It’s undeniable. Vinyl sales have been on a roaring return. It’s hard to say if it’s the purists, audiophiles, collectors, or DJs that are bringing the medium back, but the numbers don’t lie. Vinyl sales are going up, digital and CD sales are slumping. While consumers are drowning in a sea of fantastic streamable services like Spotify and iTunes Radio, something happened in the past two years that has made music analysts perk up. The few remaining vinyl producing factories in United States are struggling to keep up with demand, partially because there are only 16 major presses in the US, but more so I think, because consumers have grown weary of intangibility and DRM. It drives consumers to desire ownership once again. ‘Owning music’ is something quite frankly, that this current young generation has never known.
Don’t take my word for it though. The NY Times, The BBC, and one of the most influential DJ websites, DJ Tech Tools — and locally — even the DC9 are all covering angles on this radical resurgence to wax. Take a look at this eye-opening chart:
I started out my dj career playing vinyl for house parties in Denton because I was the only person with an amp, speakers, and willingness in my circle of friends to schlep that all around to a keg party. That quickly ended. 2005 was around the beginning of what I like to call the “Controller Craze” in DJ technology. Every sort of new feature was being lauded as the end-all-be-all for cutting edge djs to embrace with their creativity, but most importantly to the industry, their wallets. It was a good time. DJs had near immediate access to all the latest tracks at a moments notice. Every available effect, filter, airhorn, and kitchen-sink to toss into their sets for an immediate noisefest the likes of which dancefloors had never seen before. Panasonic stopped producing the de facto standard in turntables, the Technics 1200. DJs became the rockstars of the decade. All of this was a very encouraging trend to myself. I was buying new gear and selling the old stuff on craigslist seasonally. Maybe I’m just getting older and more of a curmudgeon, but damn it if it doesn’t feel good to play records again.
I recently took my 80’s Dance Night party at Hailey’s Club 100% vinyl and I’m having a blast with it. The most immediate thing I noticed was that I’m not hearing the same music I used to play. Sure, the tracks I play have the same title, but a lot of these 12″ singles had alternate ‘club’ edits and extended versions that never made it to the iTunes music store or even CD for that matter. Some people think ‘vinyl sounds better’, and while that argument can quickly get into elitist nonsense, I will say that playing records is exponentially more fun for me as a DJ. That’s something I sincerely hope gets conveyed to my dancefloor. I don’t know what the future holds for vinyl, and I don’t see myself giving up my laptop entirely any time soon, but if you want to hear 80’s music the way your ecstasy-taking parents did, I will attempt to be true to the times at 80’s Dance Night @ Hailey’s Club: now vinyl only.
This entry was written by news., posted on February 14, 2014 at 8:00 am, filed under