Le Bain

Listening to Record Magazine

We sat down with Karl Henkell, the mastermind behind Record Culture magazine, before we celebrate its third issue at Le Bain, this Sunday, July 23rd.
LE BAIN: I just realized it’s only your third issue? I had the sense that you had released many more. What’s your feeling about that? 
KARL HENKELL: It’s already been quite an adventure. It’s been around three years now since the magazine began for me. Issues come out every six months, and it’s nice that people are constantly discovering it for the first time. 

Does it feel like you started the magazine yesterday and the new issue is always like the first one? 
Each new issue is an evolution and I always try to keep the same level of excitement as the first. It’s quite a process putting it together, so I need to really believe in the content to see it through.  
Karl Henkell

"On social media, even the most amazing image is just a flash in the pan." –Karl Henkell

One of the greatest things about your magazine is the intimacy we can feel in the Q&As and photos. You bring the reader so close to the artists. How do you create this intimacy?
The intimacy comes from spending time with the artist, either in person or over the phone, and continued contact afterward. The conversation is usually about their normal lives, how music fits into that, and their thoughts on various things. The intimacy of the photography comes from shoots being done in their own environments, in there own clothing and so on. We really capture things as they are. 

It’s weird to think that all the Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts don't replace a good magazine story.
Social media offers snippets of information. It’s a great communication platform, but I prefer seeing photos in a layout, within a context that makes sense. On social media, even the most amazing image is just a flash in the pan. 

What would you say makes a good Record ‘story’?
There’s no particular formula to a Record story. Every person has something interesting to say if you listen. Our job is to find the interesting parts of their story and present it in an accessible way. 
Initially, what motivated you to create the magazine?
It’s hard to pinpoint one thing in particular. It brings together a lot of things that I love. I love the whole music scene that we cover and thought it was underrepresented in print. Also, nothing quite like it existed on the newsstand. 

I wanted to document the scene and add to the conversation around music. It also got to a point where I was meeting a lot of people that could help me make it a reality.

How would you compare it to running a music label?
I’ve never run a music label, but in talking to people who do, you realize that there’s overlap. You create a product over a period of time, you give it to a distributor to put into shops, and you have a party to celebrate the release. Sounds a lot like a magazine!
Let’s talk about the new issue. How does the line-up reflect Record’s outlook on dance music?
There are guys like Tako, Jonny Nash, D.K., Tornado Wallace and Jex Opolis that are putting out great music. It’s a joy to walk into a record store and buy new music these days. Then there's Honey Dijon, Dimitri From Paris, and Justin Strauss who can really keep a crowd dancing, and have been doing it for a long time, so it’s really interesting to talk to people who have that perspective. There is Clara 3000, who is primarily a DJ and producer, but who also is music programmer for the likes of Vetements, and that crossover with fashion is really interesting to us.

Who's on the cover?
Our cover star, Laraaji, is really the outlier. I find myself listening to his records and other ambient things more and more. He has a really refreshing outlook on the world that I think will resonate with people. 

Sunday, July 23rd, Le Bain celebrates Record Culture Magazine
featuring Ivan Berko, Jex Opolis and Justin Strauss
5pm-late | The Standard, High Line

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