In his series “World Records”, Kai Schaefer draws from Rolling Stone Magazine’s “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” photographing the original vinyl records of iconic record albums throughout music history on the turntables they would have first been played on. Now numbering over 100 images, “World Records” moves through pop chart legends with Rock ‘n’ Roll icons like AC/DC, David Bowie and Pink Floyd; heart throbs like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash to more experimental pioneers like The Velvet Underground and Kraftwerk. While “World Records” methodically catalogues an era when the experience of listening was more physical and tactile, it is also contemporary with the resurgence of audio files elevation of the vinyl records as art objects. Schaefer pays tribute to these unforgettable analogue sounds and aural experiences highlighting each groove, label and turn table arm so these images become tangible – subtly audible in their nostalgia.
Iconic vinyls harmonise with the beauty of the vintage turntables counterpart, creating visual poetry which evokes the memories & dreams attached to our favorite albums, songs, musicians, and everything personal that they symbolise – all captured through Schaefer’s lens.
In reality, the vinyl & the turntable in unison, create that music which feeds our audible soul. However, via the works of Schaefer, our soul’s multitude of senses are activated instantaneously; the synergy of associated subconscious memories and feelings making the rhythm palpable.