Category Archives: A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined

In rotation: 10/15/18

Cincinnati, OH | The unofficial guide to Cincinnati, NKY record stores: There’s nothing quite like spending a few hours at a local record store flipping through thousands of vinyls on the search for that perfect find. Sometimes, that search ends in leaving empty-handed. But you’re in luck. There are plenty more record stores in the area to go dig through on the next what-do-I-do Saturday that pops up. We tracked down some of the best options in town and asked them all a list of questions so you can figure out which one is meant just for your taste. Check ’em out.

Portland, OR | Tomorrow Records Is a Great New Addition to Portland’s Record Store Scene: A terrific new place to score vinyl has just opened up in inner Southeast Portland: Tomorrow Records is the brand-new shop from Kurt Legler, a longtime Portlander who spent many years at Everyday Music and helped open up the Northeast Sandy branch of that store. Legler has spent recent years in Santa Barbara, California, where he owned and operated the well-regarded Warbler Records shop—still in business—but has returned to his hometown with his wife to raise their two kids. Their return is Portland’s gain

Portland, OR | Isaac Slusarenko of Jackpot Records: Coffeeshop Conversations #167 / Happy 21st anniversary! Twenty-one years ago this week, Issac Slusarenko opened Jackpot Records…and he’s still loving it every day! At World Cup Coffee and Tea at NW 18th & Glisan today for another OMN Coffeeshop Conversation. I’m Tom D’Antoni. With me today is someone I’ve always wanted to meet. It’s Isaac Slusarenko who opened Jackpot Records 21 years ago this week. Pretty amazing that a store like Jackpot still thrives… They’re having several in-store concerts this month to celebrate their anniversary and we’re celebrating it right here in the coffeeshop on our podcast!

Los Angeles, CA | Stellar Remnant record shop opens in Downtown Los Angeles: A new record shop called Stellar Remnant just opened in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s the project of Ed Vertov and Lena Deen, artists and DJs who relocated from Russia to LA. Vertov came of age in mid-’90s Moscow when techno was a “rebel statement,” he says, before relocating to LA in 1997. He’s since worked at Amoeba Records, Mount Analog and Virgin Megastore and cofounded Pro-Tez records in 2005. Deen, a native of Samara, Russia, threw parties in Moscow as part the of Habits Die crew and moved to LA in 2011…In recent years, Stellar Remnant has operated as a pop-up at various underground events like Acid Camp, and now the store is open six days a week behind Bar Franca on Main Street in LA.

Zoë Kravitz to star in ‘High Fidelity’ TV series: Zoë Kravitz, daughter of rock musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, is slated to star in a “High Fidelity” television reboot of the 2000 film that starred John Cusack, Catherine Zeta Jones and Lisa Bonet. Variety reported, “The series, which has received a 10-episode order, is inspired by Nick Hornby’s novel and the Touchstone film of the same name. It reimagines the story from the female perspective. Kravitz, who will executive produce in addition to starring, will play the ultimate music fan—a record store owner who’s obsessed with pop culture and Top Five lists.” The cult classic book and film was a highlight for Kravitz’s mother, who played the main character Rob’s love interest, Marie De Salle.

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In rotation: 10/12/18

Boise, ID | The Record Exchange Adds 64,000 Vinyl Albums, 3,000 Cassettes to its Collection: Sometimes, one business’ heartbreaking end can be another’s fresh opportunity. That was exactly the case with the closure of the Yesteryear Shoppe, a 44-year institution selling rare books and vintage records in downtown Nampa. The Idaho Press reports that the shop shuttered in June to make way for a new development, but there is some good news: When Yesteryear flipped its open sign to closed for the last time, its staggeringly large music collection went up for sale—and The Record Exchange in downtown Boise snapped it up. “We were sad to hear of Yesteryear’s closing because we have known Dave Gonzalez and his family for many years and hate seeing another great independent retailer disappear, but we were thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase the collection instead of watching it leave on a truck for California…”

Interviews with women in the vinyl record scene: Jenn D’Eugenio is a badass record collector, indie label maven, and vinyl industry veteran who now works at the esteemed Furnace Record Pressing company in Virginia. Recently, Jenn started interviewing her peers in the record scene “to empower and highlight the women that are working in the vinyl / music industry to create, preserve, improve and enhance the art of music on vinyl.” Check out Women In Vinyl for interviews with the likes of Katy Clove of Merge Records, Italians Do It Better label president Megan Louise Doyle, audio archivist Amanda McCabe, and designer Kate Koeppel who makes fantastic products for vinyl collectors. “Not enough of the female + vinyl focus is on the women behind the record stores, labels, manufacturers, vinyl accessories, etc. and I hope to change that with interviews and stories about these women,” Jenn says.

2018 Making Vinyl Conference: 2018 was yet another great year in the resurgence of the beloved vinyl record. This was Bags Unlimited’s second year attending the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit Rock City and we, yet again, learned a lot about the industry and helped solidify connections with some of the most passionate people you could ever want to meet in the vinyl industry. In the next few paragraphs you’ll find some of the highlights of our conference experience and some pictures of the event. In case you were not aware vinyl records have been on a major upswing in popularity for the past five or six years. There has always been the diehard collectors keeping the medium alive, and they are to be commended for their devotion, but vinyl is back in a big way among many new, mostly young, listeners.

Rega, Pro-Ject and Sony take home best turntable Awards. Rega wins another impressive haul of What Hi-Fi? Awards. Who would have thought we’d still be dishing out turntable Awards in 2018? Well, not us back in 1981. “From today, vinyl LP records are dead,” we declared with the launch of CD in the July 1981 issue of What Hi-Fi?. At one point we even stopped having a turntable category, such was the languishing popularity of the format at points in the 80s and 90s. But forget that, vinyl is back. And Rega is no doubt rather pleased about it. Rega takes home three What Hi-Fi? Awards in the turntable category this year, meaning the company has now won… a huge number of turntable Awards (we’ll leave Rega to do the maths). The eagle-eyed will notice the three winning decks took the same honours last year; a sure-sign of quality.

