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VP Records anticipates the return of Vinyl

Published:Sunday | May 31, 2015 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell
VP Records Co-Founder, Patricia Chin, O.D.

Patricia Chin, co-founder of VP Records, says the label is celebrating the revival ofvinyl. According to the veteran producer, who started the label with her late husband Vincent Chin in 1979, the label, which has pushed reggae and dancehall music into the international market for over two decades, has already started to re-press old vinyl records.

Chin, who spoke with The Sunday Gleaner at the recently concluded Best of the Best festival in Miami, says the vinyl is the heart of the music industry, and represents the true sound of music.

"I feel happy and positive that they are bringing back the vinyl, because it was very popular 50 years ago, and it's like gold ... it never changes. You get the real sound like in the studio, if the vinyl is not the heart of the music, then I don't know what is," she said.

VP Records not only attended Best of the Best, but also erected its own museum inside the venue. Chin and her staff used the event as an avenue to promote Jamaican music, as well as raise awareness of the almost fairy tale journey of reggae and dancehall genres. Among the items on display were T-shirts, photos of iconic musicians, an old school cassette radio, a turntable, and of course, vinyl records.

expensive to press

Chin told The Sunday Gleaner that the youth are attached to new technological developments, however, over time, they will grow to appreciate vinyl.

"There will always be a fanbase for the vinyl, and the youth will catch up. The sound systems are there, and I am mostly happy to see when some persons from the new generation are pulling towards the collection of vinyls. The youth will want to connect with their past, because that is the only way they can know their future," she said.

In last week's feature on the vinyl, Debby Bissoon, brand manager at the Bob Marley Group of Companies, told The Sunday Gleaner that it was expensive to press vinyl records locally and pointed out that the issue of cost would be a major concern for new and old pressing plants. However, according to Chin, the mathematics of cost will find a way to work itself out.

She recalls, "Fifty years ago, there were not many turntables, they were expensive and people found a way to get them, so we can do it from scratch. The factories are still in Jamaica, we just need to reopen them. Companies are there who have rights to music and were struggling because of the CD takeover. For VP Records, we have 50 years of music in our collection and we intend to start pressing even more," she said.

Chin also disclosed that the label had increased the pressing of vinyl records for Shabba Ranks, Yellow Man among other icons.

"We have Channel One vinyl, Gussy Clarke vinyl, Penthouse Vinyl, Prince Buster and so much more, but in the coming years, you will see more," she said.

As for VP Records' role as a sponsor of Best of the Best 2015, Chin said she wanted to show patrons the history of Jamaican music outside of just commercially popular acts like Bob Marley.