Saturday, July 2, 2011

Delivering Happiness: Finding that Rare Record

Rythmus - Communication (Front Cover)

Finding an especially rare record takes time, and occasionally it can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. The rarest records are usually independent label releases, but can also be test pressings, white labels, and even DJ only promotional items from major record labels. If one of these rarities is the only source of a track you must have, be prepared for an exhausting search. But is the payoff worth it when you finally do find it? The answer to that question from one of our customers would be yes.

ElektroStudio Rhythmus Synth

The journey to find this rare record began many years ago for one of our customers, who I will refer to as "DJ" in this post. On an ever-present search for curious New Wave and Synth, DJ had spent a few years trying to track down records from the little known group Rythmus. In some aging Metrowax listings, a title by the name of "Communication" by Rythmus was listed for sale, and was priced very reasonably at only $2.99. It was hard to find any information on the internet, and there was no photograph taken of this title. Still, DJ felt compelled to investigate further and take a chance that perhaps it was the rare record he was looking for. The timing was both strange and perfect, since this listing was very old (listed since 2006) and was slated to be deleted from inventory in just a few days. However not to be denied; after a few emails back and forth, the record was soon on it's way.

Rythmus - Communication (Side A)

Below is what DJ wrote to me when he received this record in the mail and listened to it for the first time:

OH MY WORD - It's BEAUTIFUL!  The emotions evoked right now... this is music that shouldn't be "suppressed" but celebrated and promulgated. I honestly can't believe the music I'm hearing..."

I listened to it before it left the building, and I did like the track very much. It became a mystery to me how a record as important and good as this one was listed for such a low price, but that's what happens sometimes when you have a huge hoard of records. Things are missed.


DJ, growing tired from sifting through the endless music listings on Gemm, almost gave up trying to find this record. Something told him to press on, and the Rythmus listing was at the very bottom of the page. He is very happy now that his persistence has paid off. After a few listens of "Communication", when he realized how good this record actually is, DJ had much more to say:

Quite the historical script we are writing. I can't wrap my ahead around all this still - especially how a song like this could every be overlooked, rather, not received the love it beckons for. This music is transcending imho...especially the Single Version with its angelic "Your Love" vocal - I'm pretty sure some new, never before felt enzymes were released in my system because for a minute there, I tell you, I was floating.  

When I put the needle on the record there was no way imaginable you could expect to hear this. From the actual (pure and honest) message of the song which is all about boy meets girl, girl meets boy, love, sex and everything in between to the adonis-like photo of the duo J. Scott Schafer and David B. Jarrett who are the mystifying Rythmus from Canada(?), the title "Communication" rings true. Indeed, it communicates a very strong message that one would argue is one that when it comes to love, we are all at its mercy...powerless.

Everything about this is fascinating which has prompted me to delve further into who or what exactly is "Rythmus" and what exactly happened to them. Of course I already knew some things about them like the fact that they were/are relatively obscure and have an album called Phonograph which doing a search for it on Gemm lead me to this (it was the last listing on the last page of several). And, how's this for fate - when no results yielded for Phonograph, I was just going to close the window, but some impetus told me to look until the very end.  Incredible really.



I had to share DJ's beautiful writing with all of you; it clearly shows immense love for the music. The oddities of the search, combined with the fact that this music is rare, legendary, and important, made this a great experience for DJ, and a great one for myself and Metrowax as well.

You can listen to or download the single version of Rythmus "Communication" here. It's truly beautiful synth-pop, and a major thank you to DJ for recording and sending the music and photos. Was it the best $2.99 deal of all-time? Probably. But I am glad that this record found a proper home.


Artist: Rythmus
Title: Communication
Format: 12" single
Year: 1990
Label: ETA Records
Release ID: 00-62-313
Tracks: 12" Abuse mix, Single version, Don't Lead On Me dub, and also Pastor Maybe 12" remix.

Rythmus - Communication (Back Cover)

This is the reason that Metrowax exists: to make people as happy as possible by providing the kind of special rare records that are not easily found. I appreciate DJ's contribution to our blog, and I feel proud to have been a part in such a blissful musical experience. I would love to know how the search for information on Rythmus is going, and if anything turns up I will post it here.

Searching for rare records can be exhausting. But the payoff is easily worth it. Delivering this type of musical payload is very gratifying for me, and one of the reasons I love doing what I'm doing at Metrowax.

The Magic Stack - Hidden Records Revealed!

To keep an eye on some of the rare records being sold at Metrowax Records, subscribe to our Magic Stack email. There's also thousands of rarities available in the store, and they are always priced to sell! There's plenty of test pressings, white labels, independent labels, and other rarities are always available @


  1. The pleasure and honor is all mine Wade and Metrowax.

    Thank you.


  2. Ran across this post after my occasional Google search to see where our music has ended up. Such kind words about this record! Ah to be 19 again... I have an interesting story for you about the making of this record and the band in general if interested. Cheers - J. Scott (