In an increasingly automated world, charming relics such as manual transmissions, dumbphones, Polaroid cameras, and typewriters are experiencing a nostalgia-fueled renaissance. Although life without the option to cut and paste can seem downright medieval, detaching from modern technology and embracing the vestiges of a simpler era is fairly enticing. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that – along with hand-written notes and the VW [Micro]bus – turntables have been eagerly adopted by advocates of the low-tech revolution.
What began with audiophiles in search of superior sound quality has caught on among those who are simply keen to adopt the mood of days bygone. However, though there is no greater winter pleasure than retiring by the fire as a needle scratches out a Thelonious Monk tune, we believe the reasons behind the vinyl revival are as cerebral as they are sentimental.
There was a bit of a trick to coming of age in a pre-MP3 era. Procuring a Billboard Hot 100 track required purchasing a physical manifestation of the entire album from a brick-and-mortar retailer. Today, platforms such as iTunes and Spotify have altered the game; morphing music into both a commodity and mechanism of immediate gratification. In this digital age, one can conjure nearly any song at the simple tap of a touchscreen, so while the art of composing an album that tells a complete story has not been lost, the patience to listen to said story in its entirety has been. However, due to an inability to skip and repeat tracks, the turntable appears to be the answer for artists that are tired of being interrupted mid-thought.
The vinyl revival is quite literally turning the tables on automation. Of course we’ll be the first to admit that we couldn’t live without our Bluetooth headphones, and we’ve been lunging, planking, and crunching to Post Malone’s “Rockstar” since the day it dropped, but we’ve also developed a renewed respect for a few cracks and pops, as well as the patience that a nostalgic old jazz record inspires.
Care to join the revolution?