In my early twenties, some friends tried to convince me of the superiority of vinyl. But I couldn’t be bothered. Fast forward some twenty years and I’m finally into vinyl. Who’d have thought?
It’s not that I’m now convinced that the sound is better. I didn’t hear much difference then. I’m not hearing much difference now. It’s just that the whole process of listening to music changed. In the nineties, I would buy two, three, four CDs a month. Put them in the player. Sat down, listened to the music and read the booklet. Nowadays I open Spotify and am surprised how good the mix of the week is. I rarely know which album a song is on. And I almost never look at the cover. Or read up on the band. Cause most of the time I’m doing something else while listening to music. I don’t think as much about it as I used to do.
With vinyl the whole process is different. You have to put more effort into it. You have to decide that you want to hear a certain record. The art of putting the record carefully on the player. It all takes longer than just pushing a button. Just by itself vinyl demands thought and time. And that might be the right prelude to just listen again.
Of course, it’s not just me. There’s a whole vinyl revival going on. For years now. There are new magazines dedicated to vinyl. There are some vinyl clubs that send you one or more records every month. Even Sony decided to press vinyl records again after a 28-year break. God, it even has its own Wikipedia page. And once again, I am late to the party.
Starting from scratch
So, where to start? While I thought about buying some records for some time, what got me going was german punk rock band Cocktailbar Stammheim. I heard them at Bierschinken eats fzw #13 and decided to start with their latest record »Es wird ja auch nicht lustiger«.
Starting a collection with just one record seems a bit lazy. So I added some more:
- Cocktailbar Stammheim: Es wird ja auch nicht lustiger (Spotify)
- Mülheim Asozial/Cocktailbar Stammheim: Fresst Scheiße!
- Arctic Flowers: Weaver (Spotify)
- Beastmilk: Climax (Spotify)
- Dividing Lines: Wednesday / 6pm (Spotify)
- The Estranged: s/t (Spotify)
That sounds like a good starting point. Though I am still in mourning cause Regressverbot was out of stock.
For more variety, I am trying out Vinyl Me, Please. If you join the club they send you one record per month, together with an art print and custom cocktail recipe. In their own words: »Vinyl Me, Please is a record of the month club. The best damn record club out there, in fact.« Sounds good enough for a test run. The first record is Betty Davis. Gee, what a contrast to the rest of my collection. I would have never thought about picking up that record but I am glad »Vinyl Me, Please« did that for me. Funky.
Now the only thing missing is a record player!
PS. Ok, fine. I’ll have to admit: While I will count Cocktailbar Stammheim as the first vinyl I bought for the music it isn’t the first record I have at home. Some years ago I bought two records from a flea market because I kinda liked the stupid covers.