How Music Label Vlek Makes Ephemeral Sound Physical, While Giving Away Their Catalog [Gallery, Interview]

When music moved from live venues to radios and recordings, artists had to find a way to respond. Now, labels struggle to be heard in the era of Spotify and streaming, always-on, always-overabundant media. We could talk grander themes, but the possibilities of this conflict are most vivid in a microcosm. Call it post-digital or what you will, but being digital now means something different. For Belgian label, Vlek, that reality takes a number of forms, suggestive of the direction for independent electronic music. And so, in Ssaliva’s release for Vlek, executed by Dimitri Runkkari (part of Brussels’ design studio …

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Beck Uses Sheet Music, Illustrations in Place of an Album; Could “Sing it Yourself” Have a Future?

Before recording, there was simply music making. When you wanted to hear music, you had to find some actual living, breathing, fleshy musicians to make it happen. “Live” was the only kind of music. And prior to the record album, the mass publication of sheet music was the disruption that built a music industry. But there’s no reason people can’t get together and play music themselves. So, the first question you might ask, when seeing that Beck is releasing an “album” in the form of a set of sheet music, is, “why not?” And, for music in general, “why not …

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Experimental Printing in Aspirin and Tobacco, and the Narrative of Substances

REIGN OF ART – Stefan Guzy / Bj√∂rn Wiede – english subtitles from Kings&Kongs on Vimeo. It’s decidedly non-digital inspiration – but serious inspiration. Finding the “narrative of substances,” this film reveals the new, experimental approach to materials. It’s a sense perhaps born in the digital age of hybrid forms and endless possibilities on virtual canvases. It’s also reborn in the return to materials you can touch with your fingers directly. And then you’re suddenly printing with aspirin, tobacco, fat, ash… In Deutsch but subtitled in English, online video short series “REIGN OF ART” visits experimental printers Stefan Guzy and …

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