Friday, March 23, 2018

Introducing Kellen303

"Alright people, let's move like we got a purpose..."

 So, could you introduce yourself? Where are you from, where you at as we speak?”

K303: This is Kellen303 I am in Brooklyn, on my bed, Superbowl Sunday not giving a shit about sports.

B: Could you tell me a bit about when you began the ‘WHB’ EP?

K303: That happened last year, last August. I had a couple of friends of mine whose work I was really digging and I had the itch to get back into making music but I never took the step. A friend of mine gave me FL Studio and I just started tinkering with it, not really taking it seriously and then I decided one day to sit down and try to figure things out. I used the interview with said MC [who is sampled on ‘WHB’] who is dear to Keysound’s heart.

To be perfectly honest I kind of got a lot of inspiration from what you and Dusk were doing and just how the whole 130 scene was very very minimal, very sparse. So I decided that I wanted to try and do that and “WHB” happened. That’s kind of how it started.

B: Having voices in tracks, the link between journalism, spoken word, dialects and slang – they’re something I really relate to. And if you recall, the first time we “met”, was when you interviewed us for BigUp magazine ahead of playing Reconstrvct NYC a few years back. But how did you find yourself come about blending interviews in tracks?

K303: The interview stuff came from Rabit. There's Reconstrvct set he did where he was using a lot of different interviews and soundbites from different things and it kind of got me interested in taking on that type of concept. When I remembered the set, it was one of those things where I said “I have interviews that I’ve done.” so I was like "Let me see what I can do with these interviews and just started experimenting. When homie said ‘what’s happening brother,’ I was like ‘that’s it!’

B: And to be fair, people have been sampling dialog in music since recording sound was possible. Off the top of my head The Beatles did it on ‘The White Album.’

K303: Yeah, ‘number nine, number nine...’

- Photo credit Hayden Schwartz

B: so how come you came to choose the phases “who do you think you are, a big shot?” in “Big Shot?”

K3: The phrase really struck me. You know I was building the beat and the phrase fit with the mood of the track. It wasn’t anything that was overtly significant.

With the track “W.H.B,” I used the sample as away of discussing things that were happening in my personal life. As if someone was asking me the question. I have another version of the song that expands on that, where I just picked out more samples from the interview that related to me.

I just started trying to take that recording and attribute it to what was going on my life – talking about how certain people are fake and talking about how to stay true to yourself, and I think that idea started to develop, started to manifest from just a hook to “how can I make this personal?”

B: you didn’t think about recording yourself?

K303: Well man’s not going to sing, ever.

B: To me that “Big Shot” sample really sets you in a moment, like it’s in a scene on screen. You’re a film director as well as a music producer, how are the mediums connected for you?

K303: Sometimes if I hear something I can see a visual and vice versa. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. With ‘Big Shot’, I knew wanted to do something that was kind of vougey and kind of 130 as well. I wanted the intro to feel really creepy and when I was looking through soundbites for that tune it was literally something from this vintage movie file I had and the lady just said, “who do you think you are, a big shot?” and I was just like “okay, let’s see what I can do with this and how can I build a world out of this”. Not a defined idea but a space to explore, I don’t know if that makes any sense whatsoever.

I guess how I try to work my music is if I can bring someone into an atmosphere versus just playing you a song, that’s my goal. I guess it comes from filmmaking where in you’re writing dialogue, you’re writing a scene, creating a world or and atmosphere, so I’d attribute that to how I started making music. Trying to build an atmosphere for you to be in and most of the atmospheres on this record are kind of unsafe.

But I wanted that because I was in a very unsafe time period, so it was just getting all of that anger and darkness out. And I like scaring people so that helps haha...

- Photo credit Hayden Schwartz

B: When you describe the musical influences on the EP, many of them – genres like say metal, goth, industrial - are really interesting because they’re so removed from the kinds of musical connections I can usually see in Keysound’s widest sound. Can you tell me a bit about where you’re at, musically?

K303: Jersey club, vogue are big things in New York and I love the vibe. At the time, I was surrounded by that and footwork, which is also big within my crew. I was just trying to take those aesthetics that I was listening to and attribute them to the 130 sound. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I got from another producer was “when you’re making music, don’t listen to the genre your making, listen to everything else and bring those influences into your work” which really helped me a lot but it didn’t help me when I had to DJ because I wasn’t listening to anything else but my own stuff so I was like “what’s new? I don’t know what’s happening now”.

