In the Mirrorball shop in Thomas-Mann-Straße, records cost up to 250 euros. Bonn’s Ravindra Murti and Roger Specht have opened their own record business.
Wherever the visitor looks, they will see records everywhere: on the wall, on shelves and in special boxes. The interior of the Mirrorball record shop is simple and exudes a certain elegance: “People want to rummage around,” says Ravindra Murti looking at the well-filled boxes.
Murti, who runs the shop with Roger Specht, currently has around 5,000 records for sale. “As time went by, the number of records grew. The record is celebrating a revival, so after more than 30 years the LP is coming back”, says Murti. For him, the advantages are obvious: Not only the tactile feel of the records, but also their sound is unique. “Nowadays, when I pick up a CD, I need glasses to be able to read everything as it’s so small. It’s different with LPs,” says Roger Specht. He also refers to the fact that some of the LP packages are miniature works of art: Elaborate photographs, drawings or collages adorn most record covers.
A passer-by stops and looks into the shop, which also draws the gaze inwards from the outside because the atmospheric lighting is visible from the street. The middle-aged woman enters the shop. In his relaxed manner, the Mirrorball boss Murti calls out a loud “Hi”. The woman has her own record collection and now wants to sell it and she asks Murti if he is interested. Murti is immediately excited and specifically asks about the records. When he hears that it’s mainly Brazilian music, his face breaks into a smile and he hands over his business card to the lady with the word “wow”. In Mirrorball, music lovers will find records of all types of music and also in all price categories. You can pick up a record by the Evergreens for six euros, but also records for real collectors, who sometimes have to fork out up to 250 euros for a rarity.
Murti and Specht opened their store in May 2018 in Thomas-Mann-Strasse in Bonn’s city centre. “We were in the right place at the right time for this shop, and we were very lucky,” Murti says. It was definitely the “best decision of his life”. Both firmly believe in their business and have calculated everything exactly. “The first years of self-employment are always a bit tough, but that all settles down over time,” Murti is convinced. In a “cloak and dagger operation” they would then otherwise have had to set up their shop and over time established increasingly more contacts with record distributors. Therefore, Ravindra Murti always checks what the distributors have on offer on his laptop and then orders. “It is a good time for music in Bonn,” he says, “there's a lot on offer. Who would have thought, for example, that in May 2020 Kraftwerk would play on the Hofgartenwiese?” In addition, love of analogue technology is gradually returning. According to record seller Murti, if you put a record on your record-player at home, it is something completely different than simply downloading music via your smartphone.
For real record nerds, the two music fans have a special record-washing machine. In the future, customers will also be able to purchase turntables. In the shop, they can listen to the records on two record players. The two businessmen hardly advertise at all. “We have no website and are only visible on Facebook. That has been enough so far,” says Ravindra Murti. Many customers come by word of mouth: word gets around quickly among music lovers where there is rare and special music.
(Original text; Maximilian Mühlens, translation John Chandler)