In rotation: 5/22/17

Florence + The Machine Manager and Drummer Open London Record Store Café: Florence + The Machine manager Mairead Nash and her husband Christopher Hayden, the drummer for the band, have created Lion Coffee + Records in the London suburb of Hackney. Lion Coffee + Records is a coffee shop, venue and vinyl specialist store. The couple named the after their 3-year old son Arlo Lion. Mairead not only manages Florence + The Machine but is also the owner of Luv Luv Records. Each Thursday night the place has the Luv Luv Luv Presents showcases for new artists while established bands play the Live At Lion sessions on Saturdays.

Hunger for vinyl means a chronic shortage of pressing machines, Only two firms still make the lacquer discs used in mastering: Although vinyl is still only a tiny fraction of the global music market, big orders from record labels have swamped the few pressing plants left and caused delays in production. GZ Media has kept on top of orders by building, from 2014 on, updated versions of its older pressing machines. Others are also ramping up. More than a dozen new pressing plants have cropped up across North America, Europe and beyond in the past couple of years. A chronic shortage of machines is the chief headache. Reports of people racing across the world to get their hands on an old machine have become common.

Check out this DIY cardboard record player: With the biggest range of options since vinyl’s heyday (even bargain supermarket Aldi is getting involved), choosing which turntable is right for you can be hard work. Do you go for levitating one? Or perhaps even a little vehicle that runs rings around your records to play them wherever you go? But sometimes, you just want the bare basics. A small, portable new player that strips away all the unnecessary functions that you’ll probably ever need. Step forward, Spinbox – a new Kickstarter which is an absolute treat for vinyl heads and budget-shoppers everywhere. The idea behind it is simple. The company provide you with all the bare necessities to build your own record player and leave you to it.

The Big Interview: Ian Peel Introduces Long Live Vinyl: Now on Issue 3 already, and monthly as of April (Record Store Day month!), Long Live Vinyl is the world’s biggest and best vinyl magazine. We might actually be the world’s only purely vinyl magazine, actually. But, either way, for anyone that loves vinyl experience, this is their natural home. The magazine is one of the jewels in the crown of Anthem Publishing’s increasingly dominant role in the high street music sector which also takes in Country Music, Music-Tech, Vintage Rock and of course Classic Pop.

An ode to the joy and madness of the B-side: A B-side is, in one sense, a by-product. A quirk of the format on which it features. Its passage into the world is a precise inversion of the A-side’s journey here. An A-side is a song whose appeal is so great that it’s deemed worth an expense of hundreds, perhaps thousands of pounds, involving studios, pressing plants and artwork. All of this happens because someone wrote a song so good that it was deemed worthy of having an artefact manufactured that would house it exclusively. And once all of that is done, the next thing that requires attention is the B-side. The B-side is both a problem and a solution to a problem. When an empty space needs to be filled with something, something creative can happen.

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