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Records as records: excavating the DJ’s sonic archive

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Publication details

JournalArchives and Records
DateE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2021
Number of pages23
Original languageEnglish


This paper uses four vinyl record collections to identify and infer the praxis of DJs and the evidential value of their sonic archives. The work positions the DJs’ vinyl records as a document of dance music culture while defining the DJ as the arbiter and transmitter of that record. The work adopts an archaeological perspective, questioning how to understand a DJ’s praxis from the material culture of their vinyl records, viewing these records as artefacts which together form an assemblage warranting ‘excavation,’ analysis and curation. A framework of evidence is proposed and applied to the four vinyl collections, focusing on what can be learnt from such close archaeological scrutiny. The work concludes with a discussion of themes suggested by the analysis and proposes a proactive approach to planning for the preservation of DJ archives.

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