In rotation: 4/27/23

UAE | UAE vinyl collectors tell how they ‘love the process of discovery’ To appreciate the way the vinyl record market is booming, look no further than the growth of Dubai’s Raw Music Store. Launched online in 2019 with nearly 5,000 records, the shop moved to a brick-and-mortar location in DIFC two years later. To accommodate an increasing demand from UAE record collectors, the store is relocating again, to its biggest premises yet, in Al Quoz. Opening on Saturday in celebration of Record Store Day on April 22, the airy warehouse will be stocked with 7,000 new and vintage records. Tunisian manager and co-founder Yassine Hakimi says the expansion echoes the fortunes of the international market. “Vinyl record collecting and purchases have been on the rise everywhere over the past few years and that has partly moved many of us to open up businesses to accommodate it,” he tells The National. “But I have to say that it remains a very niche business and it’s all about passion.

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX | The 12 Best Record Stores in Dallas-Fort Worth: Keep these North Texas record stores in constant rotation—you never know what vinyl gems you’re going to find. As Record Store Day approaches on April 22, you’re going to want to keep some of Dallas-Fort Worth’s best vinyl shops on your docket. Vinyls are all the rage right now, as listeners find themselves trapped inside the smooth grooves and nostalgic sounds. Sure, we may be in an era when we can stream our favorite music anytime we want, but nothing beats being able to physically touch and hold your favorite album. So skip Target and Urban Outfitters, check out our favorite vinyl shops and keep these stores on rotation. Spinster Records: This is a staple for crate diggers in Dallas. Spinster Records is always stocked with the latest vinyl releases, as well as DJ singles, B-sides, rarities, and record-playing systems. Not to mention, you can get an early listen at some of the most anticipated new releases at Spinster’s listening parties, which often take place just days before the album’s release date. While this may be a little shop, you can easily spend hours sifting through boxes, and you may just leave discovering your new favorite record.

Memphis, TN | Vinyl Revival: Memphis Record Pressing opens second location: Long before streaming music and CDs, there were vinyl records. But today, they’re making a major comeback and are more popular than ever thanks to a Mid-South company. At Memphis Record Pressing on Appling Center Drive in Bartlett, there was a ribbon cutting for a vinyl company whose spin on a once-dying format has it on record to become one of the largest pressing plants in North America. “We never thought that we would get to this size and we were going to be one of the major players in the global market,” said Mark Yoshida, Co-founder and COO of Memphis Record Pressing. This is the company’s second of its two expansion facilities and to the overall tune of $30 million. The expansion includes a new 33,000-square-foot pressing plant floor at the Brother Boulevard headquarters as well as the new 100,000-square-foot packaging and shipping facility at Appling Center. “The size of our packaging facility here is about 108,000 square feet. It allows us to package more records. A year ago, we were producing about 28.000 records a day. Today we’re producing about 65,000 records a day and by June we’ll be producing 120,000 records a day,” Yoshida explained.

Manchester, UK | Seven best record shops in Manchester city centre for stocking up on vinyl: Vinyl collectors flock to Manchester from all over the country to stock up on LPs and singles in the city centre. Some things just go together. Fish and chips. Ant and Dec. Batman and Robin. Manchester and record shops seem to be one of those things that just make sense. And for vinyl enthusiasts – whether collectors or hobbyists – the city’s vibrant Northern Quarter is a treasure trove of shiny plastic discs with a record store on nearly every corner. …Vinyl records are still seeing a huge resurgence, outselling CDs for the first time in 35 years last year – but Manchester has always had love for the humble medium. If you’re wondering where the best place to head to stock up on your LPs and singles are, you won’t have to look too far. Here are some of our favourite record stores in Manchester city centre, all of which are just a short walk from one another, making for the ultimate musical trail with plenty of coffee shops nearby for a pitstop.

Chichester, UK | ‘Vinyl is an exercise in mindfulness’: Chichester record shop owner on what makes vinyl so special: For Craig Crane, owner of Analogue October Records on South Street, Chichester, vinyl records are an important part of what he calls ‘a digital detox’; a cross-generational shift away from the ephemera of digital devices to the singularity of analogue sounds. “Vinyl is an exercise in mindfulness,” he said. “Because from the the minute you pull that record off the sleeve, you’re committed to that experience. You’re not looking at your phone or checking the football, you’re not updating your Facebook. You’ve made a determined effort to listen to this record, whether it’s a new album or an old favourite.” A lot of ink has been spilled about the so-called vinyl revolution, which carries with it the whiff of a passing fad, but Mr Crane says vinyl is anything but a flash in the pan. Records offer a bespoke experience you can’t get online; they’re not just back, he says, they’re here to stay: “When I opened up the shop, words like ‘renaissance’ were being used. But it’s not in vogue, it’s not a renaissance, it’s not a comeback anymore. It’s just how people are buying their music.”

