WORDS: ANDREW SAMPSON
It begins like most great experiences do…
You find yourself heading home after a long, strenuous day of work, looking for some sort of solace – an escape, however temporary, to another land for rejuvenation. You think of the many ways to escape, and your old (and dusty) record collection springs to mind.
After scratching through your collection for some time, you eventually find the one… You slide it out of its tatty sleeve, gently place it on the turntable, place the stylus on it and you wait… and wait… for the snap, crackle and pop sound you’ve been craving all day long…
In the modern age of piracy, iTunes and a multitude of streaming websites, a flat black piece of plastic is fighting to regain its popularity – vying to be the number one in the digital age.
It is said, in the Christian faith for instance, that if you give your life over to Your Creator, you will be reborn. I believe this ideal may apply to prospective vinyl enthusiasts too – if you give your life over to vinyl, you too can be reborn. You too can experience life in all its glory and pitfalls and have the comfort of knowing that there is a flat, black piece of plastic waiting at home to console you. Whether you’re celebrating victories or mourning loses, good ol’ vinyl will be there to take care of you.
Yes, this is perhaps a little far-fetched but one must understand: once you go vinyl you often rarely go back. This immersing, often spiritual experience is said to offer ‘warmth’ that its competition – CDs, iTunes downloads and streams – simply cannot fathom. It allows the consumer to purchase a piece of art that can chronicle their music palettes and history – offering them a listening experience that other formats cannot.
However romantic and soulful vinyl is, naysayers question its resurgence in modern popular culture, labelling it as nothing more than a fad or even ‘inapt nostalgia’.
As is seen daily, the modern public tend to be quite fickle and the possibility that this record renaissance could be short-lived should not be disregarded. However, those who are serious about vinyl, and some prospective vinyl enthusiasts, aren’t in it simply for the thrill but rather the experience – the richer, deeper, ‘realer’ sound, the production credits, the lyrics, the artwork; they want to devour it all, irrespective, in some cases, of the price tag.
Why? Because “it’s not about the money, money, money”… it’s about celebrating beauty, appreciating art and honouring those who create our landscapes for us. In essence, it’s a celebration of life. So, prospective vinyl enthusiast – are you in it for the experience or simply for craze?
The choice lies solely with you. After all, it is a choice to be reborn.