But it’s a tip something that helped me a lot. I've always been a lover of Goth, Industrial and EBM stuff. I was listening to a lot of it and it definitely made it's influence in my sound. “What I noticed with that genre of music was panning and how voices pan left, pan right, they sound like they’re above you, they sound like they're behind you and that was something that I started doing a lot with and it all kind of came to a head with “Planet X” because I panned those breaks back and forth.

I wanted that song to sound like you were surrounded by something that you can’t see and you're trapped. So taking that effect and that influence from that music helped shape that song and helped shape how I go about building atmospheres for my music.

B: haha that’s mad...

K303: Yeah ‘Big Shot’ was definitely inspired by this one group called Xmal Deutschland I fucking love the shit out of that band and I was listening to them over and over and over again. The one song that I love to death is called ‘Eiland’ , just listening to those drones of the guitars and that heavy atmosphere that I loved so much, I thought “how can I do this in what I’m doing?” so that one song and that bands was a major influence.

B: And what’s it like for you - once you’ve found some inspiration - the actual process of making a track?

K303: Well it's funny. I've worked on songs with Mike Empyrean [fellow Transit FM family] and he’d be like “that’s how you do it?” and I’m like “yeah” and he’s like “that’s crazy because I wouldn’t think of doing it like that” I know that's incredibly vague, but I'm a bit shy about talking about my process. The strangeness of it I think also came from being the new producer, how does FL Studio work, what are the limitations, just figuring shit out which I think is really interesting. I think this record shows how I grew in way – going from just crazy kicks and pitching them up and down, to like ‘Big Shot’ and exploring more with space and atmosphere and then to ‘Planet X’ and Spy Glass.

B: Well, I think sometimes the best most free ideas come from people who are just beginning to master their tools. I for one fight against my own pattern recognition to try and find net new twists and turns in where my music is going. Amen Ra from LHF always talks about “playing with the beginner’s mind” and there really is something in that. One of the things I feel is really creative is how you’ve woven film dialog into a sense of scenes and place, and this has then looped back into the visual narrative of the promo videos you’ve been making for your own tracks. As an example, can you tell me about the narrative for “Planet X?”

K303: How that happened was, I was messing with this one note that became the main pulse theme, the “whomp” bass and when I made that, literally just by changing the pitch, adding a reverb... I saw in my head that little Geiger counter that they have in all the alien movies.

When they're looking at the screen and they're seeing where the aliens are in reference to where they are. And that pulse when it’s just getting closer and closer and closer to you – I literally saw that in my head. That’s when I said okay let me go and get that sample because I know it exists. That was the beginning of that track. I was like okay let me just basically make you feel like you’re in that movie and there’s no escape.

B: I’ll be honest, I hadn’t noticed or particularly thought recently about what an iconic badass SW is until “Planet X?”

K303: SW is dope. She is one of ultimate badass women in film, I don’t really attribute the song to be about her journey. I think that to me that song was kind of like, “you’re going out there to destroy the dance, to make people go crazy” and that’s kind of all I meant by using that quote, that was my point behind it but what it became was this bigger world that I didn’t know that I was creating for myself. Making the ‘Interstellar’ version of that song was just me saying “okay I haven’t done anything that was similar to weightless so let me try a hand at that” that song has become one of my favourites.

B: And then you built this amazing short Instagram clip for the weightless “Planet X [Interstellar version]” that took it somewhere else, like SW was waking up from deep, deep slumber in this really groggy but almost erotic way...

K303: The scene from that video clip I did where SW and her team all wake up, that was the inspiration. That's exactly what I was seeing with all those sounds. “Planet X” is more about getting ready for war and the interstellar version is about traveling to that war. I wanted it to feel like cryo-sleep, more dreamlike, thoughts of the day passing in and out in that version.

B: So there’s just the two versions?

K303: There’s the other one that no one has that I’m just keeping right now. ‘Planet X (Into Darkness)’ and that one is basically just ‘You Lose’. Yeah the aliens win. Or you narrowly escape. I was listening to a lot of metal at the time and I wanted to focus on drumming. That tune and the other song I did called ‘INk’ were more focused on drumming – I mean the crazy kicks are in there – but kind of trying to tone it down a little bit and focus on something that I haven’t done before. So yeah, metal.

B: can you tell me about how the vocal collab with Rainey came about?

