Vinyl: Locked Groove
updated 3 days ago
All vinyl records (at least as far as I know) end in a locked groove. That is done to protect the stylus from drifting onto the label, etc. A locked groove simply never advances; the groove changes from the spiral it was on the way in to a closed circle. Many of us have experienced the heartbreak of a home-made locked groove, a.k.a. a "broken record" that repeats a phrase ad infinitum until one gets off the couch and picks up the tone arm and manually advances the needle.
Along the way, someone figured out that the "runout groove" was arable land waiting to be seized.
Why, then, would anyone do this on purpose? One finds albums of locked grooves in the "Library Music" world; discs of sound effects were manufactured for the purpose of providing the sound of a continually dripping faucet, say, for a radio drama, etc. DJs building dance tracks live, on the fly, in clubs or while recording, found that infinitely looping snippets were useful and worth stockpiling. Others were more playful.
I think that the recorded locked groove came, at some point, to represent the medium itself; one need only hear the reference to this experience on the Monty Python track which ends with the loop, "Sorry Squire, I scratched the record. Sorry Squire, I scratched the record. Sorry Squire, I scratched the record..."
A list of records with (recorded) locked goove(s)..
See also these lists:
Infinity by MajorDark
Locked Grooves by Habitak_Berlin
Continuo blog post
My list of various treatments of vinyl:
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