No matter how many record store day exclusives, hologram-producing 12"s, or deluxe box sets you've come to acquire over your lifetime, there's pretty much no way you have a vinyl collection as impressive as Zero Freitas, the owner of a private bus line in Sao Paolo, Brazil. A profile in this week's New York Times Magazine doesn't make any unverifiable claims about the magnitude of Freitas' stacks, leaving the man to give his own vague estimation of "several million albums."
But what's most impressive about the Brazilian busman's massive record stock isn't its sheer size, but the rate at which he's buying up other collections. Just in the past couple of years he's bought a three million piece collection from a Pittsburgh music store owner and the entire stock of Times Square's Colony Records among a whole host of other collections. For the sake of comparison, a team of a dozen college interns who work for Freitas have the ability to catalog about 500 records per day, while receiving an average of nearly 10 times that amount from November of last year to June of this year.
Like every person who's ever gone about the dusty hobby, Freitas' pursuit comes with a modicum of Charles Foster Kane-esque compulsivity. He owns upwards 100,000 records from Cuba alone, which amounts to almost every album ever recorded on the island. Nearly 30 percent of his collection is composed of duplicates, a nefarious fact that's only beginning to be remedied thanks to the insistence of one of his New York-based buyers.
For a while this hoarding went on aimlessly, but after doing some intense self-searching about the ultimate purpose of his compulsions, Freitas has decided to create an archive of his records called Emporium Musical. In an effort to preserve his huge store of international records, the Emporium will be a library of sorts with turntables and listening stations set up among the thousands of records. And as for all those duplicates? If Freitas has more than one copy of a record you'll apparently be able to check it out and take it home with you.
For more on Freitas ongoing obsession, read the full New York Times article.