It's inshazamable. But rec-o-gnized!
The short story:
The REC-O-GNIZER has been developed by Swiss German DJ and record collector Andreas Tietz (aka DJ Sonoflono).
It is a device that enables vinyl DJs to project record labels in real-time. In the future, it is also a software application that can process, archive and transfer images of record labels to local and social media.
Audiences can now identify music that is often inshazamable, precious vinyl receives the one visual companion it was meant to have, and party nights end with selfies of their actual stars - the records!
The long story:
Public presentation of conserved music has a rather short history compared to live music.
From early "disc shows" to record-obsessed subcultures from such diverse places as Jamaica, Detroit and Manchester, the vinyl record has held and always will hold a special place in the hearts of DJs and their audiences
The center (paper) label design of records usually reflected the corporate identity of companies that produced, often manufactured and sometimes distributed records. But sometimes it was a bastard: the initials of the studio owner, a slogan, a pun or a quickly drawn image of anything else considered cool, catchy or crazy.
The record label in its multitude of colors and designs is an art form and has been developed early on as a visual tool to promote, describe and sometimes differentiate the musical content of the record. Besides containing technical and legal information (e.g. record speed, run-time, catalogue numbers, songwriting and production credits), many record labels are objects of sheer artistic beauty and have become highly desirable for collectors of various musical styles and genres.
For example, the Facebook group "The Art Of The 45 RPM Label" shares this obsession with more than 3000 members and its library contains close to 5000 pictures of record labels.
Not only is a record label the visual companion for the release, i.e. the song, tune or track - it is also shows the history of the individual copy. Stickers, personal writings, wear and tear - they all bear witness to the many years a record may have been in use.
The REC-O-GNIZER aims at placing the art of the record label back to where it belongs: to a companionship with the music it was made for, close to the audience that is now enabled to recognize, to learn and to appreciate, and closer to the DJ who can effortlessly add a real-time digital image to her or his repertoire of selecting and mixing tracks.
The REC-O-GNIZER mainly targets the 7-inch or 45 rpm lover. This format plays a huge role in several musical subcultures - most if not all serious Soul, Reggae/Ska, Rockabilly, Garage or Funk collectors/DJs are deeply obsessed with the format. The rarity and short runtimes of these records seem to willingly contradict current consumer attitudes, where virtually any piece of recorded music can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime and as often as you please.
Until recently, 7 inch record labels have been appreciated only by Djs, collectors and few interested individuals.
With the help of the REC-O-GNIZER, vintage Soul, Reggae or Rockabilly records can now not only be heard, but also seen and thus be presented in full audiovisual glory!
The current setup of the REC-O-GNIZER is simple and contains few technical components. Two digital cameras on stable tripods in a switch arrangement, plus cables to the projection device (usually an LCD projector and monitors) - that is all. The REC-O-GNIZER is not a product and NOT PATENTED - it can and should be copied by DJs and collectors all over the world.
In the future, the REC-O-GNIZER will also be an app that allows for special effects, digital storage and social media distribution - please stay tuned here or there!
The mobile version of the REC-O-GNIZER is here! An old merry-go-round box office trailer has been converted into a rolling temple of vinyl culture. The code name is DER AEBERHARDT and it premiered during the Art Basel 2015 weekend (June 19th and 20th) in the port of Basel: