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Physical Music Collections

Physical Music Collections
August 15, 2011, 10:21:59 AM
I seem to remember a short article on the importance of physical music collections on the old hessian.org site. They are a physical, historical record of hessian culture along with all other old merchandise, gig tickets/posters, photographs etc.

I try to maintain a fairly large collection of CDs within financial constraints, and limit downloading. It's important not only as a personal record of my musical growth over time but also as a record of hessian history, whether it be albums as common as Reign in Blood or rarer black metal entities.

The problem with this is that if not unchecked it can devolve into a magpie mentality of obsessively acquiring more for the sake of more and kidding oneself that it will actually bring meaning to one's existence. It can quickly turn into mindless materialism that in every other aspect of my life I detest, and I detest seeing it in others. I find this to be a particular problem in the age of downloading simply because it presents a free, easy alternative to collecting music that people until recently did not have. It is also not the case that people still go to their local record store and maybe talk to some friends in the process, a couple of clicks on amazon and a bunch of albums are on their way to your doorstep.

Does this mean the magic has all but left the art of collecting music? I'm not interested in how big your collection is or what you have in it, but if you do collect records/CDs do you see the danger of slipping into this inherent conradiction. Should music collections simply be abandoned for the sake of a digital alternative?

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 15, 2011, 11:09:09 AM
To me, there's something mystical about putting a record on.  It's a ritual, from beginning to end, and there's never been an occasion when I've put a record on just for background noise.  Even at parties/gatherings/orgies, when the record player is turned on, people shut the fuck up and listen, or, at most, sing along to the music (if it's something like Hendrix or Deep Purple).  I'd question the value of CDs, mp3s, FLACs, oggs, and all of that crap, simply because they're digitalised, easy-to-produce copies of "real" music (Only Analogue Is Real!).

To that end, if there's an album I deem especially significant, I'll buy the record.  I got Timewind on vinyl, recently, after being on a week long Schulze binge.  I still keep the mp3s, and have the music on my iPod, but there are times when I really want to just sit down with that album, and purposefully listen to it.  The same is true for any Metal album that I've got (excluding an Akitsa record I picked up for about $5 and some freebie I got from a trade, both of which are slightly shitty and don't get played).

As far as Record Shops are concerned, when I went to Oslo a couple of years ago, the most fun I had was hanging out in Neseblod Records with my friends and the guys who frequented that shop.  It was seriously cool, just chilling, listening to old school Metal, and always leaving with some amusing CDs/merchandise (I got a misprinted Graveland t-shirt there for bupkis).  Unfortunately, there's nothing like that here in the UK, but if there were, I'd be there every day, and I reckon a large number of my friends would, too.  In this internet age, however, there's not really the incentive to buy a property and turn it into a Hessian Record Store, since barely anybody would bother to turn up outside of the few people that you already hang out with who'd like to start something like that!

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 16, 2011, 11:20:09 AM
I would agree that vinyl has more mystique to it, but when I clocked this fact my CD collection was already too big and I would have to re-buy a lot of albums which just seemed futile. My point is more that you still get the samepackage with a CD, the artwork, lyrics et.c just in smaller form. It's still a lot more permanent than mp3s and in my view a more lasting representation of the culture.

Again, I'm not lamenting the rise of mp3s, I'm just holding that they are no replacement for physical media for the reasons already stated.

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 18, 2011, 11:49:46 PM
I mainly have CDs and cassettes, but generally I think the medium should be secondary to the listening experience itself and the surroundings. Perhaps one might aim to eventually have no physical collection at all, but a strong connection with emotional memory.

E

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 19, 2011, 08:47:02 PM
I would agree that vinyl has more mystique to it, but when I clocked this fact my CD collection was already too big and I would have to re-buy a lot of albums which just seemed futile. My point is more that you still get the samepackage with a CD, the artwork, lyrics et.c just in smaller form. It's still a lot more permanent than mp3s and in my view a more lasting representation of the culture.
Why CDs:

no loss of sound quality because of wear
no new accessories (needle) needed every-so-often
less fragile medium (and CDs with scratches can be polished)
listening experience not interrupted by need to flip the disk every half hour- though one might argue that's part of the proposed listening experience in some albums.