K303: So, I shopped ‘Spyglass’ to a couple of people who were working on it but just was a fit for them, which is fine. Rainey I knew from the crew that I hang out with from the BX; Kush Jones, Bojaq, BassBear and El Blanco Nino. They're work is mostly footwork and Jersey Club. Rainey did a show with BassBear and I was like, “he’s a dope MC and he’s always supported me” so I reached out to him and he immediately texted me back and said “this reminds me of a story". Then the next day he was like “it’s done” and I was at work like “what do you mean it’s done?” and he was like “I’ve finished it, it’s done” and he sent it to me and that’s how that happened. He’s amazing, I don’t know what chord I struck with him to get that back to me in 24 hours but the verse he put down and the story that he was telling just really hits. He helped make everything I wanted. It was already a moody track and he just enhanced it tenfold. I owe him a lot for that.

B: What I think is interesting from a Keysound point of view, is that maybe if I’d done a tune with a US MC, it wouldn’t feel right in terms of the roots of Keysound and where our energy has come from. But for you, based out of Brooklyn, to work with Rainey – that feels more interesting & authentic to me. A black US producer from Brooklyn working with a Afro-Dominican MC from the Bronx.

K303: Yeah it’s like the influences are just melded together. The ‘Spyglass’ tune was really influenced by the whole trip hop scene, I’m a lover of that music too and I wanted to make something that sounded similar to that even though it sounds like a CSI crime scene. Talking about more influences, taking like a Bristol based genre of music influence and then having him make it completely the Bronx, New York City... just worlds crossing worlds you know?

B: I’ve only ever been through the Bronx in passing, what’s it like?

K303: I don’t actually know; I’ve only been in the Bronx twice so I don’t really have a good reference point. I don’t really have a sense of where my friends live, where I am in Brooklyn people get shot up at the corner and the day goes on but I’m not really too sure what the Bronx is like from his experience.

B: so as well as producing and making films, you also co-founded a radio station Transit FM. Can you tell me a bit about that?

K303: Transit FM started out of a little experiment. I was supposed to play a gig in DC but a blizzard hit the east coast and pretty much trapped everyone in their homes. Friends and I decided to make the best of it and do a soundclash over the internet. Throughout the day we had other homies jump in from around NYC, Philly, Jersey and the DC area. The soundclash went from I think 2pm-12am on MIXLR. The next day, it kept going. People who didn't play the day before kept the spirit alive. I said to Hayden, “I think we started a radio station”.

We had meeting with our friends, Mike Empyrean and Joe Milazzo who lived out on Long Island at the time and had been involved in the clash the first day and drummed up how we could make everything happen in my basement. The main focus was and still is to big up our friends in the States. We said “well we’re all a family so let’s big up our family, let’s start putting our homies on more and showing what the locals do” and just trying to showcase that. People look out of the country instead of in and we wanted to shift that. I think what you saw at the 1 Year anniversary party [Sunnyvale BK, May 2017] is just a culmination of that fact that we all know each other and we all love each other a lot and we’re all pretty tight knit even though we cross cities and different states.

B: yeah, that party was insane, genuinely life-affirming as a DJ, to be able to really go deep into 130/rollage dubs and have people really, really come with us – it was nuts. And NYC has had a few special nights over the years, well, a few I’ve been lucky enough to see, like Reconstvct and Dub War before it, but that one...

K303: I missed all the Dub War parties I was out on Long Island for school not knowing anything about dubstep at the time.

B: so you’ve got Transit FM up and running, what creative people should we be looking for from NYC?

K303: So the 130 stuff, I know there’s like a handful of people making it and I wish I could find more, my homies; A0, Diyr, they go in and out of 130 and different influences. A0 is a terrific producer who does a lot of work, be it weightless stuff, clubby stuff and grime. I featured him on my Rinse mix I did last year.

Diyr, I think is another amazingly underrated producer. I really dig his influence on grime and how he puts that into 130, how he takes that seemingly icy, Wiley, eskimo sound and kind of makes it his own thing - I’ve always told him that I love what he does.

Mikey Dubs, his tunes always bang. He's been a broadcaster on Transit FM for a minute and has become a really good friend of mine. We share a lot of the similar influences. Bojaq, another homie, who I featured on my Rinse mix last year. He is another really talented producer, mostly Footwork but also explores various genres music.

B: one of the things that was so positive about the 1st Birthday to Dusk and I, was how diverse the crowd was – age, race, gender, sexuality or vibe-wise. There’s a photo on my Instagram taken from the decks looking back into the crowd and seeing that meant a lot to me, because personally I just try and play the music that I think is interesting and and find new ways to re-frame certain other vibes but you never know who will relate to it. You never know who’s locked on Rinse, where they’re from or where they’re at.

