Vinyl’s hot right now, and though the resurgence does, in fact, allude to a long-term shift in the record market, apparently, it also alludes to significant market expansion — royal nuptials.
That’s right folks, we’re talking the union of strangers. Coming to a record player near you is the upcoming union of Prince Harry and Meagan Markle. The royal wedding will officially be dropping on vinyl courtesy of the record label Decca. That’s right, hipsters, the royal wedding will be coming to you live on your living room record player.
Though Harry and Markle’s wedding isn’t the first royal occasion to be given the vinyl treatment, as the Queen’s coronation and royal weddings before have too been commemorated with their own pressings, this occasion is an exciting deliverance for those who nevertheless receive happiness from the union of absolute strangers.
If that doesn’t excite you enough, perhaps you’d like to know that the ceremony will feature a dazzling array of performances from the renowned cellist Sheku Kanneh Mason, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, the St George’s Chapel choir, and gospel group the Kingdom Choir. Here’s to the absolute joy of the vinyl resurgence, may it reign on, and welcome more randomness forevermore.
Music snobs around the world may soon welcome another auditory deity into their aural pantheon: high definition vinyl.
After receiving a new investment of $4.8 million, Austrian startup Rebeat Innovation says it could have the very first high definition vinyl LPs in stores by summer 2019.
The making of Rebeat Innovation’s vinyl involves “3D-based topographical mapping combined with laser inscription technology” to burn the music directly to the stamper. The company has said this results in noticeably higher audio fidelity, louder volume, and longer playing times than conventional LPs. What’s more, record snobs around the world won’t need to change a thing about their in-home setup, as the records will be completely backwards compatible
For now, Rebeat has hopes to acquire a large laser system this July and have test stampers sent to a few “early mover” pressing plants by the end of the summer. Rebeat’s funder and CEO Günter Loibl said they plan to make an official appearance at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit.
“Our goal is to officially present our test stampers at the Making Vinyl conference in October,” he said. “It will take another eight months to do all the fine adjustments. So by summer 2019 we shall see the first HD vinyls in the stores.”
The Recording Industry Association of America — RIAA — surveyed the state of the US music market in its summary of the sales of recorded music in the United States.
The RIAA’s report indicated that physical sales have surpassed those of the digital download market for the first time since 2011. Revenues for the physical and digital sectors increased 16.5% to $8.7 billion, despite the industry’s regression to its 2008 revenue level, which is 40% off “peak numbers.”
Streaming unsurprisingly comprises a large portion of the US music market, accounting for up to 65% of total recorded music revenues. Paid subscriptions to music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music exceeded 35 million subscribers, as compared with a total of 22.7 million in 2016.
More than 300 billion songs were streamed on streaming services that show ads, including YouTube, VEVO, and ad-supported Spotify.
Downloads alternatively fell 25%, in the midst of the physical market’s loss of just 4%, a decrease that the summary underscores as “a lower rate of decline than recent years.”
When it comes to physical formats, vinyl reigns supreme in market ascendance, rising the fastest out of all physical products. Revenues from LP and EP sales rose 10% in 2017 alone, thus marking the 12th consecutive year of sales climbs for vinyl, vinyl now making up 8.5% of all US album sales.
Just three weeks before its 24th edition, Time Warp has announced its intensely curated 2018 schedule.
Boasting 43 acts across six stages in just 19 hours, conflicts may prove inevitable, though thudding techno will unequivocally reign supreme.
2018 also brings forth a new focus on vinyl virtuosos for Time Warp in the form of Floor 6, a newly curated area where several of techno’s top vinyl heads will alternate between records and digital. The area will be headlined by Ricardo Villalobos and Raresh, who are set to bring a solid four-hour b2b. The new stage also boasts Nicolas Lutz, Sonja Moonear, and more.
More information on Time Warp and tickets are available here.
As vinyl sales continue to rise, the niche market is continually capitalizing on trends, filling in holes and satisfying the desires of ample audiophiles in the interim. Most recently, the Panasonic Corporation has catered to the high-end market with the release of their new Technics turntable, the SL-1000R.
Retailing at $20,000 — at least according toTrusted Reviews — the new turntable features what Panasonic is calling “the world’s best signal to noise ratio.” As a complete turntable system, the SL-100R features a S-shaped magnesium tonearm and SP-10R at its base which are both mounted to a matching plinth. Unlike the SP-10 and SP-10R — which mean audiophiles need to supply their own tonearm and mounting plinth — the new turntable is fully complete.