Gloucestershire, UK | 9 of the best independent record stores in Gloucestershire: Whether you’re just discovering the joy of the crisp sounds of a vinyl record or you’re a seasoned LP collector, SoGlos rounds up the best independent record stores in Gloucestershire. Turn up the music on Saturday 22 April 2023 for Record Store Day, with Gloucestershire record shops armed and ready with cool collections of rare and classic vinyl waiting to go under the needle or take pride of place on display. From well-known and well-loved havens to secret musical treasure-troves, you’ll be sure to find a harmonious haunt near you in SoGlos’s magical musical round-up. Badlands in Cheltenham: A vinyl hot spot in Cheltenham town centre, Badlands Records is a great option for new releases as well as classic presses. The award-winning store is jam-packed with every genre and artist, from Taylor Swift to Bob Dylan. If the name itself didn’t give it away, the store is somewhat of a tribute to musical icon, Bruce Springsteen – it even has its own unofficial fan club! Members receive exclusive monthly e-newsletters, special offers and have the opportunity to tag along on trips to see the man himself in concert.

UK | Let’s go round again: the ridiculous rise of fifth-anniversary vinyl reissues: With young fans craving vinyl copies of relatively recent releases, the industry is shortening the nostalgia cycle to almost nothing. But how long can this boom really last? The remarkable resurgence of vinyl has been one of the biggest stories in the music industry of the past few years. The once-dead format has seen exponential sales growth, with 5.3m records being sold in the UK in 2021 – the highest volume since 1990, roughly when CD sales began to outpace other formats – and record sales in the US up 15.6% year-on-year in the first few weeks of 2023. This Saturday’s Record Store Day will see the usual yearly clamour for limited vinyl editions, with over 400 records by the likes of the 1975, Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding and more set to go on sale. Keen to make the most of a seemingly steady revenue stream, labels have begun increasing production on limited and deluxe repressings of popular albums. Anniversary reissues – once only common to recently remastered records, or albums several decades old—are now becoming popular for releases that are just five years old.

Brighton, UK | Near Mint to host Brighton vinyl fair with New York’s Human Head: Get crate-digging by the sand. Near Mint is set to run a record fair in Brighton on May 7. The record fair, set in Wagner Hall, will see Human Head (NYC), Rarekind, Mr Thing and DJ Format selling their vinyl wares from 11am to 4pm. Human Head will bring US stock and a pallet of records from Togo. On the day, there will be DJ sets from Mr Bongo, Shawn Dub (NYC), Ewan Rarekind, Russ Ryan and Wyclef Genre. Following the fair, Near Mint will host an after-party at The Fortune Of War.

Boston, MA | Jamaica Plain Record Store Named Best In Massachusetts: Record Store Day is this weekend. This year’s ambassadors, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires (who are husband and wife), are celebrating by releasing a collection of new tunes entitled, The Sound Emporium. Perhaps you’ll be able to snag this vinyl at Deep Thoughts JP. This Jamaica Plain record store was just named the best independent record store in Massachusetts by Labeled a”A Psychedelic Record Store,” Deep Thoughts JP was the readers’ choice in an extensive list compiled by the website. The list highlights 10 shops in the greater Boston area. “It’s become a Jamaica Plain staple in the ten years since it first opened its doors,” the article states. Located a stone’s throw from the Forest Hills T Stop, Deep Thoughts JP has it all. …This is great news for locally-owned record stores, including Deep Thoughts JP. They now offer customers the ability to purchase their music through their website. You can also sell records (and additional items above) to Deep Thoughts JP for cash or store credit.

Houston, TX | Come for the drinks, stay for the DJs at Montrose’s premier ‘record bars’: 93’ Til and The Flat are turning Houston into a haven for vinyl lovers. Deep in the heart of Montrose, there’s a bar that offers food, drinks, and, on certain nights, DJs who’ll spin some intoxicating music. 93′ Til, named after Bay Area hip-hop group Souls of Mischief’s beloved 1993 song “’93 Til Infinity,” is a record bar—a hangout where people can eat food, sip cocktails, and listen to the myriad of records that adorn the shelves. The bar usually has DJs spinning tunes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the first Friday of the month; they’ll set up their turntables in the front (right next to the shelves of records and a pink-neon “Music for the People” sign) and play vinyl goodies throughout the evening. “It’s always a pleasure for me to play music for people, and particularly in places where vinyl appreciation is displayed and welcomed,” says SoulOne, who does a monthly set. Flash Gordon Parks, who also plays 93′ Til once a month, can’t get enough of the place either. “It’s been an awesome experience to be able to play all types of records at spaces where the audience is open to hear great music,” he says.

Fargo, ND | Some local record shops worried about rising prices of vinyl records: A small business owner in Moorhead addresses a growing number of complaints about the rising cost of vinyl records. Brady Bredell, the owner of Mother’s, says while record companies continue to raise prices for distributors, profits of local record shops are shrinking. “Universal, Sony and Warner are the three big companies that control 70% of the music you listen to. They control our prices and it’s tough to compete when you’re selling a $30 record when you can go online and stream something for free,” said Bredell. …Aaron Swinkels, the owner of Vinyl Giant Records in Downtown Fargo, says rising prices are due to inflation. “When you offset that by what wages have gone up, they really aren’t out of step. A decade ago, you’d never see a $40 or $45 record which you do now, but you see a $30 or $35 record. A decade ago, you worked at McDonald’s for $7-$8 an hour, now you work at McDonald’s for $15 to $17 an hour,” Swinkels says.

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