But these sounds came from a place – FWD>> particularly - where different cultures, classes, races, groups from within London met up around a love of new music and that was pretty rare to be honest and I treasured it, because I have always loved meeting new people on shared musical ground and learning about where they were from and at. So it was amazing to see how the sounds we have been working on have connected with such diverse crowd in NYC.

K303: I think that’s just us. Male, female, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, non binary gender: “are you a good person and do you like music?” that’s what it should boil down to and that’s what we try to boil it down to – there’s no discrimination. I’m glad that you felt that because that’s all we try to do.

B: If I’m being honest, I think between you guys in NYC and Ganessa, Squane and the Jelly Bean Farm camp on the west coast, Son Raw in Montreal or Panch in D.C., the North America “gets” Keysound more than London right now, and so it’s doubly special that it’s such a blend of people who connect with it.

- Photo credit Hayden Schwartz

K303: There's always been and open mindedness in my crew, since I’ve been coming here to party and since I moved here. We don’t really bleed into the pop mainstream scene like the Space/Ibiza and all that other crap that goes on where you have to dress to impress, that’s kind of unto itself. If there’s a dark room where people are playing good music on a system you’re going to find everyone there.

I remember going to parties and thinking I was the only gay dude there and then also being like, it doesn’t matter though, you could vibe at whoever you want, you can dance however you want. That aspect has always something that’s been pretty healthy. There’s other dumb shit that has gone on in New York that our crew hasn’t taken lightly and we’ve kind of kicked people out for whatever reason – just bad energy.

B: yeah, I’ve had a bit of a remote window onto that particular world via Facebook, but all I’ll say is... anyone who uses hugs to stage a non-violent intervention and make a peaceful rejection of someone who’s unwelcome due to sexual harassment... well bigup that person and her non-violent, hug based methodolgy. If only there was more of that in the world... So, are you going to make a film of/for your sound?

K303: I do need to get back into it. Music took over last year and I haven't written a thing, I still have stories, ideas I want to share. The last film I did is a short psychological thriller called ‘Closure.’ I have started a video interview segment on Transit FM called EXPRESS. Each one is on a different local artist/producers in NYC electronic or not.

 I’ve talked to Ben [Lyeform, Keysound] a lot because we kind of come from a similar background where film is a big influence on us and I’ve talked to him about trying to build an audio film, kind of writing a script and making the script pretty sparse but having the music and the script kind of being this album that’s an audio film. I think that would be pretty cool because it would be blending everything I love.

- The "WHB" EP is out now on Keysound Recordings. Buy the vinyl + free digi at Boomkat or hear it here on Spotify:

Monday, January 01, 2018

The case for and against vinyl in 2018

Less is more

We live in an era of abundance*. Choice, choice and if that’s not enough choice, yet more choice. Within a couple of clicks from your smart phone’s home screen there is more music than you can listen to in your lifetime, or even in a thousand lifetimes. If that’s the case where the hell do you start? After all we mostly don’t want to listen to random music we don’t know or like we want to listen to the right music that makes us feel amazing, very often more than once.

Vinyl solves this. Build a curated, high quality record collection and it will keep giving. Every time you flick through the shelves, the (great) records there remind you of their existence. “Oh I’d forgot about that sick b-side!”

The empty search box in the Spotify app won’t ever do that for you or will that MP3 buried in a sub sub folder on your cloud backup. These records entice you to return to them again and again, guiding you to know them better and deeper, like a great piece of art that keeps on giving. If you’ve already shuffled onto the next track, you won’t hear those new depths and layers.


Then there’s the relationship with the physical. We like physical objects, to have & to hold. We build an emotional bond with that LP or rare 12” that isn’t just about how it sounds, but how it looks, weights and feels too, down to the bent corners and ruffled inner sleeve.

Ask anyone who’s cut dubs about how they smell, they’re amazing. So yes, that record you just pulled out: that’s your copy, not a YouTube upload you have conditional licensed access to share with 24.7m other viewers, but your copy. It’s a pleasure you can give to others too as a gift. If you go off it, you could even sell it and recoup your investment.

Revocable? No thanks.

There’s one line there that needs teasing out: “that’s your copy.” In their billions, people of modern society have chosen frictionless convenience over almost any other decision pathway. In music, listeners around the globe have flocked to streaming apps Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Baidu Music, Xiami or QQ Music via their smartphones. But it’s not just a change of listening habits, it’s also a change of legal relationship: when you buy a physical copy of a record (or indeed tape or CD) it’s yours in perpetuity - you will always have access to it, legally speaking. When you join Spotify, you have no legal right to hear any given song. Sure, market forces dictate that one provider will probably have the rights to your favourite song, but not necessarily. Ever noticed how hard it was to find Prince songs on YouTube before his death?

