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The Story Of Slow Burn Records

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Inside of a music store


A Record Store

The first Velvet Underground record sold only 30,000 copies worldwide. In response to this, Brian Eno famously said “Yeah, but every one of the people who bought one started a band you listen to today.” You see, records aren’t just analog recordings pressed into vinyl. They’re not even music. A record can be an earthquake. A call to arms. A round house kick to the heart. A therapist. A time machine. And as Brian Eno so perfectly put it, a record can be the reason you do what you do.

A record has the power to change the pace of life. To alter how we approach it. And here’s the best part, the more you listen the more you get. The slower you listen to an album, the more you take it in, the more you get out of it. That’s what we call the Slow Burn. It’s why we opened a record store named that too. Because we wanted to honor those who inspire us to listen and think differently. Take a beat. And soak it all in. So whether you’re breezing through town, or a local looking for a deep cut. If you’re in Whitefish, Montana we’ll be here taking it easy with all your favorite pals. From Jack Scott to Travis Scott.

Come slow down with us, at the Slow Burn

The More You Listen The More You Get

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Know The Speciality

We traveled to Austin, TX in May of 2023 to partake in the Austin Record Convention. With 300+ vendors from all over the U.S.A. and Europe spread out over 40,000 square feet of floor space, we hoped to find something special to stand out in our shop floor. We weren’t determined to find multiple copies of The Beatles’ Yesterday & Today with the infamous Butcher Shop Cover. Nor were we specifically searching for first pressings of Prince’s The Black Album. We were hoping to find records that had a little curb appeal to our customers. Records that made them pause and want to ask questions. Pieces of music history that those traveling in and out of Whitefish, MT would deem worthy of adding to their home collections. What we stumbled across hit all those boxes, Japanese pressings! Japanese pressings have their own space among collectible records. And for good reason. They offer aesthetic differences that make the records’ jackets pop. And they are renowned for their sound quality.

Artist Album in store stand.

The strip containing Japanese kanji down the left-hand side of the record jacket is called an Obi. It translates to “sash or belt,” in Japanese. The “Obigami” strip is the famed method used to communicate to Japanese music buyers of the record’s contents, track-listings, pricing, etc. To the American or European purchaser, the Obi strips just looks rad and totally differentiates the pressing from others they’ve seen before.

Besides the Obi, what makes these records stand out to collectors across the globe is their outstanding sound quality. Japanese manufacturers use an extremely high-quality, virgin, audiophile-grade vinyl. In lots of instances, record manufacturers opt to use recycled vinyl. It’s good for the environment, it helps to reduce cost, so there are some positives there. But to a true audiophile, or one with a hi-fi system, recycled vinyl is held in lower regard than that of what is used in Japan. The second contributing factor in the outstanding sound quality of these pressings is the fact that they are pressed in very small batches compared to their American and European counterparts. Conventionally, vinyl records are produced by pressing a metal master disc or stamper into the blank, vinyl record. This creates the grooves that your stylus later reads to produce sound through your system. When a manufacturer uses this same master disc to cut into tens or even hundreds of thousands of records, the master disc degrades over time. Due to this degradation the grooves in the records become less and less precise, or further away from their true intent, as the pressings continue. When manufacturers, such as those in Japan, press substantially smaller batches, this is not an issue. So your record’s grooves are guaranteed to be extremely precise and to meet the intention of the sound recorded by your favorite artists.

We hope to have explained why record geeks around the world hold Japanese pressings in such high regard. And why we’ve chosen to specialize in them here at Slow Burn Records. Enjoy shopping our stash of these pristine collectibles and happy spinning!