GLASGOW and KOREA: Where's all the music gone?

You may remember a couple of months back I reported from the huge record shops I found in the Yongsan Electronics Market in Seoul, Korea.

Well, this just in from a Scottish reader, and it may explain how all those empty bins are being filled.

Donald Mackinnon writes that:

"I read your piece about LPs in Seoul with mixed feelings.

"A few months ago, I went into my favourite secondhand record (ie LP) shop in Glasgow, looking forward to a happy hour or so of browsing, only to find the shelves in the classical room completely empty. In alarm, I asked the owner if he was abandoning classical LPs.

"No, he assured me, it was just that a Korean gentleman had been in the shop a few days before, and had bought up literally everything, without even a cursory look at what he was buying. The shopkeeper described it apologetically as an offer he couldn't refuse.

"I know we live in the global economy, but I was saddened by this. I am happy to visit websites all over the world (and thank you for the Korean website address you printed), but I hope they aren't going to drive local shops out of business."

It seems there are South Korean record dealers out there, travelling the world and buying up LPs in bulk, to keep shops like this supplied. So if your local secondhand music store suddenly looks like a giant Hoover has hit it, now you know why.

Mind you, given how inexpensively the records seem to sell once they get to Korea, and the reasonable exchange rate of the Korean Won against Sterling - though even this has changed a bit since I was there back at the beginning of December -, LP bargain-hunters should probably start planning their holidays now...

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.