Record Store Day is this Saturday and there is plenty to check out for the hardcore vinyl collector and the casual music fan. Cincinnati is home to several fantastic record stores, each different and unique in their own way. If you are looking for to check out something new, perhaps something you never even knew existed, Torn Light is the place for you.
Located in the Gaslight district of Clifton, Torn Light is home to tons of cassettes, LPs, CDs,‘zines, books, DVDs, and even VHS. Torn Light also releases experimental, noise, and industrial records that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s a great place to try something new, search for that hard to find release or just talk music.
CincyMusic sat down with owners Dan and Alex to talk about this unique record shop in a little more depth.
CincyMusic: Can you tell me a little bit on how you got your start?
Torn Light: We had both been collecting records and had traveled around the country together previously. One thing we both took away from the experience was visiting stores that were unlike the other shops in Cincinnati that were doing well. This was before the "vinyl boom", around 8 years ago now too. We wanted to see if we could do it ourselves, so after a couple years of planning, we started purchasing collections.
CM: Not only do you have an impressive selection of Vinyl and Cds for sale but you boast an incredible amount of cassettes. Possibly the best in our area. How did this come about? How popular are cassettes in today's age?
TL: We both collect cassettes, so it was initially part of what we wanted to have in our shop from the beginning. Us being into punk, metal, experimental and all underground music there are many releases that never receive a release outside of cassettes, so it only made sense for us to stock tapes as well. Cassettes are very popular, and we stock many new cassettes releases, but it's still underground music if we are stocking them.
CM: What is your favorite item in your personal collection? What is your "White Whale?"
Dan: Favorite record in my collection - Bastard "Wind of Pain" LP. My white whale is - The Stalin "Trash" LP.
Alex: Favorite record in my collection - Coil "Ape of Naples / The New Backwards" boxset. My white whale is - Tomaz Pengov "Odpotovanja" LP.
CM: What sets Torn Light apart from other record stores?
TL: We carry a lot of underground titles that aren't available at other stores, small releases cassettes, 7"s and LPs. We also distribute titles for international labels like Alchemy Records (Japan), Total Black (Germany) and Opal Tapes (UK), mostly all techno, noise, industrial music.
CM: You moved your shops location at the beginning of the year, how has the new location been for you so far?
TL: The move to Clifton has been amazing. It's the neighborhood we've always wanted to be located in from the beginning, so it's been a dream to make it happen.
CM: What's in store for Record Store Day?
TL: We don't stock RSD titles, but we have a sale on used LPs every year, and we dig hard to put out some killer stuff for our customers to find over that weekend.
CM: Anything else you would like to add?
TL: We also carry an expansive movie section and paperback books as well. Both are curated by our employees (Justin Wiese - Movies & Wil Moorhead - Paperbacks) who are lifers in each respective zone.