For this installment of 360°Sound’s series CD Junkies, we caught up with collector Oswaldo Pacheco. The 30-year-old Venezuelan, who now lives in Santiago, Chile, has been collecting CDs since he was 7 years old. Pacheco regularly posts CDs and records from his extensive collection on his popular Instagram account @collectingalbums.
360°: About how many CDs do you own?
Oswaldo Pacheco: Around 900 to 1,000 between the collection I have at my parent’s house in Caracas, Venezuela and my apartment in Chile.
What do you love about CDs?
Overall, I feel that the thing I love the most has to be the nostalgic concept about it: ever since I started collecting, the artwork and jewel cases are just too attractive for me [laughs]. It’s an experience touching it for the first time and to dive in on those amazing booklets.
What are some favorite genres and who are some of your favorite artists?
Well, I’ve always been such a die-hard fan of pop and indie music since I was a little kid. I used to play Bjork’s “Hunter” when I was a kid. However, since 2011, I’d say that K-Pop, J-Pop and C-Pop became my favorites. Talking about my favorite artists is always a very difficult thing to do. But, I’ll give you my top 5: Madonna, Namie Amuro (J-Pop), Jolin Tsai (C-Pop), Dido and Garbage.
Do you have any particularly rare CDs? What are some of your most prized CDs?
In my taste, Taiwanese and Japanese releases are always rarities to any collector, no matter the genre. So, one of my most prized records are Asian ones. For example, I have the janet. Japanese Limited Edition released in 1993 by Janet Jackson (pressed just one time). Also, all K-Pop goodies are the most prized ones (up to $500).
Do you find the CD collecting and listening experience to be more appealing than streaming? If so, why?
Of course, it’s different. Back in the ’90s, listening to music was about an experience. There was this protocol to get your boombox, stereo, Walkman or Discman prepared before playing any CDs or vinyl records. In fact, I remember that listening to music directly from physical formats was part of gathering together. Nowadays, you’re just a click away to play the hit of the moment and move on with your life. So, in a lot of ways, streaming has served as a way to consume tons of music, but no deeper relationship is included.
I noticed from your Instagram that you collect Japanese releases with the OBI strip. What do you think makes the Japanese releases special?
Well, the Japanese industry has improved a lot in all physical formats over the last decade. For example, they actually developed a new type of polycarbonate to process the speeding and quality in a big way. It’s a whole different world from American/European releases. Besides that big-sounding improvement, Japanese record labels always create special contracts to get exclusive bonus tracks, featuring remixes only for Japan or some Asian territories (which makes the collecting even better). Also, don’t forget about those classic OBI strips!
Do you plan to continue adding to your CD collection? What are some CDs that are at the top of your want list?
Being in my 30s, I realize that I love collecting past releases from late ’90s or ’00s. For example, I’m looking forward to Janet Jackson’s old Japanese releases as Discipline from 2008, The Velvet Rope on red vinyl from 1997 and Avril Lavigne’s Japanese stuff.