In rotation: 6/16/17

For the record: the vinyl revival and a plug-in too far: Vinyl is back, or so it might seem. For better or worse? I’m not so sure myself. Like a lot of vinyl enthusiasts, I too enjoy the ritual, the feel, the physicality of a real product in my hands. But as soon as I get to the listening part, the sound engineer in me can’t help but feel it’s all a bit of snake oil. Following yet another successful record store day in an ever growing market, a closer look at the top 10 highest selling vinyl albums of 2017 reveals that seven out of the 10 are either re-releases from legacy artists or old soundtracks. There’s plenty that has been said about the reality of this revival on independent artists and labels but what impact has it had on the recording itself?

“90% of Jamaica’s vinyl collection is in Japan” – Iconic sound system owner speaks out: Following a three week trip to Japan and responding to claims that the country has acquired much of Jamaica’s musical heritage, Wee Pow told The Sunday Gleaner: “People have a good reason for saying that because the Japanese have been smart. They have visited Jamaica and they bought maybe 90 per cent of our vinyl collection and that vault is now in Japan. I talking classic vinyl that your grand parents used to collect. The Japanese came here and they knocked door to door and bought out the vinyl records…so most of our catalogue is in Japan.”

It’s not all about digital music: An old vinyl record factory gets new life: Bob Marley pressed some of his records there. So did 2 Live Crew, Mary J. Blige, Lee “Scratch” Perry and 50 Cent. Now the former Final Vinyl record factory, founded in Opa-locka in the 1970s by Jamaican reggae producer Joe Gibbs as his base of U.S. operations, is reopening for business under a new name. SunPress Vinyl, a vinyl record pressing plant at 14097 NW 19th Ave., boasts six pressing machines, including one capable of producing multi-colored and picture discs. The facility will also offer complete packaging services such as labels, single or gatefold jackets and inner sleeves.

Soulsville Record Swap: Goner Records and the Stax Museum present the Second Annual Soulsville Record Swap on Saturday June 17 at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, ground zero for so much great music from Memphis. This historic location guarantees that this will not be an ordinary record show, and with dealers Memphis, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, New York, and Minnesota, there will be an incredible variety of music for sale. Get here early for the best selection! DJs will play sets all day long, and we’ll have food trucks from Arepa 901, Sandwiches & More, and MemPops on hand. Come out and be a part of it!

Latest Bromsgrove Vinyl Record and CD fair to take place next Sunday: The next Bromsgrove Vinyl record and CD fair returns to Bromsgrove next Sunday, June 25. The event, which will take place at the Bromsgrove Hotel from 10am to 4pm, is another sellout with regard to record dealers. There will be more than 50 tables there from classics to real obscure records, along with plenty of bargains. There is free on-site parking and ATMs at the hotel for those who run out of funds. Visit for more information.

World’s Greatest Record Collector Popup Shop at Rappcats, June 24: A variety of rare and common – and all essential – rock, rap, funk, cult and other incredible LP’s and 45’s from the World’s Greatest Record Collector, Geoffrey Weiss. There’s one person I’ve met for who I can only use one phrase: Geoffrey Weiss is, to me and to many, the world’s best record collector…Some years later, when I first had the opportunity to hang out with him, I realized that I was wrong about what type of a collector Geoffrey was … What I didn’t realize is that he wasn’t the jaded, braggart type. He is of the most enthusiastic, one of the most gracious, the most trustworthy and the most fearless record collectors. When I saw a copy of one of the world’s great psych 45s – Tintern Abbey’s “Vacumn Cleaner” – sitting in its stock Deram sleeve on a table with a $1000 price tag on it, I remarked to Geoffrey that he was lucky to own it. It was a spare, he told me…

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