The Beauty of Vinyl

Ever since I started buying vinyl in my late teens I’ve been hooked. When asked why I love collecting records I can almost never give a straightforward answer, but please allow me to at least try.

Smokey Robinson – Being With You LP Cover

The unique sonic characteristics are by far the most alluring aspect of records. When comparing the digitised versions of albums to their vinyl copies the difference is as a clear as night and day. For some it’s the soothing crackling noise, and for others it’s the so called “warmth” of vinyl, but for me it’s anything and everything to do with the distinct sound of a record.

Album covers are also somewhat of a lost art when it comes to digital only releases. Now that’s not to say that modern day musicians are no longer offering artwork alongside their music, but that simply stated; a jpeg image just doesn’t evoke the same emotion as a physical and tangible album cover. Reading a band’s press release on their website, for me at least, is just not the same as reading a carefully curated series of stories in an LP’s sleeve notes.

Paul Hardcastle – Zero One LP Cover

So far all of the points covered could easily be rebuffed by pointing out that digital has an equivalent. That opposing view would be valid but that’s besides the point. All of the different aspects of a vinyl LP come together to create a unique auditory, visual and overall aesthetic sensory experience in way that the digital platforms can only hope to imitate.

The final point that makes record collecting so alluring and magical for me is the hunt. I spent countless days and money in my late teens and early twenties building up my collection. Most of my records were sourced from darkly lit and shady looking rooms passing for record stores. But whenever I came home from one of my record hunting adventures it was always with a keen sense of accomplishment, one that I’ve never achieved from downloading WAV files or streaming a new release in mere ‘seconds.’

Rudimental – Home [Album Review]

Home Album Cover
Home Album Cover

Home is a Mercury Prize nominated, MOBO award winning, soundtrack inspiring and career-making album from the Hackney raised quartet. When Kesi Dryden was receiving a earful from his piano tutor for repeatedly forgetting his ‘book of rudiments’, who could have guessed that those moments would lead to one of the twenty-first century’s most eclectic bands.

Right from the get go, Rudimental’s Home manages to achieve a rather mellow vibe, whilst maintaining fluidity. Songs such as “Feel The Love” and “Waiting All Night” satisfy the need to fill that commercial front without ever feeling forced, whereas “Spoons” and “Hell Could Freeze” seem oblivious to such shallow pursuits.

Having featured some eleven different artists, the album is reflective of today’s somewhat splintered music industry. So it’s fitting that such a record would take five different record labels to make, in Black Butter Records and Warner Music UK, but to name a couple.

The album’s original run time of just over fifty six minutes is made even longer by the additional ten songs you get on the deluxe edition available on vinyl. Whilst this might prove to be too long for some, it’s time you won’t even notice due to the album’s listenability.

A cultured blend of different genres such as D&B, Break-beat, Jungle and Soul, amongst a few others, Home seems to achieve an oddly haphazard balance. The end result is a somewhat exhilarating rollercoaster of different influences and musical ideas. Something truly worthy a listen.