Filed under: Random, Video | Tags: archive, digging, mp3, Paul Mawhinney, serato, technology, vinyl
This is a beautifully shot short about Paul Mawhinney and his records, which he owns more of than anyone else in the world. Before watching it, I had seen it posted a couple of times, and decided to ignore it, thinking it’d be another dry feature of someone and his collection. But, it’s actually kind of a tragic story about a man and his relics from a bygone era; a victim of the supposed “death of vinyl.”
I, by no means, am a vinyl-only snob; Serato has been a life saver. However, I love vinyl. I love the thrill of finding a soul classic in the dollar bin. I love the sound when you first drop the needle onto the groove and the ensuing static and scratches that soothe you before the music comes on. I love 12″ by 12″ album cover art, something you can never appreciate with cd inserts or tiny .jpg mp3 icons in iTunes. I miss frantically flipping through vinyl during a set to find the right song; I miss the actual physical motion of having to put a new vinyl on the tables after each song. Scrolling through playlists and hitting Shift-Left or Shift-Right ain’t the same.
With each step of technological advancement that makes art easier and more accessible, I feel the soul being taken away from it little by little. It’s those flaws, that difficulty in achievement, that made some things special. Shit, kids don’t even have to experience a record skipping anymore…
I remember the scene in Scratch where DJ Shadow is sitting amongst thousands of stacked LPs and he talks about it being a humbling experience going through these piles of “broken dreams.” For a lot of musicians, those vinyl, those LPs with their name in the title or credits, are the only proof that they ever existed and created art.
Right now, our art, our work, ceases to exist in the physical realm. They exist in 0’s and 1’s that can be lost at the whim of our capricious external hard drives.
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