I’m here to tell those of you who never had a record collection that something was lost when vinyl went away. Now, it’s probably not what you think. I am not one of those who believe music sounds better from a record. No; to the contrary, I love the clean preciseness of digital music. If artists wanted music to sound like it does from a record they would pre-load it with cracks and skips. The loss that I am talking about is much more about the process and how it adds gravity and a greater and deeper connection to the music.
If you’re old enough to ever have had a record collection you may know what I’m about to explain. I recall with great fondness sitting in front of rows of albums pondering what would be my selection. Gazing at those tall thin lines of text begging to be selected. The older more often played of them split and torn rendering them illegible. It’s only by position and colors and pattern of the wear that you even know which one you’re looking at. Those of you who still load up a roll of film into your camera should have an idea of what I’m talking about. When shooting film you tend to take more care in setting up your shot; making sure everything is just right before you hit that shutter.
Now you’ve made your selection but the ritual continues. Out comes the inter sleeve; then the vinyl itself. Perhaps a full cleaning follows or a simple wipe of a cloth. Not just any cloth; a carefully folded cloth as soft as anything you’ve ever felt. Nothing less could ever possibly touch your precious vinyl. Then the real choice begins. Do you play the entire album; just a side… or do you go right to your favorite track?
It’s the very work and time involved that makes the selection so precious. It’s not just a simple movement of a mouse, a scroll of the wheel and a click; rinse and repeat. You see, being just a scroll and a click away removes so much of the weight from the selection. Likewise when you only have 12, 24 or 36 shots on a roll of film it adds weight to every click.
Analog forces you to slow things down. Make it count!
All shots taken at Brook’s Novelty Antiques & Records in Old Sacramento. Models: @airieljayde @cilla_miyach
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