP is a great listen! All killer, no filler!

    The Brothers – He Will be There – I first heard the track “Do What the Lord Say Do” on a VV swap CD. It took me a while to track down a copy of the LP on the net. I was very surprised to find a copy, all be it with a water damaged sleeve, in the dollar bins in Manila. I’m by no means a Gospel expert but this track is one of the best that I’ve heard in this genre.

    Kelle Paterson – Kelle – I was also very surprised to find a sealed original Pilipino copy of this Kelle Paterson LP. A little goggling reveals a few sealed copies have gone through EBay over the years so quantity of this must have turned up at some point. My favourite tracks on this great LP are the covers “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More” and ”Mister Magic.” The whole LP is great though!

    Joe Cruz and the Cruzettes – ST – Was really pleased to pick up some local funk and jazz and this one was on my mental want list. It appears that the band were the house band at the Hyatt Regency in Manila. They play some cool covers of classic tracks and some more obscure selections too. Black Widow is a great latin funk track. I’m not sure if this is an original or cover? I’d be interested to hear whether their other LP’s are as good?

    Blackbuster – Disco funk band from the Philippines. These guys have a few LP’s that I saw around town. To my ears though this seemed to be the strongest.

    Roberto Carlos – O Intimival – Every LP I have by this guy has at least one great funk track. This LP is no exception. Não há dinheiro no mundo que pague is the standout track. I’ve definitely heard this track somewhere before so it may well have been comped?

    The Latin Souls – Boo-Ga-Loo & Shing-a-Ling – Another great latin LP that‘s been on my radar for a while. Not sure who the Latin Souls are but they can play!

    Ju-Par Universal Orchestra – Moods and Grooves – Found this at the Vinyl Dump. Well known LP containing great cuts like Mocha Velvet and Flute Salad.

    Aldamaro Romero and his Onda Nueva – ST – Not sure where these guys are from? I have another LP of theirs with them looking suitably hip playing sitars and bongos. Their sound reminds me a little of The Free Design which is no bad thing! It appears that the LP I found which is a US co[y comes in a much cooler sleeve from Latin America!

    Bits n’ Pieces – Only the Beginning. Grail!!
    Arbie told me that this is the first time he’s found a spare of this LP. I was pretty sure that I’d seen the cover before, possibly on the Soulsides link below. It appears that the band is a hotel band performing nightly at Rino’s! The LP contains 7 tracks, all covers. Sparkling in the Sand, Love is Life, Music Maker, I Think About Loving You, Tanga Boo Gonk, Poem For the People and Dear Mr Fantasy. The covers are fantastic including tracks originally by The Niteliners, Tower of Power, etc.
    Seems there is a 45 of Dynamite to hunt down next!
    Check out the video charting the history of the band.


    Helen Gamboa – Grind, Grind + Do the Popcorn – A little research seems to suggest that Helen Gamboa is a major star in the Philippines. Originally an actress (I think) she also recorded various 45’s, many highlighting dance crazes of the times.
    Do the Popcorn can be heard here:

    Weldon Irvine – Jungle Juice / Yasmin – Great funky jazz 45. An alternative version to the one found on the Spirit Man LP.

    (Not pictured)

    The Mystic Crash – Love-in Kind / To Kathleen – Sunshine pop 45 from 1967.

    Jesus Christ Superstar 45 – Not seen this 45 before with Murray Head, Yvonne Elliman and Ian Gillan.

  • #2
    Fantastic report Mark, looks like you had a lot of fun!
    some times play g+ with back noise,some times vg , super psyché juju lpfront sleeve is very nice vg back vg , but the top corne left is eating buy rats, ask for picture


    • #3
      Super stuff Mark - thanks for that ... looks like fun !!
      Banned (DJ Anchovy)


      • #4
        Great stuff there Mark mate, thanks for sharing...I've never managed to turn up that 'Spies and dolls' for me it's one of the trickier VV records!
        "Hangin' out with you two is like partying with Fugazi"


        • #5
          you can have mine Craig - next time I see it i'll pull it out for you mate
          Banned (DJ Anchovy)


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sie-Fly View Post
            you can have mine Craig - next time I see it i'll pull it out for you mate
            Fantastic Sie mate....I keep seeing the other LP that looks like this, get excited then realise it's the wrong one!
            "Hangin' out with you two is like partying with Fugazi"


            • #7
              Originally posted by llmod1 View Post

              Aldamaro Romero and his Onda Nueva – ST – Not sure where these guys are from? I have another LP of theirs with them looking suitably hip playing sitars and bongos. Their sound reminds me a little of The Free Design which is no bad thing! It appears that the LP I found which is a US co[y comes in a much cooler sleeve from Latin America!
              They're from Venezuela... there's a rather good Charlie Byrd / Aldemaro Romero album with some sleeve note background.


              • #8
                Good stuff Mark. Nice comprehensive info and great looking finds.
                "Don't get involved in the f**kin' chat pages. It's just full of arseholes talkin' sh*te non-stop"


                • #9
                  I've been to that Bangkok mall too. Well worth the effort. I remember asking for a few specific 45s when suddenly three or four shopping carts full of beercrates with 45s in them arrived. I was allowed to look throught them but gave up after a while. no picture sleeves and the language barrier made this really tough. The owners where really nice though. I asked for that Iron Man cover and not only did they know it they started singing it for me. lovely place. I want to go back.
                  All the Wolpertingers