Vinyl Vending Machines

Text: Mantis Kane

Illustration: David Foldvari

Just as we thought all music was airborne, cloud contained, intangibly abstract, metaphysically lingering like a fart with a monthly subscription - we’re upping sticks and moving back to the wax. The tides of technological advancement have been parted. Bearded youngsters playing 12” vinyl have performed a biblical spin-back that Moses would've been proud of.





Millennial deep-house lovers so desperate to authenticate their stolen music libraries are doe-eyed at these revolving discs; transfixed by something so aesthetically pleasing, yet so inefficient and expensive. Old school collectors have wet their pants in vindication; their time has finally arrived, technology gone full circle, justifying that lifelong addiction which has left them penniless, girlfriendless and jobless; with only shelves of rare vinyl to quietly masturbate over.


But the surge in vinyl's popularity hasn't been totally dismissive of new technology.  There's a new shop front: the Vinyl Vending Machine.


Several record labels have been quick to act on the sea change, adapting drink vending machines to disperse their vinyl releases.


Procuring vinyl is now similar to ordering a drink, with all the trappings of modern-day convenience: feed in some money, tap in the catalogue number, receive your goods.


Some labels area going the extra yard by incorporating a high resolution virtual record shop attendant. Programmed to be both acutely knowledgeable, judgemental and nauseatingly condescending, the assistant has all the irritable quirks of their now redundant human counterparts.


Kids get a sterilised taste of the analogue shopping experience: the finite stock, the social escapade, the actual stuff. It all combines into a theatre of antiquity, minus the real life putdowns from the snotty-nosed tastemaker behind the counter.