This is the relationship you have with music on Spotify, via their End User Agreement:

"We grant you a limited, non-exclusive, revocable licence to make use of the Spotify Service, and a limited, non-exclusive, revocable licence to make personal, non-commercial, entertainment use of the Content (the “Licence”). This Licence shall remain in effect until and unless terminated by you or Spotify."

The key word there is “revocable”. And quite possibly “limited” too.

So if your music listening experience is defacto tied to, say, Spotify, because it now has your payment details, preferences and historical listening data, and your favourite artist decides they don’t want to be on Spotify, then you can’t listen to their music anymore. Think this is a niche, unlikely scenario? This is exactly what happened to tens of millions of Taylor Swift fans for three years.  With a paid Spotify account, you don’t own the rights to access the particular track you like, just the service as a whole. But buy the record and “that’s your copy” forever.

For time immemorial

The history of music is written in vinyl. Late last year I interviewed Richard Russell, the founder of XL Records, for two enchanting hours at his studio in West London. In the kitchen/reception area, there was a wall of vinyl at least 4m high and 3m wide, if not more. Right there was a small slice of the history of music, recorded in vinyl.

We were there for his project “Everything is Recorded” and there were some moments where he touched on his own mortality, or at least, he’d had moments of severe illness where he reflected on it. At this point, I asked him, pointing at the huge wall of vinyl, how many of the artists who wrote those albums he thought were still alive. Not many if any at all, came the reply, and there’s the point: here we are looking at their work, celebrating it long after they were gone. It’s a permanent yet globally distributed memory of their lives - the creative, passionate parts of their lives. Yes this is a little morbid, but it’s the cold hard truth and lets be honest, deep down, no one wants to be forgotten.

Sound and struggle

There are a few other arguments for vinyl. The sound quality is one: while I do like the sound of vinyl, saying it sounds nice isn’t a new or original line of thought and in all honesty is entirely subjective. This covers it best:

“CDs reflect exactly what the artists recorded in the studio. Vinyl distorts it. Some listeners honestly feel that the defects vinyl introduces somehow make it more attractive or "warmer." But from any objective standpoint, there's no justification in calling the sound of vinyl records ‘better.’” Source.

DJing with vinyl is more exciting: for the DJ and the audience. For the audience, it’s a much more interesting visual feedback loop, seeing the DJ select, cue, nudge & crossfade a mix with a variety of hand and body gestures. Visual is perhaps an odd adjective to use in a discussion about audio but the emotional audience feedback loop of seeing the gestures match to the sounds is undeniable. See also: never trust a DJ who doesn’t dance.

For the DJ mixing with vinyl is exciting & deeply satisfying: even if you do get any given 16 bars in tempo matched and beat locked, there’s zero chance they will stay there indefinitely. And that’s the adrenalin wave you ride as a vinyl DJ, you literally emotionally ride each mix in a blend (sic) of fear and euphoria. Its live, it can go wrong and people will notice - turns out your mixer are connected to a massive amplifier plugged into sound system. And in that mix, that fleeing moment; you are truly alive. By contrast, when two CDJ tracks lock, it’s near numb: just doesn’t feel the same.

Perhaps the final case for vinyl is that it’s an outlier. If you read this blog, you probably understand the motives and passions around underground music. It’s supposed to be different. There is supposed to be a struggle - if it were easy and struggle free, it wouldn’t be underground culture. The struggle keeps out the jokers, part timers and those not fully committed.

Vinyl is forever Martin: recognise.

* Funnily enough I wrote a track about/called abundance this year, hear it there ^


The case against vinyl in 2018

What is the point of vinyl in 2018? To begin to answer that question, I’d ask another: “how do most people first listen to music in 2017?”

If you’re first getting into right now and you listen to music, I’d love to hear how. But if you’re generalising about people who are first getting into music in 2018 - regular, average music listeners, rather than passionate music fans who read music blogs - my hunch is the smartphone is the centre of most musical worlds, probably Android listening to YouTube and Spotify. They might also listen to music in many ways, but by volume most songs are heard like this. Again, I’m talking aggregates and averages here. Sure Spotify, radio, Insta/Snapchat clips, TV, Boiler Room, shares in FB feeds including FB live, Mixcloud, downloads, vinyl, tapes, even live are all possible - but on balance, not the main mass market way people now hear music I’d wager.

