Vinyl Moon: The art-inspired monthly mixtape service
Vinyl Moon, the latest source for discovering new music, brings you custom mixtapes pressed on coloured vinyl and housed in unique designed jackets.
Image Credit: Vinyl Moon
The project, founded by Brandon Bogajewicz in 2015, prescribes paying subscribers a monthly dose of fresh new music, pressed on coloured wax, and presented in uniquely illustrated sleeves. Between volumes, designers are carefully chosen and must attain a theme that translates onto front and back cover, as well as inserts along a gatefold.
The LA based club began the project with the aim of setting up a community for vinyl enthusiasts. Since its founding, Vinyl Moon have been awarded medals for their jacket designs by the Society of Illustrators.
We caught up with Brandon Bogajewicz to find out more about the project:
How did the idea for Vinyl Moon come about and what inspired it?
"It came from years of writing about new bands/songs on my music blog The Burning Ear and over time wishing there was a more exciting (and permanent!) way to get this music out there. And around the same time I was getting a lot of 7" records of new bands I likes and wishing someone would just put all these singles on a full LP so I could sit down for longer than 4 minutes... and thats when the lightbulb happened and I spent the next 10 months figuring out how to make it work."
You started this project around 2 years ago, and since then it's garnered a lot of interest from media outlets and designers respectively. Could you tell us a little bit about the journey from how you started to where you are now?
"After the aforementioned lightbulb moment it was a lot of late nights crunching numbers and brainstorming ideas in an expanding Google doc folder. I bounced a lot of the ideas off of some very wise and patient friends who helped shape things. I knew that I needed a certain number of people on board from day 1 to make Vinyl Moon work at the level I wanted. Since I'm not a well known record label I knew the only way that was possible was with crowdfunding. Enter Kickstarter. Return of very smart friends who saved me from a few terrible Kickstarter video ideas."
"Once the Kickstarter launched it did really well and got some great coverage. That really got the ball rolling but it has certainly been a long and wonderful learning experience in keeping it rolling."
We here at The Alternative Outfit give our designers the opportunity to choose a story to design based on their own interests. Does Vinyl Moon offer similar freedom to designers by dictating the theme on each volume?
"Yes, very much so. Each release is a blank slate when I start discussions with the artists. But that can be a interesting challenge for some artists as they are not used to having zero parameters or a concrete theme. There are so many ways a printed physical package can go that I try to guide through some of the possibilities and figure out how best to translate a particular artists voice to something unique in the jacket design. But it is a new process every month!"
We recently acknowledged your award from the Society of Illustrators for Volume 14, but its certainly not the first. Would you say the art aspect of the project has had an influence over the success?
"I'm so honored to have received those awards from such a legendary institution and its a great talking point when explaining this weird project to prospective artists. However, I don't think it translates to commercial success in any direct way, which is totally fine. Vinyl is still rather niche. The number of people who follow art awards is quite small. The number of those that listen to vinyl is likely much smaller still. But nonetheless, receiving those awards is incredibly validating and has bolstered my confidence as a Art Director."
Volume 18 is your next release, could you give us an insight into what we can expect from this vinyl?
"As a principle I prefer to let each release speak for itself and for each member to discover the music and artwork in their own home and in their own hands. That's part of the magic of discovering both art and music on vinyl. But I will say that Volume 018 is exciting. A lot of energy in in the art which comes from classic comic books. Some fun juxtapositions with the music and its themes. I'm gonna stop there because I'm already making it sound pretentious!"