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In rotation: 10/11/18

Atlanta, GA | Vinyl fuels indie record store resurgence: Over four decades, Decatur’s Wuxtry Records, a crowded repository of all things auditory a mile east of Emory University, has ridden the peak years of vinyl, the rise and fall of cassettes and CDs and the surprising comeback of vinyl this past decade. Owner Mark Methe points to a 2015 New Yorker cartoon he taped to the entrance and chuckles like a man who has seen it all. The cartoon figure tells another dude: “The two things that really drew me to vinyl were the expense and the inconvenience.” …But thanks to vinyl’s zombie-like revival, metro Atlanta has seen a resurgence in mom-and-pop record stores in recent years, mostly in the northern suburbs. In the meantime, in-town staples, such as Wuxtry and Criminal Records, have found new life.

Brighton, UK | Cult Hero re-opens in new location after it was forced to close. One of the longest-established “new vinyl” shops is back in action after being forced to move due to building redevelopment. Cult Hero has reopened in Brighton Place after moving from North Street, Brighton. Owner Frank Taylor, 35, moved out of his old shop at the end of April after the landlord sold the premises for the Hanningtons Lane redevelopment. Frank said he loves his new home. He said: “It’s a much nicer shop. It’s quieter and customers can listen to the music. “I was in North Street for ten years or so. There was a lot of hustle and bustle and I enjoyed that but customers also want to enjoy music while looking at vinyl, they like to take their time.

Warner Music Exec: ‘The Business of Physical Music Is Quite Strong. We Have No Intention of Walking Away from This Business.’ The resurgence of vinyl records is obviously causing labels to reconsider the format. But for at least one major label, CDs aren’t being abandoned quite yet, with physical formats overall getting a second look. At the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit last week, Warner Music Group executive Billy Fields reaffirmed his company’s commitment to physical discs, both of the vinyl and CD variety. Fields is Vice President of Sales and Account Management for WEA, which was once the physical distribution bulwark for the major label. These days, WEA is described as an ‘artist and label services’ group for WMG. But that still includes physical distribution, with Fields routinely fielding customer issues on precious WMG vinyl releases.

Indulge in spooky ‘Stranger Things’ sounds at Halloween with this new pumpkin vinyl: Creepy sounds from Stranger Things are being released on special pumpkin-coloured vinyl this Halloween…While the third instalment of the hit Netflix series has been delayed until 2019, fans will be able to bring the Upside Down to their own homes this spooky season. ‘Halloween Sounds from the Upside Down’ features 14 ominous, synthy tracks on pumpkin-themed wax. ”Hide some speakers in your bushes, play this record, and scare those trick or treaters,” advise S U R V I V E, who are behind the show’s atmospheric score. Track titles include ‘Turn On The Lights’, ‘Shadow In The Tunnel’, ‘Tree Slime’ and ‘Turn Right & Run’. The pieces are taken from Season 2’s “brooding, darker atmospheric score.”

CLASSIC VINYL: Superb glam band that influenced a generation: Roxy Music by Roxy Music. Roxy Music was one of the most highly regarded and influential UK rock bands of the seventies, formed by former art student and short lived teacher Bryan Ferry, who wrote all the songs, writes Michael Brooks. This was Roxy Music’s self titled 1972 debut album for Island records, acclaimed as one of the finest debut albums of the decade. What makes this unique is that it was recorded and produced in a single week. The band at that time, did not have a record deal, but after offering it to Island Records, a contract was offered; it was released on June 16, 1972.

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In rotation: 10/10/18

Record Store Day announces first slate of Black Friday 2018 releases: “There’s something for everyone on our list this year, which means there’s something for everyone on YOUR list! We want to help you make holiday shopping fun, by encouraging you to do it in a record store. Even if it’s not one of the limited edition titles on this list, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something great to wrap up, and great to unwrap if you’re on the receiving end! Download a PDF version of the RSD Black Friday list you can use as a shopping list or a wishlist, and get more information on each title using the website version of the list. Thank you for supporting indie record stores!”

Milwaukee, WI | Riverwest’s We Buy Records is new to the block, but owner Andy Noble isn’t: There’s a new record shop in Riverwest. With a red neon sign in the window announcing the store’s name—simply “We Buy Records”—owner Andy Noble opened its doors to Milwaukee in August as a continuation of years of vinyl-related business endeavors. He is the longtime traveling record collector/trader behind the vinyl-spinning vegan restaurant Strange Town and the all-vinyl DJ event The Get Down, which is celebrating its 15th year in 2018. We had a chat with Noble on opening a brick and mortar record shop for the second time and about his adventures in record buying road trips that took him into stranger’s homes around the country. Andy Noble says, “Jumping into a store, again… It’s like a second marriage; why would you do it?” It’s because We Buy Records is different, he says.

Dublin, IE | The Vinyl Festival comes to Dun Laoghaire: It was annouced today that the Vinyl Festival will be coming to Dún Laoghaire this November. The festival will take place in a selection of venues around Dún Laoghaire including The Lexicon Library Studio, The National Maritime Museum and Eblana Senior College. The line-up of talented artists and special guests participating over the three-day extravaganza includes Joe Jackson, Horslips, Lenny Abrahamson, Don Letts, Gavin Friday, Bronagh Gallagher, Kevin Godley, Julie Feeney, Steve Averill and Adrian Dunbar along with many more. Established radio DJ’s Dave Fanning and Tom Dunne will act as moderators and interviewers for several of the discussions. The festival will bring together a wide selection of talent including International Musicians, Writers and Filmmakers, all of whom will take part in a broad series of discussions and play a selection of their own favourite vinyl records.

Lennon, Dylan, Hendrix Box Sets Revealed As 2018 Reissues Set Record: The multi-million-dollar musical reissue bandwagon is having its third straight record year in 2018. This year’s total of box set titles is boosted by artists such as the Beatles; John Lennon solo; Led Zeppelin; Kate Bush; Bob Dylan; Guns N’ Roses; The Rolling Stones; Jimi Hendrix; David Bowie; and Soft Cell. This week, the number of reissues by mainstream artists so far in 2018 will surpass 640 titles, already matching 2017’s final total. The number may rise again with more late arrivals for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday period. Apart from classic albums reappearing, archive music is also coming to the fore, such as the first recordings from Prince’s massive private vault, Piano and a Microphone 1983, and David Bowie’s live release, Glastonbury 2000.

