As far as record buying is concerned, I’m going through a fallow period. While still keeping an ear to the ground and remaining very much aware of what’s going on, I’m not parting with much cash. I don’t think I’ve bought anything for a couple of months, but I have a permacart in Juno with a crock of stuff just waiting to go. Something is holding me back though. I suppose it’s a combination of a lack of money, priorities and space. Vinyl is becoming too expensive as well. There’s still nothing like receiving a fresh shipment of sounds and playing them all for the first time. However, it’s really important to be choosier than in the past. It’s also a good idea not to be too attached to vinyl. I realize that label owners are trying to make as much as they can and so put out limited editions more and more often. This is their prerogative and I’m fine with it. What frustrates me though is not that these releases often don’t get a repress, but that they aren’t issued digitally. I stopped worrying about vinyl exclusivity a long time ago. If a digital release accompanies the vinyl one it doesn’t devalue it in any way. Also, more music should be exclusively digital in an effort to negate the stereotype of boutique vinyl labels being of implicit higher quality. This is inevitable, as the rise in vinyl sales is a myth and, compered to sales in the past, nothing to write home about. What everybody knows is that this so-called rise owes nothing to the genres which have kept it in business over the last ten or so years. It’s most visible manifestation being the odious record store day, a gentrified pile of steaming shit, whose main purpose is to put the brakes on pressing plants at the expense of house, techno and other relative niche genres.
I’m going to see how long it takes for all the records I have in my cart to go before I cough up the cash. It’s a sure thing that they’ll stay put for a lot longer than they would have a few years ago. In spite of what people may think, record sales are not rising, not as far as house and techno are concerned anyway. There has been a shift towards Discogs and more specialist purchases. I also feel that for the first time quality is dropping, hence the shift. As mentioned on these pages before, the cult of the digger is more pervasive, but this is illusory. It also gives life to forgotten tracks, some of which bring nothing to the table at all, save that they have been played by certain DJs. Technique or timing? That is the question.
I’m reading ‘Love Saves The Day’ at the moment; a book about the rise of disco and the DJ in New York throughout the 1970s. It may move onto pastures new, but I’m around 40% through it (Kindle version), and I don’t know which corners are going to be turned. It sort of takes David Mancuso and The Loft as a focal point, but branches out all over and goes into nerdishly exhaustive detail as far as playlists, the DJ lifestyle and certain proclivities are concerned. I’m enjoying it very much and, while I’m not that old, it fills me with nostalgia for my eclectic Liverpool hunting grounds throughout the 1980s. Of course there’s very little real comparison to be made, save for the hedonism of discovering and dancing to new music at a certain age, and the escape that such temporary autonomous zones provide. I guess I’ll finish it over the next couple of weeks while I’m on holiday in the south of France. I was reading Simon Reynolds’ ‘Shock And Awe: Glam Rock And Its Legacy’ at the same time last year.