How has the Technics SL 1200 contributed to the success of Spirits Valley spirits and liqueurs?

The Technics SL 1200 vinyl turntable: the essential tool for the emergence of hip-hop and electronic cultures.

Before club culture emerged with disco in the mid-70s thanks to DJs, it was live bands that kept the crowds moving at dance parties. They played the tracks heard on the radio and those who liked the tracks went to the shops to buy the vinyls and listen to them on their hi-fi system.

In the early 1970s, the DJ Kool Herc organizes the first parts by coupling two decks together. The objective is to wedge two identical vinyl records together to make the passage of the song that everyone loves: the break. Usually it is James Brown's tracks that bring the most material because they contain a key moment: a typical drum solo lasting a few seconds. These rhythms, once extracted and duplicated, will give birth to hip hop and then to electronic music with drum & bass, jungle and trip hop between the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s.

As for Grand Wizard TheodoreIn 1975, he accidentally invented scratching in 1975, putting his finger on the record to stop it when his mother came into his room to ask him to turn down the sound. In the rush, he made the record go backwards and caused a noise that continued to haunt him afterwards.


Grand Wizzard Theodore inventor of scratch in 1975
DJ Cool Herc inventor of the breakbeat in 1973

However, the 'living room' vinyl decks of the time did not allow you to stop and restart the song instantly because they were belt-driven. It was easy to blow it up and break Dad's machine. Hence the success of the SL 1200 with direct magnet drive, which is adopted by DJs for its robustness and precision, to the point of becoming an instrument in its own right. The disc returns to normal rotation speed in less than 0.3 seconds. And it resists vibrations and humidity, so a spilled beer won't get the better of it. From now on, the DJ is a creator just like the musicians.

Made by Panasonic, the Technics SL1200 was released in 1972.
The SL1200 MK2 from 1979 marks the advent of hip hop and electronic music in the 80s and 90s.

Wearing the SL 1200, the Japanese company had to wait about ten years before they realized the underground success of the SL 1200, when the product manager went to New York for a business trip and discovered, amazed, his turntable at the very center of the hip hop scene...

"The MC (Master of Chai) talks to the MC (Master of Ceremony)": when electronic music and hip-hop adopt Spirits Valley spirits

The transition from underground hip-hop to major musical trends in the 90s goes hand in hand with the emergence of new codes of consumption claimed by African-Americans. Naturally, they turned to brown alcohol and abandoned whisky or vodka, which had too white and rock n' roll connotations. As for rum, it is assimilated with a painful period in their history...

The cognac is the winner :thanks to the democratization of hip hop, the phenomenon of "endorsement" was gaining momentum and gave a new lease of life to Charente spirits at the beginning of the 2000s.


But we're not done with the Technics SL 1200, which is also being adopted by electronic music. Starting with the illegal rave parties of the 80s, the techno sound then crosses with hip hop and invests the most popular clubs in Miami, Las Vegas, Berlin or London in the 90s. Where new spirits are consumed to stand out from daddy's liquor. It is therefore necessary to satisfy a whole generation of clubbers ready to pay to reserve a table and be seen in a VIP lounge .

It is in this context that the blockbusters that participated in the emergence of the Spirits Valley concept were developed: Grey Goose (H Mounier, 1996), Hpnotiq (Distillerie Merlet, 2000), Ciroc and G'Vine (Maison Villevert 2003 / 2006) and X rated (Daucourt, 2004) and which, as a result, will breathe new life into cognac whose packaging was a little outdated at the end of the 80s.

The following decade saw the cellar masters composing assemblages to the glory of DJs and artists going behind the scenes, associating themselves with new spiritual expressions such as Conjure with Ludacris (2009) or D'Ussé with Jay Z (2015).

Because, although it doesn't radiate musically (except to a certain extent with the French Touch), it's French know-how in terms of spirits that is imposing itself in clubs with its bottles.


Martell The French Touch (2016)
Martell The French Touch X Cassius (2017)
Remy Martin VSOP Mixtape (2021)
The old school packaging of the 90s is remixed.


Meanwhile, the flood of CDs and then MP3s signaled the decline of vinyl and DJs switched to new decks. Panasonic doesn't go into detail and announces the end of production of the SL1200 in 2010... It was without counting on the defenders of the famous turntable who, with a standing wind, send a petition with 25,000 signatures to the Japanese firm, which will revise its plans in 2016 and launch new models.


2010 Technics SL1200 MK6 before production shutdown


With close to 50 candles under its belt and over 3 million units sold, the SL1200 remains an essential reference for DJs who are no longer content to simply play records and become composers in their own right. The SL1200 is inseparable from the advent of major musical trends directly associated with the spirits and liqueurs for which the Spirits Valley is renowned.

Music is the spirits industry's main ally, and at a time when the world of clubs and hotels and restaurants is facing a (not exactly benevolent management by the authorities of the) health crisis, it will be important to remember this when those who have not definitively closed their doors will open their establishments again to try to get back on their feet.





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