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In rotation: 10/9/18

The Yale Herald | On The Record: …Elm City Sounds opened its flagship store in Westville in August, and it’s already attracted an unexpected number of casual walk-ins — customers who aren’t collectors or experts, or even necessarily music buffs, but just dabbling. Chris Della Ragione, the shop’s owner, likes it that way. The shop sells “regular good music,” he says affectionately. “Marvin Gaye, Billie Holliday, Dylan, everyone loves that. Before I opened the shop, I was selling really rare [records].” He points to the records on the wall: Abdullah Ibrahim, Prince, and a slew of albums I’ve never heard of. He used to deal in “sample-based hip-hop, and crazy collector jazz, funk, soul, reggae… This was more on an international basis, because I would sell on eBay, and I would sell online to collectors.” Chris wipes down a record from the small stack in front of him while he’s explaining, and then he carefully tucks it back in its paper sleeve. You can’t call him a dabbler — but in the shop, he’s managed to foster eclecticism, without the snobbery.

Buxton, UK | Chesterfield record shop celebrates fifth birthday- and launch of its own music label: An independent record store ‘turning’ five this year is marking the milestone with the launch of its own music label which will attract and recognise talented Chesterfield artists. Tallbird Records, based on Soresby Street, has become a hub for music fans and musicians in the area since its launch in 2013- and hopes to further its success with the Tallbird record label. Owner Maria Harris says a loyal customer base, personable service and a generous loyalty card scheme is what has kept the indie thriving in a digital age—and she now hopes to give something back by investing in the town’s undiscovered artists. Maria said: “We’re proud of the town and keen to promote artists from Chesterfield and the surrounding area who’d like to advertise under our banner.

Wax Trax! documentary ‘Industrial Accident’ due out on DVD in April — plus a soundtrack: Fans at long last will be able to get their hands on a copy of the “Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records” documentary, as the film — and a much-anticipated soundtrack — will be released in April, according to an email sent today to the project’s Kickstarter backers. In that message, Julia Nash — daughter of late Wax Trax! co-founder Jim Nash — writes: “I can report with 100% certainty that we will be releasing both the DVD and the soundtrack in April of 2019. We have officially cleared the last of our commercial licensing hurdles. Just to be crystal clear, this isn’t ‘we’re working on it’ or ‘if everything goes as planned,’ or any other ambiguous language in case we run into obstacles. The soundtrack WILL be released in conjunction with the DVD next April.”

Coventry, UK | MUSIC MATTERS by Pete Chambers: My holy grail of records is here! It’s a special day as I write this and the man on the street who cares not about vinyl and record collecting may look away now. Those of you who like a spot of crate digging and cherish their record collecting will understand where I am coming from when I say I have found my holy grail of a record and my search is over. Yes, last Saturday, a package arrived and it contained a single 45 record that I have been wanting for the Music Museum for years and years. It’s the Belgium picture cover of The Orchids song ‘Love Hit Me’. I have the English, German and American release, but never this very rare copy that comes with a picture sleeve! Picture sleeves were standard in Europe in the 1960s but not in Britain.

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In rotation: 10/8/18

Carrollton, GA | New Record Shop Brings Vinyl to Life: Eric Shepard’s love for vinyl records goes back to his earliest childhood memories when he would sit in front of the record player and listen for hours to the great musicians like Elvis Presley. He gently slides a decades-old album from its case, gazing at its grooves under the light in his newly opened record store. “There’s a warm, resonating sound that you get from vinyl records,” says Eric. “You can really feel the ambiance. With vinyl, the musical nuances transport you in a way that streaming never does. The anticipation of hearing the needle drop and the first note sound through your speakers always leaves you wanting more. Nothing feels as good as vinyl sounds.” Eric fondly recalls first experiencing vinyl after his brother handed him a KISS album at the tender age of three. “I was hooked…”

Burlington, NC | Burlington’s Main Street Vinyl finds its groove: Edward Bishop flipped through albums in the bargain bins at Main Street Vinyl in downtown Burlington on Tuesday. A regular at the store, Bishop, 63, has collected albums since his youth. “Vinyl has never gone away despite the record companies always seeking to work on another way to package their product,” Bishop said. A brick and mortar store, Main Street Vinyl, 321 S. Main St., Burlington, offers audio enthusiasts the opportunity to own physical analog copies of the music that may be on the playlists of digital devices. Josh Garrett and his girlfriend, Amy McLamb, co-own the store, which opened in November, 2016…“I really like records and sharing with people,” Garrett said. “My dad was big into music and that broad taste of the different genres I listened to is reflected in the store inventory from rock n roll, jazz, soul, imports to the blues.”

Minneapolis, MN | Northeast Minneapolis’ only record store is closing: Michelle Obama never chose to fight that particular urban malady, instead focusing her efforts on the inarguably more troublesome food deserts. Who, then, would combat the area’s vinyl deficiencies? Raoul Benavides would. He opened Flashlight Vinyl at 1519 Central Ave. NE that same year, thus giving Northeast its only dedicated record shop. Until October 31. That’s when Flashlight will go dark forever, according to a Facebook post from Benavides.”Gratitude is all a person can have at this point,” the shop owner wrote Monday. “It was my honor to serve northeast Minneapolis with music. After three years, We are closing our doors. So many great people, new friends, and stories came to visit and share their love of vinyl.” Halloween will be Flashlight’s final day in business, and you bet there’ll be a spooktacular liquidation sale.

Los Angeles, CA | Stones Throw Records opens listening bar in LA: …Open this week, the bar is situated under Stones Throw’s offices, and is a partnership between the label’s founder Peanut Butter Wolf (Chris Manak), label manager Jason McGuire and restaurateur Tyler Bell. The bar’s design nods to vintage recording studios, Japanese hi-fi bars as well as the surrounding neighborhood; the press release says “cross sectional sofas invoke both mid-century minimalism and the custom car culture that rolls past the bar on Figueroa, part of historic Route 66.” The bar’s centerpiece however, is 7,500 records from Peanut Butter Wolf’s own collection, a Thorens turntable, McIntosh Amps and Altec Lansing speakers. The records will be split into rock, soul, reggae, rap, electronic, world and jazz categories. On weekdays, bartenders will select from the collection, while on weekend, Gold Line will host guests mixing exclusively from the in-house vinyl, with a strict policy of no outside records and no computers.

