On Sunday afternoon, there was a Q&A for the real vinyl fans at Roadburn. And that should in a sense mean everyone, yet it isn’t as busy as you would expect during the Vinyl Veda Vault session with Andreas Kohl.
Editor: Guido Segers
Since we did visit and have learned from the Senior Manager at Optimal Media and founder/owner of Exile on Mainstream, we think it’s only fair we share some of his wisdom with you here:
“The record pressing industry is simply not designed for today’s industry demands. Everything is one click away today, but for us to create a record takes at least 6-7 days,” explains Andreas Kohl. He tells us about the process of making vinyl and how in many ways the process is based on skill rather than technical methods. A warped record? That must have been an inattentive operative at the plant, which simply happens.
Soon we also move into discussing weight; 180 grams records versus low-weight vinyl. Andreas takes care of this one big myth quickly: “The idea that 180 grams vinyl has deeper grooves is absolute nonsense. Sure, the feel of the record is more solid, but the pressing is the same.” He shows some of the pressing discs and he would appear to be correct. There is, of course, the issue of bending vinyl, but that’s really no challenge the expert tells us: “You can easily flatten out your records if they got bent. You do this by putting a record between security glass plates in your oven at 50 degrees Celsius. I do the same, but I shove them under my carpet and turn the floor heating on. Works just the same.”
Audience questions keep coming, also concerning the quality of colored vinyl. Did you know vinyl was made black, because the old shellac records were? They just stuck with it for consumer satisfaction. Yet, there is one difference: “Black records contain one essential element that makes them better and that is graphite. You know how there’s a screw stuck in your car or motorbike? You use some graphite and it comes loose. Because a black record contains this substance, it is better for your needle, but also more durable. It may not look as exciting, but it’ll last longer.”
We are a lot wiser now, we hope you are too.