Santiago: Rediscovering A Love for Vinyl Records

By - 06 August, 2011

It seems the world is rediscovering it’s love for vinyl records. With the CD’s usefulness almost completely replaced by mp3s, consumers are turning to vinyl when they want a physical release in their hands. This is also the case in Santiago, Chile’s capital, where vinyl markets now happen in the bars and restaurants of the city every weekend, and where new albums will often be released on vinyl before CD.

The reasons for vinyl’s resurgence are many and varied: there’s the larger size which makes a vinyl record almost like an ornament; the fact that this larger size means there’s more room for creative artwork; there’s the sound quality (which many people prefer); there’s the fashion for vintage equipment and clothing which vinyl is definitely a part of; there’s it’s position as format of choice for every discerning DJ; and I’m sure there are many others. Essentially the fact that an mp3 is so much more convenient than a CD means that the CD’s unique selling point has pretty much been lost!

These reasons, along with a novel approach to selling vinyl, have made for a definite resurgence in buying records in Santiago. It started last year with the first “Feria del Vinilo” in the Loreto bar in Bellavista. Set-up by Hugo Chávez, who had previously been responsible for the Background de Providencia record store (which has now shut). He brought along his collection of Chilean and international records and invited the public to come along. Additionally, in the confines of Bar Loreto, were DJs, food and drink, all making the experience quite appealing for any music lover fancying a day out.

The event proved extremely popular, becoming more and more regular, with other venues getting in on the act, until there now being a vinyl market almost every weekend, happening at restaurants/bars including Santo Remedio (who call their event Domingo de Vinilos / Vinyl Sunday, Desmadre and the afore-mentioned Bar Loreto.

While many of these events simply sell old vinyl it is also possible to buy new vinyl from some of Chile’s finest new acts. Quemasucabeza last year released Gepe’s hugely-popular Audiovision album on vinyl, as well as albums by Pedropiedra and Mostro. On August 9th they will release Caravana’s eponymously-titled debut album, an album which we gave a glowing review here on Sounds and Colours, at a vinyl release party at Sala SCD Bellavista. Carla Arias, of Quemasucabeza feels the reason people like vinyl records are because they “… have a very carefully-produced cover and artwork, and they sound great, because of this people prefer them.”

With many people downloading new music it could be that Quemasucabeza have found the perfect model for releasing new records. First, they make their albums available for free on quemasucabeza.com, and then only later will they become available on vinyl, by which time the people will hopefully have made a connection with the album and feel duly obliged to add it to their record collection.

Details of all of these events as well as some good places to buy vinyl are below:

Caravana’s Vinyl Release Party
Tuesday August 9th, 9pm
Sala SCD Bellavista
Santa Filomena 110
Santiago, Chile

Domingo de Vinilos
first Sunday of each month
Santo Remedio
Román Díaz 152
Providencia)

Places to buy records in Santiago:

Next Time
Boulevard Parque Arauco

Respect
Portal Lyon
Providencia
Metro: Los Leones

Funtrax
Nueva de Lyon 029
Providencia
Metro: Los Leones

The Knife
Eurocentro, 1st Floor
Moneda 970
Metro: Universidad de Chile

Lugar sin Limites
Providencia 1370
Metro: Manuel Montt

Kind of Blue
Merced 323
Metro: Belles Artes

Persa Victor Manuel
Galpon 4, Locales 100-101-102
Metro: Franklin

Rewind
Calle Valparaíso con Villanelo
Viña del Mar
Metro: Viña del Mar

Voz Propia
Portal Lyon
Providencia
Metro: Los Leones

Rock Music
Eurocentro
Moneda 970
Metro: Universidad de Chile

Persa Bío-Bío (Junk shop, but with plenty of old records)
Franklin Market
Metro: Franklin


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