Vinyl. 7”, 10”, 12”. Black, red, the hazy blue of a widescreen winter’s morning. The gatefold triple-disc, or something slipped surreptitiously into a plain brown sleeve as if pornography or hard, hard liquor. And every single slice arrives with the luxury of the run-out groove – nothing proclaims music more than than the turntable and its fruit. Label it anachronistic, call it a fetish if you must – any other format feels cheap, that first step on the road to sacrilege.
Because music is all about the ritual, the knock-out essence of an all-encompassing spirituality that by-passes notions of the one-dimensional, the traditional or the pseudo-religious. For in this age of instant gratification, where credos is lavished upon our devices of convergence, of convenience and technological connivance – and where the concept of saving up your pocket money for a record has given way to the flaccid click of a button and the guilt-free immediacy of the gratis, down-the-wires delivery – there’s something profound in instilling those precious moments when listener meets sound with gravitas, the sense of occasion. I enjoy having to crawl from the sofa towards the gramophone, the ceremony of unsheathing each disc from its decorative cardboard scabbard; it fits the ethos of having to work for something, the awareness that tender palms are needed lest each record grows scratched, or warped, or simply and generally fucked. I love vinyl’s lack of portability – which might appear contrary, or perhaps even wilfully perverse considering our collective devotion to devouring our takeaway music indiscriminately, in the car, on the bus, on the job – yet ultimately this tethering to the turntable reinforces notions of occasion. So yeah, I suppose you could surmise that I simply heart vinyl.
Further adventures through the record collection. Holly Golightly’s name is as given at birth and her style is impeccably suited to vinyl – the texture of the smoky bar, the beatnik interlude, garage meets rockabilly – with a shade of the torch singer thrown in – as something languid, passionate, sophisticated, knowing and constantly, constantly alluring (if I could post this as vinyl and not some crummy mp3 hosted elsewhere that’ll sound like horseshit through your tinny laptop speakers, I would…sigh).
Holly Golightly / Run Cold