Vinyl Records Are Making A Comeback, And Old School Dee Jays Are All For It
For the first time in decades, vinyl record sales are getting close to overtaking CDs — and old school dee jays are gladly welcoming the comeback for younger generations.
Vinyls generated $224.1 million in sales in the first half of 2019 — representing a 12.9 percent revenue increase from the previous year, according to a 2019 mid-year report by the Recording Industry Association of America.
In comparison, $247.9 million was generated in CD sales in the same time frame, which reflects only a 0.8 percent increase since 2018, the report stated, making it more than likely that vinyl record sales will soon overtake CD sales if this trend continues.
Two old school dee jays, DJ Miles and DJ Gemini, told KJAMS Radio they thought the vinyl record comeback is great news, and offered their opinions on how dee jay mixing with vinyl compares to the controllers often used in their place today.
“We didn’t have the technology we have today, so it’s much different,” DJ Miles said. “Back in the day, you had to have that ear feeling in order to play with the vinyl… A lot of the modern-day dee jays, they rely on the technology.”
As a cut and scratch dee jay, DJ Miles noted the vinyl “feel” is completely different than creating mixes on a controller, and that he prefers it to today’s technology for his style of dee jay mixing.
DJ Gemini agreed that vinyl offers something a controller can’t, adding that making dee jay mixes with vinyls also requires an added skill level that technology seems to make up for today.
“Vinyl has just a sound and a feel that you can’t get from the digital technologies nowadays,” he said. “Today compared to back then, … now it’s so easy that pretty much anyone can figure out how to mix one song to the other.”
While both DJ Miles and DJ Gemini are fans of vinyls, neither are able to use them for their dee jay mixing as often as they’d like, and neither plan on returning completely to the old school methods for one practical reason.
“I love playing vinyls,” DJ Miles said. “But as for myself, you get to a certain age and you really don’t want to lug heavy stuff around… When we were back in the day, teenagers, 20 years old, whathaveyou, it was really easy. We used to haul them everywhere. But nowadays, it’s just much easier to carry around your laptop.”
DJ Gemini seconded this, adding that he wants to encourage the younger generation of dee jays go back to the roots of old school dee jay mixing and learn how to use vinyls on a turntable.
“If you’re already a dee jay on the controller or this digital world, just go back and understand how it started, the roots of it, instead of saying that you don’t need to,” DJ Gemini said. “I would just love for everybody to experience that. If you haven’t, you need to.”