On Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19, the Mega Record & CD Fair will take place at the Jaarbeurs congress center Utrecht. At this fair, which is being held for the 53rd time, music lovers and vinyl collectors from all over the world come together to buy records, attend book presentations, see live performances and visit exhibitions. Ben Merlis (USA) presents his latest book Goin’ Off the story of the Juice Crew in which he describes the birth of Hip-Hop with a photo expo of these artists. Manuel Decker exhibits his extensive collection of Tintin and other cartoon heroes on vinyl. There are record launches and Meet & Greet with Kristoffer Gildenlöw among others. There is an auction of rare vinyl by Omega Auctions, the Three Imaginary Boys present their Popquiz on Sunday and many DJs will demonstrate all different styles of playing vinyl.
As Hip-Hop first exploded throughout New York City’s boroughs and surrounding towns, a new generation was emerging-the first to be raised in the genre. At the centre of it all was a collective known as the Juice Crew, led by the charismatic radio personality Mr. Magic, whose Rap Attack was the first program of its kind on a commercial station. His DJ/engineer Marley Marl pioneered production techniques that defined the golden era of Hip-Hop and formed the basis of Cold Chillin’ Records, which was founded in 1986 by Len Fichtelberg and Tyrone Williams. Goin’ Off chronicles the rise and fall of Cold Chillin’ and its partnership with Warner Bros. Records. It follows the careers of the label’s recording artists through first-hand accounts of industry players, producers, MC’s and DJ’s: Roxanne Shanté was a fourteen year-old battle rapper who spanned the diss record; MC Shan engaged in a legendary cross-borough feud with KRS-One; Kool G Rap was a foundational participant in what the media dubbed "gangsta-rap"; Big Daddy Kane’s quick-witted lyricism changed the way people rhyme; the collegiate Masta Ace sought to uplift his community during the height of the crack epidemic; The Genius (aka GZA) co-founded the rap dynasty Wu Tang Clan; and the enigmatic Biz Markie had the world singing along to his hit anthem "Just a Friend". Plagued by corporate censorship and a landmark sample-related lawsuit in the 1990’s, Cold Chillin’ folded, leaving behind a legacy shrouded in controversy and a catalog that influenced multiple generations of rap artists.
Ben Merlis is a native of Los Angeles, where he was raised on oldies, Hip-Hop, and punk, in that order. He currently writes for uDiscover Music and works in public relations for Experience Hendrix, ABKCO, ZZ Top, and many others.
The first 25 people that buy Ben's book on both days, can take a free print. First come, first served. Buyers will have first choice of the prints made by George DuBose that will be taped to the wall behind Ben's stand.
The French collector Manuel Decker has been collecting vinyl records all his life. He has published several books in which thematic LP covers are depicted. He published his book Disques du Bande Dessinée in 2009 and contributed to the book Cars on Vinyl by Jacques Petit. The last one contains over 300 covers with a classic car prominently in the foreground. At the end of last year, Manuel published the French reference work Tintin & Les Vinyles. In this book you will find his complete Tintin on vinyl collection.
For the exhibition at the fair, Manuel has supplemented his Tintin collection with some other comic heroes. Think of vinyl LPs from and with Superman, Batman, Spiderman etc. His book Tintin & Les Vinyles is also available at the exhibition and Manuel Decker is personally present for text and explanation. All this near the terrace in hall 12.
Kristoffer Gildenlöw is besides known as bass player in the progressive rock/hard rock/metal scene also known as a solo artist and a multi-instrumentalist. He has recorded and toured with a number of great bands and artists over the past 25 years, including Pain of Salvation, Neal Morse, Kayak, For All We Know, Damian Wilson, Mr Fastfinger, Bert Heerink and many more. Kristoffer is currently in the line-up of Dutch (prog)rock legends Kayak, while also working on his solo career. 2020 will see the release of two new solo albums together with a handful of releases from other bands where he records bass as a session bass-player. At the fair Kristoffer will launch his third solo album Homebound after his first two: Rust and The Rain.
The Netherlands has been a leader in dance music for years, and DJs in particular play a leading role worldwide. Every year, Dutch DJs get high marks in the election of best DJ of the year. Nowadays they are indispensable in the current music landscape and are even more regarded as pop stars. You used to take music lessons to play an instrument, now you can take lessons to become a professional DJ. There are many forms and devices to run. Nowadays there are "digital" sets where you can work with MP3s or videos but vinyl never lost its power thanks to the audio quality. In recent years there has been the umpteenth advance in playing vinyl, something that entails other rules than operating a computer (the so called DJ Controllers). For the interested and enthusiasts, a "Vinylized" stage has been created at the fair, where the "Art of DJ-ing" is highlighted. Expect creative sets with various genres: Jazz, Reggae, Hiphop, R&B, Soul, Funk, Boogie and Disco. Here the music is presented in a "modern" and "old-fashioned" way. The top in the field of "turntablism" of our country is present. These use the turntable as a musical instrument and show the technical side of the profession (think of Scratching). These DJs can often be heard as support for artists or play in bands, orchestras or in the theater. For the connoisseur it is a pleasure to listen to and impressive to see how they work.
Recordplanet has invited a group of professionals who beside demonstrate all different styles during both days also are ready for any questions. This will be the place where DJs and enthusiasts can meet and network, just how it used to be in record stores.
The following artists can be seen and heard in the stand between hall 11 and 12: Ser-V, DNS, Sueside, Fullscale, Mainstreet, PP Groenveld, Greg D, Setiono, Yodaw, Phatcase, Sebastian Floris, Maurice Julienne, Portable Scratch Society.
Book cover: Goin’ Off by Ben Merlis
Big Daddy Kane, The Genius
© George Dubose
Big Daddy Kane, The Genius
© George Dubose
Book cover ”Tintin Les Vinyles” by manuel Decker
Tintin & Les Vinyles” by manuel Decker
LP presentation: Kristoffer Gildenlöw