Dubexmachina + Comfortnoise
bass music + advanced dubwise electronic music

à discuter: bartmanski & woodwards "vinyl. the analogue record in the digital age"


although definitively not suitable for philistines, we recommend this book because it contains plenty of fine observations, illuminative insights & useful sociological concepts regarding the cultural value of vinyl records:

bartmanski, dominik & woodward, ian (2015). vinyl. the analogue record in the digital age. london: bloomsbury academic. >>> purchase this book here

below we present quotes that we recognise as conclusions of the authors. (not that we necessarily agree -)

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we believe vinyl's survival and revival to stem from a series of genuine cultural and sensual motivations nested alongside the material features of the object itself, rather than from an ephemeral retro mania inspired ba digital ennui. (p. 15)
...
the analogue record is over 125 years old. (...) vinly rose spectacularly in the mid-1950s only to quite abruptly exit the mainstream in the mid-1980s. (...) in half a decade between 2009 and 2014, the analogue record had its breakthrough, or it seemed to have broken one more record - it gained a new commercial life and unexpected publicity. (...) there was no further development of vinyl recording technology after 1984. (pp. 26 & 38ff. & 56)
...
our evidence reveals the analogue record to be multisensory object, full of not only special sonic properties and auratic affordances but also tactile and visual qualities amendable to sensually charged uses and pleasures. there ist not only unique acoustics to vinyl but curcially also an engaging haptics. (p. 28)
...
the context of digital revolution made us aware of more than one thing about analogue records and other pre-digital media. when it first entered the world , the digital seemed to be the kiss of death to the analogue. noadays the idea of tht 'analogue' record makes sense again, and it is not despite but partly because of digitalization. sometimes displacement does not mean being replaced but relocated to a new, perhaps more advantageous position. (p. 33)
...
the digital solution [compact disc] resembled throwing out the baby with the bath water. but the narrative of clinically perfect sound combined with convenience of a truly long-playing device overrode other considerations and helped the industry to convince nearly the entire buying audience to purchase their favourite music again! (p. 50)
...
the trajectory  of vinyl in the digital age indicates that matters of style in music consumption and production is a key issue. vinyl as a medium and a practice is an element of style in the music world. (...) it is a signifier of underground authenticity. (pp. 59 & 66)
...
if music is something uniquely abstract and seemingly immaterial because it is invisible, then vinyl comes possibly the closest to materializing music in a directly palpable and observable way. A record revolving on a turntable is music materialized, visualized, sculpted. (p. 67)
...
what we observe is that few believe absolutely in the objective superiority of vinyl as a high-fidelity medium for reproducing sound. although some enthusiasts of course claim it, must understand very well its capacity to evoke individual sound quality. (p. 88)
...
we can distinguish a large group of vinyl lovers who pragmatically adopt a hybrid approach that recognizes symiotic rather than mutually exclusive relations between media and interfaces. (p. 88)
...
vinyl was turned into an 'organic' medium by the appearance of 'synthetic' digital formats. (...) vinyl is the slow food equivalent of music listening practices. (pp. 90 & 101)
...
if disc is the surface and music is the depth, then vinyl is a special medium because its depth is quite literally available to our sense of sight and touch as a series of dense circular valleys of the spiral groove. (p. 133)
...
vinyl's visuality and haptics make it prone to be a centre of meditation or ritual or both. (p. 141)
...
pathways to vinyl’s value: rarity, possessing the artefact, format-based price differentiation, small-cale production, a symbol of expertise and vehicle of legitimization, analogue record as art object, packaging, vinyl as material heritage, special features & aesticization (pp. 154ff.)
...
to understand it fully we propose to consider vinyl as a type of fetish commodity that enables and encourages creative, devoted practices of sacrifice, effort and love, istead of promoting one-dimensionality. (p. 193)
...
working with the idea of the vinylscape, we argue that vinyl has signifying capacity as a totem of independent, cosmopolitan music scenes, and is in fact inseparaple from both imagination and practice of the associated urban lifestyles. (p. 229)
...
if vinyl is a medium that is at once a message, then one of the key things it conveys today is: slow down and pay attention. (p. 234)
...
it's revival is about rediscovery of engagement, sensuality, coolness, care, ritual, rarity and specific auditory experience. (p. 236)
...
vinyl playing is among self-conscious aesthetic practices that drive contemporary redefinitions of a whole series of crucial boundaries between the concrete and abstract, real and virtual, authentic and fake, valuable and worthless, rare and common, organic and contrived, slow and fast, etc. these are not superficially symbolic boundaries but existential, embodied and deeply felt differentiations. more attention and care for vinyl overlaps with parallel contemporary processes of increasingly resonant passion for human craft, personal touch, rarity and individuality. (p. 242)

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