While tech-heads may smirk over its debatable demise, hi-fi purists, cooler club DJs, and those with a keen sense of music history continue to praise the benefits of the vinyl record. As music media becomes more compact and increasingly conceptual, through MP3 downloads and streamed radio, our romance with vinyl grows evermore intense. And no day celebrates the excellence of vinyl greater than Record Store Day, which happens to be today!
Around the world, vinyl aficionados are embracing the good ol’ music format that brings so many warm and fuzzy feelings to the listener – from the moment the needle is placed onto the edge of the record to the crunchy stylus-over-scratches end bit.
Published just in time for Record Store Day is a book by longtime music appreciator Magnus Mills, called The Forensic Records Society, about a group of vinyl junkies who get together once a week to listen to and analyse a batch of exceptionally good and, in some cases, rather rare, records.
The group works toward elevating the art of music listening by doing so in forensic detail, delving deeply into lyrics to make better sense of them, picking up on subtle sonic nuances, and so on. While a shared love of music is the central theme of the book, the clash in various personalities is what lends it a sense of melodrama. Enter Alice, a girl who turns the otherwise male-dominated group on its head – like a modern-day Yoko Ono coming along to break up The Beatles.
If you love music outside of today’s flash-in-the-pan chart-toppers, and realise its potency in bringing people together (and occasionally tearing them apart), you’ll thoroughly enjoy The Forensic Records Society. Problem is, I polished the book off in three sittings and kind of wish there was a 12-inch version! Antonino Tati
‘The Forensic Records Society’ is published through Bloomsbury, available in hardback, RRP $19.99.