The analog vs. digital divide is alive and well in music today. Let’s face it Garage Band, Reason, Logic, Final Skratch, the CDJ, and the like have changed the face of music and DJing. But still there’s something unique about the “real” thing–the crisp subtlety of old skool transistors and analog sounds.
Enter Vinyl Life, three guys in NYC making music under the names Richie Roxx, Phaze Future, and Butcha. With their old skool synths, Vinyl Life innovates a sound that’s equal parts (early) techno, (classic) hip-hop, and (nu) disco. Yet the despite the retro feel of the tunes and the band’s media kit—these guys can mine a pop sensibility without the dullness of kitsch, which what 80s inflections usually become. Vinyl Life is a reminder that on the other side of the neon eighties was a time when postpunk, hip-hop, techno, disco, and punkfunk were allied–sharing venues, promoters, and crowds as Andy Warhol’s pop sensibility met Basquiat’s graffiti.
OK, so the band photo is less Gorgio Moroder’s touch of class than party-addled Beastie Boys 1.0 circa Licensed to Ill, but listen to the audio clip. Amid the sonic reference to Kraftwerk and the Zulu Nation and the war against Autotune, an eighties sensibility emerges in more than the music—these guys walk the talk! The clip below is a snippet from their upcoming self-titled artist album. Over at my own blog the Soul Reflector I’ve also posted a 60 minute DJ set from the band called Jack the Hype.