Vinyl — Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that as we become more technology advanced, so there is an essence of the past that makes us hanker back to the old days. Maybe it’s because as a collective we yearn for authenticity.
Entre the retro vibe, with all those hipsters. I have spoken to many a producer who says that there is a warmth that analogue sounds create, that just cannot be reproduced digitally. Some people bemoan the ‘loss of quality’ that comes from an MP3, but I doubt the public ear would even be able to tell the difference.
Whatever the world’s reasoning, while the CD languishes in falling sales, vinyl – at R300 a pop sometimes – is experiencing a retro resurgence. Go into your local branch of Musica or a cool sound shop, and you will also see old-style record players for sale – some with built-in MP3 conversion and a USB port or two.
This is not a new trend, nor does this blog purport it to be. But it’s fascinating as to why and how this trend is emerging. Years ago a theorist proposed that as we as humans become more hi-tech, so there is a need to become more hi-touch – to connect with other human beings. This makes sense. After all, the primary function of a smart phone is to connect people to other people, even if only digitally.
Perhaps vinyl reminds people of a bygone era, a more authentic time when human interaction was limited to face-to-face conversations. It might be argued that people are wanting to relive their childhoods by re-connecting to vinyl, but have you seen the number of young hipsters today? They were born long after the vinyl era had died.
Whatever the reasoning, vinyl is back. It was always there, underground with the cool DJs and stuff, but it’s becoming mainstream again. Now all we need to complete the trend is an authentic looking record player that actually looks like a gramophone! Entrepreneurial opportunity, anyone?