Holy Ghost!,
The TVD First Date

“My first memory of playing vinyl is listening to Raffi records on a Fisher-Price children’s turntable. I had that thing forever. Didn’t sound great.”

“I was born in 1982 at Lennox Hill Hospital to a vinyl-obsessed mother and a father who identified best with the rhythmic sense of Steve Martin in The Jerk. At some point, probably around 1988, my household moved to cassettes and CDs. So it wasn’t until I was about 14, just getting into “backpack rap,” that I started buying vinyl records again. Raffi to Black Star by age 16…Who would have thunk it.

In ’98 we used to go to Fat Beats and Liquid Sky for new 12″s and breaks. But I didn’t scratch or mix records, so I found myself drawn to used vinyl I could sample into my Akai S20. I found a lot of good “dollar-bin” records at the Salvation Armys and local bookstores of the Upper West Side. I like the hunt of finding something new, so I’d go in and pick 5 or so records based on their album art: the ultra-nerdy cover to Wendy Carlos Williams’ Switched on Bach or the geometric minimalism of a Change album…Then I would run home and search for the break.

Album art used to tell me what to buy. I think it still does. And I think I fell in love with the process, the hunt, by shopping for used vinyl that was basically being thrown away.

Needless to say, I ended up with a lot of bad records for every great one I found. But it was that mix of good and bad, high culture and low culture, that drew me to vinyl as a medium—records, the living artifacts of post modernism and the pop explosion.

Years of buying vinyl and trying to make my own music eventually lead Nick and I out of our bedroom studios and into the DFA recording studios around age 19. James and Tim were vinyl heads and just seeing their appreciation for the classics along with the wierdo artifacts I was into—library records, TK Disco drum breaks, sex instructional LPs, etc.—gave me affirmation that vinyl was a good road to go down. It was like a big brother saying, “That’s cool!” And seeing the vinyl process at DFA, step by step, from recording to playing it out at a club, was influential to say the least.

And I guess I never got off the vinyl train. I still hunt, I still make music, and I still love putting on an LP.

This week we’re launching an all vinyl tour in America—mandatory press plug. I think people assume it’s a novelty tactic, or just a sentimental disposition. But vinyl really sounds better. And it’s really more enjoyable to play. Yes, they sell it at Urban Outfitters now, but there’s a reason vinyl sales are up beyond just their elegant pairing with a skinny denim.

Vinyl really sounds better. The physical medium outlasted the consumer trend…and now it’s back in trend.

And honestly, even if vinyl sounded worse than a digital file, I would still love it. There’s nothing like the physical sensation of seeing album art, grabbing the record, throwing it on and listening. I’m not saying the internet sucks. I’m definitely not saying its lame to DJ digitally—we do! I’m saying vinyl reconnects you to the physical sensation that is music. And that’s what we’re into.

P.S. I have to mention that hearing Dilla’s Doughnuts probably reaffirmed my/our love for digging more than anything else. That record is Vinyl to me.
Alex Frankel, Holy Ghost!

Holy Ghost!’s Work For Hire, a self released collection of the band’s favorite remixes from its extensive catalogue, arrives in stores May 5th.

Holy Ghost! All Vinyl DJ Tour Dates:
5/7 – Brooklyn, NY – Verboten
5/8 – Philadelphia, PA – The Dolphin
5/9 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
5/15 – Dallas, TX – It’ll Do Club
5/16 – Austin, TX – Kingdom
5-/17 – El Paso, TX – Garden
5/23 – San Francisco, CA – Harlot

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