On January 3rd 2017 (almost 20 years to the day in fact) eil.com welcomed back to the fold former employee, and self-confessed record hound, Mike Wenban. Mike originally worked for Esprit between 1997 and 2000, where he was involved in telephone sales. In this early internet era the majority of orders were taken on the phone with an in-stock catalogue sent out by snail mail – yikes!
Looking back Mike notes how “the bulk of our sales were on CD, that format was dominant in shops and homes throughout the land; nobody thought that digital downloads would trump this, or that vinyl would ever again be a format that was of interest to anyone other than the die-hard collector. Times have changed and since coming back to Esprit I, as a vinyl collector, have been heartened to see such a demand for records, a format I firmly believe delivers a superior listening experience” – here, here we say!
During his time away from Esprit Mike was gainfully employed as an English teacher in Japan, a country which Mike had always wanted to travel to, and one which was to become his home for over fifteen years. Despite not working in music, his passion was still indulged with many days off searching in the junk shops and bountiful record shops in and around Tokyo (Mmmm..sounds good, when can we go?), as well as searching for records on trips in other Asian countries.
Mike’s time spent in Japan (and Japanese record shops!) has given him a vast amount of knowledge about the Japanese music market, he feels strongly that Japanese releases with their high quality audio, extra tracks, coloured vinyl, lyric sheets and obi strips are, “all wonderful extras to have with a release and such items have become great additions to my collection. The only problem I had, was when I made the decision to move back to the UK and had to pay a rather large sum to have my collection shipped home!”
“I am glad to have been able to come back and return to a job which I enjoy and can invest so much enthusiasm in, and am waiting for the time when I can return to Tokyo again to be able to stock up on more excellent vinyl!”
Mike is now going to be using his expertise, not just with music/records, but also with translations and sleeve notes on the regular stock sent over from our Japanese buyer.
You can find lots of lovely Japanese vinyl & CDs from eil.com here
And finally, here’s a personal message from Mike to all our Japanese customers…….
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