Oliver Wang (Author, Heat Rocks Podcast, NPR) joins us from California for our first-ever remote interview. Oliver initially sent us three songs (including Fela Kuti’s “Water No Get Enemy” and Bobby Reed’s “The Time Is Right For Love”) but ultimately settled on “Nadie Baila Como Yo” by Bobby Matos. (“Nadie Baila Como Yo” translates to “Nobody dances like me.” )
Oliver tells us how he got into boogaloo music and how Vinny Esparza and Cool Chris Veltri at the Groove Merchant in San Francisco clued Oliver into Matos’ album My Latin Soul.
Oliver admits that he came to this song late, despite the fact he discovered the track from the Boogaloo Assassins – an LA Boogaloo band that plays NY-style Afro-Cuban music. He had never bothered to check out Track B2…but then realized it’s the first track on the album. Whoops!
We also talk to Oliver about how he reviews, digitizes, and catalogs his extensive vinyl collection. His process includes needle jumping to scan the album and a dot voting system to mark the tracks he loves. We also talk about how some people say “vinyl sounds better” and honestly, we can’t tell the difference.
We discuss how music streaming puts thousands of songs at our fingertips, so why buy vinyl? Vinyl has tangibility: Canvas for the art, liner notes, fonts, photos of the artists, etc. There’s something about seeing records on the street – stopping and checking those out. With streaming, you don’t get those visuals.
Pat tells Oliver about Zammuto’s album Scratch Edition which asks you to scratch beats into the locked groove, something that kinda breaks Oliver’s heart.
Finally, Oliver tells us about how the young Bobby Matos perceived his first record.