Made For Bulleit, January 2016
One of Brooklyn’s best worst kept secrets, this gem of a record store is made for seekers, music lovers and those addicted to the thrill of the vinyl chase.
It takes a certain type of hunter to commit to a life of crate digging – dusty fingers, high-risk of disappointment, deep spirals of obsession – and then there’s the whole moving house with boxes and boxes of vinyl (actually the worst). But that hits a new level when you make the decision to give up your day job for the cause. Well, for Black Gold Record’s co-owner, Jeff Ogiba, he did exactly that. Why? He says it’s because he wanted control over his own time (cue: Empire Records “damn the man, save the empire” reference), I say, like any natural-born-seeker, it’s passion, mixed with a heavy dash of insanity.
“We’ve gone out to chase down record collections and have ended up in pretty dangerous situations,” Ogiba says, casually, while, sitting in the window of his small Brooklyn store, which also sells antiques and a mean iced coffee. “Definitely, you get the itch. You get the ‘record guy need to know more’ thing when you hear about a group of records in a garage or a basement or an attic somewhere. And you lose all rational thought when you really, really want to go after something like that.” Ogiba goes on to describe several scenarios, from being threatened, to dicey and dangerous situations and uh, interesting “offers of tender”; all great lengths he has gone to for the golden ticket, i.e a collection better than the last. You get the idea… You see, that’s the thing about this particular medium of music, it’s highly personal, highly collectable and sometimes extremely rare. One really has to love the thrill of the chase to be in the game.
What Ogiba and his business partner have built here in Brooklyn is basically a mecca for hardcore music lovers, an addiction enabler, if you will. It’s a store made for pursuing, for unearthing something never heard before – the records here aren’t your usual run-of-the-mill classics. Sure, the occasional Beach Boys Pet Sounds record and Fleetwood Mac Rumours LP will come in, but the majority of the sleeves within Black Gold Records promise to be the best band you’ve never heard of. This is a store built on trust, with Ogiba at the helm – and that’s what makes is just so. Damn. Exciting. “Every once in a while I might be a little hesitant to put a certain record out for somebody if I don’t have it [at home], says Ogiba. “But I’m over it. You know? I get more excitement out of knowing that someone else can find it and enjoy it. I know once you open your doors to something like the record world, you let it go and it comes back. You don’t really own it anyway. It’s just this cycle that you got to stay surprised and excited about.”
Made For was a branded content series for Bulleit Bourbon. Photography by Katrina Parker, video directed by David Child.