Nostalgia may be to blame for some folks, but for me, I prefer my music loud and as dynamic as if it was being played live before me. And that is why I love vinyl. Not only is it the last physical form of music that a fanboy like myself can collect and enjoy. Though, beyond the physicality of this form of music reproduction, vinyl offers a more dynamic sound, a warmer sound, and one that has a great depth of quality that has been lost and forgotten in the modern digital mixing. When you record to vinyl, you don’t have to mix the music for tiny, cheap electronic speakers, say for a phone or laptop, and instead, you are giving away every tiny defect, imperfection and beautiful dynamic that playing real live music provides. Our ears hear more than our tiny phone speakers can produce, and so the quality of sound is the number one reason to choose vinyl over digital.
Beyond the sound quality of vinyl, I particularly love the artwork of the albums. That’s something we lost in modern music, where the artwork was as important as the music itself, where one’s message and origins, and character were performed visually before you. I love digging for old vinyl through forgotten crates, because the message and intent of the artist is clearer, because I can hold it in my hands and I can have the whole experience; not simply download an MP3 with no character or message, or anything, and not simply purchase a cheap, plastic CD, where very little of the personalities behind the music shine through to me, the listener. I love finding old music with powerful themes, which then lead me, as I listen, to research what was happening in the world at that time to inspire such passion. My opinion is this: the further we move away from art, the further we move away from beauty, passion and what it is that makes us HUMAN.
I found my first vinyl record a few years back when I would frequent local yard sales. This sweet elderly lady was moving on from her unneeded trinkets and collectables, and I was able to acquire a stack of old vinyl albums from the 60s and 70s for less than $5.00. Yes, that is quite cheap for vinyl, but it’s even more true that it is still possible to find treasures for pennies. After that, I came across a few here and there, but the flood gates of my love for vinyl opened when my dad gave me his old record collection. He had it stored away for nearly three decades, untouched, and with a healthy 1-2” layer of dust on top. It was a blast going through them, looking at the art, and even more fun listening to all of his favorite music, where many became my own favorites.
The vinyl experience is a palpable, deep, soulful journey, not only because of the stories and passions of the artists, but also because of the sensory experience it provides.
Their ROTM club is dedicated to offering unique pressings of rare music that may have never been pressed to vinyl, or that is damn near impossible to find (or is exceedingly expensive, due to its rarity). Pretty much every record they produce includes the artwork that I so love, lyrics, as well as the artists’ personality, theme, and message. Each monthly LP comes with an art piece, printed specifically for VMP, and what’s even more fun is that most of their special pressings come in all sorts of wild colors; and some vinyls are artworks themselves as some discs are made with multiple colors, and others with a fun splatter-painted design. Overall, I found VMP to be a fantastic place to continue on the traditional of vinyl. Their pressings are impressive looking, feeling, and sounding, and come as a complete package, so there’s a surprise to look forward to every month!
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Article written by Brandon Scott