Salute to Vinyl features the surface noise recorded from both sides of a blank long playing vinyl disc played at thirty-three and a third revolutions per minute. This sound is generated by physical contact between the turntable stylus and the moving surface of a vinyl record. The continuous sound that results from the friction between these two surfaces is interspersed with intermittent sounds produced when the stylus encounters the damaged wall of a recording groove or particles of dirt. This is the sound of vinyl, brought to you through the medium of magnetic tape.
When I was a kid, before I got my first cassette recorder, I would flick through the pages of Exchange and Mart dreaming about the cassettes I would buy one day. I noticed that a number of the more affordable cassettes had titles that began with ‘Salute To’ or ‘Sounds Like’, and it was explained to me that this signified the music wasn’t being performed by the original artist. These were recordings by a soundalike - not the real thing - fake. But of course, when we listen to a recording we’re never really listening to the real thing: it’s the recording that’s the real thing. And when we listen to a recording we’re not just listening to music, singing or the spoken word: we’re also listening to the medium - to the technology.