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Last on

Thu 5 May 2011 11:30 BBC Radio 4

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 05 May 2011

Jenny Hammerton - a DJ of 78s - explores why the old discs are still alive and kicking. The 78rpm record lasted longer than any other format. Enrico Caruso recorded on 78s and Beatles records were cut on 78s in India in the late 1960s. And for some the old grooves and the heavy shellac discs are still the best. Record collectors swear the sound quality of 78s has never been surpassed and young afficienados are cutting their new pop songs on 78s. Sound artists and composers meanwhile are drawn to the patina of age that the old records carry in their scratch and hiss and some are making new music out of old noises. In the digital world where music has shrunk to invisible sound files, the wind up gramophone, a metal stylus and a box of heavy aromatic 10 inch discs seem more and more like precious and necessary demonstrations of the reality of things.


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