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This next interview is with Berlin based Dj Poingi. Playing styles ranging from (Italo)disco to breakcore. Check out his mixes at:

Photo by Photophunk

1)You’re djing with time code records, what was the reason for you to switch from vinyl to Serato ?
Well the main reason was so that i can play all those hard to get or super expensive tunes. Second reason was having to carry the heavy records all those years, sometimes two DJ bags for some of my gigs. It was too heavy. And always having to choose from all those records i want to play when now i can have all my music on me.
But the variety has a downside, sometimes, or even usually i get lost in between all this music. so many file names instead of a few familiar record covers.

2)Do you use Serato only or do you still DJ with vinyl as well ?
Unfortunately i’am only using serato. I’m saying unfortunately because I still love Vinyl. I like the way it looks, the way it feels, the happiness you feel when buying new records. I often get jealous at people still using vinyl.

3)Do you still buy vinyl ? and if yes where do you buy it (online, shop and why?)
I don’t anymore, rarely, but i wish i were.

4)Do you buy the digital music you play ? (or do you play your own vinyl rips, tracks from friends or illegal downloads)
All. Some stuff i buy, some stuff like Italo disco or breakcore you cant really buy digitally, so i download it. And i also play tracks from friends.

5)Do you think music will stay an accessory (Ipod, telephone, etc)? or will new generations will get the feeling they’re missing something (to collect, to hold, etc) ?
I think the younger generation is already used to music as being a file on the computer. I do think they will collect but only the music files themselves. Maybe some people will still collect vinyl but i doubt if many. Also, i am sure that future generations will be more ecological aware and will not use paper and for that matter will probably also won’t use vinyl.

6)How would you describe the future of vinyl?
I love vinyl. I think in some clubs it will go on living for a while. But i don’t see much of a future for it. Here in Berlin there are many clubs that insist on playing vinyl. The biggest clubs like Tape Club or Berghain love vinyl and don’t like digital. But this is Berlin. Whenever a DJ comes from the US or some other places Europe they often use cds or Serato or Final Scratch – digital format.

*)do you think there will be any “real” record shops left?
I think that as long as Vinyl exists there will be some real vinyl shops. Part of the Vinyl culture and experience is to buy it in a real shop. To touch the covers, to browse through the records, to take the record out, to put the needle on and to listen.

7)Do you think the switch from real shops to online shops has an impact on record sales ?
No I don’t. On the contrary. Maybe selling vinyl can still be profitable even due to low sales because the shop owners don’t have to pay rent for having a record shop.

8)What do you think is the reason that so many distributors, shops, labels are quitting while the media is talking about the return of vinyl and numbers show that vinyl sales are going up?
This is actually new to me. Didn’t know Vinyl sales were up. What can I say? never trust the media?
Maybe vinyl sales as a hyped product are going up but im pretty sure in general the sales are not doing well.
When one talks to shop owners you can always hear how bad it is going. then again… the economy is bad. so who knows?

9)Someone described the “comeback” of vinyl as a way to rebel against downloading music, what do you think of this?
I think its an interesting way to fight against downloading music. But i don’t know if this can really change anything. But the best way should be keeping digital music prices low and the quality high.

“Though vinyl’s popularity waned with the emergence of cassettes and CDs in the late 1980s, records continue to hold a niche in the music marketplace, especially among audiophiles and DJs,” says Joshua Friedlander, vice president of research for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Helping to boost last year’s total is a growing number of teens who prefer the collectible nature and warmer sound of vinyl—comparable to listening to a “live” self-playing piano, as opposed to flat MP3s, which are often forgotten as quickly as they are downloaded.

“USB turntables meld the experience of vinyl with the portability of digital, allowing music aficionados to migrate their record collection to a computer, while still being able to play vinyl when the occasion permits,” he says. “We see this as a key element to our future growth.”

Interview with Riccardo Balli (Dj Balli) founder of the Italian label “Sonic Belligeranza” and of its two sublabels “+ Belligeranza” and “- Belligeranza” As a dj and producer he focusses on breakcore, experimental turntablism and extreme noise. I ask Balli about his visions of the future of vinyl, changes in the industry and how he sees the future for his own labels.

1 ) Is vinyl the no.1 format for you and if yes why is vinyl the superior format for you? If not why not?

For sure vinyl is the definitive format for me; its dynamics is much more creative than the 44100 Hz at 16 bit rate typical of cd, analog PLAYS, digital REPRODUCES! Then keeping aside sound factors, it is also superior as object of art, its variety of format and size allowing a multitude of creative usages, its fetishist power makes it the ultimate collectable item. On a more personal level, being myself a turntablist it is also an unreplaceble “music instrument” for scratch, yes if I have to say it:


2 ) “If you can hear whatever you like, whenever you want to hear it you don’t have to own or physically possess the music” This statement is from the future of music book, do you agree? Why or why not?

I can agree with this but only 99%! In fact, the collector’s instinct is an anthropological matter, part of human culture, as long as there’ll be that combination of chemistry-emotions-rationalization we Call men (and women) there’ll be some specimens of this race who will keep on filing pictures of different colors, drawing of different sizes in their own personal spaceship or wherever they will be. And what a better collector’s item than vinyl?

3 ) Do you think music will stay an accessory? (As it is now for a lot of people) or will new generations will get the feeling they’re missing something?

