In rotation: 3/12/20

San Antonio, TX | San Antonio Record Stores: Vinyl has been back for a while now, and there’s no shortage of retailers in San Antonio offering to put the latest hot releases in your hands — or to let you scour their crates looking for obscurities, rarities and highly collectable nuggets. Here’s a listing of places where you can bulk up your vinyl collection or even start a new one: first, the shops with broad appeal, then smaller stores that cater to specific genres.

BMG Launches Indie Americana Label Renew Records: BMG has launched Renew Records to focus on American-roots and Americana music. The LA-based label will be led by BMG EVP David Hirshland. The launch of Renew comes three months after the announcement of Modern Recordings, a BMG label dedicated to new classical, jazz, and electronic music, and the first new label to be launched by BMG since it commenced operations in 2008. Renew Records joins the BMG roster of US-based labels which includes Broken Bow, Stoney Creek and Wheelhouse, S-Curve Records, Rise Records, and RBC Records, operating alongside the core BMG label. Renew Records’ release schedule kicks off on Record Store Day (April 18) with the all-star tribute album Wilcovered. Originally available as a promo CD bundled with UK’s Uncut Magazine, the album will be re-released for the first time on LP, with select tracks released digitally.

Pittsburgh, PA | Pittsburgh’s Electronic Music Record Fair takes the difficulty out of finding vinyl: With the ever-rising profitability of vinyl and the increasingly mainstream popularity of electronic music, one could assume that it’s a good time for the worlds where those two overlap. But thanks to the ease of streaming, that’s far from the case. “Despite the story about vinyl being more popular than ever, vinyl in electronic music has taken a different path,” explained Geoff Maddock, who DJs under the moniker Cutups. “The genre used to be dominated by vinyl releases, but once digital music distribution became commonplace, the bottom fell out of electronic music records, and distributors and niche shops closed.” On Sat., March 14, Maddock is helping host an Electronic Music Record Fair at the Ace Hotel that will feature 22 vendors, ranging from current and former record shops to online dealers and people with large personal collections selling off some things.

Meet the ‘Strictly Women’ Who Guided the Rise of Iconic Dance Label Strictly Rhythm: The image of a red brick wall with the phrase “Strictly Rhythm” scribbled on it in black marker symbolizes not only the iconic Strictly Rhythm label, but the ’90s New York underground club scene in which the label was deeply influential. Founded in 1989, the independent dance imprint celebrated its three-decade run with Strictly Rhythm: The Definitive 30 compilation, which was released in late 2019. The project featured all of the artists that defined the label, from Armand Van Helden to Osunlade, Logic to Photon Inc. and Aly-Us to George Morel. Additionally, Strictly Rhythm — which now operates under BMG’s suite of dance labels — is releasing 10 catalog tracks which have never before been available digitally, along with a three-part vinyl series. In the ‘90s, Strictly Rhythm was a breeding ground for house superstars including Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, Van Helden, Todd Terry, Louie Vega and Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez, as well as the experimental sounds of Josh Wink, DJ Pierre and Planet Soul.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Gets New Vinyl Release: Don’t panic, rare recordings of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are returning to vinyl. It was 42 years ago this week that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy made its debut as an unassuming BBC radio series written by a tall, yet largely unknown ape descendant named Douglas Adams. The universe hasn’t quite been the same since. Modestly successful (much to the surprise of everyone at the BBC, not to mention Adams himself), the first six episodes of Hitchhiker’s Guide immediately hooked listeners with its absurd views on, well, life, the universe, and everything. Although the genres of science fiction and comedy had been combined before, most notably by Kurt Vonnegut, Adams’ story hit at a time when Star Wars had everyone looking for the next big genre hit. The fact that it was brilliantly written and performed didn’t hurt matters either.

How to Make the Most of Your Vinyl Record Collection with the Right Technology: It wasn’t too long ago that the Compact Disc revolution took hold, prompting everyone from the most ardent music lover to the casual listener to ditch their records and record players. Vinyl was out, CDs were in. The “better” sound quality of CDs made them the preferred way of listening to music. This was soon followed by maverick platforms such as Napster and legal platforms such as iTunes for those moving toward mp3 files. At this point, CDs were out, digital files were in. One might think that the next revolution in listening to music would be some unheard-of technology. We were all fooled, as vinyl records have made a comeback and technology allows us to make the most of a platform that is now more than 100 years old.

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