Panasonic’s new turntable points at an increasingly vast gap between the range of audio-tech preferences. Considering entry-level vinyl-lovers can purchase an Audio-Technica stereo turntable for $99.99, the new Technics turntable is likely just another signal that the gap between vinyl-listeners will only continue to widen. Hopefully, though, it leads to more widespread quality focus, too.
German virtual reality gaming imprint EntroPi Games is blending old school technique with new school technology with the reveal of the world’s first vinyl mixing DJ application. The app, dubbed Vinyl Reality, simulates the look and feel of a vinyl DJ setup in virtual reality, equipping the user with two VR controllers and a VR headset, designed with the help of professional DJs. Once inside the app, users are presented with two digitally modeled turntables and a two-channel mixer with volume controls, EQs, and PLF.
Vinyl Reality even provides a realistic digital record crate next to the booth so users can sift through selects between their mixes. The application allows users to record their mixes and export mixes, and it also supports separate audio inputs, which means we’re likely not too far away from live streamed virtual DJ sets in the near future. What a time to be alive.
Vinyl has been making a huge comeback in the music industry as of late. With record stores gaining back their relevance, there has been a demand for modern technology to accommodate the surge of interest.
VinylHub has created a crowd-sourced map that pinpoints all the best record stores on a global scale. On their website, VinylHub is described as “Discogs for record shops and record events.” However, it can even be seen as a hybrid of Discogs-meets-Yelp-meets-Waze, as users can make entries if their favorite stores aren’t listed. Active stores on the map show relevant information on the retailer, including hours, websites, types of music offered, and more.
VinylHub’s mission is to “document every physical record shop and record event on the planet,” with around 6,000 store listings globally and counting. A platform like this interactive map could single-handedly turn hidden vinyl shops into tourist destinations around the world.
When it comes to vinyl, the U.S. seems to have set its own record.
Music database Discogs and its ‘sister site’ VinylHub have determined that the United States is the host of the most record shops in the world, with 1,482 total vinyl-selling storefronts. The United Kingdom trailed behind the US with 537 shops, with Germany coming in third with 453.
When Discogs and VinylHub narrowed its focus to specific cities, Tokyo emerged as the city with the highest number of record stores, at 93 total shops. Berlin followed with 87, and London with 79.
The top three U.S. cities were New York with 47 shops, Chicago with 30, and Los Angeles with a close 29. Berlin surfaced as the site with the ‘densest cluster of shops in the world,’ where 46 record shops exist within a kilometer of each other. Discogs and VinylHub’s results indicate that even in the digital age, vinyl remains a preeminent musical form.
Last year, Stranger Things exploded into one of the top pop culture highlights of 2016 and the hype around the second season of Netflix’s 80s fetishizing smash hit has largely picked up and progressed from exactly where the show’s pilot season left off. The sci-fi sensation is an authentic examination and homage to the 1980’s matched with a dark, contemporary take on the decade’s immortalized synth rock and new wave sonics, scored by members of Austin-based synthesizer quartet S U R V I V E. Now, the second season’s soundtrack is getting a vinyl release that’s as quintessentially Stranger Things as it gets.
Multiple vinyl versions will be pressed and released, led by the “Upside Down Inter-dimensional Blue Vinyl,” available on December 22 via Lakeshore Records. Early 2018 will bring three additional versions, including a “Purple Crystal Vinyl,” a blue and white splattered “Crystal Clear Vinyl” and a standard 180 gram black vinyl on January 12, via Invada.
And, if you’re like us at DA, and shamelessly devour all Stranger Things content with little regard or self restraint, then enjoy everyone’s favorite freshman foursome in this cheeky Late Late Show appearance with James Corden where the boys play reuniting members of Motown supergroup The Upside Downs after television superstardom strikes.
Nina Kraviz, who is considered of the reigning queens of techno and electronica, may have just lost over a decade’s worth of music following The Social festival in Kent, England.
According to a post from the Kent event’s Twitter, Kraviz lost her leather bag which was left in a corridor at the Hilton Hotel in Maidstone, Kent containing “some incredibly sentimental items” as well a decade-spanning music collection.
The Social festival is a boutique music festival that took place over the weekend, where Kraviz delivered on her recently released solo EP out on her ТРИП imprint.