It’s possible that something very similar happening with the vintage culture in furniture, design, and clothing might happen with listening music on turntable. Actually I think this is already happening and this one of the part of that niche vinyl has statistically conquested Nowadays (check especially Nielsen SoundScan data for the year 2009.)

4 ) There’s a boost in vinyl sales at the moment, what do you think is the cause of this?

In addition to the general vintage culture growth just mentioned, a variety of , more specific, reasons, I just tell the ones that come in my mind: a) as an indirect effect of music turning immaterial, it’s no surprise that vinyl – its more “physical” format – has gained a new charm. Probably after having downloaded, what shall we say? 300 years of classic music, you start to be a little bit bored and crave for something different just as an escape, there is vinyl. b) vinyl has  always been THE format for different music culture or subculture, from the jazz enthusiast, to the punk-hardcore kid the lp is the bible (a more complex situation with the dance music niche where the introduction of new djing technologies like Serato, Final Scratch and, we shall now also consider, the premature enforced retirement of 1200’s from Technics is making the fight more intense, let’s see what will happen)

5 ) How would you describe the future of vinyl?

Hard to predict the future. As it emerged here and there in my previous answers, if there will be a future for vinyl it will be a niche one, as format for specialized categories (from audiophiles to funk dj). For sure a special eye to answer your question will have to be set on the 2102 Kyoto protocol expiration according to which the production of rubber, lubricants and bases, things like vinyl will have to be stopped because polluting. As I heard unofficially from some professionals of the vinyl sector, some way out will be probably thought of, nevertheless this environmental bidding has to be taken into consideration when talking about wax future.

6 ) Do you think giving a download link to the digital version free with the sale of the record will discourage downloading illegally and encourages buying a legal product?

I don’t think so!

7 ) According to the Dutch pressing plant the market for dance vinyl shrunk but is compensated by other styles did you notice this, did it have impact on your releases?

I agree with this and experienced it in my production activities. Lately in fact the more significant results in terms of selling were coming not from the main label Sonic Belligeranza dedicated to dance experimental music, but from the tools for scratch on -Belligeranza sublabel and noise on picture disc from +Belligeranza.

8 ) Will you ever release netreleases (mp3, wav)? Why/why not?

Mmmm as I see it now, I just can’t think of Sonic Belligeranza out of wax grooves, it’s started like that and it will die like that (if it has to die I mean), might I ever want to start some mp3 business which is very unlikely to tell the truth it will be a brand new imprint, maybe connected to my experience of vinyl producer but a different thing.

* Will you ever start selling mp3’s of your back catalogue? Why /why not?

I don’t think so! Sonic Belligeranza is a no profit organization, its margin of profit is bounded to the 500 copies of each release, and the rest should go for free.

9 ) Do you think the increase of sales of usb turntables is a good thing or a bad thing and explain why?

For sure a good thing, these new, “powered” turntables can multiply the chances of survival of vinyl. In fact I think that with their affordable cost they can encourage a music fruition based ofcourse mostly on I-pod, mobiles and so on but leaving the possibility of a more domestic, high-quality fruition. I think usb interfaced turntables go strictly along with indie music industry strategy of selling LPs with free download code, another significant pathway for vinyl existence in the years to come.

10 ) What’s your opinion on digital dj gear that simulates the manipulation of records?

I’m very open towards every new dj technologies, I think these can be new instruments, maybe interesting for their own specific reasons which I haven’t yet had the time to indicate, still 2 turntables and a mixer is a different instrument with its own complex turntablist techniques not to mention the analog sound that digital cannot reproduce.

11 ) There’s a big shift in dj culture at the moment technics stopped the production of the main dj instrument, lots of clubs don’t have turntables anymore. Since you are djing with vinyl yourself do you still see yourself djing with vinyl in a couple of years? do you think there will ever be a switch back to vinyl as the ultimate dj tool ?

As previously stated I consider myself a turntablist so my past-present-future is linked inoxidably to vinyl. Technics premature retirement is of course a very bad factor for dj culture, even though I heard this was linked to the running out of its patent after 40 years in 2009 thing that allowed free reproduction of the same technologies by different companies. I don’t how much of this is true, but for sure I see a lot of turntables (mostly the usb interfaced one mentioned at answer 11) for sale at very competitive price. Regarding your last question I tend to be pessimistic, I think more and more new tools will be introduced hopefully they will co-exist with their grand-fathers on the wheels of steel, we’ll see.

12 ) What do you think is the reason that so many distributors, shops, labels are quitting while the media is talking about the return of vinyl, and numbers show that vinyl sales are going up?

As music as turned into something to access to, music industry and the media that go along with it have been looking for the item/format with more potential of selling in this new technological situation, and vinyl as specified in 4) is probably the best so far! Probably a consequence of this hype, the increase of selling you’re mentioning.

13 ) In the survey I took someone answered: ” I don’t see the use of pressing vinyl if the music on the record is recorded digital and will be converted from digital to an analog format” what’s your opinion on this?


14 ) What are you doing as a label in order to survive and to keep releasing records?

Recently I’ve been releasing mostly picture-disc, my experience is that they can sell even to people who don’t own a turntable, but more generally I can say I’m concentrating on deluxe editions (180 grams, picturediscs as just said, etc.) Because they have that something more people now, “in the age of free music”, needs in order to justify to themselves a payment.

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