This is because, when it comes to life choices en masse, convenience wins over everything, or to re-frame it: in the event of one option having friction and the other being frictionless, most people choose the easy life. Want a friend to know how you feel: tap, tell them how you feel. Want a present to arrive tomorrow? Tap: buy on Amazon. Want to hear a tune? Tap: hear the tune. instant, now - in the moment.

“Hey Google/Siri/Alexa: play ‘Top Pop’”. It’s that. It’s that frictionless.

Is friction fun?

People who have lived through the before/after internet divide often chat about how much better it was when it was hard to find musical scenes, when there was friction to access and in my experience there definitely was friction. As an example, I remember thinking, when first walking into Metalheadz Sunday Sessions at Blue Note, that I’d finally peeled off all the layers to the underground. That there were no more hidden depths, this was the ground zero, this was where the dubs were cut and played. But it’d taken a long time to get there - walking to corner shops, reading music magazines, listening to radio, picking up on names of DJs, taping shows for track IDs, finding out what was coming out, finding it in HMV on a given day, going to more underground record shops, getting parred by the grumpy staff (“no, that’s not out yet… come back next week”), finding flyers, driving down to old street, back when Old Street was sketchy and barely had places to go out in - but I’d finally got there.

“Tap: hear the tune”, it wasn’t.

So while I think there is something in the emotional illusion that effort or friction can create (people have told me they prefer the Keysound Records we hand mail out over the ones in shops…) mostly none of us go for that. We choose the easy routes: “would you like great music or would you like great music that’s a real hassle to be involved with?” “umm…” Would all these record shops have closed down if this were not true?

So vinyl, for all it’s plus points, is friction. You can’t listen to it without expensive kit. You have to be near said kit to hear it e.g. not on the bus or the tube or in the car. You have to turn it over when it’s done. You have to… wait for it… pay for it! When buying it, you have to wait days for it to arrive to you or you have to go find one of the remaining physical stores. Not “tap: hear the tune” but “click: wait 3 days” or “get on bus, go to the shops.” If you buy enough of them, moving house is a pain in the arse. Good, loyal friends will refuse to help you move house again. And it’s finite: you can only listen to the records you own… it sounds silly saying it but think about it. On Spotify, there is more music in any genre name that you could listen to in your entire lifetime - there is always more. With physical records, that’s your lot - your time, wallet and cupboard space are limiting factors to your discover of that amazing new tune. So mostly, listeners don’t hear music by vinyl.

DJs went digital

And then there’s mixing with vinyl - which isn’t a even a mainstream pursuit. “DJing with vinyl” is probably an entire blog post in of itself, one that probably isn’t that interesting in 2018, but the tl;dr is that mixing with vinyl, even if you get past the whole “carrying heavy things to gigs” bit and the “take out of sleeve, find start of tune… put back in sleeve, find next record, oh fuck, what did the label say on it again?” bits, even past those bits mixing with vinyl is just harder. It takes longer to master and goes wrong more often. Yes, when it goes right, even moderately so, it’s more fun, but when it goes wrong - which it’s more likely to do - it’s way worse than CD DJing for the audience and the DJ. Yes you and I can name a vinyl DJ; no they aren’t the way most people DJ now.

If people tell you vinyl sales are "back," they are using a very short time scale - and often talking about classic rock represses. Source.

So there we are: listeners don’t buy or listen to vinyl in meaningful volumes; most DJs don’t DJ with it. People chat rubbish about vinyl but it’s a smokescreen: they don’t really get their wallets out anymore - with almost all recent Keysound releases the vinyl loses money and the digital makes up for it. And for those that there’s some for which it’s on par with coffee table books.

A publisher I met recently explained physical book sales are still strong because bookshelves are a reflection of your identity, so people buy more books than they read, just to have them on their shelves. Every music producer wants their first work pressed to vinyl because the history of vinyl is written it, and with that comes an illusion of credibility and status, but they are confusing their needs with their audiences’. They’re supplying something that there is dwindling demand for, even before Brexit hiked up the prices.

Vinyl is over Martin, get with the program.

Oh and while you're here!

My weightless LP "Those Moments:" is available on vinyl or digital:

For the record, I'd just like to add a shout here to all the staff at Cargo Distribution who continue to support Keysound's vinyl output. I hope this blog post/thought experiment is seen for what it is. Big up!