3inch.es was created by Jough Dempsey, who enjoys writing in the third person, and launched on Record Store Day (13 April) 2019, because he loves his little three inch records so much he wanted to make a web site for them.
I’ve been a music lover all of my life, but I’ve also been a collector of music artifacts. My first love was vinyl records because that was the medium of choice when I was young. At some point I ditched my records for compact discs, then downloads, then streaming, but at some point throughout the last decade I fell in love with vinyl records again, and started collecting not only my favorite albums, but also collecting interesting records by appreciating them as physical objects.
Most of my records are purely for listening, but I’ve always had an affection for novelty records - 4” hip pocket flexi-discs. Liquid-filled records. Vinyl of varoious colors, including glow-in-the-dark. Records that are vinyl on one side and a CD on the other. One format that interested me from the moment I heard about it (thanks to the great Techmoan video) was 8ban 3” records from Japan. They had everything I love in physical objects - they’re tiny, they’re obscure, and the attention to detail on each little record is palpable. You show someone a 3” record and watch the smile form on their face. Three inch records are fun.
Whenever I get invested in a topic I’m the kind of person that will spend many hours researching it and finding everything I can about it, but when I wanted to research 8ban there wasn’t much to find. It lasted less than a year in production, was not commercially successful, and if not for Jack White of Third Man Records (and the White Stripes) releasing some 3” records, largely forgotten since 2005.
So I started to keep notes of info, web sites, images I could find. I collected the original 8ban releases…
Then Came Record Store Day 2019
When Crosley announced that they were releasing a new 3” record player at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2019, I was thrilled that there was renewed interest in the format, and while the Bandai 8-ban player is certainly fun, it is not a great sounding turntable, with a tiny speaker and questionable build quality that makes it more of a toy than a precision music playback device.
So the idea of a serious turntable on which to play 8ban records, and new records they were producing to play on it, I got excited, and I wanted to share my enthusiasm for 3” records with the world.
We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us, or leave a comment below if you know something about 3” records that isn’t reflected here, if you have corrections, or you just want to talk tiny records with other record nerds.