Pros of vinyl: mystique, big artwork, scene cred...

Exteriorities.

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 19, 2011, 08:53:59 PM
Why vinyl:
-when the apochristAIDSalypse happens and infrastructure breaks down you won't have to rebuild society to the point of computer technology before being able to play your music again
-more commitment required
-sound waves are being generated entirely by the interplay of physical phenomena instead of 11100010010000110101

Why CD's:
-smaller
-easier
-cheaper

Conveniences.

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 20, 2011, 03:21:00 AM
Why vinyl:
-when the apochristAIDSalypse happens and infrastructure breaks down you won't have to rebuild society to the point of computer technology before being able to play your music again

HA!  Exactly.  I'm a caveman and I just don't trust this non-physical shit.  I need hard copies of music and books.

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 20, 2011, 12:34:45 PM
Pros and cons of each aside, I more wanted to compare the ethos of collecting CDs/vinyl to collecting a huge digital library of music. Are the benefits of ownign a physical collection really enough to both with it in the long wrong? And I'm not just referring to individual collections, but the benefits that each bring to keeping a record of the best of waht metal had to offer so that people can still enjoy it in the years to come.

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 20, 2011, 01:51:24 PM
Pros and cons of each aside, I more wanted to compare the ethos of collecting CDs/vinyl to collecting a huge digital library of music. Are the benefits of ownign a physical collection really enough to both with it in the long wrong? And I'm not just referring to individual collections, but the benefits that each bring to keeping a record of the best of waht metal had to offer so that people can still enjoy it in the years to come.

I think a physical collection is ideal, but it's easy to get caught up in the act of "buy, buy, buy" with records. You also have the issue of out of print stuff being, if not impossible to find, often absurdly expensive. I paid $50 for Far Away From The Sun. It was worth it, but I don't think I would ever pay that much for an album again. Getting something more rare like Finis Malorum or Necrophobic's The Nocturnal Silence (EDIT: Actually just saw this has been rereleased, awesome!) is just out of the question, even though I highly regard both.

If you're financially well off enough, I say accumulate all the classics and all your favorites on whichever format you like. You get a physical object that isn't tied to a computer or a "you know it's going to break in a few years" mp3 player.

If your finances are tighter than that, or if you're young or in college and should be spending your money more wisely, than it doesn't hurt to pick up 1 or 2 records or CDs every few months. You might also practice this even if you could afford to buy a lot more, as limiting your own purchasing will put you into a mindset where you make more careful and thought out choices about what you are going to own. The problem with this method is the limited nature of most underground metal releases. It's easy to miss out on something in just a few days or weeks.

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 20, 2011, 02:16:18 PM
I think a physical collection is ideal, but it's easy to get caught up in the act of "buy, buy, buy" with records. You also have the issue of out of print stuff being, if not impossible to find, often absurdly expensive. I paid $50 for Far Away From The Sun. It was worth it, but I don't think I would ever pay that much for an album again. Getting something more rare like Finis Malorum or Necrophobic's The Nocturnal Silence (EDIT: Actually just saw this has been rereleased, awesome!) is just out of the question, even though I highly regard both.
The worst part of out-of-print stuff being so costly is not so much the cost itself (like you said, it's worth it) but more the fact the band, the people responsible for creating such a masterpiece, doesn't see one goddamn cent from such a transaction. I wouldn't mind paying exorbitant prices for the best pieces of music I know of if the rewards went to the people who made it instead of some opportunistic faggot on ebay.

Incidentally, Far away from the Sun was also reissued a few years ago on a CD that also included Finis Malorum. It's not especially easy to find, but when you do it's not usually expensive.

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 20, 2011, 03:02:01 PM
80% of my music collection is downloaded stuff (FLAC and high quality mp3s), if I think of something to be really good, I will buy it physically. Maybe.




