Saturday, August 18, 2007
Making Music By Numbers.
I love vinyl. There's something about a 7" record that is, by definition, uber cool. One side, one song, 45rpm.
Before the rise of the Compact Disc, and the Maxi-single, the cassingle (a more vile word in the English language there is not), the 10" single, the gatefold, the postbag, the 3" snap-pack CD, the picture disc, the shaped vinyl, there was the humble 7".
Talk is, that the 7" is having a resurgence. Now, instead of being a way of consuming music, the 7" is a fetish item. It takes effort in a culture when music is made an easily consumable mass produced, endlessly replicated item. In the past, even copying music would require a degradation of quality and time. Copying could only be made to audio casstte, would take the exact duration of the contents to reproduce, and could only be copied to a lower-quality format.
These days it's select, right click, copy, and you're done.
Then, you had to get up and change sides every few minutes. The songs didn't just flow like an album. You had to concentrate. In some ways, I try to maintain this fetishization of music by opening individual MP3's instead of as a combined playlist.
And occasionally, I like to put on vinyl. I love the way it feels, I love the size of it, I love the expanse of artwork. Even the way of looking at the vinyl and seeing the music itself on the grooves.
MP3's will never replace the physical format of music. Because music is forever. Music is a time machine. Music will never judge you. Music is always there. You can cue up side one, track one of an album, and it's forever 1989. And I am forever a 16 year old.
Now playing : Christmas On Mars picture disc 7", Flaming Lips.