June, 25

For the record: vinyl is back

Analog music in India is growing steadily, with both Millennials and General Z collecting records, releasing albums with labels, and even a vinyl bar is now in the mix.

Analog music in India is growing steadily, with both Millennials and General Z collecting records, releasing albums with labels, and even a vinyl bar is now in the mix.

Couldn’t be worse than this. Fifteen days after Record Store Day (April 23), Apple announced that it was discontinuing production of the iPod. The iconic gadget that changed the way we listen to, store and share our favorite songs has gone silent. If someone had a scorecard on May 10, it would have written Analog: 1, Digital: 0.

While it is true that most of us stream songs on our phones and computers, the standard stream of music enthusiasts around the world converts music to algorithm-based music for the close and definite pleasure of vinyl. The form that rose in the 70s, declined in the 90s, almost disappeared with the arrival of the new millennium. It must have been ruined, à iPod, but it’s interesting. Vinyl, stacked on antique store shelves and dusty corners, has survived for the past decade, with occasional enthusiastic millennials beginning to dig into records reminiscent of playing the gramophone in the wake of a summer vacation with grandparents.

Vinyl Community Event organized by India Record in Mumbai

Vinyl Community Event organized by India Record in Mumbai | Photo Assistance: Special Arrangement

What started out as a silent wave is now in high gear – the epidemic years, in fact, have accelerated it. According to reports, vinyl records from the 80s were the first year to sell more than CDs, and last year it surpassed all records: in the United States, according to the New Recording Industry Association of America, sales reached $ 1 billion. The Express report says that more than five million vinyl records in India have been sold in the UK, sales may not make headlines, but vinyl heads are very firm and in line with the trend.

Balm during infections

“The current generation wants to have a deeper connection with things because, because of the way social media or methods are planned, we can’t connect to anything we want,” says Nehal Shaw. For the co-founder and director of Mumbai-based India Record, the vacuum created by our hyper-digital career is best filled with vinyl promoting life analog. “It puts the music at the forefront without the background. You listen to the whole album without interruption. There are no screens to watch, no ads, no mixing or skipping of songs. You can not talk about music, and it gives me an hour or two full time,” he says. “That’s why more young people in their 50s and 60s are sticking to vinyl and appreciating it.”

Nehal Shah, Co-Founder and Director of India Records.

Nehal Shah, Co-Founder and Director of India Records | Photo Assistance: Special Arrangement

Nishant Mittal from Delhi is one such youth. “I was 19 years old when I bought my first record. Over the next two years, I collected over a hundred and until then I did not even have a record player, ”he says by email. Today, the 26-year-old collector, archivist and DJ runs பிரபலdigginginindia on the popular Instagram handle, where he reveals little things and events about his own or known, well-known and obscure Indian and international records.

The pulse spreads

Launched in February 2021, Black Grove Music is a young entry. “Getting involved in the vinyl record business is not easy, but it’s definitely a fantastic one,” said a spokesman for the unnamed company. “Apart from being passionate about vinyl, the big music companies are not forthcoming in releasing them because of the high cost of producing, storing and maintaining them,” he said. This is not a viable business plan for them, ”the spokesman added. Last year, Black Grove was able to create a list of 14 albums, including Manojin Wind warningBand Advaita Landed in space, Shujaat Khan – Lives in San FranciscoVolume 1, and Rama Srirama, A compilation of the late Mandalin U Srinivas performances by composer Peter Gabriel in association with recording company Real World Records. Got a good reception. “We have active customers of 500 vinyl lovers, have sold nearly 3,000 records, and aim to release five to 10 more vinyl albums by 2023.”

Mittal was able to create a community where people of all ages would look for him for information related to vinyl.

‘Physical’ pleasures

Digital is the default mode for musicians today, but recently, some artists have cut their albums into vinyl, including big ticket names like Adele, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and Weekend. In India, too, a handful of indie artists and bands have pressed the records and are scheduled to join the list.

Chennai-based singer-songwriter Malavika Manoj, 28, has released her debut album. Wind warning, On vinyl. For Manoj, the primary joy of getting vinyl is in having it in your hands. “When I did the test pressure, I only thought about the blood, sweat, time and thought that was involved in making this little disc.” Then, there is the quality of the sound. “I feel like you’re in front of the musician,” he says. Manoj’s album is produced by Mumbai based Black Grove Music.

Malavika Manoj

Malavika Manoj | Photo Assistance: Special Arrangement

Joginder ‘Jo’ Luka Singh, 42, the Italian-Indian founder of Day Records Store, has seen a “musical scene change” since he opened the Delhi store eight years ago. “They called me one Bagal is a foreigner When I started it, they thought no one would listen to vinyl anymore, ”he laughs. Today, Singh’s shop is a favorite haunt of Delhi’s vinyl heads and its musicians. Not only that. As a DJ, he also runs a vinyl audition program called Awara Sounds, where he collects and plays lists of old-school Bollywood, Indian funky, poly swing, Bombay disco and psych rock & roll.

He says the current vinyl music scene in India is good. “DJ Arjun Vagale only sets vinyl. The Delhi Sultanate, as a BFR sound system, makes a selection of strict vinyl recordings. Amaras Records has produced Rajasthani folk music records and I know a lot of DJs who take samples from records to create new music.

For enthusiasts and enthusiasts

Nothing is said about its popularity other than the main manifestation of a trend. The interior of the newly opened record room in Bangalore screams vinyl. The recording albums are neatly propped up on the two walls on the first level. A DIY-style wooden chandelier, running through a semi-outdoor deck, holds high achievement cards. But it’s in the listening corner with a semi-automatic record player and a limited edition white turntable. White Album By the Beatles pulling you inside.

The country’s first craft beer and vinyl bar opened its doors on May 13. According to founders Nakul Bhonsle, Akshar Halkali and Karthik Chandrasekaran, the idea for space was born out of their mutual love for vinyl, coffee and beer. As one of the first places to offer this unique combination, they know their first three advantage. “We want to be at the forefront of this scene. We hope to create a platform for more people to start in vinyl culture,” says Bonsley. Hope to please both.

The analog way of life can transcend exaggeration and become a fast. After all, there is no doubt that if you love vinyl, you can not back down. Mittal hopes this trend will increase. “I’m glad to see people of all ages, especially my age, adopting the habit of collecting music in body forms and appreciate the analog feel and touch of vinyl recording,” he concludes.

The writer is an independent journalist in Bangalore.

Stressful thing

Unlike digital music (which can be created on a computer with minimal recording software), creating a record – or ‘compressing the record’, is a time consuming and expensive process to use internally. They are made in pressure mills (mostly) equipped with machines that are decades old. It is estimated that there are about 100 or fewer facilities worldwide (mostly in the US and Europe). And international artists are releasing their songs in large numbers on vinyl – Sony Music, for example, ordered 500,000 vinyl records for Adele last year – and the product was backed up anywhere between six and eight months. In India, record production started in 1958 with the Gramophone Company of India / HMV (now Saregama India Limited) ceased in the 80s. “Our last plant closed in 1983, after which we had to import logs,” says Nehal Shah. Delhi-based record label Amarras Records is the only company to own a vinyl cutting facility. Ashutosh Sharma, co-founder of Amaras with Angoor Malhotra, said, “Our machine allows us to create one record at a time. He and Malhotra learned how to operate a machine in a small town in Germany. Representing (mostly folk) artists including Khan, Amarras produces an average of 60-80 records per album.

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