Ryan Romana of Press Junkie PR, The TVD First Date & Vinyl Giveaway

“I first experienced my passion for vinyl when I went through my dad’s record collection of pop songs in the ’80s in our basement turned disco, where my parents would entertain.”

“I remember flipping through 45s of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, and The Police. I loved how each record had its own identity and that the records had these tactile grooves which you could run your fingers on. Once the needle touched the record, I remember thinking it was magic, how the sound jumped out from the records through the speakers.

Growing up, my parents would entertain co-workers and friends in our disco basement filled with strobe lights, linoleum flooring, and a disco ball. Part of my job would be to keep the music going by changing the records. Once, I discovered the world of DJing and hip hop, I thought it would be cool to try to scratch a record like I saw on MTV. To my surprise, my dad’s belt driven turntables and needle were not ready for the abuse and I broke one of his record players. He was livid, and rightfully so. So, I researched and found out that I would need Technics to practice scratching.

When I got to college at CU Boulder, I hopped on KVCU as a radio DJ and the station also had a huge vinyl library, way bigger than my dad’s collection. From being on air, I knew that I wanted to buy Technics and pursue DJing. The next summer, I saved up to buy one Technics turntable and a Gemini mixer.

My first record I bought with my own money that really had an impact on me was Thievery Corporation’s “2001 Spliff Odyssey” 12” from Albums on The Hill in Boulder, CO. I remember how the cover artwork just jumped out at me with its big green circles on a blue backdrop that had such a cool retro vibe.

Sure enough when I put the needle on the record at the store, the atmospheric vibes, dub reggae samples, and deep bass got me mesmerized. I took the record back to my dorm room and listened to it in headphones on repeat. Fast forward 15 years later and I started working with Thievery Corporation’s record label, ESL Music though my company Press Junkie PR. The “2001 Spliff Odyssey” single is actually ESL001 in their catalog.

I was hooked and started to buy vinyl every week. I’d go home to New York for the summers and would hit up the city record stores like Fat Beats as well as Other Music, Breakbeat Science, Liquid Sky, and Kim’s in the east village. I remember how each record store had their own personality and how curated the selection of vinyl was.

As I got older, I DJed drum & bass, dubstep, hip hop, and downtempo music out at clubs, and then in 2009 started Press Junkie PR, a music PR firm to help promote eclectic music from around the world. Although I stopped DJing out, I still DJ on KOOP FM in Austin, TX where I spin electronic music both on vinyl and digital formats. My home collection of vinyl is over 500 records from my family’s pop music collection to my own hip hop and electronic purchases.”
Ryan Romana

Our friends at Austin, TX’s Press Junkie PR who “specialize in eclectic music from around the world” are turning ten this month, and in celebration they’re hosting a free event on Saturday, August 17th at Stubb’s (Indoors). Performers from Press Junkie’s roster include Latin GRAMMY nominee El Dusty, Austin’s psychedelic Brazilian breakout Frederico7, soulstress Kelly Hafner, and the fine DJ selections of Vanessa La Bestia. 

Press Junkie’s 10th Anniversary celebration can also be had around the comfort of your own turntable as we have a vinyl copy of El Dusty’s debut full-length release, Cumbia City, to award to one of you by simply citing in the comments below your enthusiasm for Cumbia in general.

We’ll award a copy of the LP to one enthusiastic entrant with a North American mailing address one week from today, August 20, 2019. Our winner will be notified directly via email.

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  • Juan Data

    There’s not such a thing as too much cumbia in my vinyl collection.

  • matt bolger

    Who wouldn’t want this work on vinyl?! Those who are in the know.. KNOW! You know what I mean! (PS Thanks for giving us the opportunity here!)

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