In rotation: 4/29/21

UK | Stylus counsel: Music industry execs on the 2021 vinyl boom: It’s official: the vinyl revival is here to stay. As Music Week revealed in our Q1 analysis, sales of vinyl LPs were up 16.1% year-on-year in the first three months of 2021 to pass a million units (1,080,653), according to Official Charts Company data. Remember, those results were achieved during a national lockdown. Last year, vinyl sales were also up – by 11.5% to 4.8 million units – despite the effects of the pandemic on retail and release plans. Following the return of non-essential retail on April 12, sales have spiked. According to ERA research, the reopening of record shops has seen an aggregate year-on-year increase of 91% so far. The results have been remarkably consistent over the two chart weeks since record shops returned: vinyl was up 92.3% year-on-year for chart week 15 and 91% for chart week 16. Even CD sales have increased markedly – up 64.6% year-on-year on aggregate for the fortnight. However, the long-term trends for CD are downwards, with Q1 registering a decline of 29.9% year-on-year.

Cloverdale, BC | Music producer opens record store in Cloverdale as pandemic project: Town centre is now home to both Elevated Music and Redrum Records. With Elevated Music, Bill Haggerty has taken his music production work to another level. The Surrey-based record producer, audio engineer and musician has opened a record store under that name as well. In Cloverdale, the shop buys and sells vinyl, CDs, cassettes, some clothing and “culture,” as Haggerty calls it. Elevated Music opened last August on 57th Avenue, a few blocks from where the Urban Safari store has become Redrum Records, on 176th Street. “When I was a kid,” Haggerty recalled, “I always thought it’d be cool to have a record store like this, and as my career started to grow with the production side of things, I was collecting (records). I’d always been a collector from way back, and it got to the point where I didn’t need five copies of Dark Side of the Moon anymore.” The store became Haggerty’s pandemic project, at a time when more people are spending days and nights at home. “People come in here and tell me they’re playing music more and digging through their collections…”

Princeton, NJ | A Birthday Tour of the City of Lost Record Stores: You could say that growing up with the Princeton Record Exchange sealed my son’s fate. I can still see him sitting on the floor, plowing through the $1.99 bargain bins at the back of the legendary store’s first location on Nassau between Chambers and Bank streets. When Prex was two years old in 1982, Ben had just turned six, and there he was, hunkered down picking out albums that would be recycled over the years as his taste began to shift from mainstream pop to power pop to metal to psych to prog, and on and on into the most exotic, obscure, and far flung reaches of the rock and roll universe.

UK | Over 1 million vinyl LPs sold in first three months of 2021 in UK: Vinyl sales in the first quarter of 2021 are up 16.1% from last year. With UK vinyl sales having gone up last year by 11.5%, new data suggests that upward trend is to continue through this year. Sales of vinyl LPs in the UK were up 16.1% year-on-year in the first three months of 2021 to pass a million units (1,080,653), according to Official Charts Company data. This continued increase is seen as particularly remarkable having come at a time when the UK was in a national lockdown due to COVID-19, with music buyers simply purchasing records online instead of in shops. Following the return of non-essential retail on April 12, sales have also spiked, according to Music Week. ERA research says the reopening of record shops has seen an aggregate year-on-year increase of 91% so far. Speaking to Music Week, ERA CEO Kim Bayley said: “This is better than we could have hoped for. Like all physical retail, record shops have been through the wringer these past 12 months. Apart from dealing with furloughing staff, worrying about paying the bills and sickness among nearest and dearest, many shops have had to adapt to a whole new business model, and start trading online.

Do Colored Vinyl Records Sound Worse? We take a look at the differences between colored vinyl and black vinyl, what affects the sound quality, and why one may sound worse than the other. Colored vinyl has become extremely popular over the last decade. From solid primary colors to transparent opaque designs to multi-colored splatter records, it’s like a whole rainbow of vinyl has opened up. Musicians can now not only express themselves through their music and album artwork but also through the vinyl itself. Although colored vinyl has been around for decades, in the past it was pretty much seen as a novelty. People unanimously agreed it sounded a lot worse than black vinyl and most music fans steered clear, preferring to benefit from better audio quality. These days, however, colored vinyl has made a huge comeback. Many audiophiles admit they can rarely hear a difference between black and colored vinyl on more recently produced records. So, do newer pressings of colored vinyl actually sound just as good as black vinyl? Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at this question, what could affect the sound quality of colored vinyl and whether or not colored records are right for you.

AIAIAI and Ninja Tune team up with headphones made from recycled vinyl: These ear goggles are green. We’re huge fans of AIAIAI’s TMA-2 headphones over here at Stuff – in fact these highly configurable, fully replaceable cans made our recent round-up of truly desirable eco-friendly gadgets. The good news for environmentally conscious musos is that a new, even greener version has arrived, courtesy of a collaboration with one of the UK’s most beloved cult record labels. The limited edition AIAIAI Ninja Tune Edition TMA-2 (US$250/€250, available today) has speaker units made of recycled vinyl, Bluetooth 5.0, a 20-hour battery life and the same modular design that allows it to be repaired and upgraded over the years. Despite Ninja Tune’s success as a label it apparently has no shortage of records in need of recycling (see Cliff Richard’s back catalogue), and it’s heartening to see said vinyl put to use in some great-sounding headphones.

Just 50 Vinyl Copies Of This Leon Vynehall LP Will Be Sent To Record Shops. So you’d best act quick… Leon Vynehall will place an incredibly rare set of vinyl records on sale this week. The producer’s new album ‘Rare, Forever’ is out on April 30th, and in keeping with the title he’s whipped up some vinyl goodies. A limited edition black label testing pressing edition of ‘Rare, Forever’ is being lined up, with each copy being signed, numbered, and screen printed by Vynehall himself. Only 50 copies are being pressed, available via a select batch of record shops across the globe – available on a strictly one per customer basis, of course. Out this week, keep an eye on social media… oh, and you’d best be quick! ‘Rare, Forever’ goes on general release from April 30th.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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