Re: Physical Music Collections
August 27, 2011, 10:36:16 PM
I would agree that vinyl has more mystique to it, but when I clocked this fact my CD collection was already too big and I would have to re-buy a lot of albums which just seemed futile. My point is more that you still get the samepackage with a CD, the artwork, lyrics et.c just in smaller form. It's still a lot more permanent than mp3s and in my view a more lasting representation of the culture.
Why CDs:

no loss of sound quality because of wear
no new accessories (needle) needed every-so-often
less fragile medium (and CDs with scratches can be polished)
listening experience not interrupted by need to flip the disk every half hour- though one might argue that's part of the proposed listening experience in some albums.

Pros of vinyl: mystique, big artwork, scene cred...

Exteriorities.


For how long do you expect to live? I'm 49 and my old vinyls sound exactly the same as always, you only need a decent turntable and a bit of care.

I agree with everything istaros said, and to clarify it a bit more: nothing sounds like vinyl...

And yes, a physical collection is important to me, and to play a record, a ritual for me too, exactly as Cargést stated.

Obviously I download music, It's not easy to find neither music that's worth the price, nor the money to buy it (currently)

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 28, 2011, 12:07:35 PM
Pros and cons of each aside, I more wanted to compare the ethos of collecting CDs/vinyl to collecting a huge digital library of music. Are the benefits of ownign a physical collection really enough to both with it in the long wrong? And I'm not just referring to individual collections, but the benefits that each bring to keeping a record of the best of waht metal had to offer so that people can still enjoy it in the years to come.

I think a physical collection is ideal, but it's easy to get caught up in the act of "buy, buy, buy" with records. You also have the issue of out of print stuff being, if not impossible to find, often absurdly expensive. I paid $50 for Far Away From The Sun. It was worth it, but I don't think I would ever pay that much for an album again. Getting something more rare like Finis Malorum or Necrophobic's The Nocturnal Silence (EDIT: Actually just saw this has been rereleased, awesome!) is just out of the question, even though I highly regard both.

If you're financially well off enough, I say accumulate all the classics and all your favorites on whichever format you like. You get a physical object that isn't tied to a computer or a "you know it's going to break in a few years" mp3 player.

If your finances are tighter than that, or if you're young or in college and should be spending your money more wisely, than it doesn't hurt to pick up 1 or 2 records or CDs every few months. You might also practice this even if you could afford to buy a lot more, as limiting your own purchasing will put you into a mindset where you make more careful and thought out choices about what you are going to own. The problem with this method is the limited nature of most underground metal releases. It's easy to miss out on something in just a few days or weeks.

When you're interested in a limited issue, then you can´t wait, obviously you'll miss the opportunity.

Concerning to out-of-print stuff, many times it's a matter of patience, sooner or later it will come to your hands, in the form of a reissue or maybe just luck. I've paid for VERY FEW items amounts in between 50$ to 150$ the most expensive, but usually I just wait for a reissue that ALWAYS arrives, with very few exceptions. Of course it sucks to pay an important price to an "opportunistic faggot" like istaros said, but many of us have done it a few times (Sometimes, what sucks are the reissues, but that is another history.) However, if you are patient and vigilant in ebay, and do clever searches, you can get rare albums for very little, due to the auction being overlooked by everyone but you, for example because spelling errors in the title, or sometimes you can find rare underground albums with very low pice from big sellers not specialized in metal, or because pure luck (but you have to be aware of falsifications). I've bought for very little money legitimate copies of pretty rare albums.

It is also important what you have said about being aware of not to allow the construction of a nice collection of goood metal to become a "consuming impulse", by limiting your adquisitions, no matter if you can afford to buy everything is released.

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 28, 2011, 01:59:45 PM
I don't go for the collector's mentality but I like having physical copies.

Trusting iTunes with your music is a terrible, flaky idea.

Re: Physical Music Collections
August 28, 2011, 06:10:33 PM
I've recently started buying good introductory CDs for specific genres in order to have something to give to people who are interested. I find that people are more likely to listen to the album when it's in a tangible form (as opposed to loading up a flash drive) and can use the album artwork and lyric booklet as a tool for getting a better understanding of where it's coming from.