“I used to DJ at an ice rink in 1988 and people used to come up and ask me where I got a certain tune from,” says Jason Kirby, co-owner and founder of online record store Hard To Find. “Back then, house music was nowhere near as commercial as it is now, and there was a demand for those records. You couldn’t get them easily in UK record shops. That’s why I started Hard To Find.”
In 2011, Birmingham-based Hard To Find celebrated 20 years of trading. What started out as a mail-order company, from Jason’s bedroom, has now expanded into an online music outlet where you can buy records, CDs, DJing equipment and even guitars.
“But, mainly, we’re still doing now what we did in the beginning,” says Jason. “We’re supplying collectible, rare, sought-after vinyl records.”
Hard To Find currently holds around 1.7 million records in stock. They sell around 10,000 records a week and they still sell more vinyl than CDs. With about 150,000 unique visitors to the site each week, it’s no surprise they’ve resisted the urge to jump on the download bandwagon.
“We’ve stuck to our roots and I think that’s why most of the people that buy things from our site are pure connoisseurs of music,” opines Jason.
“Hard To Find customers know what they’re buying and what’s good. Anyone can go to an online store and look at the top 20 charts, but if you’re into vinyl, you have to be a bit more passionate. That’s where we come in, cos we’re extremely passionate about what we sell. We do new and second-hand vinyl and we still buy second-hand record collections.”
Hard To Find’s best-selling 12” single to date is Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’. The best-selling album is Prodigy’s ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’. It’s quality through-and-through with Hard To Find. If that’s what you’re looking for, the search is over.
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The Other Nominees
|Idle Hands, Bristol||Rubadub, Glasgow||Sounds Of The Universe, London||Juno (Online)|