This art project was flagged up by Chris Meloche and is well worth a mention. In essence artist Kai Schaefer is photographing albums from the Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 500 of all time, but on record players and turntables they would have been played on when first released. They have done over 100 so far, and en masse the images look fantastic.
The idea does remind me of vinyl fans who post pictures or short videos of their latest purchases on their decks. There is something more clinical in the approach here as the photographs are so perfect, but I imagine the actual prints look really good. The gallery in America does have prints for sale for the well-heeled.
Thanks to Chris Meloche
Occasionally on my forays through piles of old vinyl, I will stumble across records which the owner has personalised. It’s usually just adding the artist’s name and song titles to a plain brown single sleeve, or perhaps the owner’s name added to the back of an album. Sometimes people make their own sleeves up to protect their records, and I’ve had a couple of examples of this on the site before, with photos cut out from teen magazines and glued on (check this Gary Glitter example out). I recall carefully Letrasetting my initials onto some record labels; it was partly an ownership thing in case I let someone borrow the record, but thinking back it was as much about how I valued the record as anything.
The sleeves here take this desire to reinforce ownership of a record a step further.
Inheritance Wax started a few years ago, when Ashwan was working part time with the elderly in Liverpool. As they passed on, families would come and clear their homes of all belongings which inevitably meant whole record collections being thrown out each time.
Being a DJ and producer, as well as nostalgic for the days when you could walk into someones place, glance at the record collection and book shelf and get a sense of what that person was about, Ashwan salvaged the records and set about making new record covers as well as sampling and remixing the original vinyl to create new art from the old.
The project is heavily hip hop influenced as a glimpse of the sleeves en masse will show, and the end result is visually very striking. As for the audio side, instead of hours of crate digging, the sample base has come from this limited palate, with, as Ashwan explains it, the hope that a different and unique sound will entail that also pays tribute to the artist’s own Liverpool roots. I’ve got a number of hip-hop sleeves myself where the musicians have taken blank covers and added the titles and other info by felt pen or airbrush, but Ashwan comes at the covers from a very different angle.
The music is free to download. The original vinyl covers have become works of art in their own right and are being sealed in air tight bubbles for preservation, turning the discarded object back into one of value and meaning. These will be exhibited together with the music over the coming months in the UK and across Europe. Hopefully Ashwan will keep some to display as here as they look fantastic all together.
Do check www.ashwan.co.uk for up to date information on these.
You can download the mixtape free of charge here (it fits on one side of a C90):