In rotation: 12/4/17

More than 1 million vinyl LPs set to be sold this Christmas: As the resurgence of vinyl continues, Xmas sales are set to break all records – and it’s not just ‘men of a certain age’ getting their wallets out. It has been predicted that over one million vinyl LPs will be sold in the nation’s high street stores and online this December. In line with the amazing revival of vinyl sales over the past decade, new figures from record labels’ association the BPI suggest that giving an album on vinyl as a Christmas gift is increasingly popular – with sales up an estimated 26% on the equivalent in December 2016, which is also the highest level since the early nineties. “Artists and labels release more of their new titles and classic albums in the format, and it has become aspirational and collectible with a highly perceived value – despite being generally affordable.”

Vinyl record sales expected to hit one million this Christmas, There has been a huge surge in people buying vinyl records in recent years. Music fans should expect plenty of gift-wrapped vinyl records this Christmas as more than one million vinyl LPs are predicted to be sold in December, record labels’ association BPI has said. It has also been forecast that Ed Sheeran’s chart-topping album ÷ could end the year as the biggest-selling album on the Official Vinyl Albums Chart. The retro format has grown in popularity over the past decade with sales up by 1,472% since 2007, with an even bigger hike over the last two to three years, and this boost has prompted the BPI to predict sales of over one million vinyls [“Vinyls” is not a word. —Ed.]across the next month.

Sam the Record Man sign going up at Yonge-Dundas: The iconic Sam the Record Man sign is closer to lighting up Yonge-Dundas Square as crews began lifting the spinning discs into place on Friday. The sign will hang atop the Toronto Public Health building on Victoria Street, near Yonge and Dundas streets. Crews lifted two portions of the sign overnight, securing it into place. Workers have been installing supports for the massive signs since early last month. The sign, composed of two enormous spinning discs on a red background, used to be a familiar sight near Yonge-Dundas Square. It first appeared over the Sam the Record Man store on Yonge Street in 1969, before being taken down in 2008 — a year after the store closed.

The music man: Discover the world of B-sides with Nick Langford from Vintage Vinyl HK: At Honeycombers Hong Kong, we’re a mixed bunch of bookworms, passionate cinephiles, and music fanatics. That’s why we’re big supporters of the vinyl pop-up sales in Central that happen once a month. With a diverse range of records – covering everything from Canto music to North American rock, folk, industrial music and Japanese hip hop – it’s the perfect hang-out spot for indie kids, music obsessors and collectors to spend their Saturday afternoons. We recently interviewed the organiser and founder of Vintage Vinyl HK Nick Langford to find out more about his love for LPs.

Leader comment: Why record number of people are buying vinyl records: That moment of anticipation in the beautiful, crackly crunch of the stylus touching down; the near-ritual care taken in handling – fingertips and only on the edges; the great canvass for art that is the album sleeve. Once it seemed the tangible pleasures of vinyl records were very much in the past, the future of sound was assuredly online. Or so we thought. The resurgance of vinyl sales is challenging assumptions that the march of progress always goes forward. Some say the sound quality of analogue is better than the zeroes and ones of digital, others struggle to tell the difference. But the trend is perhaps more an indication that there’s something about the wider experience that we like.

Tokyo Record Bar’s riff on the speakeasy: Although it’s inspired by the vinyl bars of Japan, this spot chooses accessibility over authenticity. It can be hard to just shut up and have a good time in New York, where there’s always the chance that a “better” version of whatever you’re doing is right around the corner. So it might be tempting to dismiss this new riff on the Japanese speakeasy, which is situated in the basement of Airs, a bar that primarily serves champagne. Down a flight of stairs, for fifty dollars a head, guests are seated in a snug shoji-screen-lined room under a canopy of cherry blossoms for a two-hour listening session inspired by the vinyl bars of Japan, which are known to be stern—no requests, no chattering. But Tokyo Record Bar ditches authenticity for accessibility.

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