Reaper Records is a label that has issued releases by such bands as Terror, Merauder, and Trapped Under Ice. Based in upstate New York, Reaper is the brainchild of Patrick Kitzel, a German born music fanatic who lives and breathes punk and hardcore.
Since Patrick is a music lifer, it's only fit that he's the ideal addition to the site's Record Collector club.
How long have you been collecting records?
My first record I was handed down by my mom: Elvis' 40 Greatest. I was 8-years-old. So that makes it 32 years of collecting, technically. From the mid-'80s on I started accumulating vinyl records by getting more and more free records by neighbors and relatives. One neighbor of ours gave me Peter Tosh's Legalize It and that got me into reggae. In 1989, I started buying punk and hardcore records, and that really kicked the whole collecting into high gear.
Since you run a record label, I imagine that gives you some kind of advantage when it comes to collecting and trading. Where else do you find your records?
I think my biggest advantage would be generally related to the hardcore scene and lifelong friends, which most of them are music fans, even if not all are collectors. That always brings new music to the table and new projects to collect. I haven’t actually traded records since Discogs popped up. Why give something away for something I can very likely track down there. I love used record stores. Nothing better than rolling into a random city or town and finding a cool record store with a used vinyl section. Better than sex [laughs].
Maybe the biggest advantage about having a record label is that every time I get a record in the mail, thats a free mailer I can use to send my mailorders out in [laughs]. If you ever bought them, you know they ain't cheap [laughs].
What is the most you paid for a single album, where/how did you obtain it, and what was it?
That would be Bob Marley's Selassie Is the Chapel 45. There was only a few hundred pressed on blank label wax and hand delivered by Marley to Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie shortly before being elected into office. This is by far one of my top 10 songs of all time. I obviously can’t buy the whole Selassie idea [laughs], but over the decades of my love for reggae I learned to get over that part [laughs]. Anyways, it's such a great tune. Marley killed it on that song.
What is your most prized record and why?
As I mentioned earlier, my very first record I owned was Elvis' 40 Greatest which my mom gave me. You see in the picture that she wrote with ballpoint pen on the cover sleeve the day he died, on the day he died. I must have been maybe 8-years-old and I was hooked. This record was the start. Not only with a lifelong obsession with Elvis from the early days till up to the mid to late '60s, but for music in general. You can find this specific one for under 10 bucks all the time in used bins so it's not a monetary thing, obviously.
Is there anything that frustrates you about the current record collecting scene?
I am gonna go on a limb here and risk sounding like a dick, but to me people that own every Judge record and the rest is 232,312 gigs of mp3s dont get much respect from me in terms of record collecting. It's great you spend every penny on five records. Congrats. Every time I see those kinda deals coming through my Instagram feed I chuckle and text Mike De Lorenzo and talk shit [laughs]. In all seriousness, though, obviously record collecting means something different to everyone, and thats fine. So dont get your panties in a bunch if you read this and feel like Iam talking about you [laughs].
Which albums are still on your want list that you've had a tough time tracking down through the years?
There is tons of old rocksteady 45s and rare Bob Marley 45s I am always looking out for. I should get my shit together and wrap up my Mistfits and Minor Threat 7” collection. Other than that, there isn’t too much I'm looking for. I always find myself still finding records in stores that I give a listen cause it's a cool record cover and next thing you know I'm tracking down the band's catalog. I recently started collecting Ramones 45s, so thats on the list as well.
If you had to pick one Reaper Records release that has your favorite vinyl packaging, which one would it be and why?
Thats a tough one. One that comes to mind right away is the Terror K.O.T.F. 7”. Its a perfect hardcore layout with cool artwork, live pictures, hand written lyrics, etc.
Shout out to the RockStore and PowerRecords in Essen, Germany for being the first store to supply me with the goods every two weeks growing up.
Head to Reaper Records' website to see what the label has cooking.
Tagged: record collector