Radio DJs have been spinning vinyl since their invention in the 1940s, but the rise of digital media production has resulted in a significant decline in the popularity of vinyl record formats, especially in the corporate broadcasting world. In recent years, record shops, artists and vinyl enthusiasts of a wide stripe have come together and established Record Store Day, a holiday established in 2007 in celebration of old-school music production and the independently-owned record store.
This year, the University of Utah’s own K-UTE Internet Radio has decided to join the festivities by participating in Vinylthon on April 22, which has been designated Record Store Day. According to Geoffrey Sutyak, the online content director for K-UTE, Vinylthon is an event sponsored by College Radio Day, an organization that aims to support college radio promotions.
“The goal of these sorts of events, and of the people behind College Radio Day, is to celebrate college radio. It’s such a unique environment because it signifies free, independent radio with no corporate attachment. It’s a day when college DJs can join the community to enjoy that environment,” Sutyak said.
As a part of Vinylthon, K-UTE will be playing 24 hours of non-stop vinyl records on kuteradio.org. Sutyak said their broadcast is sponsored by Graywhale of Salt Lake City, and will be broadcasting live April 22 from their 1300 East location from 7 – 10 a.m.
“We have been talking about reaching out for sponsorship from a local store for a while, so this was a great opportunity to get on it,” Sutyak said. “We reached out to the Salt Lake store manager, Brandon, and he loved the idea.”
Sutyak said that the partnership has worked out perfectly. Graywhale is not only offering the broadcast space, but also will be providing records for the K-UTE DJs to spin. DJs will be taking requests during their tabling event, both from Graywhale’s staff and from fans.
“The whole station wants to be involved in this event,” Sutyak said. “It’s something I knew everyone would love to be a part of, because spinning vinyl is a really fun experience, especially because it isn’t something that happens a lot in normal corporate broadcasting anymore.”
Vinyl fans can head to participating record stores around the country on Record Store Day and purchase exclusive releases and often get discounted records and gear. This year’s release lineup includes an expanded live record from Sir Elton John, a new box set of David Bowie albums and many special prints of other records.
K-UTE Staff Vinyl Picks:
Geoffrey Sutyak online content director:
Song “Limbo the Law,” by Big Audio Dynamite on the record No. 10 Upping St.
“That was the first song I ever played at K-UTE as a solo DJ, and I just so happen to have that on vinyl, so that would be my very first pick,” Sutyak said.
Big Audio Dynamite, often referred to as “BAD,” was formed in 1984 by Mick Jones, an ex-member of The Clash, and took a wide variety of stylistic turns through its career. This particular album takes a step away from the punk style of The Clash, and leans more into the alternative dance genres that were popular at the time.
Daniel Lee contributor and DJ:
Exmilitary the album by experimental hip-hop group Death Grips.
Lee said, “I’m not a big rap guy but I picked this one because of their innovation, unique timbre and cohesiveness. Exmilitary is DG’s first LP and boasts extraordinary powerful tracks such as ‘Guillotine’ and ‘Takyon (Death Yon)’ that combine the rap and electronic genres with a punk delivery. Death Grips may be aggressive and plain weird to most, but it’s hard not to give them credit for their originality and energy that managed to captivate fans worldwide.”
Josh Price The only vinyl-spinning DJ:
“A Place to Stand” by Sculpture Club.
“This album is one of my favorite currently and it’s from Salt Lake City’s own Sculpture Club,” Price said. “I love the style of combining garage rock with the goth sound. It’s an excellent album of good solid sad music! The album sounds best on the vinyl format because the wider depth and warmth of the analog sound evens out some of the harsher sounds the album produces when played on a digital format.”