TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE EVER GROWING VINYL MARKETPLACE, A BUSHWICK COMPANY USES OLD LPs TO CREATE CLOCKS, PHONE CASES, JEWELRY, AND OTHER ACCESSORIES
BY EVAN MONRO
Record City on Fennimore Street, Fifth Avenue’s Record Shop, and Black Gold Records on Court Street, among other small and growing borough vinyl outlets, have been thrilled to note LPs’ march towards growing market share. End of September sales, as reported by Nielsen Company, indicated that vinyl racked up a double digit percentage sales increase from year earlier figures attaining unit sales and revenues last reached in 1991. Including turntables and other accessories, vinyl is poised to become a $1 billion industry in America by the end of this year.
Patrick Chirico (seen above) felt the wave coming as far back as 2004, when he launched Wrecords by Monkey, though his concept wasn’t to track down The National’s first pressings or Bowie’s Diamond Dogs original version (withdrawn because early artwork featured a dog’s genitals, and now worth at least $3,000), but instead to use the titanic amount of used and unloved vinyl to create artwork, jewelry, and other items. While watching a friend attempt to create a bowl from a heated record, he had the notion of applying the process in more novel ways, and now, according to the company’s website, “bridges the worlds of fashion, art, and music using vinyl records to create homemade accessories for music lovers all over the world.” Combing used LP stores, flea markets, and estate sales, Chirico typically pays about 10¢ a disk, and uses thicker vinyl for items such as wall clocks and phone cases, thinner for laser cutting and the making of bracelets, earrings, and other jewelry.
Companies and labels such as Sony, Hard Rock, WEA, Bravado, and MTV have tasked Chirico to produce dedicated items, some of which have been featured at MoMA (as part of its Destination NYC exhibit) and in Vogue. And it’s not just fashion aficionados and Green point hipster street urchins taking notice; environmentalists are pleased to note that by using 90% of his discs’ material, Wrecords by Monkey helps put a dent in the landfill disposal of polyvinyl chloride the world’s third most widely produced synthetic plastic, and which doesn’t biodegrade.
Wrecords By Monkey
304 Boerum Street / 315.783.4766