The hills are alive with the sound of vinyl music. Coming to fruition in July of this year was the lifelong dream of owners Michael Ibrahim and Bethany Adam. Combining everyone’s two favourite things, coffee and music, Son of Run forms the hub that Belgrave’s lively arts and music scene dearly needed. The family-owned business may not have the history other stores have, but they do provide a space for music enthusiasts to come in, dig through their expansive collection of records and enjoy the finest roasted coffee in town – an experience that Bethany believes has been missed by customers for far too long.
“I think vinyl has come back because people have been disconnected for a long time,” she admits. “Everything has been done digitally through phones, media and computers, and people are actually coming back to tangible experiences. It’s an experience to take a vinyl out of its sleeve, put it on the turntable and lower the needle down. It’s a tactile experience. You’re experiencing the music. You physically have to put it on, rather than just [listening] to a playlist on the computer in the background. I think people are coming back and wanting those things in their life again.
“Vinyl music has always been a passion. We never really crossed over to the digital world when it comes to music. We have always listened to it on vinyl. Michael has always been a big collector of vinyl and we have a house full of them. When it came deciding what to do [with the records], I sort of said to Michael ‘You either need to sell the records, or open a store.’ And so we opened the store.”
Son of Run is placed amongst the eclectic Belgrave scene, which has recently thrived with a refurbished live music venue and an array of local musical talent. Noticing the importance of community, the store caters for all types of music listeners, covering all genres, as well as stocking a heap of music from local and independent artists.
“We have been open for seven weeks now in Belgrave. We stock all genres of music – from classical to French, alternative, rock, soundtracks – anything and everything,” Bethany explains. “We have a library of over 10,000 albums. Currently we have about 3,500 in store and we just rotate our stock. We put new albums out each week.
“It’s just going really well in Belgrave. There’s a big artistic and musical community in Belgrave and we thought if [the store] is going to work anywhere outside of the city, it’s probably going to work here. And it’s been really well received by the community.”
Being collectors for a number of years, you would expect Bethany and Michael to have a few hidden treasures buried away too.
“Probably our rarest albums would be a Led Zeppelin Mothership first pressing,” says Bethany. “Also a first pressing of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon and a set of coloured Bob Dylan vinyl – just demo tapes and never heard tracks – which is pretty cool.”
One reason record stores survived through the digital age is due to the support of the communities that had formed around the store. In its short time in operation, Son of Run looks to have already established itself as the heartbeat of the music scene in the Dandenong Ranges. As Bethany explains, the store has realised the importance of community and are looking to support musicians any way they can.
“It has probably been the biggest surprise to us that our store has become a meeting place and a hub, and a place where local artists can come and hang out,” she says. “We are really trying to support local musicians here, so we provide an opportunity for them to come and play whenever they like. We do local music every Sunday and we only do local bands. It is providing a great opportunity for people who can’t normally get a gig to come and play, showcase their music and get their name out there.”
All good record stores need a reliable turntable that delivers the high quality of sound music-purists seek when walking into the store. That’s why Son of Run couldn’t look past Japanese manufacturer Audio-Technica.
“We choose to stock Audio-Technica because the quality is outstanding and the price is great. They are really sturdy turntables, they last the distance. They have a good name for themselves and we use their turntable in store and we never have had a problem. It’s a great product, and they have something in their range for every budget.