by Joseph Sarrington Smith
The 45th Mega Record & CD Fair (a biannual event that is apparently the biggest of its kind in the world) took place in Utrecht, Holland this week. For dedicated crate diggers, this place looks like an absolute utopia; huge warehouses full of classics and rarities. You could be in there for literally hours, getting lost in a maze of vinyl whilst your wallet takes a brutal hammering. The picture doesn’t even do it justice. There’s acres of records…it’s vast.
As mentioned in my recent article about Record Store Day, it’s very encouraging to see the teenagers of the new generation take such an interest in vinyl. However, if there’s one thing I find somewhat perplexing, it’s this idea that people buy a bunch of records, take them home and then ignore them. They don’t open them, they don’t play them. Perhaps they’re too scared to scratch them, or leave behind greasy fingerprints? The aesthetic is enough. It becomes almost like a status thing. They collect vinyl, so therefore they’re cool.
Nowadays, there probably aren’t too many people out there who actually want to be labelled a hipster, but when I heard about this odd phenomenon of buying records and not playing them, an amusing scenario occurred in my head…
A: “Say, that’s an interesting looking album cover you’ve got there on your shelf. What is it?”
B: “Oh, that? That’s Persian Jazz from 1969.”
A: “Cool! What does it sound like?”
B: “I have no idea. I’ve never played it.”
A bit daft, isn’t it?