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In rotation: 10/5/18

HD Vinyl Partners With One of the World’s Largest Record Pressing Plants: Back in 2016, ‘HD Vinyl’ emerged as a back-of-the-envelope idea hatched outside Vienna, Austria. Interesting, but mostly theoretical. Now, the company, part of Rebeat Innovation, has received millions in funding, owns critical patents, and is striking major partnerships. That includes a number of deals with major vinyl record pressing plants, including GZ Media, announced this week. The massive GZ, situated in Loděnice, Czech Republic, has joined forces to retrofit HD’s ceramic, laser-cut stampers to select machines. “Since HD Vinyl stampers will be made out of laser-cut ceramic instead of electroplated metal stampers, new molds and fittings have to be developed,” explained HD Vinyl (and Rebeat Innovation) founder, Guenter Loibl.

Norwich, UK | Opinion: why technology sometimes makes things worse: David Clayton says you haven’t lived until you’ve heard music through a juke box – which means most of the younger generation haven’t lived. …in one technological evolution, I put it to you, we have gone the other way. I was chatting to a pal, who’s something of a vinyl record and music aficionado. In fact, he’s known as “Dr. Vinyl” around these parts. Whenever we meet, he’s eager to play me some long-lost track he’s just discovered. From out of his trouser pocket came his miniscule mp3 player and a speaker the size of a golf ball. One connected to the other, he scrolled down hundreds of titles and then filled the room with a sound which was wildly disproportionate to the size of the thing playing it. I once had a garage full of records and this little gadget offered the same storage capacity!

Atlanta, GA | Kosmo Vinyl Brings Punk Rock to Rose Library: Artist Kosmo Vinyl shared his international perspective on punk and D.I.Y. culture, as well as his experience with The Clash and other bands, at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book (Rose) Library, which boasts a growing collection of punk and Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y.) culture in Atlanta, on Sept. 26. Rose Library Curator of Modern Political and Historical Collections Randy Gue introduced Vinyl as a man who holds many titles including, but not limited to: “A press agent, a conceptual publicist, rogue manager, manager, a force of nature, emcee, ringmaster, conciliary, chaperone, factotum, fromage du pompadour, the creative director of The Clash, a producer and an artist.”

Kate Bush’s entire discography to be reissued: Many of Bush’s albums have been unavailable on vinyl for at least a decade. Kate Bush’s entire back catalog will be reissued on vinyl and CD in November. Many of Bush’s albums have been unavailable on vinyl for at least a decade. Not only that, but the archival campaign marks the “first (and definitive) programme of remastering and includes the release of many rarities and cover versions on vinyl and CD for the first time,” according to a press release. Bush personally remastered each album herself with assistance from James Guthrie (Pink Floyd). The reissues will be packaged in four distinct vinyl boxes and released in two waves. The first two box sets are due out on November 16th, with the latter two sets following November 30th. Specifically, the fourth box is made up of rarities previously unreleased on vinyl, including an entire disc of cover versions.

Rolling Stones’ Classic ‘Beggars Banquet’ Gets 50th Anniversary Edition: The reissue of the 1968 landmark will feature a reproduction of a super-rare flexidisc interview with Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones’ landmark 1968 album Beggars Banquet will be released in a new 50th Anniversary Edition by ABKCO Records in multiple formats, including vinyl and CD, on 16 November. The limited edition vinyl format will have a gatefold jacket with a bonus 12” of the album’s celebrated opening track ‘Sympathy For the Devil’ in mono. That disc is cut at 45rpm and backed with an etching of the original “toilet” cover. Also in the package is a replica of the rare Japanese bonus flexidisc, which contains a telephone interview with Mick Jagger from 1968, and a download code for the album plus interview. Newly mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Bob Ludwig, the disc’s lacquers were cut at Abbey Road and it’s pressed on 180g vinyl.

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In rotation: 10/4/18

Lower Merion, PA | Iconic Main Line record store about to close for good: …For over 40 years, Gold Million Records, originally under the name Plastic Fantastic, has been the place to go for music. But over the next few weeks, the store will close for good as owners Howard Gold and Max I. Million have decided to close the iconic store. “This was both of our passions right from the beginning,” Gold said in a recent interview inside the store at its current location at 851 W. Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr. “What a treat to be able to share it, and people appreciated it.” Among their memories of the last 42 years are the giants of the rock industry who have passed through the doors. Today, there are photos on the walls of many of those visits, including Blondie, Joan Jett, the Ramones, the Hooters, the Police and many others. Gold said many of the times those bands were at the store was before they got really big. To Gold and Million, those stars were just kids at the time.

San Francisco, CA | Turn the music up: The 4 best spots to score vinyl records in San Francisco: Love to spin vinyl records at home? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top vinyl hotspots in San Francisco, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to venture next time you’re in the market to hear your tunes the old-fashioned way…Topping the list is Rooky Ricardo’s Records. Located at 419 Haight St. (between Webster and Fillmore streets) in Hayes Valley, this is the highest-rated vinyl record spot in San Francisco, boasting 4.5 stars out of 83 reviews on Yelp. Owner Dick Vivian opened Rooky Ricardo’s three decades ago, with a collection of 35,000 45s from a distributor who had gone out of business years before. Since then, the spot has welcomed LPs to its collection to fill things out, becoming one of the country’s top spots for funk and soul records.

Vancouver, CA | VIFF 2018: Kid Koala presents Satellite as part of Live program: Kid Koala brings his interactive turntable orchestra project Satellite to Vancouver. …To bring Satellite to fruition, 50 turntable stations are set up in the performance space. Each station also has a mixing effects console, a series of colour-coded vinyl records, and directions of how to follow the score. This is accomplished by a series of subtle lighting changes which correspond to the colour-coded albums, that the audience plays. Of course, each station will spin along somewhat differently than the next, and also be adding its own sound effects into the master mix. The creative team did consider the very strong possibility that the resulting sound could be extremely and profoundly unpleasant.

