Remembering DiscExchange

Jan, 2013

Ten years ago this month, I was able to tick one on my bucket list.
A cousin of mine together with a few friends pitched in. And together with our Japanese partner, we opened DiscExchange. Selling mostly pre-owned Japanese CDs and records, I felt like a 4-year old let loose in a candy bar every time I step into the store. Kaoru, our Japanese partner had that uncanny knack of bringing in CDs of then unknown artists and introducing them to the local market.
Clementine, Newtone, Jazzanova, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Dmitri From Paris, Sunaga T Experience, Flabby, Monday Michiru, Till Bronner, 4th East Horns – the list goes on.
Some of these artists are now staples at 105.1 since rvc was a regular at the store. Joey92.3 also played DEX music as I was able to introduce these artists to the station via my program Half-And-A-Quarter-Cruise.
Half and a Quarter Cruise on Joey92.3

Being an independent store, not beholden to record companies, we sold MUSIC – period!

Since my house was just beside the store, I had no problem closing late.
And it was not unusual for friends  to come in after we rolled down the shutters to the public in order to listen/audition all the way past midnight since we had DEX all to ourselves.

Alas, after a two and a half year run, we had to shut down our doors

It was great fun while it lasted.
Thru DEX, I once again touched base with old friends and made new ones.


For those regulars at the store, you might remember Tess behind the counter.
Yung kinukulit ninyo pag may pinapareserve. :)


All CDs are cleaned and passed thru a contraption to remove scratches before sale.





Mint records galore! And when I say mint, I mean MINT! Older members of WiredState can attest to this. My jap partner was OC in this regard so much so that a missing obi strip would slash down the price of the record considerably. The vinyls were in the blackest and shiniest unplayed condition.
We had six of these record racks housing over 7000 LPs, and a few thousand more albums under the racks which we rotate every 2 weeks. All LPs came with thick plastic outer sleeves . . . and some even had Nagaoka inner sleeves!

How I miss those days
bb3 (formerly DiscExchange 2003)



Some DEX tunes:
Long before the Bossa wave hit Manila, DiscExchange was dishing out songs from Bebel Gilberto, Prismatica, and Sunga T experience pushing the envelope of Bossa a notch further.


While 88.3 was bombarding our ears with their brand of bland smooth jazz, we introduced the likes of Clementine, Paradise Code (members of Workshy), and Flabby for that refreshing twist to Jazz fusion.


Yes, Radio City offered lounge music courtesy of the Irma La Douce label but they were few and far between. Over at DEX, we had Dmitri From Paris, Nicola Conte and a host of others dishing out some European eclectic lounge tunes.


Then we had our own R&B.
Not your typical Top 40 R&B but rather Neo Classic Soul or what we at DEX refer to as “Intelligent R&B”.


We patterned the choices of our Pop collection to favor more mature ears.
Flavors that crossover to Bossa, fusing with Indie, embracing a bit of R&B or even stepping into the borders of Disco are not uncommon.


On some nights, I would sneak into the store after closing hours. And with the shutters shut and volume blazing to my heart’s content, I’d have a personal musical feast.
I was John Cusack in Hi Fidelity.

I may have been in “audio-hardware-mediocre-land”,  listening to multiple Bose 301s.
But in the midst of all those records and CDs, I was in music nirvana.




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