Vinyl Moon is a subscription service at its essence, but what makes it stand out is its level of curation and original works of visual art. The idea of such a service came to creator Brandon Bogajewicz through his own experience in discovering new music. As the founder of music website The Burning Ear, he would often receive 7-inch records for up-and-coming bands and artists. The cumbersome task of listening to a pile of 7-inch singles was Bogajewicz’s impetus for creating his service and launching it through Kickstarter in 2015.
Each month, Vinyl Moon subscribers receive a limited edition 10-track vinyl album in the mail with songs from relatively unknown artists and bands. The tracks are pressed onto beautiful colored vinyl, which are works of art in and of themselves. In addition, each record is packaged in a jacket designed for Vinyl Moon by talented visual artists from around the world. Other collateral such as books, zines, posters and stickers are often included.
The songs are handpicked by Bogajewicz with the intention of threading together a mix that showcases each track, while also working well as a whole. While finalizing the mix, he begins his search for the ideal collaborator to create the visual component of the product. “I try to keep an eye out for artists who I feel have a solid visual voice that could translate to the medium of a record jacket in unique ways,” says Bogajewicz. “The record jacket is a pretty new canvas for most artists and I try to fill them in on its [characteristics]. Then we can discuss how best to incorporate their style into something unique.”
Bogajewicz has produced 14 volumes and counting. The visual artists who have contributed to Vinyl Moon have ranged from award-winning illustrators like Joseph Veazey to emerging photographers like Sinziana Velicescu. These individuals have stellar CVs — some have worked on projects for publications like The New York Times and have been featured by Another Mag, It’s Nice That and NOWNESS. While their chosen mediums vary, each has an ability to translate their ideas into an evocative and engaging record jacket. The results include everything from die-cuts, collages and comics, to hand lettering and original photography taken in space during the Apollo missions.
Going beyond the creative packaging and process of curating each volume, Vinyl Moon is special because of its inherent purpose. The vinyl subscription service isn’t about consuming new music as fast as you can, but rather consuming new music in a way that values the listening experience and the artists themselves. “For me, it’s the ritual. It’s putting a record on and just being along for the ride,” tells Bogajewicz. “Plus, I like that my records are physically visible and therefore beckon me to play them in ways that an album buried in my iTunes just doesn’t get a chance to.”
The shift from digital to analog is very clear in the ethos of Bogajewicz’s project. “I hope to be able to keep connecting vinyl fans and new bands and visual artists via the postal system for a long time to come,” he says.
Written by Nicole Wong
All images courtesy of Vinyl Moon/Brandon Bogajewicz