Mic Drop: W Hotels Launches Music Label: W Hotels isn’t just marching to their own beat, they’re debuting it. The iconic brand behind the world’s first on-property music festival series (WAKE UP CALL) today announces its newest project: W Records. At its core, W Records is a record label and resource for artists selected by W Hotels and their music industry partners. From signing to release, W Records supports artists through every step of development, providing recording space, video shoot locations, mixing and mastering and finally, distribution of the new sound via live performances, streaming and vinyl production. Tracks for W Records are recorded, naturally, in W Sound Suites (the brand’s signature, on-site recording studios) with four rising artists stepping up to the mic over the next year. Starting today, tracks from the first artist will be released through W Records both digitally and via limited edition runs of vinyl, offering W fans a throwback way to enjoy new/next music.

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In rotation: 10/3/18

CD Sales Are Not Dying, But They Are Heading Towards Niche Status Like Vinyl: Analysis: …Some publications, including Rolling Stone and a story in Billboard, noted that the CD decline was much larger than the decline in digital download albums, which, according to the RIAA, dropped 26.4 percent both on a unit basis (35.8 million last year to 26.3 million this year) and dollar amount ($360.4 million last year to $265.2 million this year). The key word missing from the first sentence of this story, though, is shipments. The RIAA counts shipments, not sales — and that’s where the observation that the CD is declining faster than downloads falls short of being entirely accurate. A look at actual sales from Nielsen Music tells a different story.

Singapore | White Label merges vinyl music and cocktails: Singaporean music enthusiasts Kurt Loy and Darren Tan have celebrated the renaissance of vinyl records with a bar in a new venture on Ann Siang Road. White Label is a bar and record store in a single space where the duo hope to enthuse a new generation to share their passion for vinyl. Their last venture was record marketplace app #vinyloftheday. “We are very happy to be working with Analog Vault to present to Singapore’s music community and music lovers our labour of love,” said Tan at a media preview. “We aim to provide a unique and all-encompassing experience in music where you can have a drink, discover and buy new music, enjoy live performances and DJ sets.” Loy and Tan hope White Label will become more than a bar, becoming a community space to showcase underground culture and alternative music.

Vinyl Record Sales Expected to Surpass 10 Million Units In 2018 — And That’s Conservative: The latest bullish data is coming from BuzzAngle, whose cofounder Chris Muratore divulged a range of vinyl stats at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit earlier today. The conference, now in its second year, is yet another green shoot in this once-flatlined business sector. In a morning session, Muratore offered a range of data related to vinyl, specifically for the US market. And by the end of the presentation and associated Q&A, it became apparent that Muratore’s data was pretty conservative — and purposefully so. For starters, BuzzAngle is only counting substantiated point-of-sale (POS) transactions. That includes a range of indie retailers, online accounts, and other reporting outlets. But Muratore was careful to note that not everyone is reporting to BuzzAngle, which means this number is probably lower than what’s actually going on.

Five-Disc Vinyl Edition of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Unmasked: The Platinum Collection’ Now Available: The new vinyl edition has been half-speed mastered at Abbey Road and includes a detailed 20-page booklet. Following the success of Unmasked: The Platinum Collection, which reached the No. 1 spot in the UK Compilations Chart, Andrew Lloyd Webber continues his 70th birthday celebrations with release of the collection as a five-disc box set, which was released on 28 September…The Orchestral Suites proved such a highlight of the 4CD version of Unmasked: The Platinum Collection that Lloyd Webber requested a special selection of them were gathered together for the exclusive fifth record of the vinyl box set. This will be the first time many of the tracks have ever been released on LP.

Craft Brewing and Distilling News for October 1, 2018: Dogfish Head is set to launch The Best Ever Dark Munich Beer Out of Milton, a new brewery-exclusive release, on October 6. The 5%-abv beer is brewed with Munich, Chilean black, and red rye crystal malt, before roasted corn meal and Abruzzi rye are added. The beer is named for the Mountain Goats song, “The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton,” and each bottle comes with a two-song vinyl record by Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Bryan Selders. Only 200 bottles of the beer will be available at Dogfish Head’s brewery in Milton, Delaware for $20 a 750-ml.

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In rotation: 10/2/18

Daytona, FL | Rock Hits Hard Place, but Millennials Make the Difference: …Along with all of this, vintage clothing and memorabilia such as vinyl record sales have been on the rise over the last few years. A 2015 Time magazine article notes that, “According to data by Nielsen Soundscan, more than 9.2 million vinyl records were sold in the U.S. last year, marking a 52 percent increase over the year before.” And the trade industry Bible, Billboard, reports that sales were 14.32 million 2017, a rise of 9 percent. The previous one-year high, registered in 2016, was 13.1 million. In fact, 2017 marks the twelfth straight year of growth in vinyl album sales. The format continues to increase in sales as more new and classic albums are issued on vinyl, along with promotion from retailers like Amazon, Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble, as well as annual vinyl-oriented celebrations like Record Store Day.

The Villages, FL | Villager was national record holder for her enormous collection of records: It all began back in 1963, when she was 13 years old her mother gave her two 45 rpm records – an Elvis Presley and a Don Gibson. Fast forward nearly 60 years and Cheryl Rehermann would have the largest private collection of records in the United States; well over 100,000 records. “My mother had a big console record player with a radio – a big, big, wide thing. I started listening to albums and enjoying the covers and reading the liner note. And then it just grew from there.” It was the time of folk artists such as Leonard Cohen, Peter Paul and Mary, The Byrds and, of course, Bob Dylan. “I was interested in all of the folk artists for their social and political messages. I liked that I was considered a rebel. Women burning their bras, and the Vietnam War, and that kind of thing.”

