When Many Ameri, the co-founder of the Red Bull Music Academy called us early 2013 if we’d like to pitch a couple of ideas back and forth with them for the Red Bull Music Academy’s 15 years anniversary publication, it was more than an honour being asked. And it was out of the question to refuse no matter how busy we were at that time. The Red Bull Music Academy is an endless inspiring source for music lovers of all sorts, and my god there are some characters out there in the business. Just look up their list of lectures. However, you see, we’re fans ourselves, following them around for a long time already. So, having said this, we were eager taking this on. We were challenging the whole idea of an anniversary book as a look back into the past of the RBMA. And it turned out a book of inspiration heading right into the future for the reader. Many Ameri and Torsten Schmidt have the sources and ability to get the most interesting people in the music business to work with them and together. This led to the idea to get them together on a sofa, as they do at their lectures, and talk casually about their history, about success, misleading ideas, their view on the business, on life in general. Just have a look at the list of conversations that took place for this book and you know in an instant that this book is not only some book on music:
João Barbosa AND Kalaf Ângelo AND Mulatu Astatke
Bernard Purdie AND Jaki Liebezeit
Martyn Ware AND Nile Rodgers
Kerri Chandler AND Patrick Adams
Gareth Jones AND Metro Area
Carsten Nicolai AND Olaf Bender AND Uwe Schmidt
Benny Ill AND Moritz von Oswald
Lee “Scratch” Perry AND Adrian Sherwood
Matias Aguayo AND Sly & Robbie
DJ Harvey AND Ben UFO
Cosey Fanni Tutti AND Nik Void
Modeselektor AND Mykki Blanco
Erykah Badu AND The Underachievers
Just Blaze AND Paul Riser
Robert Henke AND Tom Oberheim
There we were with a whole list of some of the best and most influential ones in music world. We were not only challenging the question of how to look beyond what had happened already, but what the format ‘book’ meant in this context. We invented a different way each and every single conversations found its reflection in the layout aesthetics and illustration introducing every following conversation. Many techniques were used to find the expression we felt was right. We went from screen printing, to spray paint, from linoleum-print to micro-film scans, from creating objects to wood block prints. Everything there is in the arsenal was used to mirror the essence of the conversations. And the book wouldn’t be what it became without the help of the brilliant photographers we sent around the world to catch the moments.
This is what the press had to say:
“Throughout the book's wealth of knowledge, each of the 15 conversations carries its own take-away message and feel.”
“For music fans, it is a cornucopia.”
The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal
This is what Torsten Schmidt (cofounder of the Red Bull Music Academy) wrote about his encounter with our work:
Golly gosh, Art-Directors can be an interesting bunch, that much I had to learn the hard way in over two years of publishing Dinge of all kinds (even though I am sure they dare to say the very same thing once they talk about clients and/or writers).
Very rarely though do they engage you in a discussion where they not only claim to exchange arguments about the actual content but actually really do leave the ego aside.
And trust me, when you click on a new draft of some of Mr. Rehberger’s work, once dropped into your inbox, the experience can be quite challenging indeed. A proven tactic is to give it a brief glance over, then close it again, and do something entirely different. dishes, receipts, office drama, you get the idea. Give your mind some time to process properly and then take a closer look again, pixel by pixel. and start to imagine what he actually saw in the source material, and how he translated thought into an absolutely compelling language. Coz here lies his main amongst many miraculous talents - he actually reads the source text (of all material, let's be focault about it for a sec to make it a little easier), listens to the dialogue it starts with his inner voices and births forms, that will animate the final reader/viewer to take at least three closer looks. and what more could you ask for in zeitgenössischer gestaltung?
(RedBullMusicAcademy Cofounder, Yadastar Partner, writer, Fragensteller)
All this led us into different pieces of work with the Red Bull Music Academy – The Website for the Book, the design for the RBMA Radio Berlin location, an exhibition for the book-launch at the RBMA headquarter in New York City, the film titles for the film ‘What Difference Does It Make‘ by Ralf Schmerberg at Mindpirates … erm …. we re reckon there is more to come ….
Buy ‘For The Record’ here