There’s been an undeniable resurgence in vinyl records recently, and who can argue why? Music lovers the world over are drawn to the medium’s tangibility, its antiquity, and not to mention the warm ocean of sound that pours out whenever you spin it around a needle.
Vinyl enthusiasts are also ripe throughout Canberra, and one of our more notable societies is the National Film and Sound Archive’s VINYL LOUNGE. Taking place on the first Friday of every month, the Vinyl Lounge invites Canberrans to BYO vinyl (or select from the NFSA’s huge collection), play your music and share with one and one another why it’s important to you. NFSA sound curator Thorsten Kaeding caught up with BMA to tell us more.
“We have a huge range to choose from, everything from jazz, blues and classic rock to comedy and krautrock,” Kaeding says. “We usually put out six or seven crates of records for people to look through, so about 400 records in total, and we change them around regularly.”
The Vinyl Lounge attracts all sorts, and there’s no shortage of stories either. “People talk about going and seeing Led Zeppelin or The Beatles live in England in the ‘60s, or tell us about how a particular artist or song has changed their lives,” Kaeding says. “The Vinyl Lounge has become a real family where people share their love of music. We get regular updates on concerts people have gone to and new music they have discovered.”
Discussing the global vinyl revival, Kaeding agrees that it’s come about as a reaction to the over-digitalisation of music in recent decades. “Some of it may be down to nostalgia but lots of younger people are also getting into it. Partly, it may be a reaction to how we mostly listen to music in a digital world … That tactile element is largely missing now with digital platforms,” Kaeding says. “I think there is also a more communal element to playing vinyl. It’s more of a shared experience and that’s one of the main attractions of Vinyl Lounge.
“Lastly, most of our music experiences in the digital age are actually pretty lo-fi. By that I mean we don’t prioritise the music experience over convenience; many people don’t have the experience of the difference a great sound system can make.” Kaeding continues, “that’s another great thing about Vinyl Lounge; you’ll be able to listen to tracks you may know really well but because of our fantastic sound system, you’ll hear things you were never able to hear before.”
Vinyl Lounge sounds all the more inviting given the community that has grown since the group began in October, 2014. “The great thing about our audience is that it’s a totally safe place to come and listen to whatever you want. There’s no pretention or snobbishness, we all just love listening to music, whatever it happens to be. It’s just a great place to listen to all sorts of music amongst friends.”
Vinyl Lounge is on the first Friday of every month, from 5:30pm to 7pm. Entry is free. The next session is on Friday May 5. Visit nfsa.gov.au for more info.