Sioux City, IA | THE REGULARS: Back in the day, record stores were popular draws for music lovers: …Back in the 1970s there were plenty of record stores around – the Record Roost, Slow Motion at the KD Stockyards Station, Budget Tapes and Records, the Audio Emporium at Indian Hills and, of course, the granddaddy of them all, Uncle John’s. But Uncle John’s was an experience as much as a record store (not the Jimi Hendrix type). Like countless Siouxlanders, I loved spending a long afternoon in the store walking around on those creaky wooden floors, inhaling the incense and reviewing the huge inventory of vinyl in a laid-back atmosphere. Paul Chelsted’s mural of rock icons and the always friendly and knowledgeable staff helped build the business with people from all walks of life gathering at the store, some traveling many miles. The music was the glue that brought so many people together.

‘Deadwax’ Review: A Sinister Series with Killer Sound: …The story follows Etta (Mindhunter’s Hannah Gross), an underground vinyl collector and hunter who is hired by die-hard waxheads to track down the rarest records ever pressed. Sneaking into people’s homes at night and accessing confidential files, she has no limits to the lengths she’ll go to in order to snag what she wants. On her most recent heist, she comes across an exceptionally unique vinyl that is notorious within collector circles. Part of the key series by sound engineer maestro Lyle M. Litton, it is one of only three pressings in existence and leads to a record that is said to have not only captured the sound of Litton’s soul leaving his body as he died, but also kills anyone who listens to it. Identified by strange markings etched into the record’s deadwax–the space between the label and the grooves–the vinyl contains a mythic reputation until police connect it to a series of deaths.

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In rotation: 10/1/18

East Anglia, UK | Vinyl’s resurrection: Why record shops are returning to East Anglia: …Andy’s Records, like many other independent record stores in East Anglia, is no more. It’s now a health food store where I’d have more chance of getting wrapped around some quinoa than buying a record. Next door a clothes shop occupies the spot where my favourite record store from my teens, Lizard Records, used to stand. They’re both gone now, victims of the time at the start of this century when we ditched music shops in favour of downloading tracks and picking up cheap CDs in supermarkets. But things are changing once again. The fact I was still able to buy a record from an independent record shop in 2018 was actually pretty remarkable given the seismic change in our relationship with buying music and in particular vinyl records this century. As a nation, we are starting to accept record shops back into our lives again.

Chicago, IL | Dorian’s — A Record Shop, Bar And Restaurant Hybrid — Opened Friday In Wicker Park: The team behind the popular Saved by the Max pop-up diner will unveil their permanent neighborhood addition Dorian’s this Friday night in Wicker Park’s Flat Iron building. Packing a quadruple punch as a swanky restaurant and bar inspired by late ’60s-era jazz clubs — plus a music/DJ stage and a record shop — patrons enter Dorian’s at 1939 W. North Ave. through a room with stacks of vinyl for sale. The record shop offers a fully functional listening booth with headphones that patrons can use as they wait in line to get into the hidden bar and restaurant located behind the record shop. The journey has its own hashtag on Instagram, #throughtherecordshop, which folks are using to post photos. Dorian’s selection of about 600 records across a variety of genres are curated by music programming director Joe Bryl, a former co-owner of West Town dance club Sonotheque.

UK | Now that’s a record… HMV sells a third of Britain’s vinyl and CDs, leaving Amazon firmly in second place: Music retailer HMV has grown its share of the UK market in vinyl and CDs to almost a third – eclipsing Britain’s biggest four supermarkets combined. The growth in share to 32.7 per cent also leaves Amazon firmly in second place. HMV was lifted by a 27 per cent surge in vinyl sales at the chain. Now it is poised to launch its online site internationally following a 40 per cent increase in sales to £12.4million in the year to the end of December. But declining DVD sales hampered sales in the period, falling 6 per cent to £290million. Profits before earnings, tax, interest and depreciation fell to £8 million from £10.4 million the previous year. But HMV said increasing sales of entertainment product and website sales would help counter falling sales of DVDs this year.

UK | Tenby’s Dales Music Store features in new ‘Vinyl Revival’ book: Tenby’s legendary Dales Music Store features in a new book released this week taking a look at the vinyl revival that has rejuvenated record stores across the UK. ‘The Vinyl Revival And The Shops That Made It Happen’ by Graham Jones is the story of the vinyl revival through the eyes of those who made it happen, the independent record shops. It explains why more than a hundred more record shops have opened since 2009, and how others have gained the reward from their hard work. Nearly 65 years since Laurie Dale first opened the doors of what has become a legendary attraction to music lovers – Dales Music Store, on Tenby’s High Street is still going strong.

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In rotation: 9/28/18

Portsmouth, UK | Why this Gosport High Street store is moving to Southsea next month: After more than 30 years in Gosport High Street, a record store is moving across the harbour to Portsmouth. Reflex Records will be moving to Palmerston Road, Southsea, in October, with the manager citing a ‘dying high street’ as the reason behind the move. Paul Potter, 56, who has managed the shop for just under 10 years, blamed online retailers such as Amazon for undercutting high street shops, causing damage to shops across the country. Mr Potter said: ‘The high street is dying. ‘The unspoken truth is that Amazon doesn’t pay tax and can afford to undercut the high street.

Nashville, TN | Grimey’s Moving To Transforming Trinity Lane: years, but with the possibility of their building being sold and their rent being significantly increased, owners Mike Grimes and Doyle Davis decided to find a new location for the legendary record shop. While the two looked all over Nashville, they settled on an old church building on Trinity Lane in East Nashville between Gallatin Road and Ellington Parkway. “When we walked in here, we were like, ‘Oh my God. This is it,'” Davis said of the new location. “It’s beautiful, it’s gorgeous. It’s a former church for us to build our temple of music.” The new location provides more space than Grimey’s and Grimey’s Too combined. It has significantly more parking for customers, a larger performance area for in-store performances (and an actual stage), and it still has the great vibe that people have come to expect from the record shop.

Raleigh, NC | Raleigh Beer Week means Bojangles’ and rare beers. Here are 5 can’t-miss events. An awful lot of great beer comes and goes at State of Beer, but some of it sticks around and hangs out for awhile. The folks at the bottle shop are reaching into their cellar and bringing up past vintages that have been taking some age and developing flavor. On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the chefs of Trophy Tap & Table and Trophy Brewing on Morgan will also have a grilled cheese throwdown, while mobile record store Record Krate sells vinyl at a pop-up record shop. The shop is at 401a Hillsborough St.

