Tag Archives: Records

Music

Vinyl really is making a comeback

I know this isn’t exactly rocket science, but it’s a pretty cool look at the ever-growing trend towards vinyl.

The Boston Globe is discussing why exactly vinyl sales seem to be skyrocketing at a time when CD sales are dropping off to the point where record companies have to sue people to make a profit.

What’s stunning is that turntable sales are up 500%, and vinyl is up something like 80% from the same time last year.  Now that’s got to be put into perspective, because despite the huge percentage increase, the sheer number of units being moved isn’t that crazy just yet.

A lot of bands are getting in on the action, releasing vinyl versions of their albums in advance of the other, more familiar types. I’m sure most of you can totally relate to just how dope vinyl can be.  I know i can,m even if it’s not at all hip hop.  Hell, I just grabbed a Norman Greenbaum LP, and obviously no one’s confusing him with hip hop!

Either way, read the article here.

Art

4080Records Presents: Christian Marclay

Christian Marclay is a particular strange and, I think, incredible artist. He obviously uses a pretty wide variety of materials but in the documentary below, his focus is mainly on turntables and vinyl.

What could be more in keeping for 4080? Nothing! Check out the video below to get a sense of his work.

Marclay is quite the character. He started off in playing music in the punk rock era. Wikipedia suggests his inspiration came from using a skipping turntable to fill in for a missing drummer (the skips being used as percussion).

I think my favourite thing that he’s done (as you’ve seen in the video), is the way he cuts and rejoins thrift-store records. It creates a whole new sound out of old vinyl, and may mean some interesting combinations. Obviously harming any records (as you also saw in the video, with his little vinyl snapping ensemble) is not a thing we’re endorsing, but you have to admit some of the sounds he’s come up with are pretty intriguing.

Overall I’d say it’s his use of a traditional music form in brave new ways that draws me in the most. He’s really exploring new uses for vinyl and for a turntable, in a way that is supposed to encourage thought. I’m not saying he’s entirely succeeding, but he’s also not doing terribly either.

Music

Backroom Records

During the summer, 4080 seems to be on a bit of a hiatus. We’re all over the place trying to get things done, and I’m spending some time in Montreal.

A friend of mine here got a flyer for the grand opening of a record store at some show, so we decided to go check it out. This wasn’t just one of those “come to my new store” type situations.  For those of you who know Montreal, you can laugh at the thought of walking all the way up St. Urbain, pretty much to that insane overpass.

We just kept walking guessing that we’d get to this place soon enough.  Backroom Records, it was called.  We finally get to the address and….it was a row of townhouses.  At first we were annoyed, but we realized that we may as well check around the back.  So, after trekking through this alley, we see some people hanging out on this rickety-looking deck up a fire escape.  Not exactly the first image that pops into mind when you think of a record store.  But what the hell, you’ve got to be prepared for adventure.

We walk up the escape, squeeze by some people and into a tiny room.  It took me a second to focus, but I started turning around and there were just crates everywhere!  It was clearly a mix of his collection and probably those of the others at the opening.  Immediately, we got to digging.  I found a ton of stuff for INCREDIBLE prices. I finally found a Nina Simone album I’d been looking for, I got Pink Floyd’s The Wall for $2, Johnny Cash live at Folsom Prison, Al Green, and tons more. All in good quality. I’m impressed, and I’m thinking of returning at least once. Maybe we have our first strategic partner.

The owner, a man named Warren Hill was way too friendly.  I can only imagine how easy it’d be to be a bit of a music snob (think High Fidelity) when you know as much as he does, but that was not the case at all.  He was eager to please, testing records for us and encouraging all the vinyl neophytes with some prime recommendations.
Go check it out. 5912 St. Urbain.

-A

[Edit/Update: I definitely returned many, many more times, and every time it kept getting better.  The prices are unreal, and I think you should check it out.  If you want an idea of some of their selection, subscribe to their mailing list: backroomrecords at hotmail.com]