Sunday, May 05, 2013

Getting back into Vinyl


When I was 16, all I wanted was a pair of 'decks' and a mixer; I wanted to be a DJ. My parents bought me a set for Christmas in 1998 and I learned to mix happy hardcore records. I later sold those records and replaced them with a increasing selection of hard house and trance 12" singles - which I still have. I loved the feel of vinyl and the joy of music, I even recorded a mix CD!

After university I gave up on the DJing realising it was too pricey to purchase singles for the fun of it... the turntables went up the loft and never saw the light of day until a few years later when I decided to start purchasing LPs, this time Mr Scruff, Nightmares on Wax, Gold Chains and Rob Dougan. I remember having just 1 turntable hooked up to my Rega Brio and enjoying the music. However, for some reason this setup (and the LPs) went up the loft. 

Then I started working at Linn... 

That initial love of vinyl started to return to the point I nearly bought an LP12. I resurrected one of the turntables from the loft and even hooked up my old mixer as it was the only phono stage I had. I started buying some LPs again, I replaced the mixer with a Rega Fono Mini and then replaced the turntable with a Project Debut Carbon. A good beginner setup which I can later replace with an LP12!

One of my first experiences was listening to a remastered, 180 gram pressing of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon with a 10 year old Jura in one hand and the album sleeve with lyrics in the other. I read the cover whilst the music was playing. On the back of this experience, I have now started purchasing new physical albums for the first time in a while, LP of course, repurchasing some older favourites either 2nd hand from eBay or new remastered 180 gram recent rereleases. 

I recently started to listen to the Scottish musician Rachel Sermanni; advertised on her website are purchases for 'physical' and 'download'.  Imagine my disappointment do discover 'physical' meant CD! So I emailed her manager and asked about an LP version of Under Mountains to which I received a swift reply saying they are negotiating pressing on 180 gram vinyl. Awesome!

Then, today I visited my local HMV store enquiring about the new Daft Punk Random Access Memories album and if I could preorder it on vinyl. Sadly that particular HMV does not sell vinyl, so they cannot preorder it - however they did say the store is getting a redesign soon and a vinyl section is included in the redesign! Even more awesome!

I like my use of Spotify to consume music whilst doing other tasks - driving, cooking, working or reading in the house; even discovering new music. 

But to listen to music?

Nothing beats vinyl, the effort of tuning a table, positioning the stylus, removing fluff - is all rewarded with a different and worthwhile sound and experience.

I am glad vinyl sales are increasing!

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