Bromsgrove, UK | Next Bromsgrove vinyl record and CD fair takes place this Sunday: The next vinyl record and CD fair returns to the Bromsgrove Hotel and Spa, Birmingham Road, this Sunday, September 30, between 10am and 4pm. It is a sell-out with traders coming all over the UK, meaning there will be more than 40 tables from chart classics to real obscurities and bargains from 50p a record. Visit www.midlandsrecordfairs.co.uk for more information. Ben Frizzell has also launched his own vinyl record stall on Bromsgrove Market which runs every Saturday throughout September. For more on that click here.

St Albans, UK | St Albans music shop features in new work by record-breaking vinyl lover: Graham Jones published his first work, Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops?, in 2009 after visiting thousands of music stores around the country. He believes he should be in the Guinness World Records book for visiting so many record shops. Since his first work, which documented the decline of vinyl, the situation has taken an unexpected turn and record sales have started to thrive. His second novel, Strange Requests and Comic Tales from Record Shops, reminisces about the anecdotes he picked up in his role as co-founder of Proper Music Distribution. The newest work highlights all 220 shops in the UK which stock new-vinyl. It is called The Vinyl Revival and the Shops That Made it Happen. It features Empire Records on Heritage Close, which is described as an “impressive” site where you are encouraged to “sit, chill out and listen to some good music”.

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In rotation: 9/27/18

Hagerstown, MD | Developer plans to buy former Massey property for record shop, game room: A vinyl record shop and game room are planned in a long-vacant building on East Baltimore Street in Hagerstown. The city council on Tuesday voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance authorizing the sale of the former Massey auto property, at 28-48 E. Baltimore St., to a private investor. Lloyd Thoburn, an owner of 339 Antietam LLC, has agreed to buy the property for $30,000, according to city documents. The company plans to invest $300,000 to $500,000 for renovation and fit-out work of the 20,000-square-foot building. About 5,000 square feet in the front of the building will be occupied by Hub City Vinyl, while the rear 15,000 square feet will house Gameroom Garage II.

Connecticut | Connecticut gets in the groove of vinyl craze: In a music industry where streaming is king, one tried-and-true format is making a resounding and timely comeback. According to the Record Industry Association of America’s mid-year report, vinyl record revenue has grown 12.6% from the first half of 2017, while CD’s have drastically fallen by 41.5%. Records are quickly taking over its CD predecessor as the primary format that people are using to consume physical music, despite the technology being more than three decades older. This popularity is evident in Connecticut, with the number of “mom-and-pop” record stores eclipsing 15 just in our small state. Shops like Redscroll Records in Wallingford, which specializes in metal and indie music, have noticed that business is booming despite the popularity of music streaming apps such as Spotify and Apple Music.

Zoe Kravitz to star in the female-lead reboot of High Fidelity: Let’s hope Championship Vinyl is still open in this adaptation. Zoe Kravitz has been announced as the star of a new series adaptation of Nick Hornby’s classic book, and the film High Fidelity. In a neat twist, Kravitz’ mum Lisa Bonet starred in the film version opposite John Cusack, as the impossibly cool Marie De Salle. The 10-episode series will reimagine the story of navel-gazing music store owner Rob Gordon from a female perspective. Hopefully, this reimagining will see the Big Little Lies actor still running Championship Vinyl record store. The film version follows Gordon, played by Cusack, as he attempts to get over a breakup by meeting ex-girlfriends, rearranging his considerable vinyl collection and obsessing over top 5 lists of records.

This new record stand is made out of recycled skateboards: A Dutch design studio have unveiled details of a new vinyl storage cube made from 34 thrashed skateboard decks. The latest in their Rip&Recycle range, Focused’s DecKube will allow buyers to store up to 70 records in a cube composed of recycled boards. The company – who collected the decks from stores across Europe – said, “No matter how old a skateboard deck is, the seven veneers of that deck are still full of life and should not be lost. Together with skateshops and parks we collect old skateboards and skateboard waste and give it a new destination.” Resting on a frame that keeps the cube hovering slightly above the floor, the holder is shaped to the size of an LP record cover. Once filled, it reportedly makes a “perfect cube.”

Denon’s Latest Turntables Provide Turnkey Vinyl Sound. Announced during CEDIA Expo 2018, the new Denon DP400 and DP-450USB turntables feature weighted, belt driven platters and integrated sensors to control playback speed. Coinciding with news from Neilsen that finds record sales are up from 6.4 million to 7.6 million in 2018—an increase of approximately a 20 percent—comes the introduction of the Denon DP400 ($499) and DP-450USB ($599) turntables. According to Denon, the launch of these two new turntables was driven by its years of experience designing consumer audio equipment, and as a result, the DP-450USB and DP-450 incorporate modern technologies to maximize the performance of classic analog audio. “We’re seeing a renaissance of vinyl listening. Whether it’s the high-touch process, superior sound quality or sense of nostalgia, consumers are hungry to experience and engage with their music with better sound and performance than we’ve seen in years,” states Joel Sietsema, senior vice president of brand management, Sound United.

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In rotation: 9/26/18

Teesside, UK | Fearnley’s, Austin’s, Playback – remember these Teesside record stores? Author Graham Jones does. Writer recalls buying vinyl records on Teesside as his new book highlights current stockists. …Teesside shops Sound It Out and Black Slab feature in Graham’s new book, “The Vinyl Revival and The Shops That Made It Happen.” The book tells how vinyl records have made a comeback in recent years – and features all the record shops in the UK selling new vinyl. And Graham, originally from Liverpool, says he’s spent many happy hours on Teesside, thumbing through shops’ record collections. He said: “In my first week as a sales rep 32 years ago, I came to Middlesbrough. “The owner of Playback told me vinyl had no future and he was just going to sell CDs. “And there was Alan Fearnley, who was a great character and so knowledgeable. I rated him as one of the best ‘indies’ in the country.”

