We have heard it almost everywhere now that Vinyl is making a comeback.
Written off as a thing of the past in the early 90s and 2000s and with sudden influx of digital music platforms, vinyl did take a backseat but a few crazy ones who were obsessed with vinyl back then and still are held on to their priced possessions. And the past few years have been nothing short of exhilarating for vinyl’s resurgence.
Vinyl’s revival has made a significant mark in sales figures. Even as physical CD sales decline, people are buying more vinyl than they have in decades. Nearly 6 million units sold in just in 2013. It’s not a single-year phenomenon either. Since the start of the upturn, sales have jumped more than 1,000 percent, climbing from shy of 1 million units in 2007 to nearly 12 million units in 2015.
India Record Co. founder Nehal, tells us why she loves vinyl so much.
“There are tons of reasons to love vinyl though the initial draw is a one-of-a-kind experience with limited edition pieces that everyone wants. There’s a collector’s aspect to it as well. A very select crowd buys them because they’re priced very high, but it’s like other collectible things. These people have amassed a nice collection of those and take them out on the weekend and listen to them with their friends”.
But now with almost all artists pressing their albums on vinyl and tech and hifi audio companies working their magic on rediscovering the old turntable with stylish designs and great built, vinyl is for all because we all deserve that privilege of great sound and audio.
1. It’s a whole sensory experience
Along with the perception of a “cool” experience, vinyl’s special qualities have fueled its success. Vinyl puts music in the foreground instead of music in the background.
The whole process of digging through your collection, picking up a record, having conversations about that record and artist, pulling it out of the sleeves, admiring the album artwork, reading the liner notes and stories inside, putting the record on your player, dropping that needle and kicking back and letting music fill your room little by little. The sizzle and crackle of the records add to the charming experience and that kind of music transcends you.
I really need that after a hard day’s work. Just to sit back, relax, pour a drink and enjoy the music with your eyes closed. It’s a soothing sensory experience for you, and your ears.
2. It promotes slow living and compels you to relax and get off your phone
While more than half the music market now is made up of downloaded digital sales and online streaming platforms, vinyl offers something that just can’t be purchased digitally: atmosphere and sensory saturation.
There is something so tactile and tangible about having a physical record to look at and experience rather than being on a blank canvas or just a code.
Music on phone can be disturbed with multiple notifications, calls and messages and ads in the middle of listening to your favourite album can be one of the most annoying things if you are not a premium subscriber to digital platforms. Vinyl has no distractions and its just you and your music. It compels you to sit down and relax and immerse yourself in music without any distractions.
In a ad-heavy market trying to grab your eyeballs at every scroll of a finger, vinyl listening is a rather welcome and a pleasing experience.
3. Community and connection:
The vinyl collecting community makes oceans smaller and cultures wider. I have discovered so much new music because of this community of India Record Co. This is where vinyl beats the internet; a lot of rare bootlegs, world music, classical music do not reach the downloadable or streaming content online are all available on vinyl and becomes a rare keepsake. Also people who listen to music on vinyl are great people and that is not up for debate.
You really feel connected to a piece of music when you’ve heard it on a vinyl record.
4. Vinyl helps you build a relationship with your favorite artist
Digital streaming is too easy. In three clicks of a button, you have put on a playlist or an album because you couldn’t think of ‘what to play’ and then one just skips a song or shuffle the album because you can. But the tracking forces you to play your records straight through. You can’t put some shitty mix tape on and skip between it or play it in shuffle mode. I tell all my clients to unlearn their listening styles which is to decide whether they ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ an artist or an album basis one song and sometimes basis the first 30 seconds of one song. That’s not doing justice to the artist.
Vinyl focuses on the whole album, liner and artist notes on the cover gives you more trivia which in turn helps you build a sort of connection with the artist or the band and you understand their music, what they are trying to express through their music and what is the purpose of that sound.
For many of us, vinyl offers an analog experience that is much more pleasant in the fast moving digital world.
Vinyl was always there, but it was on the downswing, a lot of credit for the current boom goes to the age where each one of us is looking for meaningful connections.
5. Old school way of music discovery:
Music discovery on vinyl is very exciting. Its not based on any algorithm but just your gut feeling sometimes. The whole adrenaline of digging old crates in a dinghy record store, looking at an album art and reading some description on the vinyl and taking a punt based on your gut and bringing that record back home and putting it on just to know what it really sounds like is very addictive. I have discovered so much music from the 60s and 70s funk era on vinyl and there are no digital albums for it whatsoever. And the fact that you can actually physically hold music is a cherry on top.
Rare and lost records are like your own NFTs just not digital but purely analogue.
6. Conversation starter
Call me a romantic but nothing seems more adorable than being with a loved one and going through each others vinyl. You see a whole other side of what they enjoy musically. It’s tactile and personal. Records are a conversation starter. Which Beatles Record do you prefer? What side of the record is the best? Where was the musician emotionally when recording this? I call dibs on what we put on next!
Photos for India Record Co.
Vini M (https://www.instagram.com/uncagedvini/?hl=en)
Sohini Roy (https://www.instagram.com/abol.ta.bol/?hl=en)