Vinyl is enjoying its moment in the sun in a Wollongong laneway as crowds of ‘‘crackle and pop’’ enthusiasts celebrate international Record Store Day.
Crown Lane record store Music Farmers opened at 10am Saturday to a queuing crowd of about 50 people, many eager to get their hands on Record Store Day exclusive vinyl releases from acts like Tame Impala, Flume, Soundgarden and The Black Angels.
Customer David Atkinson said he made a point of buying new vinyl each Record Store Day as a show of support for ‘‘real music’’.
‘Maybe kids are looking for something that’s honest. It’s real music for real people.'
This year he added Howling Wolf’s Off the Record and Bruce Springsteen’s American Beauty to the 350-strong collection he has been building over decades - even as compact discs, iTunes sales and online streaming ate away at the medium’s popularity.
‘‘I buy CDs, I download - I do all that stuff as well, but there’s just something about vinyl,’’ Mr Atkinson told the Mercury.
‘‘You get the crackles, the pops. There is a warmth to the sound.’’
The Adelaide father has delighted in seeing his own children discover the appeal of vinyl, sales of which spiked 77 per cent last year, contrasting a 25 per cent decline in CD sales.
‘‘It’s good to see the kids getting into it,’’ Mr Atkinson said. ‘‘Maybe kids are looking for something that’s honest. It’s real music for real people. A lot of the stuff that’s around is manufactured pap. Autotune has taken over mainstream music and it’s just bland.’’
Record Store Day began nine years ago to counter the plummeting sales of physical music products.
Wollongong’s Josh Scully, who picked up a Tame Impala album, said there was growing appreciation for the art work and ‘‘tangible’’ quality that came with buying a record.
Another customer, Krystal Zalloua, pointed to the inclusion of digital downloads with modern vinyl releases as a value-adding bonus that may have helped reverse vinyl’s fortunes.
Music Farmers owner Jeb Taylor said Saturday’s crowds were the biggest of any Record Store Day to date.
‘‘It’s been pretty crazy so far!’’