Vinyl resurgence is good for humanity
FOR anyone who has been living under a rock for the past few years, there is something important you need to know.
Vinyl is back.
And no, I am not talking about vinyl trousers or renovating your kitchen, I'm talking about the humble record.
Vinyl sales have been growing steadily in Australia for a number of years now and in 2016 the industry made $15.2 million in sales, up from $8.9 million the year before.
There has even been a resurgence in people buying cassettes. No, that is not a typo, cassette tape sales grew in the US by 19 per cent in 2018.
This resurgence is being spearheaded by us millenials and I am sure that by the time the Grafton waterfront precinct is completed, it will be promptly filled with joggers listening to Nirvana on their Walkmans.
Now being a man of the millenials, with my finger firmly on the pulse of what the kids are "down” with, I have come up with a few reasons why the youth are flocking back to the items of yesteryear.
It sounds better.
I must admit, after years of listening to the pumping bass of some totally wicked Nikki Minaj out of an iPhone 5 inside a schooner glass, vinyl sounds better.
The key here is that most digital music, whether streamed or downloaded as an mp3, goes through a compression process, in effect driving out some of the detail.
So it is no surprise that many people have been taken aback by the soothing sounds of vinyl through a stereo amplifier and a half decent pair of speakers.
In our great rush to become more efficient, we let half a generation think the definition of good sound was linking a second blue-tooth speaker to create stereo sound.
You can touch it.
There is no doubt holding a record feels nicer than not holding a record.
And much like rubbing money all over your body to get that feeling of being cashed up, pressing a record against your face gives you a feeling like you are listening to music.
This cuts to the heart of why so many people buy LP's, the physical record means that you can amass a collection.
In the old days people collected tea spoons, fine china and ceramic animals which they could hand down to unsuspecting relatives when they died.
Or if they were particularly sadistic, when they were alive, so they could force said relative to keep them for years and years while casually asking about them from time to time.
Personally, I collect CDs because I am simply not cool enough for vinyl, but it ensures that when I die my kids aren't handed an external hard drive.
I know how long it can take transferring files from one hard drive to another and I wouldn't want them having to do that at such a tough time.
We have lost touch with what it means to be human.
Young people are eschewing modern forms of media offering infinite levels of convenience to "get back to their roots” and enjoy the pleasures past generations were afforded in a simpler time.
What right do older people have to rob the youth of their chance to desperately try and salvage their chewed up tape from their Akai cassette deck?
To think young people have never known the magic of meticulously winding a tape back up with their finger only for it to get jammed again is an absolute travesty.
Just as some generations had the opportunity to ignore the history of failed "interventions” into sovereign nation-states, we deserve an opportunity to use cassettes.
And perhaps one day young and old can all sit together and listen to the soothing sounds of my new cylinder phonograph.