I, like most og dj's, have walls lined with a collection of albums. My days of buying records peaked in the early 90's. I was a resident at a popular night spot and had other gigs on the side. Most of my money was going to the record stores to keep my crates filled with all the new shit. After a while I was just buying records that I knew would hit at the club.
The gigs became few and far between and the style of hip hop that excited me in the 80's was becoming scarce. My focus shifted to making beats and scouring the flea market for breaks. I felt if the industry wasn't going to service my taste of hip hop then I was going to start a label and put it out myself. That was 18 years ago.
Since that time music has revolved around the internet. File sharing and streaming has made most music available at the click of a mouse. In the 90's vinyl was threatened by the compact disc but preserved by the dj and record collector. However the invention of tme coded vinyl persuaded a lot of those record advocates to jump ship and in some cases even sell off their entire collection.
So how many record heads are left?
I've recently stepped back into the indie label arena. As a scratch dj I prefer to keep it analog. I always gave the DMC respect for not allowing software in there dj battles but that rule seems to have been changed. I'm sure the competition will still be interesting and allow dj's to get creative in different ways but again this is another blow to the vinyl market.
Will dj's continue to buy battle records?
As Panasonic ended their production of the famous 1200 and 1210 Technics turntables it makes me wonder which direction vinyl is headed in, but what I am confident about is that high quality audio has to be paid for. Vinyl is still the best format to capture sound waves as a needle is to play them back. I have already decided to put out a vinyl release because as an independent label and vinyl advocate I feel it's necessary. Not only to preserve the format and give my music the best sound but also to express my visual art on the cover. Vinyl is an experience that can't be downloaded.
Who buys vinyl? I will soon find out.