In rotation: 2/17/17

Doncaster town centre record shop closes down due to “personal circumstances”: The Notorious Aardvark in Waterdale shut up shop at the end of last week, announcing its demise via its Facebook page. Store owner Simon Saynor wrote: “So that’s it, give or take an hour. The shop is no more. “We will still be selling on line with over 2000 items listed. Plenty more to add – I’ll have time to do that now. “Thank you to every single person who has shopped at The Notorious Aardvark Record Shop. It’s been emotional xxx”

Why the Family of Late Vinyl Café Host Stuart McLean Asks for Donations for Camp Kanawana: Stuart McLean would be the first person to seek out the upbeat amid the sadness. The beloved host of CBC Radio’s The Vinyl Café — also a bestselling author and award-winning humourist — died yesterday (Feb. 15) at age 68 after a battle with melanoma. Yet in death as in life, McLean brings the happiness. His family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Stuart McLean Camp Kanawana Fund which helps children and teens without the financial means to attend Camp YMCA Kanawana, a community where they learn to care for themselves, each other and the environment.

Vinyl makes comeback from near-extinction: Currently, the hottest and best-equipped place in Seoul to listen to vinyl discs is Hyundai Card Music Library in Itaewon. About 150 people daily visit the library, which has a collection of over 10,000 records and music-related books, and the line grows long on weekends when over 500 people come to explore music. The venue has six turntables and visitors can play records available on the shelves. “The Music Library opened in 2015 and it surely contributed to help Itaewon become a music-oriented district,” Hyundai Card’s global PR manager said.

Kindercore Records to Open Vinyl Pressing Plant in Athens: Kindercore co-founder Ryan Lewis teased the news with a series of Facebook posts over the past few days, and today the label posted the graphic seen above with the caption, “Music manufacturing coming to Athens, GA mid-2017.” If the Athens plant becomes a reality, it will join an exclusive club—there are only a few dozen currently-operating pressing plants in the whole world, with about 20 of those in the U.S.—and no doubt enjoy high demand. The resurgence of interest in vinyl over the past decade, paired with a lack of available pressing equipment, has led to massive backlogs at many record-manufacturing facilities.

North Texas company goes high tech to press albums: There’s a ceremonious feeling that comes with opening a record player and laying down the needle. The Dallas Morning News reports when Alex Cushing, chief operating officer of Hand Drawn Records, does this on a recent sunny day in January, there’s palpable anticipation, like watching a magic show. The album, Charley Crockett’s “In the Night,” was pressed on Hand Drawn’s new equipment, considered the newest fully-automated record presses in the world. The needle hits vinyl and — ta da! — the Dallas musician’s blend of rhythm and blues seeps through the speakers.

Why is there a Vinyl Revival? Nearly every commentator rightly points out that vinyl just feels better for the serious music consumer. I’m old enough to remember the “glory days” of huge gatefold sleeves, art inserts, posters and the rest, and the CD age never quite delivered that. And downloads don’t didn’t deliver anything on that score. So, in 2017, if you’re happy enough with the sound of digital (a moot point), you may as well just stream. If you want the whole “package” and bigger “experience” of buying music, then vinyl is delivering in huge doses. The picture of growth is multi-pronged though: vintage buyers are getting to re-buy lavishly-packaged vinyl sets with supporting material they never would have got even in the format’s ‘70s heyday.

How the 1990s Changed Recording and Music Production Forever: Behind the scenes, there was a similarly significant revolution underway, as analog recording faded among a series of developments in digital production that would climax in computer multitracking entering the studio process towards the end of the decade. From the audiophiles and engineers riled up over the debate over analog versus digital to the musician recording at home on no budget, just about everyone involved with music was affected by the changes brought by the 1990s.

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