It's glorious to be able to go onto the Internet and hear any kind of music anywhere, from anywhere, and get it instantly. But there's also something glorious about having a record with a sleeve and looking at the artwork, putting it on the turntable and playing it, there's still something romantic to me about that.
It was very important, and I felt like music ran through my blood lines, with my father being a deejay and teaching me about records. I always thought vinyl was just intriguing. A black piece of wax that spins on a turntable and nothing but good sound comes from it. So that inspiration just keeps me going in hip-hop.
For my birthday this year, my girlfriends - who knew I'd just inherited my dad's turntable - gave me a carton of albums like 'Blue Kentucky Girl,' by Emmylou Harris, and 'Off the Wall,' by Michael Jackson. It's all stuff we grew up with. I mean, you can't have a music collection without Prince's 'Purple Rain' - it just can't be done!
For my birthday this year, my girlfriends - who knew I'd just inherited my dad's turntable - gave me a carton of albums like 'Blue Kentucky Girl,' by Emmylou Harris, and 'Off the Wall,' by Michael Jackson. It's all stuff we grew up with. I mean, you can't have a music collection without Prince's 'Purple ain' - it just can't be done!
I grew up around electronic instruments. To me, the turntable is an electronic device. At the same time, I had access to drum machines and keyboards through my uncle; then track recorders into computers. At an early age, I was messing with computers more than most hip-hop musicians.
Ali Shaheed Muhammad
If the music in a groove fits with what you're playing, then play it; if not, then you can play it backwards. If that doesn't work, you try it at a different speed. If it really doesn't work you just break it. The whole ritual to put a record on a turntable just to listen to it, I don't do that too often.
She removed the shining black disk from its sleeve, holding it by the edges. After she placed it on the turntable and set the arm into motion, she adjusted the volume on the amplifier, flooding the room with sound. She closed her eyes and began to sway to the music. She could almost feel Clive's arms guiding her, as he had done so many times over the course of their lives together. (from Independence Day)
Consider the social proof of a line of people standing behind a velvet rope, waiting to get into a club. The line makes most people walking by want to find out what's worth the wait. The digital equivalent of the velvet rope helped build viral growth for initially invite-only launches like Gmail, Gilt Groupe, Spotify, and Turntable.fm.
[The modern age] knows nothing about isolation and nothing about silence. In our quietest and loneliest hour the automatic ice-maker in the refrigerator will cluck and drop an ice cube, the automatic dishwasher will sigh through its changes, a plane will drone over, the nearest freeway will vibrate the air. Red and white lights will pass in the sky, lights will shine along highways and glance off windows. There is always a radio that can be turned to some all-night station, or a television set to turn artificial moonlight into the flickering images of the late show. We can put on a turntable whatever consolation we most respond to, Mozart or Copland or the Grateful Dead.
Shimamoto was in charge of the records. She'd take one from its jacket, place it carefully on the turntable without touching the grooves with her fingers, and, after making sure to brush the cartridge free of any dust with a tiny brush, lower the needle ever so gently onto the record. When the record was finished, she'd spray it and wipe it with a felt cloth. Finally she'd return the record to its jacket and its proper place on the shelf. Her father had taught her this procedure, and she followed his instructions with a terribly serious look on her face, her eyes narrowed, her breath held in check. Meanwhile, I was on the sofa, watching her every move. Only when the record was safely back on the shelf did she turn to me and give a little smile. And every time, this thought hit me: It wasn't a record she was handling. It was a fragile soul inside a glass bottle.
What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition - tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star... Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I found myself in a strange deserted city - an old city, like London - underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly - past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble. I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below. I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple... click click click... the Pyramids... the Parthenon. History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment. 'I thought I'd find you here, ' said a voice at my elbow. It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple. I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know, ' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.' He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum... click click click... the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead, ' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.' 'What?' He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted, ' he said. 'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.' Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him. 'That information is classified, I'm afraid.' 1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor. 'Is it open to the public?' I said. 'Not generally, no.' I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point. 'Are you happy here?' I said at last. He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly, ' he said. 'But you're not very happy where you are, either.' St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch. 'I hope you'll excuse me, ' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.' He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.