Denver, CO | Wax Trax Denver: The Music, The Nostalgia… But Mostly The Music. In Denver there are few places to buy new and used music, and even fewer places to get your hands on records and cassette tapes. It is so important for any community to have access to to music in these formats, now so more than ever. The experience of these places, as well as the merchandise they offer, are extremely valuable to the music community. Founded in 1976 and owned by Duane Davis and David Stidman, Wax Trax has surprisingly survived the overwhelming popularity of streaming and downloading music online. Nate, a long time employee says “It’s been here so long so it’s sort of an institution, well-known amongst people so it’s definitely somewhere that people seek out, even if they’re coming from out of town. We get people from all over the place coming in and being like ‘Oh this is so cool…’”

The Amazing Supply Chain of a Vinyl Record: From 80’s gaming controls to Polaroid cameras, retro is all the rage. This ‘old is the new new’ phenomenon could perhaps be seen as a means of fighting the uniformity posed by the digital era. With the constant bombardment of new technologies and trends comes an underlying struggle for authenticity and individuality. The same goes for the music industry. Though CD and digital sales have seen a steady decrease since the rise of streaming platforms such as Spotify, vinyl record sales have surged. Since 2009, vinyl sales have increased by a massive 260%. The popularity of the format is largely based upon its nostalgic value and rich, authentic sound. I consider myself to be a bit of an audiophile and although I agree that digital files are overall more precise and higher in quality, vinyl records stay more true to the original source track, as many of the sound frequencies are lost in today’s digital recordings.

Cook Islands, NZ | Rare Numanga record surfaces in Sweden: A love of music and collecting vinyl records has led Ian Wheeldon, of The Café in the Beachcomber complex, to a rare Rarotongan record by local artist Jake Numanga. “I was doing an internet search, looking for Rarotongan records to add to the Café’s collection, and came across Jake’s record, My Cherie. It was in Sweden, of all places, and I think it cost me $20 for the record and $15 to have it posted here.” “We absolutely love it,” says The Cafe manager, Ian’s partner Clare. “Actually, everyone loves it. Lots of people have come in to listen and recognise the old songs on it. It fascinates me, that we searched here and New Zealand, but it turned up in Sweden. “We would love it if he came in and signed it.” “I think I put out about four or five records in the early days,” says Numanga. “Mostly local songs. It’s hard to remember, but I think I should have a good hunt around to see if I can find any of them.”

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In rotation: 9/25/18

Brighton, UK | Vinyl fans enjoy fair at Brighton Racecourse: The wet and blustery weather failed to deter hundreds of collectors from attending the VIP Record Fair at Brighton Racecourse, although fortunately the event was staged inside, protecting both records and punters from the elements. Dealers travelled from all over the country and included Steve and Gloria Holmes, who tied in a visit to family in Brighton with running a stall at the racecourse. Steve, 62, said: “I have been dealing in records for the best part of 40 years now. “We are Beatles specialists but sell a lot of other rock music from the Sixties and Seventies, and later as well, although not so much of the current stuff. “There have probably been 300 to 400 buyers but it is a pity about the weather because I am sure otherwise there would have been a lot more. “Nevertheless, people know what they want and we have done well.”

Are Vinyl Record Sales Actually on the Decline? So, when it comes to vinyl numbers, who should we believe? The RIAA and Nielsen Music, or Best Buy? According to Nielsen Music, American consumers purchased 14.3 million vinyl albums last year. Up 9.3% over 2016, vinyl sales have now experienced growth 12 years straight. The RIAA recently revealed vinyl sales jumped 13% in the first half of 2018 over the same period last year. Yet, CD sales plummeted 41%. Both have revealed one thing – vinyl records have and will continue to grow in the near future. But, not everyone agrees…Viewing Best Buy’s sales rank data, vinyl albums have steadily faded out. Breaking down the sales rank of 22,888 individual record UPCs at the retail chain, Thinknum found vinyl sales have slipped for almost 2 years.

Vinyl is even more popular than we thought: The vinyl resurgence is even bigger than we all originally thought thanks to records sales that aren’t regularly reported—until now. Vinyl has had quite the resurgence over the past decade or so, and it appears that the comeback is more than just a trend. While it was clear vinyl sales have spiked in recent years, it appears to be more than we all realized. Used records are purchased just as much (if not more than) new ones, but those figures weren’t being accounted for until now. According to Forbes, new data shows the vinyl market is at least double what the original figures show. The music industry doesn’t actively count used sales in a world where streaming is the most prevalent preferred music consumption as the former’s sales don’t benefit labels, artists or songwriters.

‘Timeless’ Bee Gees Present Career-Spanning Collection On Vinyl: The 21-track collection, which first appeared on CD and digitally in April 2017, arrives as a 2LP set. …The retrospective covers several decades of massive hits from the Gibb brothers’ unrivalled career, beginning with their first No. 1 in Australia, the adopted home of their youth, with 1966’s ‘Spicks and Specks.’ It embraces early, worldwide smash hits of the late 1960s, such as ‘New York Mining Disaster 1941,’ ‘Massachusetts’ and ‘I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You’; their mid-1970s rebirth with such songs as ‘Jive Talkin” and ‘Nights On Broadway’; the dance anthems of the record-breaking Saturday Night Fever era including ‘Night Fever’ and ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and their 1987 UK No. 1 ‘You Win Again.’ In his introduction for Timeless, Barry Gibb writes: “There is a spirituality about this album and these songs always meant the most to us. Although there are many other songs, these songs, I feel, are the songs that Maurice, Robin, and I would be most proud of.”

Sound Advice: A good phono preamp can make a major difference in vinyl sound quality: A high output moving coil cartridge will work with any phono preamp with a moving magnet (MM) input. A moving coil (MC) input is only needed with a low output moving coil cartridge. Many phono preamps have settings for both kinds of cartridges. If vinyl record playback is a big part of your musical enjoyment, a good phono preamp can make a major difference in the sound quality of your system. This often-overlooked component has a critical job to do. First, it takes the tiny electrical signal from a phono cartridge and increases it many times, so it can be used with a line level input on a receiver or amplifier. Then it must adjust the signal from the cartridge so it does not sound distorted, using a process called RIAA equalization.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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