In rotation: 12/3/19

Makati City, PH | Vinyl is not back…it never left! …Let’s get one thing straight. Vinyl is not back. Vinyl never went anywhere. It’s always been here. The interest in vinyl may have waned, but its presence exists. Which is why many think that vinyl, or LP records, are making a comeback. Technically, you could say that, but in certain close quarters, be they the casual LP consumer to the staunchest record collector, records have always been there. Always. Records have been around since its introduction by Columbia Records in 1948 and its adoption as the new standard by the record industry, a format that slowly but surely gained its foothold among consumers in the 60s and especially in the 70s. The LP’s product sibling, the 7’’ 45rpm record, took off as well, offering one song per side (thus, the term single) whose sales were soon surpassed by the 12’’ LP, wherein recording artists could put more music, at times turning their release into an artistic expression of their music.

Birmingham, UK | Trendy new vinyl bar and live music venue Dead Wax Digbeth to open in Birmingham: The Wagon & Horses has been transformed into Dead Wax Digbeth where you’ll be able to hear live acts, play records and even bring along your own vinyl to blast out. A new music venue and ‘vinyl bar’ where you can play records and even bring your own music is being opened in Birmingham. Dead Wax Digbeth will open its doors to music fans at the weekend with a four-day launch featuring 45 bands, musicians, artists and DJs from the city and across the Midlands. A series of specially curated free events will run across the venue’s three spaces from Thursday, November 28 to Sunday, December 1 – including two all-dayers, late-night DJ sets, rare live performances and acoustic sets. …Music fans and vinyl lovers will be encouraged to choose and play albums and singles from the bar’s large 4000 record collection as well as enjoy vinyl-only sets from a diverse line-up of DJs in a vibrant setting in the heart of Digbeth designed and created by local artists.

New York, NY | A visit to Turntable Lab on 10th Street: The older I get the less new music I am exposed to, which is why I am always particularly interested in EV Grieve’s Fridays at Five and curated musical selections. It’s turned me on to local rocker Liza Colby, Princess Nokia’s “Tomboy” and THICK’s “Green Eyes,” among others. In this A Visit To … I get the opportunity to explore new-to-me music at Turntable Lab with owner Pete Hahn and his Turntable staff. Pete arrives — on skateboard — from his nearby East Village home to meet me at the Lab’s storefront at 84 E. 10th St. between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue, and walks me though the store pointing out both beginner record players (now made with USB port) and advanced DJ setups. I even get a mini lesson on the ones and twos on the in-house DJ booth from sales associate Paul Bennett! Aside from a tour and DJ lesson, Hahn talked about the evolution of Turntable Lab, which had its humble beginnings as an NYU side hustle, to its first shop on Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue. Turntable is now in its 20th year of business.

UK | How golden oldies are driving a boom in independent music shops: Vinyl accounts for a huge proportion of sales at local retailers. Here’s some rare cheerful news for you: independent music shops are doing well despite an overall slump in the industry… The high-profile collapse of HMV earlier this year certainly makes it look that way. Although the brand was saved by a new owner, it immediately closed 27 stores in a reminder that music shops are not immune to the challenges of the high street. That includes high rents, business rates and consistent footfall declines. But there’s evidence this was good for your local record store: independents gained £5m from shoppers moving their spend from other retailers, with £1.6m of that coming specifically from HMV. That also includes spend shifting away from other places such as supermarkets. Physical music now accounts for 15 percent of spend at the grocers, down from 17 per cent in 2018. Kantar says 1.1 million shoppers stopped buying physical music in the grocers over the past year.

IE | Dublin Vinyl seeks to record €300k EIIS investment to power its growth: An Irish company that presses vinyl records is seeking up to €300,000 under the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) as part of a €650,000 fundraising. Dublin Vinyl is already a client of Enterprise Ireland‘s (EI) high-potential start-up programme. It hopes to bring in €250,000 from EI and up to €150,000 in crowdfunding. The money will be used to grow Dublin Vinyl‘s direct-to-consumer business. According to the EIIS information memorandum, global vinyl sales are at their highest in 30 years, with sales in Ireland expected to reach €5m. Dublin Vinyl secured two vinyl pressing machines and began production in January 2018. It is now working with some of the world‘s biggest record labels. “Due to increasing demands from its international clients, Dublin Vinyl is doubling its capacity, with the addition of two more presses,” state the documents. It currently has the capacity to produce 100,000 pieces of vinyl a month.

Vinyl Record Cleaning System Expands Cleaning Options: The indisputable efficacy of the Vinyl Record Cleaning System’s Easy Spread n’ Peel (ESP) is now enhanced by further options to restore and maintain your records in pristine condition. To support the new products, the Vinyl Record Cleaning Company has also launched a new website (see details below) featuring comprehensive information on all things cleaning vinyl including the company’s pay-per-record cleaning service. The company’s efficient VRC System kit, which features a deceptively simple record platter and stacking system, is now enhanced by three choices in cleaning potions to match record condition. The new ESP formulations now allow different levels of vinyl cleaning and protection, starting from ESP Green which should be used with new and/or well-kept records to remove vinyl pressing production residues and minor dust. As an added benefit, ESP Green also provides all-important-for-good-playback anti-static treatment.

Wilkes-Barre, PA | Record and CD Fair draws a crowd: Hundreds of people gathered at The Woodlands Inn on Sunday for a celebration of old-school sounds recorded on old-school media. The NEPA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Record and CD Fair brought 25 dealers to the venue – offering thousands of records and CDs from multiple genres. Sam Frankelli, from Bear Creek, has been coming to the event for several years, and said, for vinyl lovers, it doesn’t get any better. “Country, punk, heavy metal, blue grass,” Frankelli, “It all sounds betters on vinyl.” Frankelli’s friend Brian Pizzano, said the two had recently been talking about how vinyl was better in a variety of ways. “It has a warmer sound,” Frankelli sad. Frankelli’s said one of his most memorable purchases at the fair was last year when he bought an Aerosmith album for $1.

Neneh Cherry’s Landmark Debut ‘Raw Like Sushi’ Set For 30th Anniversary Reissue: The new expanded editions include a 48-page 12×12 book packed full of iconic photos, new interviews, liner notes and memorabilia. Neneh Cherry’s landmark debut album, Raw Like Sushi has been remastered at Abbey Road and will be released in super deluxe format across 3CD and 3LP heavyweight vinyl box sets, as well as in special edition alternative gold vinyl and digital formats, and CD and LP formats on 31 January 2020 via Virgin and UMC. Picture London, thirty years ago, as Neneh Cherry gears up to release Raw Like Sushi – a thrumming, restless, vibrant city that in 1989, much like today, pulsed defiantly against a backdrop of increasing political doom, rocking to the joyful noise of culture leaping across boundaries, radically reordering itself. Rents are low. Soho hums to the chatter of poets, vagabonds and petty sex tourists drinking in the same elixir of possibility. The divisions between the queens of Old Compton and mods and punks of Carnaby Streets look huge but feel slight. A spirit of multiracial unity permeates the air. New York hip-hop and Chicago house continue their euphoric colonisation of nightclub culture.

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