Analogue Blog

or RetroFuturism

So, it really is a cliché to note that everything is happening all at once but sometimes it is necessary to note the obvious, just to remind ourselves that it’s a cliché mainly because it’s true. You know, stuff like, Cameron is Tory scum who has no clue how to run the country. There, that’s better.
But really, everything is happening all at once, the past and the future are colliding in the present, to create things like they were before, but different.
So today we found out that vinyl sales are up, from a very tiny amount to a slightly bigger number that is still very small. Most music sales are now, of course, digital, not on CD or cassette, which means that most music now doesn’t actually ever exist. It just kind of floats around on drives, then gets lost.
But it’s not just us old folk who still like handling big slabs of fat oil, the ‘kids’ are into it to. I think the best thing about vinyl is that it’s cost and weight act as a great filter. You have to really like a tune to spend £6.50 on it, then carry the dastardly thing around in a box just so it can give you six minutes of, admittedly high quality, sound pleasure, it’s much easier to just skip through it on Spotify or Youtube. Vinyl is as good and as annoying as it ever was but now we like it for a different reason, because there’s less of it, because it’s physical and expensive it limits our choice, in a good way. There, you see, everything’s the same, and different, at the same time.
The same theory applies to analogue film. OK, it looks better than digital, but the really good thing is, when you use real film, you have to think about every shot, or the reel will run out before you get to the good bit.
And when you get the pictures back they feel special, and there’s not so many that you just can’t be bothered to even trawl through them.

Yesterday we bought a typewriter for the same kinds of reasons. It’s a beautiful object, with some great graphics on the instructions, and a genuine typed test page, with a special inky stamp, to prove that when it left the factory it was in working order. But when you use it, you have to really think about what you write, because when the ribbon runs out it’s hard to get a new one and if you make a mistake you can’t just go back and do it again, it’s there forever.
H is going to use it for labels for her massage oil. I will type out the running order for my Freedom Street album project, then photograph it, using real film. The whole thing might even end up on vinyl if everything goes to plan. Now, that would really feel like an achievement, a thing of real value, well, a thing, a tangible, real thing at least.
Now, that would be really retro, in a futuristic sort of way. Or is it the other way round?