World Wide Listening Station Tour
Phonica Records in London
words: Shan McGinley
Hailing mostly from the digital age, I was very excited to actually witness and feel the presence of the Analogue Foundation listening station. I cruised into Phonica Records in Soho with the technicians to run through the setup of the station alongside what would be my first glimpse of the finished project.
Needless to say I didn’t waste any time, grabbed myself a rather boisterous techno record and slipped on some closed off titanium headphones. Honestly, I was blown away by the quality of sound and attention to detail which had gone into creating such a divine listening experience.
As more and more eager analogue enthusiasts gravitated towards our humble hub in the corner of Phonica, I found the greatest joy was rising from people using the listening station as they would any other record deck in the store. Fearlessly ripping the plastic off a fresh vinyl which they’d just purchased and popping it onto the turntable to begin an unforgettable experience with their new vinyl for the very first time.
As the week shifted and changed during the climax of the British summertime, I was so massively intrigued by the evolution of vinyl music among the youth that I was witnessing firsthand. We had young people in their early twenties grabbing the headphones to check out records whilst exchanging chat about the cartridges and vinyl decks they’d recently bought for their own homes.
To underline my point about young people loving analogue music even more so,… without any shadow of the doubt the standout moment of my week at Phonica Records has to be on the Thursday, when a nine year old kid entered the building, glided up to the guys working behind the counter and requested a Prince album for himself.
He waltzed over to the listening station, carefully popped the record onto the deck, with absolutely no assistance needed, and completely vibed out to the experience. Afterwards his Dad came over to join him and told the team he’s already DJing and mixing vinyl live. In fact, he’s even got a gig at Glastonbury next year… NO JOKES! It didn’t just stop there either, turns out his godfather is none other than Fourtet. Yap, the kid is literally house/techno royalty.
The Analogue Foundation’s first stint in London concluded on the Friday when we hosted a compelling talk session with special guests, such as Alex Arnout, at Brilliant Corners in Dalston. Throughout the week at the record store we had relied on word of mouth to spread the knowledge that we had Floating Points performing an all vinyl DJ set at our after-party. Once we began the talk session, and I had an opportunity to check out the faces around the room, that’s when I started to fully witness how truly effective the week had been in London. It was amazing to see how almost all of the people who came through to the after-party were the same very music fans who’d felt the magic of the listening station in days gone by at Phonica Records.
I think it goes without saying, Floating Points smashed his soulful DJ set and let’s be honest there was a tad bit of a hangover the next day but it was certainly worth it!