Vinyl Sundays Gives Authentic Feel
Vinyl music sessions have become very popular over the past decade. Vinyl record collectors and session organisers across several countries, including Jamaica, have resorted to the vinyl format, as against compact disc and laptops, as a way of entertaining their fans. Whether through sentiments or reality, vinyl fans and collectors believe that records, despite a little surface noise, not only sound better, but is closer to the original sound than other formats.
Vinyl Sundays at The Natural Mystic Bar in Drapers, Portland, offers the real opportunity to experience this phenomenon. The event, which has been taking place for the past two years, has attracted selectors from all over the world, with a different selector at the turntables each Sunday. Streamed live to a global audience, the 100 per cent oldies selections in an original street party style, is guaranteed every Sunday from 6 p.m., to 12 a.m., powered by The Untouchable Sound System.
Enrico Vicari, an Italian by birth, is the main man at the controls whenever there are no guest selectors passing through. According to him, "patrons rock and skank like the good old days and we attract tourists and people in love with Jamaica, and happy to show love for the island and the people who have changed their lives".
The success story of Vinyl Sundays owes a lot to the work of Vicari, whose varied collection and knowledge of Jamaican music is unbelievable, considering that he is not a Jamaican by birth. He has a way of keeping his audience on their toes with his snippets of historical data about the songs as he plays them and his DJ style, which has attracted hundreds of fans each Sunday.
Born in Ferrara, Italy, Enrico fell in love with ska and rocksteady music from as early as age 16 and began his journey into the Jamaican culture. He frequently played his records in Ferrara and surrounding areas and gradually built a strong following. In 1999, he established the first Jamaican concept sound system in his hometown and arranged dances on the Po River Banks. Building his record stock, which he plays exclusively from vinyl, Vicari made his first direct contact with the island in 2001, and the trip irremediably marks his life forever.
After going back and forth, fulfilling a number of international engagements, Vicari finally decided to make Jamaica his home at Long Bay in Portland. He has set up his own business - Vinyl Club Jamaica - and is constantly bombarded with orders.
Vinyl Sundays is only one of several engagements Vicari has on a weekly basis. In addition to other local engagements, he also has gigs at times in places like Denver, Colorado, and Los Angeles. Responding to my question concerning his reason for resisting other formats in favour of vinyl, Vicari said: "The sound is different. But apart from that, vinyl is a part of Jamaica's rich culture Many historical stories are wrapped up in them, stories that have fascinated me from I was 14 years old".