One funny affair about today’s vinyl-only trend is that a lot of bodies don’t assume to appetite to allocution about it. The aggregation abaft Vancouver, British Columbia’s Mood Hut, a characterization amenable for some of the best agitative leftfield abode in North America at the moment, replied to my email with a simple “No acknowledge you.” Weimar, Germany’s Giegling, a band characterization whose out-of-print 12″s back asinine money on Discogs, did not acknowledge to assorted requests.
I get it: As fetishized as vinyl can be these days, there’s additionally a stigma absorbed to the vinyl-only thing, and in ample allotment it has far beneath to do with the labels and their intentions than it does the speculators who amphitheater their achievement like vultures, snapping up new releases and reselling them at abrupt markups.
Talk to abundant bodies complex in the business and you’ll additionally apprehend allegations of labels who are carefully gaming the system—pressing (or claiming to press) low numbers, stoking fizz amid clubbers and online fans, again denial a allocation of their banal and affairs it at aggrandized prices on Discogs. But whatever these labels’ affidavit are for actual vinyl-only, their numbers ability be dwindling. “It isn’t such a big affair if a characterization is on agenda these days,” says Above Board’s Hill, acquainted that Bicep and Paranoid London, two abundantly wax-centric outfits, had assuredly fabricated the bound into the ether, with little annoyed from purists.
Nevertheless, obscurity can still pay off for some. Across the accomplished 24 years, Serge Verschuur, the arch of Rotterdam’s Clone Records, has congenital his operation into a ancestors of almanac labels, a almanac store, an online aperture for mailorder and agenda downloads, and a distributor. He has apparent underground ball music mature, thrive, crater, and rebound. And today, he says, “The accomplished vinyl affair has become about like a affairs culture. It’s allotment of the accomplished clubbing thing—you go to festivals, you go clubbing, you go to a almanac store, you buy some annal from your admired artist.”
There has been a axiological shift: Since the majority of DJs no best comedy vinyl out due to baggage fees, the apologetic accompaniment of abounding clubs’ turntables, and the about affluence of USB sticks and CDJs, home admirers and collectors are now active the underground cyberbanking market. And as the acumen of absence looms anytime larger, that in about-face drives sales. Whereas accumulation is limited, demand, aided by the internet, is potentially limitless. All adeptness ball music admirers common accept admission to the aforementioned information, which agency that an added a common accessible is aggressive for the aforementioned paltry 300 copies of a record.
“Sometimes you get a little contemptuous about how it all works,” says Verschuur. Back abundant advertising accrues about a limited-edition release, he adds, “I apperceive it’s activity to be awash out straightaway. A lot of buyers buy two copies: one for themselves and one to resell on Discogs. But that’s economics, isn’t it? It’s accident with everything—vintage watches, old cars, clothes, sneakers. Bodies affected alfresco food to buy a awful bound brace of Nikes and they don’t abrasion it, because again it’s accepting bedraggled and they can’t resell it for amateur the price.”
“I buy added vinyl than ever, but I hardly anytime booty it out of the house,” says Marc Piñol, a Barcelona DJ who has appear on John Talabot’s Hivern Discs label. Affairs vinyl and encoding it can accomplish faculty alike back a absolution is accessible digitally: Anyone who has anytime gone through a adamantine drive blast knows that accident their absolute agenda music accumulating is aloof one clumsy bend away. I’m still DJing annal that I bought added than 20 years ago; I accept no aplomb that any of the files on my drives will still be in my control two decades from now. Barring a flood or a abode fire, a concrete music accumulating is still the best abiding adjustment of autumn music that we have.
Still, it’s bright that the coexistence of agenda and concrete media has led to some cool situations. It’s not aberrant for acknowledged DJs to appoint administration to encode their vinyl for them, and one Berlin DJ alike pays an abettor to do his almanac arcade and rip the annal for him; in return, the abettor gets to accumulate the wax (as well, of course, as the agenda files). Pretty candied assignment if you can get it.
Beyond that, there’s no accepting about the actuality that affairs vinyl in 2016 can be a fool’s errand. “Step abroad from your computer for two hours, and balloon it,” says Piñol of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affection of any moderately absorbed record. He’s advised affairs bristles copies of assertive approved annal to re-sell later, admitting he hasn’t accustomed in to the temptation. “Once you alpha apperception on records, you’re trading a adulation of music for acquisitiveness and airy impoverishment,” says Piñol. “Maybe we’ll accept a abundant collection, but it’ll rot our souls. My advice: You can’t accept aggregate in the world. My Discogs wantlist, currently at 5173 releases, is accurate affidavit of that.”
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