In the 1970s and early 1980s, LP was a mega-hit. Afterward, with the appearance of cassette tape and CD, people’s way of listening to music gradually changed. In the 2000s, with the digital revolution, famous singers both at home and abroad released their albums by putting the music on the USB. Also, the streaming service is currently ongoing on various music sites. Through this, we can find out that people ‘consume’ the music as one-off content rather than ‘own’ gradually. However, LP is getting attention again focused on the MZ generation. As a result of YES24, the online record seller, sales increased by 73.1% in 2020, compared to the past year. Where this trend of LP started?
The trend of LP, why?
The people who have the affection of LP feel the temperature for possession. Ha Jong-Wook, the CEO of Machang Music & Pictures said that “Streaming is just the flowing music, doesn’t give the feeling of ‘mine’” and “LP can commune by touching it, and be possessed. It seems like the generation who is very used to the coldness of digital, feels the ‘warmth’ from LP which is uncomfortable.” Especially they sense the ‘affection’ from the trouble should be poured to listen to music with LP. If there are scratches and dust on the surface, the noise can be generated while being played. Also, to play it, the Record player and electric power are necessary. Although putting up with all these discomforts, the people who love LP are affectionate towards the LP music managed with great care by themselves.
The different sound quality of LP is another reason for its popularity. It is cruder than the digital sound source but forms natural sound. This sound quality brings in the generation who experienced LP directly and fascinates the generation who learn it for the first time. One young person, who encounter it at the age of 19 said, “Should I say that the sound is warm? It matches with old music. Especially audible base(sound) was great.” The ‘scratchy’ sound heard after putting a needle on the turntable, gives an analog vibe to the listeners. Likewise, the sound only from LP mesmerizes them.
Another attraction of LP is the design. To the LP-lover, the cover is valuable not only for the music of its inside. The pictures and text printed on the front and the back can work as part of art representing LPs. The LP with a favored cover of them and the turntable can become an interior. And exclusive patterns and colors are put on it, rather than simply black. December of the last year, the reservation of JANNABI’s Small Pieces Ⅰ was conducted. Not only for the original, black-colored LP, a design in which blue and white colors were mixed in a splatter form was also sold. These design elements cause the desire to have LP.
How to enjoy LP!
The ‘GIMBAB RECORDS’ is located in Seoul Mapo-gu, you can find it by going to exit number 3 of Hongik Univ. Station on the subway and getting into the back alley. It’s a small space less than ten-pyeong, LPs are filled tightly. At here, you can purchase by finding the one you like, or if you like the song in the store, you can ask the owner for the title. You can buy limited albums online and delivered them to home. The limited LP of famous foreign singers such as John Mayer, and HONNE, can be met. Above this store, there are several online and offline LP selling stores. Unexpectedly, you can discover the rare LPs at the second-hand market!
If you don’t collect some LPs and don’t have a player at your house, let’s look for the place playing LPs. What about visiting the LP bar to finalize the day on your journey? ‘Matilda’, located in Jeju Aewol-eup, is the LP bar that plays the song requested. If you take a seat, they give the paper and pen for the song request with the menu. There are lots of people who come to enjoy themselves, so we can also drink alone naturally. However, there’s waiting frequently, it’s better to consider this. Not only for the vacation spots, but the LP bars are also existing all over around us. It will be interesting to find one with your linking because the music and mood of the interior are different by each LP bar.
David Sax, the nonfiction writer from Canada, said at the ‘The Revenge of Analog’: The more virtual things that are digitally wrapped, the more special joy by touching and feeling. The LP emerged in times when the digital is overflowing, why don't you think about the meaning of this trend?
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