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    This project explores the current landscape that surrounds vinyl by looking at record shops, collectors, and the individuals, whose lives revolve… Read More
    This project explores the current landscape that surrounds vinyl by looking at record shops, collectors, and the individuals, whose lives revolve around vinyl records. Still in progress... Read Less
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Vinyl records were the predominantly popular music format from 1950’s to 1990’s. With the rise of digital technology in the 1990’s the Compact Disc overtook vinyl, as the mainstream format of delivering music. As the Internet has become more widely used there has been a huge shift from the sale of CD’s to digital downloads with a corresponding decline in Compact Disc sales. However within the current musical landscape it has been highlighted that there has been a resurgence in vinyl sales over the last 10 years. Statistics have shown that record shops account 50% of all record sales, with sales of vinyl reaching its highest level since 1991. These sales, produced by independent labels, only constitute a 3% market share in the UK, but if they are compared to the 50% decrease in overall music sales, vinyl can be seen as format that is rising in popularity.
 
These figures only represent the first hand sales of records, the second hand market has it’s own space. Crate diggin’ a term derived from old skool hip hop describes a past time of individuals who spend hours “digging” through crates old records at shops and fairs that they can add to their extensive collections.
 
This project explores the current landscape that surrounds vinyl by looking at record shops, collectors, and the individuals, whose lives revolve around vinyl records. 
Brian, collector for over 40 years. Novemver, 2013
 
Record: Jimi Hendrix Experience – Radio One 
Storefront, Drift Records, Totnes, Devon, November, 2013. 
Rupert Morrison, who runs the record shop Drift, as well as self publishes the newspaper Deluxe. A publication all about record shops. Totnes, Devon, November, 2013.
 
“I think people are re engaging with a physical format, everything is so disposable with
the digital, it’s almost as they have gone as far away as possible as they can to this large cumbersome but a greatly more rewarding medium. So I think vinyl and record shops come hand in hand.
What has been interesting is the demographics, we did rely on an older predominantly male buyer, but that has shifted” 
Honest Jon’s has been running as record shop since 1974. In 1994 it’s previous owner handed over the shop to Alan Scholefield, and his co worker Mike Ainey. In 2002 in collaboration with Damon Albarn, Alan and Mike set up Honest Jon’s Records. London, November, 2013.
 
“It’s got busier again, it got very very quiet in the record business around the turn of the century. When a lot technologies are coming and fashions are changing, in terms of how people buy music now, online and mp3’s, that sort of stuff. There was a significant move away from buying things physically, and getting things downloaded. At the same time the chains were cutting each others throats, so Amazon was coming in and murdering a lot of the small independents on price and service. So tons of record shops as you know closed.
 
We weathered the storm, a lot of people did different things. Some people started doing live music, like Rough Trade. Some people sold coffee, some people provided a place to download, all sorts of things were tried. One of things we did was start a record label, which on the back of many years of knowing about music and helping other labels come into existence. We started one called Honest Jon’s. We put a lot of energy into that, and that was one of things that started to revive our fortunes.
 
What you have to realize it’s completely a niche. The resurgence is based on small numbers, with rather intense interest. It is great for us, a website which was the enemy at one point is now the thing that is helping us, because we can sell to small number of people all over the world, but adds up to a decent customer base.” 
David, a regular collector since 16 years old. November, 2013.
 
Record: Curved Air – Air Conditioning 
Elly Randall, who co founded the Vinyl Library with Sophie Austin, the first ever all vinyl lending library. The Vinyl Library, based in Stoke Newington, London, is a non profit initiative set up in July 2013 that lends out an eclectic mix of records that have all been donated by the public. Stoke Newington, London, January, 2014.
 
“With the library it’s rediscovery. I’ve discovered so much from different genres, I like knowing where things come from, and learning about different artists. That’s the amazing thing about vinyl is, on the computer you’re just clicking tunes and you have no knowledge of where
they come from really. (With vinyl) you see the art work, you recognize names and labels,
it’s a totally different experience. Only now do realize how important it is keep that tactile engagement with music” 
Marshall, Glam Rock collector. November, 2013.
 
Record: Twisted Sister – Come Out To Play 
Jean Claude, 52, music producer, DJ, and owner of IfMusic record shop. London, January, 2014.
 
“If people left the sinking ship, the ship sank and now they’re rebuilding a ship, it’s not quite the same, because first of all we’ve got to gain back all the people we lost and then a new generation on top of that. It’s not likely to happen is it, come on. The technology dictates that this will never happen. Though vinyl is the purest form, so if you look at it from sales figures, cd’s have plummeted and people who are normally buying cd’s are now downloading. Financially it makes no sense for vinyl to make a resurgence, buying vinyl is expensive, then the equipment is expensive.
 
What vinyl has become, something that it was not before because that was just what we had, it is now a premium product. So what it has become is Louis Vuitton handbags and Gucci handbags on Bond Street for men, because men don’t buy bags and they’re not into clothes, so audiophile equipment and expensive records have become premium product” 
John Eddy, has been collecting Motown records for 40 years, he now owns around 8,000. November, 2013.
 
Record: Grover Washington Jr. - Anthology 
Mandy Camp, has been running record store and café, Jam, in Falmouth, Cornwall, for 10 years. She ran a couple of music stores before which purely sold cd’s. Mandy explained that she opened the store at the point when the cd peaked in sales, and from their she saw the sales of cd’s decline but an in- creased interested in vinyl. Falmouth, Cornwall, November, 2013. 
Carlos, from Brazil who travels internationally to collect records. November, 2013.
 
Record: Megadeath – Super Collider 
Tim Derbyshire, who has been running the record shop ‘On The Beat’, just off Tottenham Court Road, since 1979. In November 2013 he put his shop up on
ebay for £300,000, in the hope that someone with a passion for music may be
able to keep it going. London, November, 2013. 
On The Beat record shop, London, November, 2013. 
Taku, 25, from Japan has been collecting records for 8 years, who claims to collect everything. January, 2014.
 
Records:
• Ralph McTell – My Side Of Your Window
• The Unforgetable Hank Williams 
Rob Messer, record collector and dealer. Rob has been collecting vinyl records from a young age, with his first record being My Girl by Madness, but over time his collecting moved toward Northern Soul and Motown. After collecting for numerous years in the 1980’s he setup up as a vinyl record dealer. Essex, December, 2013
 
“I just dig around, go car boot sales, get leads here and there, sometimes you’re lucky.
 
There’s records everywhere in this house.
 
That’s the thing about having all these records you don’t always play them all, otherwise it would take a lifetime to listen to them”